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ZTE Nubia Z5S mini: Capable midrange handset

ZTE Nubia Z5S mini: Capable midrange handset



4.7-inch 720 x 1280


Android 4.3 Jelly Bean


1.2GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Adreno 305 GPU


16GB internal storage, microSD, 2GB RAM


13MP rear, 5MP front


LTE, Bluetooth 4.0, microUSB


134.8 x 65.7 x 7.6mm, 120g




The ZTE Nubia Z5S mini has decent specs and generally performs well. I reckon it will not disappoint. But the price is quite restrictive for what the market, and even ZTE (e.g., Blade Vec 4G), has to offer.

User Rating
Review by Aritha Zel Zalamea
First published in Speed January 2015

When you search for this device online, you will see a lot of variants globally. The particular Nubia Z5S mini build that ZTE loaned us is NX404H. It is slim, light, and easy to hold thanks to its narrow body. When you pick it up, you’ll know immediately that this is a midrange device.

Just by looking at the Nubia Z5S mini, you wouldn’t guess that it’s a ZTE phone. There’s no branding on the body except for the Nubia logo in a typeface not popularly associated with ZTE. If that’s a marketing strategy to get this model to overcome any limitations that the ZTE name imposes on street sales, the trick works.

The screen is quite reflective but it is sharp, shows good colors, and has a wide viewing angle. The display quality doesn’t change even at nearly 90 degrees. Albeit small for my taste, the screen lends itself well to watching videos and playing games.

The rear camera produces decent image quality but can get noisy at well-lit indoor rooms. The front-facing camera’s low-light performance is more impressive for a 5MP shooter, but the noise is recognizable in the background.

I didn’t encounter multitasking and gaming problems on the Nubia Z5S mini. The 4.7-inch display is quite small for me to enjoy games on but the power is there. Technically, the Nubia Z5S mini NX404H build scored 17953 on the AnTuTu Benchmark v5.3 test, which puts it ahead of the published Samsung GALAXY Note 8.0, Note II, and S3 scores. Granted those are old models, but they also command a steep price.

The 2000mAh is removable, which is often a good thing. This means you can easily switch to a new battery when the provided one reaches the end of its lifespan; no need to upgrade your mobile device just because of juice problems.

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