The Odd Naming Scheme of the ZTE Nubia Z7 Family

July 11, 2014 - Written By Ryan Duncan

Flagship phones have now started to spawn offspring of their own, while giving them different surnames that help to differentiate them from their parents. Mini. Maxx. Mega. Note. Active. Sport. And we basically know what to expect from these aptly-named phones. They’re either smaller, larger or more durable. Makes sense. Not to ZTE.

The Chinese company is trying their hand in the variant game with their newest flagship phone, the ZTE Nubia Z7. The standard Z7 lives up to the flagship status, sporting a 5.5-inch QHD screen. That’s a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, friends and neighbors. A 2.5 GHz quad core Snapdragon 801 runs the show with 2 GB of RAM, storage capacity of 32 GB and a 13 megapixel rear camera. (LG’s newest flagship, the G3 shares many of those same characteristics.) Physically, the phone is 139 mm x 71 mm x 9 mm.

Okay, so the flagship device is admirably specced like it should be, but what about catering to the people who really like the phone yet want some different features? Enter the Z7 Max and the Z7 mini.

So, the Z7 Max offers something more like the name implies, right? Probably a bigger screen. I mean, why else would they call it the Max? Why else, indeed. The bigger-sounding Max has the same screen size as the Z7. But, instead of a QHD resolution, this one displays a regular ol’ 1080p screen. Huh? And every other spec I listed above about the Z7, the Max has those, too. So, from where does the Max get its name? I’m not sure, either. And the physical dimensions of this phone are 152.7 mm x 76 mm x 8.7 mm. Larger, yes, but not Max larger. 

Then there’s the Z7 mini. They don’t even capitalize the word “mini,” so you know it has to be small. Like, iPhone 3G small, right? Well, that depends on your definition of the word. The Z7 mini shaves off an entire half-inch off the screen size. It’s still a 5-inch phone! Remember when that would have been the Monstrosity? ZTE does not. The actual size of this little guy is 140 mm x 69.3 mm x 8.2 mm. Smaller than the Max, but actually taller than the regular Z7!  But wait, mini doesn’t necessarily have to denote physical size, does it? Technically, yes, but it can also mean to be simply less than something. So, the specs are mini? Nope. The specs are identical to the Max, with the exception of storage being capped at 16GB.

The real kicker here is the pricing of these 3 almost cloned phones. The Z7 sells for 3,456 RMB, about $560, the Max is 1,999 RMB or $322, and the Mini costs 1,499 RMB or around $242. Basically, you would be paying about $240 more for a QHD display from the Z7 Max to the Z7, or $80 more for an extra 16GB of storage from the mini to the Max.