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- Rated 4 stars
- Nubia Z11 Mini S Review
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Various smartphone makers build phones, that looks good and may offer the premium quality feel but few fulfill the criteria. Nubia’s Z11 Mini S is one of them. A smartphone with powerful specs and killer looks was launched in India. Nubia Z11 Mini S is the latest version of Nubia Z11 Mini (launched last year) with updated specs and more polished design. Let’s find out more about the device in this detailed review:
Nubia Z11 Mini S showcase an exemplary art of work. This device is carved out of from a single block of 6000 series aluminum with rear panel sporting matte finish. The device edges are curved slightly in such a way, that it enhances the ergonomics of the phone. At 158 grams, this device won’t feel bulky in daily usage or while taking selfies. The theme of the design is minimalistic. From a breathing home button (a glowing ring at the front) with a fingerprint sensor at the back; designers at Nubia ensured a clean design with minimal distractions. With a display size of 5.2 inches and 7.2mm thickness, the device fits in your hands easily and can be operated with just one hand.
The notification LED is only functional by the red ring on the home button which is assigned to notify the user.
The Khaki Grey color variant which we received for review is a refreshing new color from any brand. As you may not like covering it with any cover, we’ll suggest you, show off its beauty instead.
There are antenna lines which hugs the top and bottom of the rear to the placement of the capacitive home buttons.
Covering the basics, the phone does come with a 3.5mm audio jack at top, has a USB Type-C for charging at the bottom along with speakers.
There’s a hybrid dual-SIM tray (means either you can use a SIM & micro-SD card or as dual-SIM and both SIM slot require NANO sim) at the left edge,
and the power and volume rocker buttons are on the right. So, the basics of the device are just right!
With a full-HD 5.2inch IPS LCD display with a pixel density of 424 ppi and a compact design, the display truly stands out, as it packs the pixels more tightly resulting in videos and images that pop out of the screen with vibrancy. The bezels around the display are more round from top to bottom and the 2.5D glass dips in into the metal chassis feeling almost like it melts into it.
The display is also bright enough for any usage during sunlight and as we didn’t face any problem outside. The OS offers an option of controlling the hue and saturation, so one can tweak around, and change the color temperature to warm or cool.
Although how compact this device may look, it’s a powerful device from inside. It is powered by 64-bit Octa-core Snapdragon 625 SoC (built on a 14nm FinFet assembly process) clocked at 2.0 GHz coupled with 4GB of RAM. Let me tell you few benefits of Snapdragon SoC: it consumes low power, great at performance including gaming and the best part is its great battery backup.
This octa-core processor on the software side is configured into two clusters i.e. one for high performance and another to maintain efficiency. As we all know, not all apps require the CPU to be running at high capacity all the time, hence different clusters save power and increase the overall efficiency of the battery. And since Snapdragon 625 SoC is built using FinFet transistors, there are fewer chances of the phone heating up abnormally.
Apart from the processor, 4 GB RAM also helps in keeping things smooth and enhance the multitasking experience. No matter if you play games likes Deadzone or Fifa Mobile Soccer, it’s Adreno 506 powered GPU handles it all. This GPU is known to handle graphics efficiently and once you’re in the game, you won’t get any lag at any point in time.
Also, the multitasking is a breeze. Whether you keep many apps open at a time or open 50-60 tabs in chrome, the phone handles it all smoothly. Thanks to slick animations and multitasking features, the phone does feel fast and snappy.
The phone is available in the market with 64 GB internal memory. Since the device has hybrid SIM tray, hence either you can use the device as dual-SIM or single-SIM with memory card supported up to 256GB.
Nubia market themselves to be Camera pioneer with superior imaging experience, also their smartphone cameras are built around their Neo Vision camera technology. The rear camera of Nubia Z11 Mini S packs 23 million number of pixels, that’s quite a massive number and the phone does have the infrastructure to handle these many pixels. The phone uses Sony IMX 318 sensor which we have seen in few flagship models by some manufacturers last year. One great thing about IMX 318 sensor is that it uses 1.0um size pixels which are smaller than usual and hence helps to prevent light from leaking over to other pixels and thus you’ll hardly find any noise in images clicked especially in low light.
While on the specs, Nubia Z11 Mini S packs a 23 MP camera with f/2.0 sensor supported with 6P lens and has a sapphire glass protection on top. The camera uses a combination of phase detection autofocus and contrast detection autofocus technology to square in on the object in the frame. As a result, the device managed to take some great pictures on auto settings. The camera does take bright, vibrant images, especially in daytime and doesn’t disappoint in low-light images.
Thanks to the 6P lens, you can tweak camera settings as per your needs in pro-mode of the camera, which offers to tweak shutter speed, exposure levels, white balance, ISO and focus. Apart from that, the camera also offers some cool capture models like light painting, star trails, macro shots and more. Nubia Z11 Mini S is the only phone in my knowledge which offers the multi-exposure feature, through which you can fuse two images together to create amazing artworks.
Also, being equipped with a 13MP front camera, the device does manage to click some great selfies. Upon my trial, I found the images quite detailed and front camera also supports few capture modes to choose from.
Nubia Z11 Mini S under the hood runs a customized OS based on android 6.0 i.e. Nubia 4.0. The device offers a whole new GUI to users who’re buying an android phone for the first time or those you’ve used only stock android till now. The device offers a good number of features to enhance the user experience, however, it takes a bit of learning to get used to for these features and gestures, phone offers by default.
Nubia UI offers features like multitasking, split screen, edge gestures, customizable capacitive buttons and much more. Nubia 4.0 also borrows some features from Android Nougat 7.0 like split-screen feature, which creates two separate desktops allowing you to run just any app.
The feature like Dual Instance is being liked by all, as it allows the phone to run two independent instances of the same app. E.g. you can have two WhatsApp running at the same time in the device without any issues or interference.
There are also few edge gesture feature which offers a user to switch to last opened ad quickly, adjusting the brightness, clearing up the RAM and more.
Nubia Z11 Mini S offers a non-removable 3000 mAh Li-ion battery which is also what recently announced in Samsung flagship Galaxy S8. And since as I said above, Snapdragon 625 processor consumes less power, hence the device manages to offer a longer battery life.
Nubia claims that their in-house innovation i.e. NeoPower, which comes pre-loaded with the device, reduces the runtime of system and apps in the background consuming more juice out of the battery. On a moderate usage, the phone battery shall easily last a day or more and on heavy usage like web browsing, internet hotspots, Bluetooth always turned ON, that time battery lasted for 12 to 15 hours approx. which is still a commendable number.
Nubia Z11 Mini S is a good value for money product and is priced at Rs 16,999 available at Amazon online which is a fair price for the device. The device offers a good balance between solid performance, good design and great camera performance for the camera enthusiast. Not to forget, the device looks amazing and the compact form factor qualifies it for one daily driver.