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.