Nubia Z17 Mini Review

The Nubia Z17 Mini comes from the sub-brand of the well-known Chinese manufacturer ZTE. The Nubia series is known for a particularly noble design and hardware of the upper middle class and is also officially sold in Germany, whereby Nubia largely without marketing. We have the Nubia Z17 Mini a detailed review. In the following, you will learn what the Chinese smart smartphone does in practice.

Design and processing

Nubia simply knows how to make beautiful smartphones . While most of the ZTE phones have a slightly needed habit, the Z17 Mini is a real eye-catcher. Our version in the stylish black belongs to the most beautiful cell phones that we have had in the test lab . The design is not unusual in itself. With a width of 7.5mm, the mobile phone is comfortable slim and also the weight of 155g produces in the hand a good impression. The Nubia Z17 mini stands out from the crowd thanks to its color scheme. The round, red Home button and the golden edges around the housing as well as the fingerprint sensor on the back form a successful contrast to the otherwise actually usual look.

In addition to the Home button there are two additional soft-touch buttons , which are not marked by a symbol or an LED. Above the display is a notification LED , which informs in different color of news. On the right are the power buttons and the volume controls, which have a comfortable pressure point. The camera is incorporated into the upper left in the back and looks barely a millimeter out of it. The glass of the camera is the so-called sapphire glass, which is also used with the Iphone and is particularly scratch-resistant. The positioning of the fingerprint sensor on the back ensures that the smartphone can be easily unlocked when removing from the pocket.


Sim cards can be inserted into a slot on the left. The back cover can not be removed and access to the battery is denied. The Z17 Mini can be operated with either two nano-SIMs or a Nano-SIM and a MicroSD card. Dual Sim with simultaneous memory extension is not possible. On the other hand, memory expansion on a smartphone of this price class is not necessarily standard.

The Nubia Z17 Mini is one of the most attractive smartphones in its price range. The processing quality is by and large at a high level and it is difficult for us to criticize the smartphone.

Scope of delivery & accessories

The scope of delivery of the Nubia Z17 Mini is spartan. Next to the smartphone is a USB type C cable, an operating manual (English), a power supply and a plug for removing the SIM slot included in the delivery. Matching accessories such as protective covers and display films can be found on


The display of the Z17 Mini measures 5.2 inches . The smartphone can still be operated with one hand and thanks to the full HD resolution of 1920 * 1080 pixels are also no longer see individual pixels . The panel works with LTPS technology . The color representation is strong. The brightness is only on the average of current phones in this price range. In the case of outdoor use, there is no problem even with relatively strong solar radiation, as long as the brightness is set to maximum. If the brightness is reduced, however, it is noticeable that the display is relatively strong. With the complete display brightness, the reflections do not particularly interfere.

To protect against scratches , the display is equipped with Corning Gorilla glass. However, Nubia does not list which version it is. The touch screen can register up to 10 touch points simultaneously and converts all commands quickly and precisely.


The Nubia Z17 Mini is available in two different hardware features. The standard version is equipped with a Snapdragon 652 processor and 4GB RAM. The high-end version has a slightly faster Snapdragon 653 and a whopping 6GB of RAM. We had the test of the standard version of the Z17 mini and we also had a pleasant experience with this throughout. With an Antutu benchmark of 83,000 points, the Z17 Mini does not snap trees when compared to Snapdragon 820 smartphones, but the performance difference is hardly noticeable in standard operation. All apps open without interfering waiting times and through the system or websites, the mobile phone moves 100% fluently . In terms of gaming, the Z17 also convinces, Although here the difference to current high-end smartphones is somewhat clearer. The Adreno 510 GPU is able to display all currently available games without lags. For very demanding games like Asphalt 8, however, you should switch to medium graphics settings.

As far as the built-in memory modules are concerned, the Nubia Z17 Mini plays only in the middle class. The internal memory achieves good readings at 190 MB/s in read and 150 MB/s in writing, but compared to UFS 2.0 modules the memory is somewhat slower. This is especially noticeable when you install apps, where you have to wait a bit with the Z17 Mini. The same applies to the memory, which is only 8.7GB/s on average is fast.

Overall, the Nubia Z17 is not a performance miracle. What you get with the device, however, is a perfectly everyday mobile phone with very low charging times, which is completely fluid through the system and apps moves and also brings a good gaming performance with it. It must also be said that mobile phones like the Xiaomi Mi5s for a lower price already provide more power.


The Nubia Z17 Mini comes with an  Android 6.1 system with the Nubia UI interface . Unfortunately there is as yet no information as to whether the system is updated on Android 7. Since the Nubia UI surface is very much adapted, the Android base remains however anyway without importance. The optics and feel of the system convince in the praxistest in any case. As with all Chinese launchers, there is no button for the app overview. The icons have a nice Kachel design and in the setting menu there are numerous possibilities for the configuration . You can block certain apps with a fingerprint, and there is also a feature for cloning apps. Nubia has also integrated practical edge gestures. For example, the brightness can be regulated by reversing or scraping over the corners or changing between the home screens. After a certain period of familiarization, the little extras prove to be useful aids in everyday life.

If you would like to buy the Nubia Z17 Mini at the moment, you can buy the device at online shops from China. Our device was provided by CECT-Shop. The software of the Chinese version is actually only available in English and Chinese, but there are also modified custom ROMs with which the device also has the German language. The translation is good, but it should be noted, that the Custom-ROMs does not get any updates. Who is the English is powerful, so better to access official firmware and get updates. At CECT-Shops, you can select which firmware you would like to have on the device. This should be considered before the purchase. A subsequent change of the firmware is possible.


The Nubia Z17 Mini has a dual camera on the back . As is often the case, a  standard color sensor and an additional monochrome sensor are used. Both cameras release 13 megapixels and work with a Sony IMX258 sensor . The most important additional features available through the dual camera setup are a bokeh effect , native black-and-white shots, and improved low-light performance .

The picture quality of the Nubia Z17 Mini can be convincing in the praxise operation on the whole line. The pictures have a good sharpness and a natural color reproduction . Also on a large PC screen shot photos still look very good. The release time is very short and the autofocus operates reliably. Only in night shots, there is a wrong focus every now and then. The cameras of the Z17 mini only have a lens aperture of f / 2.2 and should not be particularly strong in night shots. However, the dual camera setup seems to compensate for the small opening and as long as one is not photographed in absolute darkness, the images have generally succeeded. The same applies to the front camera with 16 megapixels.

In order to allow the user to use the dual camera as widely as possible, numerous extra functions have been integrated into the camera app. Likewise, the different camera tools can also be controlled by an extra Home screen without having to open the camera app first. In principle, it is, of course, nice that Nubia from the dual cam setup as much as would like to make, however , the multiplicity of the different functions is also a little confusing and it is often not at first glance, how to use certain functions. Detailed tutorials, which are integrated into the camera app, would have been necessary here for once. The basic functions of the dual camera can be used however well.


The Nubia Z17 Mini is a dual-sim device that allows you to use two nano-sim cards at the same time. Alternatively, one of the two simslots can be used for memory expansion. As regards the supported LTE frequencies, the Chinese version of the Nubia Z17 Mini brings all 4G bands apart from the 800Mhz frequency (band 20), which is important in Germany.

3G and 2G can be used on both versions without restriction. The reception strength is high and with the telephone one has on both sides a good conversation quality. There are also no problems with the use of the liberated function.

On board is of course 2.4GHz & 5GHz Wifi and Bluetooth with 4.2 standard . The reception strength is also quite satisfactory here and there were no problems connecting to wireless devices. The location is determined by GPS, GLONASS, and BDS. The Z17 Mini determines the current position reliably within a few seconds and is also suitable as a mobile navi. To facilitate pedestrian navigation, an e-compass is also installed . As other sensors mobile phone brings a gyroscope with and the standard equipment with proximity, direction and brightness sensor. NFC or an infrared remote is not available.

Battery pack

The battery of the Nubia Z17 Mini has 2950mAh. With a 5.2-inch FullHD display and the CPU of the upper middle class, this is usually sufficient. In our praxistest it is shown that the mobile phone can be actively used on the day about 4 to 6 hours (depending on the brightness of the display) before you have to plug it back into the socket. This is also confirmed by the PCMark Battery Test, in which the mobile phone 6:22 hours under performance persists. This is by no means a particularly good value, but for most users the duration should be sufficient. Only those who take their smartphone extremely often should look for a mobile phone with a stronger battery. The battery is charged in 1: 40h.



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