ZTE will start selling the $280 Nubia 5S Mini through Amazon in the U.S. later this month, bringing one of its better smartphones to buyers who don’t mind purchasing a device without a contract. The Nubia brand name is being used to push affordable, premium ZTE phones in international markets, primarily through direct sales rather than with a network.
The Nubia 5S Mini isn’t a new phone, and was actually announced late last year. It’s a mid-range device, but when we’ve caught up with Nubia phones in the past, we’ve always been impressed by the build quality and overall feel of the phones. We prefer them to ZTE’s usual fare too, thanks to their sleek design.
Equipped with a 4.7-inch, 720p touchscreen — one of Sharp’s excellent IGZO panels, if it’s anything like the first models released — the S5 Mini can easily compete with other mini phones from Samsung, LG, and HTC. The processor is the usual quad-core Snapdragon 400, found in several of its competitors, but sadly, it has Android 4.3 Jelly Bean installed. Better news is 4G LTE connectivity, and a MicroSD card slot to increase the 16GB of internal memory.
ZTE’s making a lot of noise about the Nubia S5 Mini’s camera. It has 13 megapixels on the rear, and is equipped with a backside illuminated sensor with an F2.2 aperture, all hidden behind a sapphire lens. The front camera has a 5-megapixel resolution, so it should produce some decent selfies. The rear camera is accompanied by an LED flash, plus the software offers a choice of three modes, including an auto and a pro mode for improved control.
If you like the sound of the ZTE Nubia S5 Mini, and are happy to part with $280 for an unconnected, SIM-free phone, then it’s up for pre-order today with a release date of August 27.