Nubia Z11 MiniS, Analysis: Good Cameras There Are in The Middle Range

2016 was a full year of ‘flagship killers’, as you call those smartphones that are committed by benefits of high-end at much more reasonable prices. Nubia was one of the brands in bet by this formula with the Z11 Nubia, a very complete equipment with design premium that did not leave indifferent. But Nubia Z11 no wine only, next to him came other versions with more adjusted benefits as it is the case of the protagonist of this analysis: Nubia Z11 miniS.

Although its name might make us think that we we have a much simpler device, it is certain that this Nubia Z11 miniS is a worthy contender in the fight for the most complete mid-range and a declaration of intent by the German china company. Device inherits that air premium that we find in his older brother, and combines it a set of features of the most interesting. I already anticipate something in our video of first impressions and you now have everything to offer the Z11 Nubia miniS in an in-depth analysis.

Nubia Z11 miniS, technical specifications

As we said, that ‘Minis’ isn’t very hopeful, but just take a look at the datasheet for this team to realize that it is not so mini, either in size or in functions.

We started with one 5.2-inch IPS display, a somewhat more restrained than his older brother size (5.5 inches), but large enough to provide a good visual experience. The interesting thing is that, despite the reduction of diagonal, Nubia maintained the FullHD resolution.

The Z11 Nubia miniS is not so ‘mini’ as he promises us his name, either in size or in benefits.

If you look in the photo section, we find a very complete camera combo. The rear has a sensor 23 megapixel Sony Exmor RS approach for detection of phase, covered with Sapphire Crystal f/2.0 lens, LED flash and option to record in 4 K. low camera mounts a fingerprint reader.

The camera for selfies has not been neglected and it has a 13 Megapixel, lens f/2.2 sensor and also approach for detection of phase, an unusual feature in secondary cameras. Beauty mode could of course not miss you.



DIMENSIONS AND WEIGHT 146.1 x 7.6 x 72.1 mm and 158 gr
SCREEN IPS 5.2 inch Resolution FullHD 1920 x 1080 pixels424 DPI
PROCESSOR Snapdragon 625 octa – core 2 GHzGPU Adreno 506
MEMORY 64 GB + MicroSD 200 GB
SOFTWARE Nubia UI 4.0 based Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
CAMERAS Rear: 23 MP, Sony IMX318 Exmor RS, AF detection phase, f/2.0 lens with Crystal Sapphire, LED flash, 4K videos Front: 13 MP, lens f/2.2, AF detection phase, beauty mode
CONNECTIVITY LTE, WIFi ac, 4.1 Bluetooth, GPS/Glonass, FM radio, NFC, minijack, USB-C
BATTERY 3,000 mAh
PRICE 349 euros

When lifting the hood of this Nubian Z11 miniS are a somewhat more restrained than the Z11 Nubia chip. It is of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, an eight nuclei which in this case comes with 4 GB of RAM. Speaking of memory, internal capacity is a more than reasonable 64 GB and can also be expanded with MicroSD card.

In the section on wireless connections we have LTE, dual-band WiFi, Bluetooth GPS antenna. The physical ports include a minijack for headphones and a USB-C. Everything is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery and software is provided by Android 6.0.1 with Nubia UI interface.

Design: good feelings and little innovation

There is no doubt that smartphones have brought us many advantages with respect to traditional phones, but have also brought less risky designs, and this recent wave of so-called premium materials has still more homogenized showcase.

The Z11 Nubia miniS is a clear example of this trend. Chassis aluminum unibody, antenna on the back lines, edges and rounded corners, 2, 5 d on the front glass… All this we already sounds too, but although some lack of originality can be blamed to you (just like many other devices, no mistake), Nubia has managed to capture the premium air seeking.

As many other smartphones, this Nubia is guilty of lack of originality, but it offers a design very care that conveys that feeling so persecuted premium today.

The Z11 Nubia miniS is a terminal with a solid construction, not too light for his size but that It feels very comfortable in hand and looks excellent finishes. We notice it in details such as cut edges to laser or the gasket between the glass and metal, which is very smooth and eliminates all edge.

Nubia includes a personal touch by placing the red circle under the screen, where is situated the capacitive button which is flanked by the menu keys left and right kick. It is not the usual distribution of Android and also in this case there are more features if you hold down or press twice, but we will deal with that in the section of the software. The physical buttons are the common, power, and volume, and are located on the right side.

If we continue along the edge of the terminal, the minijack port is located at the top and bottom speakers along with the charging port, which is of type USB-C. The left side is clear except for the SIM/MicroSD Inbox.

Nubia red circle reappears in the rear, surrounding the lens of the camera, which has been located in the upper left corner and is accompanied by a LED flash. On the back has been also placed the logo of Nubia and, above it, the fingerprint reader.

The fingerprint reader has placed at the rear, a very comfortable position to have the phone in your hand, but not so much if you are on a table.

Personally back fingerprint readers are not me so comfortable since I usually look at the mobile while working and it is supported in the table, therefore have to raise it each time, but it is also true that it is very comfortable when holding the phone in your hand.

In general, the design of Nubia Z11 miniS lets good feelings, especially with regard to ergonomics. However, although it does not disappoint, nor comes to surprise and to ask, Golden tone is perhaps one of the less lucky, mostly by the white front.

Bet on a more manageable panel FullHD

At the beginning we mentioned that one of the main differences with the original Z11 Nubia is the size and here Nubia has opted for a balanced diagonal: neither too broad nor nor compact.

We speak of a 5.2 inch IPS Panel, a size that offers a good viewing experience without sacrificing the functionality of a more compact chassis, allowing management to a hand without any problem.

The Z11 Nubia miniS reduces the diagonal, but doesn’t give up in resolution, maintaining a FullHD that feels great.

But although the Z11 Nubia miniS reduces the size of your screen, does the same thing with the resolution, which remains in a FullHD that feels great. There is no complaint regarding the clarity of the panel, the colors are successful and even though Blacks are not as deep as in an AMOLED, the contrast is good. That Yes, the reflections are something annoying When you are using the mobile outdoor.

Being in the Sun have missed a level of brightness (450 nits) something more elevated. Here the attraction of the panel for fingerprints doesn’t help much, Although visibility is generally good in normal situations. Yes I have noticed more of what I would like to what that touch response at the edges is rather erratic, although here some of the blame could be software functions.

Cuts in performance, but not in autonomy

In addition to the reduction of the size of display, the ‘mini’ nickname has other consequences for this Nubia and the main has to do with the processor. The company committed to a chip the Snapdragon 625, an old acquaintance in midrange terminals.

If we put it under the magnifying glass, talking about an octa – core with support for 64-bit which runs at 2 GHz and is accompanied by a 506 Adreno GPU. Its main advantage over its predecessor (Snapdragon 617) is the energy efficiency, According to Qualcomm improves up to 35%.

In practice, the Snapdragon 625 unfolds without any problems on the day to day tasks, even when using apps that require more system resources have not noticed lag or erratic behavior. It should also be noted 4 GB of RAM that come in handy in multi-tasking, also including in mode split screen offering serial Nubia.

Obviously results in benchmarks tests place him far from the top, but nothing strange taking into account that we have a range media.

See complete gallery» Nubia Z11 miniS, benchmarks (12 photos)

And what about autonomy? Although Nubia has reduced screen size and mounted a simpler processor, battery It retains the 3,000 mAh that we find in the top model, a decision which means fewer visits to the socket.

During the test I’ve been up to two full days without having to recharge the battery, a figure that every time we are in more phones, although it is still not the usual tonic. The Z11 Nubia miniS complies very well in this section and even more intensive returned us good results. Rapid charging via USB-C system is not the fastest one I’ve tried, but if his role and makes the process to accelerate, reaching 30% charge in about 15-20 minutes.

Nubia UI: strong personalization and many functions (some dispensable)

When we talk about smartphones of Chinese companies, it seems what the software with strong personalization is tradition and Nubia Z11 miniS satisfies a foot juntillas. We are not looking at an interface so charged like e.g. Xiaomi MIUI, but there is no doubt that Nubia UI does not want to look like Android.

Nubia UI is a layer with a customization that quite reminiscent of iOS, almost a tradition at terminals of Chinese brands.

If you are used to using an Android more ‘stock’, first thing you miss is the drawer of applications, an absence which tends to be quite common in Chinese layers. Instead the icons are organized in several home screens, the iOS style.

The settings menu is another paragraph which reminds us of the software of Apple, with the white background and the icons to the left of each option. The structure has also been altered and There are some functions that cost a bit to find at the beginning, but after a few days of use it is easier to find it all. Notifications and quick adjustments panel also has a quite distinctive design with the background out of focus and the round icons.

See complete Gallery» Software Nubia Z11 minis (36 photos)

But not everything was going to be customizing, in addition to this characteristic design, Nubia UI also provides a good set of features, some more practical than others. Among the most practical are the split-screen mode. It is enough to slide below up so start this function that allows us to open two applications at the same time split screen.

Nubia UI also provides a good set of features, some more practical than others, such as split-screen mode.

This feature is already included in Nougat, but in this case we are yet in Marshmallow, is Nubia who adds it standard on its software layer. Although it is an interesting option, the truth is that 5.2 inches give for what you give and both party nor you can get for example in a tablet.

Speaking of gestures, though sliding up this split-screen mode opens, if the slip down access to the internal search of the device You can find apps, contacts and messages. Something like a kind of Spotlight that is clearly inspired by iOS.

If we go with gestures, Nubia UI features with a special section on which we can activate other gestures. If for example we have struck at the edge of the screen you can quickly switch between desktops, sliding up and down change between open apps and if we repeat this gesture them close all.

Nubia also includes other own apps as the dual instance with which we can ‘clone’ apps to have two accounts on the same mobile. That Yes, to do so with WhatsApp, it is necessary to use two SIM cards.

Could not miss the option to optimize the mobile, which consists of an icon that we can close all open apps, Although we know very well that we get little with this type of optimization functions.

The navigation buttons are off the screen and opt for different settings to Android which is a little confusing at the beginning.

At the beginning we mentioned that Nubia bet by a different configuration in the navigation buttons under the screen. Instead of having a recent button, if you click on the left menu button with which we can access additional features on various apps we get.

If what we want is to see the apps open that Press the button on the right and keep, and if pressed once they do is go back. Like we mentioned with the settings menu, it is a little uncomfortable at first but in the end we just getting used.

Finally note that the fingerprint reader, which incidentally responds fairly quickly and without problems, also has the option to activate the mode of special screenshots If you hold down. Here we can choose whether to capture only a piece of the screen, making a long shot or even record the screen.

A few cameras that hook

The photo section is another point that Nubia Z11 miniS moves away from the original Z11, but contrary to what I expected, your camera has surprised me pleasantly. Before entering into matter, remember that it has a Sony 23 megapixels, f/2.0 lens and approach sensor by phase detection.

23 megapixels give edge to expand without losing detail.

The main camera of Nubia Z11 pays pretty well almost any situation, but obviously when it gets the best results is when light is abundant as in the image above.

Here the detail level reaches its maximum expression, partly Thank you to those 23 megapixels but also to a very successful processing. Lawn areas and cat hair are very well resolved and keep the definition to trim 100%.

The dynamic range is also quite large, although it fails to prevent any burnt area, but nothing insurmountable.

In high contrast scenes the HDR mode does a good job

Here’s another example of scene high contrast that has been resolved fairly, but in this case must give credit to the HDR mode, by the way it is automatic. Although the shadows were harsh and we were almost in a backlight, the image retains all of the detail in the darker areas and up to read the text on the back of the Bank, a detail to a simple view was hard to distinguish.

The results of night are also good, although here the detail suffers widening.

And what happens when the light does not go with? The lack of light is the great obstacle facing any camera in general, and those of smartphones in particular, but here I must admit that the Z11 Nubia miniS performs much better than I expected.

In the general chart see a definite image, with the dominant of color pretty well controlled and in general very faithful to reality. That Yes, to make a cut-out at 100% we see that There is just noise, but to change the detail suffers.

Front camera not disappoint, although better not spend with the way beauty.

The front-facing camera also highlights, starting by the integration of approach by phase detection, a feature that, as I said at the beginning, not often present in this type of cameras, which almost always opt for fixed-focus.

Beauty mode that we find today in virtually all mobile cameras is also present in the Nubia Z11 miniS and in this case is not limited to soften the skin, if not that also highlights the face with regard to the rest of the image, but better to keep it at a low level or otherwise the result is too artificial.

Speaking of modes, the app of the Chamber, who once again is very similar to the iOS, boasts several shooting modes, including a way to fairly complete PRO with which you can adjust results still more. It also comes with other options such as paint light, multiple exposure, RAW (DNG) mode, slow motion or camera macro among other.

See complete gallery» Nubia Z11 miniS, Gallery of pictures (33 pictures)

Opinion and Xataka Android note

He started saying that this smartphone has little ‘mini’ and, after testing it, the feeling remains. Nubia has wanted to offer a most accessible of its current flagship, but not watered down version.

The Z11 Nubia miniS is a very solvent smartphone that bet on a more compact display that doesn’t skimp on resolution and a processor of intermediate level, but we’ve seen it unfolds perfectly in every day.

The Z11 Nubia miniS in compliance with note in the sections of hardware and design, is software which leaves feeling that could be improved.

Cameras are your strong point and they keep the bar high in the hardware section, while the design puts the icing on one terminal more than full. Is software where, like many Chinese brands, it falters and leaves the feeling of leaves feeling that could be improved, but it’s nothing that does not solve a cooked ROM.

The obstacle that faces this Nubia Z11 miniS is the usual in the middle range. Fight in a League in which the showcase is fully saturated and there are other very groundbreaking proposals in a similar price range.

We must not forget that Nubia is a little-known brand for the user of a foot and that can subtract you possibilities to be elected. However, the Z11 Nubia miniS is an option to keep in mind, especially if you value especially the photographic section.

In favour

  • Design with good finishes.
  • The camera is surprising for its good results.
  • It comes two days after autonomy without problem.


  • Improved screen outdoors.
  • Dispensable functions of software.
  • Lack of originality both in exterior design software.

The phone has been granted for tests by Nubia. You can consult our policy of relations with companies