ZTE has been slowly and repeatedly trying to penetrate the Indian market amongst the Chinese competition that somehow, always seems to get the upper hand. Last year I reviewed the ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini. It was a well-designed smartphone that packed in Android 5.0 Lollipop, and average battery life. The Nubia Z11 Mini was priced at Rs 12,999, which basically meant that it was built to compete with the Redmi Note 3. Despite its well-designed exterior, it were the internals that were a let-down.

But now it’s a new year with a new Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 out, and ZTE had to come up with an answer.

Behold, the ZTE Z11 Mini S! It’s ZTE’s answer to the new Redmi Note 4, and it comes with a ton of hardware improvements over the old model, including a 23MP camera and a battery-happy Snapdragon 625 chipset. But with a price tag of Rs 16,999, is it worth it?

Build and Design: 8.5/10

The ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini S has a pretty long name, for what appears to be a good-looking smartphone that can be operated using one hand.

The design is nothing new, but the construction offers something different for those who are looking to upgrade from a Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, a Moto G4/G4 Plus or a Vivo V5. This is because ZTE gives you a well-finished metal body that could easily be mistaken for a premium smartphone.

ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini S (2)

Starting from the front, there is nothing exciting out here apart from the 2.5D curved class. It looks like a slab of black glass with the usual red Nubia breathing light at the bottom end.

However, things get interesting when you flip the smartphone over.

ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini S (6)

At Rs 16,999 it is really impressive what ZTE has pulled off here. There’s no plastic used anywhere in the construction, just metal and glass. The back is rounded and bulges towards the centre, a surface that appears to been flattened. But even with flattened back, the phone keeps spinning around when placed on a table and will wobble a bit every time you tap on the display.

ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini S (12)

The sides are well-rounded and polished, meaning that there are no rough edges anywhere, just a smooth and seamless metal back.

ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini S (9)

At the top and bottom of the rear are the plastic inserts in the antenna gaps, which look a lot like those on the iPhone 7. Also sitting at the back is a fingerprint reader.

ZTE Nubia Z11 Mini S (12)

I liked the red detailing of the camera ring and also how the camera lens and the flash unit are protected by their individual metal rings.

Publish date: March 20, 2017 2:00 pm| Modified date: March 20, 2017 3:18 pm

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