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Chinese people don’t have Christmas holiday like other foreign countries, they just keep working and working. So, don’t feel surprise to hear ZTE has just launched a 5-inch smartphone in Beijing, dubbed Nubia Z5. Its form factor are the same as HTC Droid DNA andOPPO Find 5, which also sports a 5-inch 1080p display. But there’s some features that make ZTE Nubia Z5 quite extraordinary: 7.6mm of thickness, a MIUI-like user interface, a new built-in camera app, supports LTE, and comes with a special version that made by titanium. Want to know more about it? All the details after the break.

Design and Hardware

The manufacturing Process of Nubia Z5

Hands-on Video

GALLERY: Hands-on with ZTE Nubia Z5
(For larger view click here)

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Nubia is a new smartphone lineup that ZTE recently introduced, it’s planned to reinvent ZTE as a high-end smartphone brand. The company hired a foreign designer Stefano Giovannoi to design the Nubia lineup.


The term “Artware” is probably a term invented by Stefano Giovannoi.


Nubia Z5’s three antenna segments design

Nubia Z5 has a complicated body structure. Just like what the photo indicates, it consists of 15 layers of overlapping aluminum plates in order to build the frame. The perplexed design is believed to work with its special antenna design. Despite, Nubia Z5 remains a slim profile with just 7.6mm thickness and allows a 2,300mAh battery squeezes under the hood.


ZTE Nubia Z5 has a very narrow border. The bezel on the 5-inch display measures merely 2.67mm, which is thinner than HTC Butterfly (or the Droid DNA) and OPPO Find 5. Specs wise, the phone comes with Qualcomm’s quad-core APQ8064 clocked at 1.5GHz and 2GB of RAM, along with a 1.3MP front-facing camera and a 13MP rear-facing camera. It only has 32GB of internal storage option, and there’s no micro-SD card expansion.


The home button looks very similar to Meizu MX2, and it just functioned as a regular home button. The red dot on the side of the home button is for the menu key and the back key.


The back cover is non-removable. To insert SIM card, pull out the slot at the top edge by using a needle. Nubia Z5 is using micro-SIM card, and it supports China Telecom’s CDMA 2000 and China Unicom’s WCDMA. When Nubia Z5 launches internationally, it will add support for LTE as well.


Thickness Comparison: ZTE Nubia Z5 (7.6mm) & HTC Butterfly (9.08mm) & Samsung Galaxy S3 (8.6mm)

Comparing with iPhone 5 (7.6mm)

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 VS ZTE Nubia Z5

Samsung Galaxy Note 2 VS ZTE Nubia Z5


Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 1.00.17 AM
You can select what you want show on the lock screen: clock, weather, date and notification

It runs a customized Android 4.1 Jelly Bean named Nubia UI, and we found it looks and functions quite similar to Xiaomi’s MIUI.

Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 1.00.28 AM
The homescreen of Nubia UI

Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 1.03.03 AM
It allows to use Google’s service!

Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 1.06.31 AM
Alarm clock


It will come with NFC and few NFC tags. The NFC tag will function similar to LG’s Optimus LTE Tag and Sony’s SmartTags. This feature can also be found on OPPO Find 5.

Camera app

Check out these two photo examples below, they were captured at the same objects at the same position, but had different exposure level:

Photo 1

Photo 2

It was done by Nubia Z5’s built-in camera app. It allows users to have separate touch focus and touch exposure, giving users flexibility of how photos are captured.



ZTE also showcases some accessories that could work with Nubia Z5, such as “Small objects Finder”, ” Bluetooth phone” and “WiFi portable hard drive”. Sadly, we still haven’t seen how these things work yet.

NFC tags, Bluetooth phone, Wireless charger, Small objects Finder

Micro-USB to USB adaptor

Pricing and Availability


Price? Well, the regular aluminum version will be selling at ¥3,456 (about $550), starting in January. For the titanium-made version, it’s priced at ¥7,890 (about $1,260). The regular version is probably good enough for most people, and it is just slightly cheaper than the 32GB version OPPO Find 5 ($569). But the down side is ZTE has not yet disclosed when it will go international, while OPPO has already confirmed on Facebook that OPPO Find 5 will launch in several foreign countries next year.

Titanium-made version


Nubia Z5 will be available through its online sales channels and its upcoming Nubia’s experience centers in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen. Beijing’s store will be the first Nubia’s experience center, which aligned with the release of Nubia Z5 in January.

Interestingly, ZTE promised something pretty interesting in the launch event. It said buyers can make payment when they receive the phone, and they can also return it within seven days with no questions asked. Is this kindness or…?

Source: Netease (Chinese translated), Anzhou (Chinese translated)

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