ZTE Axon 7 Mini review

A smaller version of a great phone

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The ZTE Axon 7 Mini should be a more thrilling phone than it actually is. On paper the spec looks great, the design is brilliant and there's a lot here for the price.

But there are a lot of issues that stand in the way of making this a truly great cheap phone.

There's so much competition in the market as well. With options from Motorola, Honor and many more, the Axon 7 Mini is against some very, very tough competition in this space.

Why should I buy the ZTE Axon 7 Mini?

The ZTE Axon 7 Mini is gorgeously designed and considering this phone is only $299/£250 it's surprising how high-end it feels. This is the kind of phone people won't realize is a cheaper option and that's the best sort of bargain phone. 

There's nothing like the speaker setup on the Axon 7 Mini at this price point. HTC's BoomSound tech is also impressive, but you won't get the full package on a phone this cheap, so if you're looking for a powerful speaker setup on a budget go for this handset.

The display on the Axon 7 Mini is also impressive. If you're after a 5.2-inch size phone with a Full HD AMOLED display, this is one of the few high quality options on the market, especially for this sort of money.

Why shouldn’t I buy the ZTE Axon 7 Mini?

Despite all the great features above, there are also quite a few reasons you shouldn't buy the ZTE Axon 7 Mini.

Considering the display is only Full HD, the battery is a real disappointment and you'll likely work through it before the end of the day.

If you're happy to use the fast-charging features to ensure it's juiced up, you'll like the ZTE Axon 7 Mini though.

The phone may not be powerful enough for you either. Compared to other phones at this sort of price, such as the Moto G4 Plus, the Axon 7 Mini is particularly slow and will take too long to load some of your favorite apps and games.

For some people that will be a major issue, and that's a big shame.

The last negative of the Axon 7 Mini is the software the company has decided to install on it. It gives many apps strange icons and doesn't offer enough extra functionality to make this worthwhile.

It won't cause any major issues in the way you use your phone, but the way your home screen looks will probably disappoint you.

First reviewed January 2017


Don't like everything you've seen here about the ZTE Axon 7 Mini? Here are some phones we think make good alternatives.

Moto G4 Plus

Motorola’s Moto G4 Plus from 2016 has been consistently ranked one of our best cheap phones and even sits in the top position of our best cheap phone list at the time of writing. 

It features a fingerprint sensor, 5.5-inch Full HD screen and a more powerful processor than the Axon 7 Mini.

The design arguably isn't as good, but it’s even cheaper than the option from ZTE so we’d recommend you take a look before buying the ZTE Axon 7 Mini.

Read the Moto G4 Plus review

Honor 6X

Honor’s latest beat the ZTE Axon 7 Mini in benchmarking results, has a great battery life and even features a larger screen. 

It doesn’t have such a great design and won’t have those stereo speakers, but if battery life and power (or lack thereof) are putting you off the ZTE Axon 7 Mini, the Honor 6X could be a good option at a similar price.

Read the Honor 6X review

ZTE Axon 7

Like everything you see on show here but fancy a larger phone with a more powerful processor and much better battery life? The ZTE Axon 7 is the phone to go for, but be prepared to pay a lot extra for the experience.

It does everything the ZTE Axon 7 Mini does and much, much more though and a lot of the issues we’ve had with the Mini are solved on the larger option. But be warned, if you have smaller hands this won’t be a good choice for you.

Read the ZTE Axon 7 review

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.