Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions: Impressive design and a capable dual-camera setup

The Nubia Z17 Mini looks appealing and features a capable dual-camera setup. The smartphone has 4GB of RAM and is powered by a Snapdragon 652 CPU.

    Chinese smartphone maker Nubia today announced its latest mid-range smartphone- Z17 Mini in the Indian market. The smartphone is priced at Rs. 19,999 and will take on the popular sub Rs. 20,000 smartphones and even the handsets priced around Rs. 25k.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    The registrations for Nubia Z17 Mini start today at 5 pm on company's official website, while the smartphone will be available in exclusive partnership with Amazon from June 12th 2017.

    The highlight of the Nubia Z17 Mini is its Sony powered dual-camera setup at the rear, a 16MP front camera and an appealing metal design. The smartphone comes with 64 Bit Octa-Core Qualcomm 652 processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB internal memory and as company claims- a 2 day battery backup.

    I am using the handset from last two days and here's what I have to say about it.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    Design and Display: Stunning looks and a crisp 1080p screen

    Nubia Z17 Mini is designed to impress, especially the Black Gold variant I am using right now. It comes in a striking Black colour with elements of Red and Gold touch ups on front and rear to give it a unique identity.

    The company's signature circular home button lit with bright Red light sits at the bottom of the 5.2-inch full HD screen. The 1080p display is protected by a 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass, which seamlessly blends with Gold colour chamfered frame and gives the handset a premium look when seen from the front.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    The rear panel is even more interesting and head turning. It has the dual-camera setup at the top left corner and a fingerprint sensor positioned at the center of the handset. The dual-camera setup and the biometric sensor has the distinguished Red and Gold colour rings respectively.

    Besides, the matte finish on the metallic Black rear panel restricts fingerprints, smudges and does not let the smartphone slip off from hands, which is usually a common issue with metallic handsets. The smartphone also feels quite compact and light weight with the dimensions- 5.78 x 2.85 x 0.30 inch and 155 grams weight. It will certainly please consumers who are not very fond of big screen devices.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    Overall, Nubia Z17 Mini is a premium looking compact smartphone that does not compromise on style and ergonomics.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    As far as display is concerned, the 5.2-inch 1080p screen is crisp and fairly bright for comfortable viewing in outdoor environment. The colors look natural on the LTPS panel and the contrast levels are also good.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    Camera: capable 13+13MP dual-camera setup

    I was quite impressed with the camera performance of Nubia Z11 Mini S. Its 23MP rear camera has some amazing software features and a capable hardware to deliver on picture and video quality.

    The same can be said for the camera on Z17 Mini. While the handset does not come with the same 23MP rear camera, it features not one but two 13+13MP camera units powered by Sony sensors.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    One of the 13MP camera sensors has an IMX258 RGB sensor and the other utlises IMX258 MONO sensor. The combination works on F2.2 aperture and the camera setup has Sapphire Glass protective lens on the surface.

    The front of the handset has 16MP selfie camera working on F2.0 aperture and a 5P lens. The front camera captures a wide frame as it has 80° Wide Angle lens.

    I played around with the camera for some time and found it to be really good. The camera can capture some amazing portrait images with just a click. The image quality is very good in daylight and like the Nubia Z11 Mini S, the Z17 Mini also comes with a suite of modes and filters to let you experiment with the images you capture.

    These include Star Trail, Portrait, manual mode, 3D photo, Panorama, Multi-expo, Trajectory, etc. The camera can also record 4K videos, which further adds value to the overall package. Here are two camera sample shots.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    We will evaluate the camera performance in detail in the coming week to find out the true potential of the dual-camera setup.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    Hardware: Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 CPU with 4GB of RAM

    Nubia Z17 Mini runs on the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 CPU. The processor is paired with 4GB of RAM to handle multitasking. In my two-day usage of the handset, I did not notice any lags and performance issues.

    The smartphone easily handles multiple apps running simultaneously in the background and can also perform on gaming part. We will stress test the handset to give an overview of its real-life performance. It is worth mentioning that the company might also introduce the 6GB RAM variant of the Z17 Mini in the coming months.

    Nubia Z17 Mini comes with 64GB internal memory, which can be expanded by up to 200GB via microSD card.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    Software: Still hanging with Android 6.0 Marshmallow

    Nubia is sticking with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow, which can be a deal breaker for consumers who can easily get an Android handset running the Nougat mobile OS in under Rs. 15k. The company has deployed its Nubia UI 4.0 on top of Android Marshmallow, which brings tones of features to enhance the user experience.

    The Edge gestures are undoubtedly the most talked about feature of Nubia handsets and the Z17 Mini gets plenty of them. In my two day usage, I haven't noticed any lags, app crashes or software issues on the smartphone. However we will give you our final verdict on software performance in the comprehensive review of the smartphone.

    Nubia Z17 Mini First Impressions

    Battery and Connectivity

    Nubia Z17 Mini is backed by a 2,950 mAh battery unit, which is supported by Nubia's NeoPower technology to make the phone last long by optimizing the battery performance. The smartphone is pretty much able to last a day on a single charge.

    As far as connectivity is concerned, Nubia Z17 Mini supports dual Nano SIM cards and come equipped with Bluetooth 4.2, Wi-Fi, GPS and USB Type C.


    Nubia Z17 Mini is a great addition in the sub Rs. 20k price category. The smartphone offers an appealing design, capable front and rear cameras and have ample of RAM and storage to meet your requirements. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 652 chipset is a good performer and will pose no major issues in everyday usage.

    If Nubia would have offered the latest Android 7.0 Nougat, the Z17 would have been a great overall mid-range handset for Indian consumers. Nevertheless, the company might soon release the Nougat update for the handset to address the only weakness.

    Summing up all, Nubia Z17 Mini seems to be a great sub Rs. 20k smartphone for users looking for a great camera, premium design and good hardware. We will talk about more about the handset's real-life performance in our comprehensive review of Nubia Z17 Mini on GIZBOT. Stay tuned.

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