Monsters from Asia: The aluminum ZTE Nubia Z9 with its 'border-less' design, 4GB RAM, and 16MP OIS camera

A month ago, we outlined the Nubia Z9 Max — a super high-end phone by ZTE's online-only, premium brand — but earlier today, the company announced an even more impressive device. Dubbed just Nubia Z9, the new device comes packing not just the latest in hardware, but also a number of other innovations.

Let's start with the obvious: the Z9 comes with what the Nubia PR people call 'borderless' design, though there's still a frame holding this thing together. But it's a really thin one, specifically at the left and right sides, which is darn impressive. Not only that, but Nubia has also thrown in a metal chassis for those of us who have grown tired of plastic phones. But while we've already seen at least two other 'borderless' phones already, there's more than meets the eye here — Nubia's FIT (Frame Interactive Technology) invention.

FIT allows you to squeeze or slide over the side bezels of the Z9, and doing so will trigger one of a number of mapped shortcuts or actions. For example, sliding down the side bezels with both fingers turns the screen off, while a double squeeze takes a screenshot. These are only some examples, and we don't yet know if users will be able to create custom presets (that would be massively cool!). 

Depending on the execution, FIT may very well turn out to be yet another gimmick, so we're glad to see that Nubia went full out with the Z9 just in case. That is, we're looking at some pretty insane hardware, including a 5.2-inch, 2.5D screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920, an octa-core Snapdragon 810 processor with an Adreno 420 GPU and support for two SIM slots, 3GB or 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, and a 2,900 mAh battery. As with all Nubia handsets, the camera experience was of great importance to the team behind the Z9, so you're getting a 16-megapixel, 1/2.6" Sony IMX234 (found in the LG G4) with f/2.0 aperture, optical stabilization, and 4K UHD video capture, along with an 8-megapixel Sony IMX179 sensor up front (f/2.4, 80° field of view). There's also a dedicated AKM AK4961 Hi-Fi chip for higher quality sound.

Without a doubt, Android specsmongers will be quick to cry foul at the sight of 'just' a 1080 x 1920 pixel resolution, though we've got to admit that we're relieved to see Nubia back away from Quad HD panels in favor of better battery life. Others will wonder about the amount of RAM and storage options listed above — those simply belong to two different models, an 'Elite' one (4GB RAM, 64GB storage, comes in gold), and a less bonkers 'Classic' one (3GB/32GB, comes in black).

So how much will Nubia be charging locals for a Z9 unit? ¥3499 for the Classic model, and ¥3999 for the Elite flavor. Those translate to $564 and $645, respectively, so definitely pricier than competing options, such as the Xiaomi Mi Note Pro, which is priced at ¥2999 ($484). Of course, do keep in mind that these prices are for Chinese customers who have managed to reserve a copy. The rest of the world will have to pay extra through resellers. 

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Monsters from Asia (49 updates)



21. ChunkDiesel072014

Posts: 39; Member since: Feb 26, 2015

What if the picture of the phone represents how technology takes our souls and leaves is with no soul or colorless.

19. WallStreet

Posts: 256; Member since: Sep 21, 2014

Isn't it a bit too narrow and too tall?

24. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

it just look like that, because they remove bezel from it, screen size and ration still same with other phone

18. Scarambay unregistered

The phone is a looker, high end specs and all, but ZTE should realize it isn't a well established brand to demand such steep prices.

25. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

doesnt matter, ZTE is well known in asia market since long time ago (more famous compared to oppo in mobile phone market), and that price still worth for this phone..

17. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

Interesting concept, wondering how practical it is though, I think these will be very prone to breakage, however might still work.

16. pecapello

Posts: 108; Member since: Feb 19, 2015

I like the black one

8. Nokia1100user

Posts: 19; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

Where can I trade in my Nokia 1100 for this?

7. willytbk

Posts: 252; Member since: Aug 15, 2012


5. DarkRadeonFX

Posts: 37; Member since: Mar 29, 2014

Need this with windows 10......

4. nebula

Posts: 1009; Member since: Feb 20, 2015

Where can one be acquired?

22. dimas

Posts: 3461; Member since: Jul 22, 2014

Just wait for it on Almost all Chinese branded phones are available there for worldwide shipping.

3. nodes

Posts: 1165; Member since: Mar 06, 2014

and this will still have better on-screen performance than Galaxy S6. lol.

6. rantao333

Posts: 346; Member since: May 21, 2013

but but..on antutu my galaxy s6 is higher. who care about on screen.

12. zunaidahmed

Posts: 1186; Member since: Dec 24, 2011

yeah, we don't care about the actual performance, We just want to see higher points in benchmark!!!!!

14. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

I replaced my s6 for that pathetic battery life. Never got more than 3.5 hrs of on-screen time... Back to my still great looking and snappy Xperia Z2...

2. hafini_27

Posts: 951; Member since: Oct 31, 2013

Sexy beast!

1. gaming64 unregistered

Hot chick:P

9. seret6

Posts: 279; Member since: Aug 14, 2013

No 1440p No thanks, 1080p sucks

10. Cyberchum

Posts: 1142; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

You can as well wish for 8k, you suck.

11. Ashoaib

Posts: 3309; Member since: Nov 15, 2013

1080p sucks? can you please tell this to huge apple user base? they are still living below 1080p... OR 1080p sucks bcoz it is from a chinese OEM and not from any of your favorite OEM?

13. neela_akaash

Posts: 1239; Member since: Aug 05, 2014

Actually 1440p sucks more juice from battery, or may he has microscopic eyes. That's why he needs more n more resolution.....

15. amasog

Posts: 552; Member since: Aug 22, 2013

dragging apple on android phone article? LOL!!!!! LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

23. ibend

Posts: 6747; Member since: Sep 30, 2014

just for simple comparison, since apple fan still happy with their 1080p

26. emperius

Posts: 17; Member since: Dec 19, 2014

You must have Superman vision.

20. waddup121 unregistered

Looks like Sammy got some competition.

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