ZTE Axon 7 Mini In-depth Review: 2017
The Axon 7 Mini produced by ZTE always seemed like a catch in terms of value for money. With its Snapdragon 617 processor, 3GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, 16 MP camera, and its quick charge feature, there was little reason for me not to purchase it – and all for the price of £250! The fact that it was released this October and runs on Android 6.0 was the icing on the cake for me. I was so excited to have the phone in my hands, so I went ahead and bought the phone in late November or December. Skip forward to now, and this is what I have to say about it (note: this review is split into two parts – pros first and then cons):
Pros of the Axon 7 Mini
It’s sleek. This is something that I could’ve told you from the moment I saw it. The body is of a slim build, the screen is a decent-sized 5.2 inches – taking up most of the front’s space – and the back of the phone is smooth to the touch, with no ridges. To top it off, the phone is a sophisticated soft gold making it very easy on the eye and appealing to a lot of phone users.
It rarely lags. The Axon 7 Mini is definitely efficient. I can think of a few times where it has slowed down for a couple of seconds, but it hasn’t ever been so bad that I’ve wanted to throw my phone at the wall. It’s a huge improvement over my old phone, the Moto G 2nd Generation. It’s also quick at loading web pages and larger apps.
It has a lot of storage. My old phone had a measly 8GB of storage (almost 2GB of that was taken up by the phone’s system), so the 32GB found in the Axon 7 Mini was refreshing, to say the least. However, one thing that really irked me was that not once was it mentioned that almost 10GB of the storage provided would be taken up by the phone’s system! Regardless, 20GB is still a major upgrade from what I’m used to. Also, the phone’s storage can be expanded by at least 150GB through a memory card. It’s probably a heck of a lot more than that, come to think of it.
Although, do you want to know another thing that annoys me? Apps can’t be moved to the external storage slot. Bummer.
It charges quickly. It runs on Quick Charge 2.0 which is said to allow phones to charge up to 60% in half an hour. Most of the time, my phone goes from 0% to 100% in little over an hour so I would say that this is an accurate claim. I’m a heavy phone user so saying goodbye to waiting over two hours for my phone to charge has made me ecstatic.
The speakers are loud. When I first brought the Axon 7 Mini home, I briefly compared the quality of the speakers to my old phone. The speakers on the Axon 7 Mini are manufactured by Dolby Atmos, so the difference in quality was huge. The sound is loud and crisp; at the highest volume, there was little to no crackling whereas, there was with my older phone
It has a variety of customisable features. The skin (Mi-Favor 4.0 or MUI) allows you to have more customisable features in comparison to android. Of course, the phone runs on both, so you get the best of both worlds. That’s all I have to say about that.
Despite all of these pros, ZTE’s Axon 7 Mini also has a few downsides. Here are just a few:
Cons of the Axon 7 Mini
Its battery power is quickly lost. While the phone is ‘full speed ahead’ in terms of its charging capabilities, there is a downside. I could have my phone at 100% and within the hour, it will have gone down by 20-30% or more. Of course, that’s with the screen on full brightness and with the Wi-Fi continuously connected, but even with it on the lowest brightness setting, I still lost about 25% of battery power within a fairly short space of time. I know that the Axon 7 Mini isn’t alone in this, but it is annoying – especially if you need your phone to last during the day while you’re out.
It overheats. This most often occurs as I charge the phone, although I can remember at least one instance where the back of my phone was hot despite me not using or charging it. I don’t know if this was due to apps overworking the system, but it was certainly something that I was hoping to leave behind with my older phone. One thing that I should make clear is that it doesn’t just get slightly warm, it can also get quite hot. This is something to bear in mind if you’re a heavier phone user, and you like to be on your phone while it’s charging.
The camera isn’t overly impressive. The camera is of a higher quality than that found on my older Motorola, but it wasn’t as good as I was expecting. There was a lot of emphasis made on the camera’s high-quality performance and it hasn’t met up to these standards (moral of the story: don’t trust marketing). It’s been said that the camera is far more effective outside, but when zooming into any of my captured images, I could make out a fair bit of noise. I was hoping for much sharper images – especially since the camera was one of the biggest reasons as to why I bought the Axon 7 Mini. I’m a blogger and I create content on a very visual platform – so hell yeah was image quality highly important!
In addition to this, the images were often blurry, despite me having a play around with the manual settings (and making sure to keep my hands still, of course). This was another disappointment, and it was frustrating to have to take at least a dozen pictures just to come out with one clear shot.
It’s recently started to play up. Within the last couple of weeks, a few things have started to go wrong with my Axon 7 Mini. For some reason, the home button no longer works when I press it. I also can’t see notifications, but I am alerted to them via sound. Other settings seem to change automatically – for example, when I turn my phone off the display brightness is at 100% but when I turn my phone back on, it’s on the lowest setting. It’s just the small things that seem to be going awry*. This may be because I’m guilty of overcharging my phone and it’s messed up the system. Although I’d never come across this with my Motorola. Or, it could be that my phone is faulty (I’m going to try to send it back), but it’s still worth noting.
*Just as a heads up, I have no viruses on my phone or anything like that.
It’s these last two points, in particular, that would make me rate this phone a 3/5, as these grievances seem to outweigh some of the benefits.
So, that is my very honest and incredibly lengthy review of the Axon 7 Mini which is manufactured by ZTE. I’d like to know what you all think of it, and if it’s perhaps swayed any of you who were/are interested in the Axon 7 Mini into looking at getting a new phone, or not.
I also really need to work on shortening these blog posts because this is almost 1300 words long! Phew!
Until next time,
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