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Nubia Z17 mini First Impressions: Will it make any difference?

By: Rohan Pal, The Mobile Indian, New DelhiLast updated June 06, 2017 5:03 pm

Nubia Z17 mini First Impressions: Will it make any difference?

The smartphone is, indeed, sleek with just 7.45mm thickness and is certainly lightweight with 155 grams.
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Nubia has added a new member to its N series with the launch of Nubia Z17 mini. Priced at Rs 19,999, the smartphone will be available from Amazon starting from June 12. Nubia Z17 mini sports some interesting specs sheet and it is one of the few smartphones available at this price point, which boast a dual-camera setup. 
 
But, interestingly, Nubia has entered a segment, which is already dominated by the likes of Motorola, Lenovo, Samsung and even Honor is not far behind.  So, will it prove to be an option worth buying? We used the device for a brief time and here is our first impressions. 
 
Design and Display
 
Nubia has a past record of making some beautiful-looking smartphones and the Nubia Z17 mini carries this legacy. The smartphone does give a premium look with all-metal design coupled with a 2.5D curved glass at the front. The smartphone is, indeed, sleek with just 7.45mm thickness and is certainly lightweight with 155 grams. We liked the chamfered edges, which runs across the side panel adding some brownie points in the design department. But that said, the device is a bit slippery when you hold it, so we suggest a back cover is must for this one. 
 
Nubia Z17 mini
 
The front houses a 5.2-inch screen, with some minimal side bezels, though top and bottom are quite noticeable, while at the base you get company’s trademark red-colour circle at the bottom flanked between recent menu button and back button. On the right, you will find volume controls and just beneath it lies power on/off button, while on the left, there is dual SIM slot. 
 
At the back, you will find a dual-camera setup at the top-left corner of the device along with a LED flash, while if you go south, you will come across a fingerprint sensor along with company’s logo. At the top, there is a headphone jack, while at the base you will find USB Type-C port flanked between speaker grilles. Overall, the smartphone does gives a premium look, though it is a bit slippery in nature. 
 
Moving to the display department, the phone features a 5.2-inch Full HD screen with 1080p resolution and a pixel density of 424ppi, which is protected with Corning Gorilla Glass. During our brief testing period, we found out that the display is bright enough for outdoor visibility and comes with some good viewing angles. However, it would be interesting to see the performance of the display during our testing period. 
 
Camera
 
The major highlight of the smartphone is the dual-camera setup situated on the back panel. There are two 13-megapixel sensors at the back, with one being a monochrome, while the other sporting an RGB lens. Both the camera uses Sony IMX258 sensor and there is also a sapphire glass protective lens, which is considered scratch proof. For the front, there is a 16-megapixel camera with 80-degree wide-angle lens for selfie and video calling. 
 
Nubia Z17 mini
 
Nubia is known for making some good camera smartphones in the past and it would be interesting to see whether Nubia z17 mini will be able to carry it forward. But during our brief testing period, we found out that the device does a good job in broad daylight. The camera UI is pretty simple to use and comes loaded with different modes including Multi Exposure, Mono, macro, 3D, LightDraw, DNG and so on. So, it would be interesting to the overall performance of the camera in different lighting situations.
 
Hardware and Software
 
On the hardware front, the device is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 processor along with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage out of which 11.84 GB is reserved for the system. The storage can be further expanded up to 200GB via microSD card slot. Though it is too early to comment on the performance part, looking at the sheer specs sheet, the smartphone competes directly with the recently-launched Motorola Moto G5 Plus, which sports a similar processor, but is priced at Rs 17,999 for the 4GB RAM and 32GB storage variant. 
 
Nubia Z17 mini
 
On the software front, Nubia Z17 mini runs on a dated Android 6.0 Marshmallow with company’s own Nubia UI 4.0 running on top of it. This is where Nubia really need to work. The brand does not have a good past record when it comes to rolling out timely updates. The user interface does make a difference when it comes to improving the performance of the device, and hopefully, Nubia will look into this matter. That said, the UI is pretty clean this time and comes loaded with some handy features including edge gestures, through which users can perform the different task by using an edge of the screen. So, for example, one can swipe up/down from the edge to switch between the apps. Then there is the split-screen mode, which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen and one can also change the navigation buttons, according to his/her need. We will talk more about this and other features during in our review. 
 
Battery and Connectivity
 
Nubia Z17 mini
 
The smartphone is powered by a 2950mAh Lithium-ion polymer battery and on the connectivity front, it supports dual SIM, 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, NFC and USB Type-C port. The phone also comes loaded with DTS audio, which is believed to offer some good audio output, but other than, other things are pretty much similar to any other smartphone out there in the market. 
 

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Verdict

To sum up, the smartphone has its share of hits and misses. The device does manage to give a sleek and premium look, which is a good thing. The phone carries a specs sheet, which is pretty common at this price point, though a dated Android version can be an eyesore for some. As for the competition is concerned, the phone will compete with the likes of Moto G5 Plus, Xiaomi Mi Max, Lenovo P2 and others, which offers come competitive specs at a similar price point.

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