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ZTE's Axon 7 Mini prepares for budget battle (hands-on)

The mostly-metal Android phone drops its size and yes, specs, to compete at an even lower price than the full-size Axon 7.

Now playing: Watch this: ZTE Axon 7 Mini comes with a mini-er price
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It's funny when you think anyone could refer to a phone with a 5.2-inch screen as "mini". But with the ZTE Axon 7 Mini and many other so-called diminutive devices, smallness is about cost and scaled-back hardware goods even more than it is about size.

On the outside, the all-metal 5.5-inch ZTE Axon 7 flagship and this mostly-metal 7 Mini look almost identical. Look closely and you spot a textured plastic material on the double speaker grilles.

Inside, the Mini has been almost completely rebuilt. The ZTE-inflected Android software, fingerprint reader (with NFC support) and front-facing camera are the same. Everything else is scaled-back, from the main camera and processor (which won't support Google Daydream, unlike the Axon 7) to the phone's battery-charging speed, and yes, the battery capacity itself.

What you get in exchange is a really good-looking device in gold or grey, that will cost €249 when it comes to Europe and China this month (we don't have prices in RMB) and $300 when it comes to the US in October through direct-to-consumer channels. The price in Euros converts to about £215 and AU$370.

ZTE Axon 7 ZTE Axon 7 Mini
Display size, resolution 5.5-inch; 2,560x1,440 pixels 5.2-inch; 1,920x1,080 pixels
Pixel density 538ppi 424ppi
Dimensions (Inches) 6x3x0.34 in 5.8x2.8x0.31 in
Dimensions (Millimeters) 151.8x75x8.7 mm 147.5x71x7.8 mm
Weight (Ounces, Grams) 6.53 oz; 185 g 5.4 oz; 153 g
Mobile software Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
Camera 20-megapixel 16-megapixel
Front-facing camera 8-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video capture 4K 1,080p HD
Processor 2.2GHz quad-core Snapdragon 820 1.5GHz octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 617
Storage 64GB, 128GB (varies by region) 32GB
RAM 4GB, 6GB 2GB
Expandable storage Up to 128GB Up to 128GB
Battery 3,000mAh (nonremovable) 2,705mAh (nonremovable)
Fingerprint sensor Back cover Back cover
Connector USB-C USB-C
Special features Dual-SIM option Dual-SIM option
Price off-contract (USD) $400 $300
Price (GBP) Converts to £345 Converts to £215 (from Euros)
Price (AUD) Converts to AU$605 Converts to AU$369 (from Euros)

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