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ZTE Blade Q Mini Review - Camera Review

The Blade Q Mini features a 5-megapixel sensor with an LED flash, matching the first generation Moto G for megapixel count and can offer the kind of results you’d expect from £100-£150 phones. If you are shooting in evenly, well-lit environments then it’s fine but
when conditions change in the slightest, the
inadequacies begin to surface.

There’s no front-facing camera so you will have to live without selfies or video calling and it can shoot a 720p HD video, which is respectable for a phone at this price. It does also include a very useful HDR mode and the ability to shoot panoramic photos.

The camera app is basic enough with video camera and camera shortcuts on one side of the screen along with additional settings. Here you’ll find a handful of manual functions like the ability to adjust exposure, white balance and ISO sensitivity although it’s only up to 400. Over on the other side, you’ll find shortcuts to HDR shooting, panorama mode and smile auto detection.

When you get to shooting, it’s far from a quick or slick experience. The autofocus is slow into action and the shutter speed is equally sluggish especially when you jump into HDR mode.

It does take some time to capture share-friendly close-up shots, but it is possible. As the sample below shows, image quality is reasonably sharp and colours are accurate. They do lack the detail and punchy, vibrancy you’d associate with top end smartphone cameras. As soon as you lose those bright conditions, you get some of the light bleed as shown in the photo from Wembley Stadium and image noise is more apparent.

ZTE Blade Q Mini
The Blade Q Mini’s 5-megapixel camera is capable of decent quality images up close

ZTE Blade Q Mini 5
Even in good light, night time shots still struggle for sharpness

One of the best features is HDR. It’s a camera mode that has in the past been reserved for more expensive smartphones but now it’s made its way into mid and low-range phones. The images below really illustrate how well it works. With HDR mode off you can barely see the three men in suits in the centre of the image. Switch on HDR mode and murky sky apart, everything has been brightened up and it’s now an image you’d want to share on Facebook and Twitter.

ZTE Blade Q Mini 1
HDR mode off

ZTE Blade Q Mini 2
HDR mode on

For video, it’s annoyingly set to VGA quality as default so our initial recordings were a blurry, low quality mess. When you bump it up to 720p HD there’s a dramatic improvement. There’s still some slight juddering but for a £50 phone, this is a handy feature to have.

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