The ZTE Axon 7 mini, the little brother of the flagship Axon 7, has proven to be a tough nut to crack- until now.

The Axon 7 Mini, which landed earlier this year, is quite the competent low-mid range smartphone. Its all-aluminium body, AMOLED screen and solid speaker setup have made it compelling both as a secondary device for messing around with or as just a cheap smartphone option. However, the lack of enthusiast support or bootloader unlocking capabilities have held this device back. At least, until now.

Developer tdm from the XDA Developer Forums has launched a tool called Tuliptool, which is a dedicated bootloader unlocker tool for ZTE devices. It packs a series of features that are undoubtedly useful to enthusiasts, such as:

  • Bootloader status checking.
  • Bootloader unlocking.
  • Bootloader re-locking.
  • Custom recovery flashing and installation.
  • Custom boot image installation.

The tool can be run on any PC and uses the standard method of flashing via USB. However, it is worth noting that this is an unofficial tool which carries a number of risks and threats that you usually wouldn't be facing with a bootloader unlocking tool, as it is not manufacturer-certified.

Additionally, you should bear in mind that ZTE plans on releasing an official bootloader unlocking tool for their devices over the course of the next few days, so if you're weary about using an unofficial tool like this one it may be the best option for you to wait until ZTE officially release their utility. Until then, if you're truly desperate, Tuliptool should do the job.

What do you guys think? Will you be using this utility to unlock your bootloader, or will you wait for ZTE to roll out the official bootloader unlocker? And does this make the Axon 7 Mini a possible phone candidate for you? Let us know what you think in the comments.