Much like many Chinese smartphone brands these days, ZTE sub-brand Nubia had prematurely given away the main selling points of its Z5 ahead of its Beijing launch today, but there were still some surprises. As you probably already know, here's yet another five-inch 1080p Android phone featuring Qualcomm's 1.5GHz quad-core APQ8064, 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage, along with a 13-megapixel F2.2 main camera (with five-element optics by Konica Minolta, plus separate touch focus and touch exposure in the app) and a two-megapixel front-facing camera. For multimedia consumption, the Z5 supports WiFi Display and MHL output should you wish to beam content to a larger screen; whereas on the audio side you are spoiled with either Yamaha or Dolby Digital Plus. But wait, there's more!
Nubia Z5 hands-on
Nubia Z5 press event
Created in collaboration with famed Italian designer Stefano Giovannoni, the Z5 has achieved a 7.6mm thickness that currently tops the five-inch-phone chart, yet at the same time it manages to cram in a 2,300mAh battery and maintain a 126g weight. The phone's 2.67mm-thick screen bezel and 68.8mm body width also puts the HTC Butterfly (or the Droid DNA) and the Samsung Galaxy S III to shame; and with the help of the rounded sides on the aluminum frame and the non-removable plastic back cover, the Z5 felt firm and comfortable in our hands. Between the matte black and glossy white options we prefer the texture on the former, but regardless, we're not fans of the overly simplistic soft keys -- just a red dot each for the menu key and the back key, and then a circle for the home button à la Meizu MX2.
As Nubia's first phone, there's no information regarding its international availability just yet, but here's the good news for now: courtesy of Qualcomm's modem module, the Chinese edition of the Z5 will support both CDMA2000 (800MHz, for China Telecom) and WCDMA (2100MHz, for China Unicom); and when Nubia eventually launches it internationally, it'll also support LTE as well. The ultimate question is: how much? Well, at either the online store or any of the upcoming experience stores, it'll be ¥3,456 (about $550, which isn't far from the 32GB Oppo Find 5) for the regular aluminum version starting in January; and for those who have some extra yuan to spare, there will also be a titanium edition priced at a staggering ¥7,890 (about $1,260; and did you see what they did with the numbers?).
As a bonus, Nubia will provide a pretty decent customer service: buyers can pay upon delivery and can also return within seven days with no questions asked -- someone will simply come and pick up the rejected device. Should your Z5 require a repair, Nubia will also provide a temporary unit to keep you going for the time being. Looks like the company's already off to a good start, but we shall see how we get on with the phone in real life, whenever a review unit becomes available.