ZTE announced today its newest smartphone, the Nubia 5S Mini, which the company is calling the first widely available quad-core phone with both a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera. Cameras and camera software take the spotlight here, with ZTE claiming that it "advances smartphone photography" with DSLR-like control and professional-quality photos and editing.

It shoots 720p video, matching the 4.7-inch 720p display. The camera has three modes: Fun, Auto, and Pro, to accommodate all types of camera users. There's only 16GB of on-board storage for your media, but it is expandable via microSD card. It's being marketed as a camera smartphone for the traveler, and as an unlocked smartphone, it has worldwide LTE compatibility. I'm not sure the 2000mAh battery will hold up to long, phone-intensive days of traveling, but the phone is relatively slim and light, coming in at 4.52 ounces.

There's a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 running the show here, but unfortunately it's still running Android 4.3. The main selling point here is the price: for $279.99 unlocked, it's a certainly a phone to keep in mind for Viners and Instagrammers looking to avoid a contract. It'll be available on Amazon on Aug. 27, but you can pre-order it now.

Here are the basic specs:

  • Battery: Li-ion 2000mAh
  • Dimensions: 134.8 x 65.8 x 7.6mm
  • Display: 4.7", HD 720 x 1280, 16.7M color
  • Memory: 16GB expandable to 32GB via micro SD
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Network Compatibility: LTE, GSM, WCDMA
  • Operating System: Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 Quad Core with Adreno 305 GPU at 1.2 GHz
  • 13 megapixel rear-camera with a BSI image sensor and LED flash
  • 5 megapixel front-camera

So, are "DSLR-grade" camera tools worth getting last year's version of Android? Is this a price-performer for an LTE phone? Speak up in the comments below.


Reader comments

ZTE announces the Nubia 5S Mini: Pixels on a budget


I cannot remember reading an article about them pushing an ota either... Could be wrong but I read a ton of this stuff

Posted via Android Central App

CM would get rid of all that camera software they're so proud of. And yeah, when writing it up, the moment I saw Jelly Bean, I kinda groaned.

Posted via Android Central App

Nice design though and specs for the cheap budget. At least the designs are better than many Samsung phones

Posted via the Android Central App using Galaxy S5

"the first widely available quad-core phone with both a 13MP rear camera and a 5MP front-facing camera"

Wouldn't that be the Oppo Find 7?

Posted via the OnePlus One

I love how companies feel they must out an 'S' and a '5' to be confused with iPhone and Galaxy so consumers buy it. Sneaky Sneaky.

Posted via Android Central App

The nubia line is awesome in it looks. Software side I'm just not so sure about.

Would like to hold 1 myself.

Btw their nubia 7 is kinda nice and high end.
Posted with the speed of my G3

I think that phone can be a little bit cheaper for better competing due a fierce battle

Posted via the Android Central App

With the cool new camera API 2 arriving on Android L in a couple of months, release a 4.3 device and call it "camera phone" sounds super stupid!

Posted via Android Central App

Or you can buy nubia z7 mini for 300 bucks that's 20 dollars more for 1080p screen bigger battery and latest 801 chip. Just google it.

Posted via the Android Central App