ZTE probably won't float to the top of your list if you try to think of serious contenders in the Chinese smartphone industry, at least from the vantage point of the US where ZTE's products fall more on the budget side. In China, however, ZTE is trying to reclaim lost time and presence by unveiling all the same time the three members of its latest flagship series, the Nubia Z7, the misnamed Nubia Z7 Max, and an even more dubious the Nubia Z7 mini.
The Nubia Z7 is the nominal head of the family and it definitely means business. It sports a 5.5-inch QHD screen, that's a resolution of 2560x1440 pixels, a powerful 2.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, and a 13 megapixel rear camera. If that sounds a bit too familiar, then we won't fault you for thinking immediately of the LG G3, which seems to be the closest target of this ZTE smartphone. However, that's just about the hardware and it remains to be seen whether ZTE will be able to match LG's flagship in design and features. The Nubia Z7 isn't exactly thin or small, measuring at 139 mm x 71 mm x 9 mm, figures you might want to keep in mind for the next members of this Nubia family.
The Nubia Z7 Max might not exactly be a max, at least compared to how others like HTC have differentiated their "Max" variants from the main flagship. This supposed giant stands at 152.7 mm x 76 mm x 8.7 mm, not that far from the numbers above. The display isn't a max either, as it is the same 5.5-inch size but, and here's the clincher, it only has a 1080p resolution. In all other aspects, like the Snapdragon 801, 2 GB of memory, 32 GB of storage, and 13 megapixel camera, the Nubia Z7 Max is practically the same as its namesake.
Things really take a strange turn with the Nubia Z7 mini, which you can hardly call "mini". Why? Because it has a 5-inch 1080p display, that's why. The official ZTE product page also lists its dimensions as 140 mm x 69.3 mm x 8.2 mm, hinting that there is definitely something wrong with ZTE's figures. Once you are able to look past those rather unbelievable figures, you might this smartphone to be rather decent, as it has, once again, those exact same specs. The only difference is that internal storage is capped at 16 GB and the fact that ZTE strangely marks the CPU as a 2.0 GHz Snapdragon 801.
The ZTE Nubia Z7 is clearly marketed as a high-end flagship and carries a price tag to match at 3,456 RMB, roughly $560. The other two are meant for the mid-range market, despite having almost the same set of specs, costing 1,999 RMB or $322 for the Nubia Z7 Max and 1,499 RMB or around $242 for the Nubia Z7 mini. No news yet on whether ZTE plans to bring this line to the US, but it has brought some of its Nubia devices to the country in the past so there is a possibility, no matter how remote.