Nubia Z11 Mini S Review: Small Package, Big Power

nubia Z11 Mini S

nubia officially launched its Z11 MINI S premium photography mobile phone in India in an exclusive partnership with Amazon on March 20, 2017 in India. This phone has a powerful camera and very good hardware and comes at a mid-range price of Rs 16,999/- Let us take a closer look at the device today.

nubia Z11 Mini S

nubia Z11 mini S is 7.6mm thick and weighs 158 grams. The smart-phone is being offered in Khaki Grey initially and will be soon launching the Moon Gold color variant. The dual SIM device supports both TD-LTE and FDD-LTE network support.

Key Tech Specs  
Camera Rear Camera
23MP
SONY IMX318 Exmor RS
PDAF+Contrast Focus
Sapphire Protective Lens
6-piece Motor Drive Lens
ƒ2.0 aperture
NeoVision 6.0
Front Camera
13MP
SONY IMX258 CMOS
PDAF+Contrast Focus
5-pieces Lens
ƒ2.0 aperture
80°Wide Angle
Skin Retouching
Display Size: 5.2″
Resolution: 1920×1080
Color saturation: 85%
Contrast: 1500:1
PPI: 424
Brightness: 450nit
Material: Corning Gorilla Glass
Manufacturing process: in-cell 2.5D glass
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon  MSM8953
Octa-Core Processor, 64 bit
CPU: 2.0GHz
14nm Process
Adreno 506 image processor
Memory RAM: 4GB RAM, LPDDR3 933MHz
RAM: 64GB, eMMC 5.1
MicroSD(TF)card: up to 200GB
Storage Expansion: up to 200GB
Network & Wireless 6 Mode 16 Frequency
TD-LTE B40
FDD-LTE B1/B3/B5/B7/B8/B20
WCDMA
850/900/1900/2100
CDMA 1x&EVDO
800
GSM
850/900/1800/1900
Wi-Fi
802.11 b/g/n/ac wireless networks
Supports 5GHz and 2.4GHz
Bluetooth
Bluetooth 4.1
Supports BLE
Sensor Electronic compass
G-sensor
Light sensor
Gyro-sensor
Proximity sensor
Location GPS
GLONASS navigation
Operating System nubia UI 4
Edge gestures, Super Screenshoot….
Multimedia DTS
Supported video formats
MP4, 3GP, MOV, MKV, AVI, FLV, MPEG
Supported audio formats
FLAC, APE, AAC, MKA, OGG, MIDI, M4A, AMR
Supported image formats
JPEG, PNG, GIF, BMP
Battery Li-ion Polymer battery cell
3000mAh
NeoPower
Non-removable
Basic Information Height: 146.06mm
Width: 72.14mm
Thickness: 7.60mm
Weight: 158g
ROM: 64GB
RAM: 4GB
Colors: Moon Gold/Khaki Grey

Z11 Mini S Rear View

The device is decent looking and has the customary meta unibody back that has become the boon or bane of smartphones depending on how you look at it. There are a few subtle touches that are very ZTE in nature. The most noticeable is the round red home key that can ‘breathe’ or have a pulsing light pattern that very gently fades in and out. The other two capacitive keys are two red dots, that are backlit when in they are in play. Very similar to the ZTE Blade A2 Plus that we saw earlier. The phone has a continuous flowing metal unibody design, molded from a single piece of metal. The edges folding to the screen are very neatly chamfered, and this gives the device a very premium and classy look that is a touch better than most other devices that we see in the very crowded mid-range segment. The styling of the brandname in the rear is very distinctive and it will take a bit of time to decipher due to the unique font.

nubia Z11 Mini S

The phone features a 5.2-inch full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display offers a pixel density of 424ppi and brightness of 450 nits. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass and is backed by a non-removable 3000mAh battery with support for nubia’s proprietary NeoPower energy saving algorithm. The nubia Z11 mini S features a multi-function fingerprint sensor with support for unlocking, screenshot and pictures. This is handy to customize and get things done fast.

The display was more than satisfactory and we saw that the colors rendered were very crisp and there wasn’t any noticeable spillover or fading of any sort. The nearly bezel-less screen is a joy to use and long gaming or reading hours were not a problem at all.

Full Rear View

The trusty Qualcomm® Snapdragon 625™ MSM8953 Octa-Core Processor clocked at a speed of 2.0 GHz that is coupled with Adreno 506 image processor powers the device. To keep up with these, the Z11 Mini S has a 4GB Ram and a 64GB ROM, expandable up to 200GB. We threw a lot of multitasking and heavy gaming at this device and there wasn’t even a slight stutter anywhere. And there wasn’t any undue heating either. With the available internal storage, we hardly felt the need to expand storage.

The rear camera is the real hero of this device. The Z11 Mini S features a 23-megapixel rear camera sensor coupled with SONY IMX318 Exmor RS, PDAF+Contrast Focus, Sapphire Protective Lens, 6-piece Motor Drive Lens and ƒ2.0 aperture. The addition of NeoVision 6.0 makes it a formidable choice for photographers and enthusiasts alike. It produces high quality photos and can capture 1080p high definition video. What’s more, nubia has also ensured that the camera is equipped with 0.1s rapid focus for you to never miss a memory and stay always in focus. Its 13-megapixel front camera is coupled with SONY IMX258 CMOS, 5 piece lens, ƒ2.0 aperture 80-degree wide angle and skin-retouching feature making it a great choice for wide-angle selfies.

The rear camera is brilliant and the photos we took with it were nearly flawless. The colors popped out very well and the details were impressive. There was no noise or distortion that we could discern there. Here are a few sample pictures we took with it

pots

Windchimes

Home

Sunlight through plants

Call quality was pretty good.  Voice calls and music output were above average. The phone supports VoLTE calling and we had no issues with our Jio SIM in it. There was a tad bit of distortion when playing some bass/percussion notes with it. Sound with the headphones plugged in was crystal clear though.

There are ‘edge’ gestures, a set of swipes and gestures from the edge of the screen that quickly trigger certain functions. A lot of the functions are useful, such as switching between apps, closing all apps quickly and adjusting brightness. Some a nifty and some a cumbersome. But overall a win.

The battery was a workhorse. one single charge got us through 15 hours of above average load with WiFi and 4G on all the time. In standby mode, it lasted over a day and a half. All in all, given the mid-range price, the battery is a definite plus and does not let us down.

Verdict

The Nubia Z11 Mini S at Rs 16,999/- is a brilliant mid-range device. Performs well, takes brilliant pictures, excels at multitasking and runs well on battery. In short – Small Package, Big Power! We are making it an Editor’s Choice for 2017 Mid-Range devices

About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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  • Sandeep Tyagi

    Shakthi! I found the camera samples underwhelming. Lots of noise even in good light. Looking from the samples, i can say the camera is very average.

    • Shakthi

      Thanks for your view!