ZTE Axon 7 Mini review

A smaller version of a great phone

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Battery life

  • A 2,705mAh battery and fast-charging but no wireless option
  • Pretty bad battery life that won't last you a full day
  • Did well in our video test, but not well day-to-day

Battery life on the ZTE Axon 7 Mini isn’t up to scratch. We were disappointed with the life we could get out of its 2,705mAh juice pack and found ourselves having to put the phone on charge during the day.

Regularly we had to put it on charge at around 5PM on days when we tried to really put the phone through its paces. Some evenings it would last until 9PM, but that's not good enough either.

Phones in 2017 often last a full day or even a day and a half, but the ZTE Axon 7 Mini struggles to last three quarters of a day with regular usage.

We also put the Axon 7 Mini through our video battery test where we play a 90 minute clip on full brightness with connectivity options on and surprisingly it scored a great result - 85% - rivalling the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 for great battery life when playing video.

But this doesn't excuse the terrible battery life when you’re using the phone generally. It does at least have fast charging capabilities though, which make it simple to pump back up to full quickly.

This is the saving grace of the battery on the Axon 7 Mini, as it allows you to go from nought to 50% in just over 30 minutes.

You’ll need to be using the charger included in the box to get the quickest charge and there’s no wireless charging on the Axon 7 Mini, which is a disappointment.


  • 16MP rear camera and 8MP front-facing shooter
  • Good everyday photography, but not great in low-light

ZTE has equipped the Axon 7 Mini with a 16MP rear shooter and it probably won't disappoint you. In fact, it’s quite an impressive setup given the price of the phone.

Landscape and well-lit shots all turned out great. Pixel peeping showed the images to be a little low-res at times, but when looking at the image as a whole it was quite hard to fault the way they came out.

In fact, the Axon 7 Mini can just about hold its own against some flagship phones, despite being around half the price.

It has autofocus tech, HDR, a dual-LED flash and an aperture of f/1.9.

That aperture is not all that impressive though and it really does impact night time shots. We found a lot of the samples we were getting out of the Axon 7 Mini were blurring at night and struggled with focus.

Even static objects ended up blurring in front of us and that was a big disappointment.

How well the photos came out in the daytime though made up for its struggles at night and if you’re just looking for a simple, high quality point and shoot camera on a cheap phone this is a good option.

For video, the Axon 7 Mini can record in either Full HD or 720p. You won’t need anything more than this considering the screen you’re watching it back on is Full HD anyway.

Focus within videos looks good and we found it all controlled easily, with a simple to use interface on both camera and video modes.

There's also an 8MP front-facing sensor, for all your selfie needs and 1080p videos.

The picture quality is good enough for uploading snapshots of you and your friends to social media, but for anything more intense we’d recommend using the rear camera.

There’s also a beauty mode on the selfie camera. It blurs out the blemishes of your skin and makes you look quite strange. This is set on as a default and we recommend taking that off unless you want to look like the photo below.

Camera samples

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.