We can say that there are four major smartphone manufacturers in China – Lenovo, ZTE, Huawei and Xiaomi (the newest member, which increases its popularity). ZTE and Huawei are the first ones to announce their upcoming flagship devices for this year and the mini versions respectively. The word ‘mini’ already changed its definition and doesn’t always mean a smaller device. It’s more like the same smartphone, but with less powerful hardware. Huawei P8 Lite and ZTE Nubia Z9 mini are perfect examples for that. Two upcoming devices for all folks, who prefer to own a quality device without spending a bunch of money.
Huawei P8 Lite vs ZTE Nubia Z9 mini comparison – design, build and display
Both devices are going for the same rectangle shape with slightly curved edges. The 5-inch display is surrounded by a metal frame on both devices as well. Let’s check the dimensions. Huawei P8 Lite measures 143 mm x 70.6 mm x 7.7 mm. It weighs 131 grams and has 68.3% screen-to-body ratio. ZTE Nubia Z9 mini comes with 141.3 mm x 69.8 mm x 8.2 mm. It weighs 147 grams and has 69.9% screen-to-body ratio. You can see that Z9 mini is slightly more compact (almost impossible to notice for the user), however it weighs 16 grams more (perhaps because of the bigger battery).
So we have two really similar phones in terms of shape and dimensions. The only slightly difference is the weight. So it’s up to you, if you prefer ZTE’s circle button at the bottom or you will go with the onscreen Huawei’s buttons.
However both displays are much different. Huawei P8 Lite comes with HD resolution (720 x 1280), while ZTE Nubia Z9 mini goes for FHD (1920 x 1280). The advantage of Z9 mini here is more than clear.
Huawei P8 Lite vs ZTE Nubia Z9 mini comparison – software, performance and storage
Let’s start with the similarities. Both Huawei P8 Lite and ZTE Nubia Z9 have 16 GB in-build storage (plus 128 GB microSD card slot) and 2 GB RAM. They come with Android 5.0.2 out of box. Huawei relies on home-brewed Kirin processor. Huawei P8 Lite is equipped with the octa-core HiSilicon Kirin 620 clocked at 1.2GHz. ZTE Nubia Z9 mini comes with more mainstream Snapdragon 615 – octa-core big.LITTLE processor with four 1.5GHz cores and four 1.0GHz cores. In terms of GPU P8 Lite will render the graphics with Mali-450, while Z9 mini goes for Adreno 405.
We are still not sure what Kirin 620 is capable of. However we are used to see Huawei’s processors to lack behind the competition in terms of productivity. We can’t say this for sure for Kirin 620, but we won’t be surprised, if this turns true. The only advantage of the Kirin processors we’ve seen is the low temperature. Usually they are cooler compared to Snapdragon, but we are yet to see, if they can do that with an octa-core processor.
Huawei P8 Lite’s GPU is another drawback. Perhaps it will be enough for the HD screen, but nowadays we see Mali-T760 with $100 Chinese smartphones. It’s a disappointment to see just Mali-450 in Huawei’s newest phone. We think that Z9 mini’s Adreno 405 should win this fight without any issues (even considering higher resolution screen).
Huawei P8 Lite vs ZTE Nubia Z9 mini comparison – camera
We can only compare both cameras specifications. It’s not possible to compare their performance just on paper. So we have to wait until both phones are released. If we look at the raw data, Huawei P8 Lite comes with 13 MP back camera with dual LED flashlight, while ZTE Nubia Z9 has 16 MP snapper, but just а single LED flashlight. Both phones can record 1080p video at 30 fps. Z9 mini comes with 8 MP front camera capable of recording FHD video as well. P8 Lite has 5 MP front camera.
Huawei P8 Lite vs ZTE Nubia Z9 mini comparison – battery
If you look straight at the numbers ZTE Nubia Z9 mini is the obvious winner with a 2900mAh battery. Huawei P8 Lite has a smaller 2200mAh unit. However we need to take into calculations the screen resolution and the processor power. P8 Lite has lower resolution and this should increase the battery life. However it comes with an octa-core processor, which is still unknown. We are yet to see, if Z9 mini will manage to squeeze more time on a single charge compared to P8 Lite.
We think that probably ZTE Nubia Z9 mini is a better smartphone compared to Huawei P8 Lite (at least on paper). The Nubia probably has better processor, display, camera and battery. And it’s asking for the same price. You should be able to buy both phones for a price of about $300. However the Nubia line is not easy available worldwide and you should count on 3rd party reseller. At the same time Huawei offers its premium smartphones in lots of countries around the world.
Both smartphones are not yet officially added to their manufacturer website, but you can keep an eye.