ZTE Nubia Z9 Bezel-less Phone Launched In China
Chinese smartphone makers seem to be on a roll lately, and ZTE’s latest offering contributes its own share to the cause. While Oppo still continues to tease us with images of its bezel-less offering, ZTE has gone ahead of the curve by launching their own bezel-less product, the Nubia Z9, in China today.
The Nubia Z9 is ZTE’s attempt to stand out from the crowd as it features a bezel-less design with a few interesting features that make use of the innovative design. We are still some time away from true bezel-less design, as all bezel-less phones still have bezels on atleast one side, and in this regard, the Nubia Z9 sports no bezel (actually, 0.8mm thin bezels) on the right and left sides of the 5.2″ 1080p display by Sharp, but it sports a bearable bezel on the top and bottom edges.
The device is surrounded by an aluminium mid-frame all-around, which employs an innovative way of controlling the device referred to as “Frame interactive Technology”, or FiT. In essence, the mid frame allows you to trigger actions on the phone based on interaction with the sides. As shown in the infographic, certain use cases for this tech would be unlocking the phone using a predefined grip, activating the camera by a 4-finger horizontal holding action, switching apps by moving a finger up and down the side and controlling the screen brightness with 2-finger sliding action on the sides. While the implementation does sound innovative, its real world usefulness is yet to be witnessed considering the size of the device and how most of these are intended as one-hand actions.
Getting down to the specs, the Nubia Z9 is powered by Qualcomm’s 64-bit Octa-core Snapdragon 810, much like other flagships, except a recent one. For the GPU, the device uses the Adreno 430. As far as the camera goes, the Nubia Z9 has a decent performer in the form of a 16 MP rear camera with Sony’s IMX243 Exmor sensor and optical stabilization, along with an 8 MP front facing camera with Sony’s IMX179 Exmor sensor. The device is powered by a modest 2900 mAH battery and will run on Nubia UI 3.0 on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop.
As far as RAM and internal storage go, ZTE has taken cues from Asus by releasing a few different variants to simultaneously target different price segments. Thankfully, they have differentiated within the variants by using average-consumer-recognizable names. The ZTE Nubia Z9 comes in 3 models: Classic, Elite and Exclusive. The Nubia Z9 Classic comes with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and will be in Black color. The Z9 Elite and Z9 Exclusive, both, come with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage and will be in the Golden Color option. The differentiating factor amongst the Elite and Exclusive models is the presence of a fingerprint sensor on the power button and volume rocker present on the aluminium mid-frame.
The Nubia Z9 Classic will cost CNY 3,499 ($560), the Z9 Elite will cost CNY 3,999 ($645) and Z9 Exclusive will cost CNY 4,499 ($725). Availability outside of China is not known at this point, although Nubia has announced that the company will enter the Indian market soon and has opened social media accounts for its Indian website.
For more hands-on pictures, head on over to Anzhuo.cn.
It is interesting to witness another shift in the smartphone race, from where manufacturers aimed to outclass each other on specs to where they try to outdo each other through design and value. To say that the Chinese are offering decent fuel to this race would be an understatement at this point.
What do you think of ZTE’s Nubia Z9? Do you think unconventional design is the way forward for future smartphones? Let us know in the comments below!
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