The Chinese company has been teasing a launch in the country since earlier this month, and recent teasers with the distinctive rear camera and home button when combined with the Nubia page on Amazon indicate the launch of the latest in the Nubia lineup, the recently-unveiled ZTE Nubia Z9 handsets.
The ZTE Nubia Z9 series was launched earlier this month in China, with retail availability this Thursday. It is available in three variants - the ZTE Nubia Z9 Classic, ZTE Nubia Z9 Elite, and ZTE Nubia Z9 Exclusive. The variants are based on different memory and inbuilt storage configurations, and the Exclusive variant also includes a fingerprint reader.
While the ZTE Nubia Z9 Classic is priced at CNY 3,499 (roughly Rs. 36,000), the ZTE Nubia Z9 Elite and ZTE Nubia Z9 Exclusive are priced at CNY 3,999 (roughly Rs. 41,200) and CNY 4,499 (roughly Rs. 46,300) respectively. The handsets run on Nubia UI 3.0 based on Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Back in March, ZTE had also launched the Nubia Z9 Max and Nubia Z9 mini, and these could also be expected to launch alongside the three Nubia Z9 variants already listed. The ZTE Nubia Z9 mini is priced at CNY 1,499 (approximately Rs. 15,000), while the ZTE Nubia Max is priced at April 16 at CNY 2,499 (approximately Rs. 25,100).
As mentioned above, the three dual-SIM ZTE Nubia Z9 smartphones feature nearly identical specifications. All three sport a 5.2-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) resolution IPS display with 2.5D CGS (Continuous Grain Silicon) technology and pixel density of 424ppi. Featuring a reflective bezel that is just 0.8mm thick, the display gives the impression of stretching from edge to edge. The company has also included Frame Interactive Technology (FIT) gestures that are based on ways of holding the nearly bezel-less phone, such as unlocking the phone with a swipe along both sides, bringing up the camera app when holding the phone up with both hands, and other similar gestures.
The ZTE Nubia Z9 is powered by a 64-bit octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor (four 2GHz Cortex-A57 cores + four 1.5GHz Cortex-A53 cores) with Adreno 430 GPU (600MHz). The smartphone equips a 16-megapixel rear camera powered by a Sony IMX234 Exmor RS sensor, f/2.0 aperture and 6P lenses, and an 8-megapixel front facing camera powered by a Sony IMX179 Exmor R BSI sensor and with 80-degree wide viewing angle and f/2.4 aperture. Measuring 147.4x68.3x8.9 mm, the ZTE Nubia Z9 weighs 192 grams and is backed by a 2900mAh battery. The connectivity features include 4G LTE, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, Wi-Fi, GPS, MHL 3.0, and USB OTG. It will be available in Black and Gold colour variants.
Coming to the differences between the three ZTE Nubia Z9 models - the ZTE Nubia Z9 Classic features 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM and 32GB of inbuilt storage, the ZTE Nubia Z9 Elite comes with 4GB of RAM (not specified if LPDDR3 or LPDDR4) and 64GB of inbuilt storage, and the ZTE Nubia Z9 Exclusive comes with 4G of RAM and 64GB of inbuilt storage as well as a TIO fingerprint sensor on both the power button and volume rocker. Notably, the company has also not specified if the smartphones come with microSD card slots.
ZTE's Nubia Z9 Max on the other hand features a 5.5-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and offers a pixel density of 401ppi. It is powered by an octa-core 64-bit Snapdragon 810 processor (quad-core 2GHz + quad-core 1.5GHz) coupled with 3GB of LPDDR4 RAM. There is 16GB of built-in storage that's further expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB). It supports dual Nano-SIMs and sports a 16-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, Sony IMX234 Exmor RS sensor and f/2.0 aperture. There is an 8-megapixel front camera on board as well, with a f/2.4 aperture. Connectivity options on the handset include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS/ A-GPS, MHL 3.0, USB OTG, Micro-USB, 3G, and 4G LTE. The handset is backed by a 2900mAh battery.
The ZTE Nubia Z9 mini shares most of its specifications with the Nubia Z9 Max, such as the 16-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX234 Exmor RS sensor, LED flash, and f/2.0 aperture; 8-megapixel front camera; 2900mAh battery; 16GB inbuilt storage expandable via microSD card (up to 128GB); Android 5.0 Lollipop with Nubia UI 2.8, and dual Nano-SIM support.The Nubia Z9 mini however features a smaller 5-inch full-HD (1080x1920 pixels) display than the ZTE Nubia Z9 Max. It sports Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection and offers a pixel density of 441ppi. The handset is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (quad-core 1.5GHz + quad-core 1GHz) processor coupled with 2GB of LPDDR3 RAM.