Nubia is one of the world’s largest smartphone players and it has been making half-hearted forays into India for many years now with its devices business. Last year, it launched the Nubia Z9 Mini is India with a really interesting camera. Now, the company is back with the Nubia Z11 Mini and the focus is again on offering a superior and differentiated camera experience.
Nubia Z11 Mini
The Z11 Mini has a thin body with a metallic frame giving it a very smart look and feel. The rear panel is a bit too shiny and plasticky for me, but it is functional and holds the fingerprint scanner where you will rest your finger. A small design detail is the red ring around the camera which showcases the brand in a subtle but classy manner.
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Specs: 5-inch Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels, ~441 ppi) IPS LCD | Qualcomm MSM8952 Snapdragon 617 Octa-core (4×1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4×1.5 GHz Cortex-A53) | 3GB RAM | 32GB Storage expandable up to 256GB | 16 MP, f/2.0, phase detection autofocus, LED flash + 8MP front camera | nubia UI 3.9.6 based on Android 5.1 | 2800mAh battery
Price: Rs 14,500
What is good?
Of course, this phone is all about the camera and it is among the best clickers you will get at this price range. The auto mode is quite good in the 16MP rear camera, but it’s the Pro mode that give it the edge, letting you change most basic parameters. Also, this lets you shoot in macro and wide angle which even top-end phones struggle with now. Also, there are lots of presets which again makes using this camera fun. But like a DSLR you will take time to understand how the camera gives its best and use it to your advantage.
The Z11 Mini is a smooth performer thanks to its octa-core processor. There are no real performance issues and the phone also remains relatively cool whatever you do with it.
Is it not very in your face, but the Z11 Mini runs the Nubia UI which is very intuitive and functional thanks to its Frame Interactive Technology. Some small tweaks like with the screenshot feature offer real value to the user while not deviating too much from pure Android. But like other UIs from China, this is also stuck at Android 5.1 for now.
The 32GB storage with 3GB RAM is a good combo for this phone given that you will end up using this camera quite a bit.
What is not so good?
The good camera comes at a cost, that of a slower shutter. So unless you have really steady hands and a patient mind you might end up with some blurry photos.
The graphics performance is a bit sluggish and I wouldn’t really suggest this phone for those who like mobile gaming.
I’m not really impressed by the battery on this phone. It could have been better, but I know a slim phone comes with some limitations on this front.
At this price, the Nubia Z11 Mini offers a great camera and decent overall performance. Yes, the phone has its minor issues but nothing you can’t really live with. The only asterisk on top is whether the company has the conviction to see this phone through to success.