Nubia Z11 first impressions, photos, and overview

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First impressions articles aren’t something we normally do but I felt compelled to write something up about the Nubia Z11. Nubia Mobile is a new Chinese smartphone company that was born out of ZTE. The company broke from ZTE back in 2015 and formed Nubian Technology Co. The Nubia Z11 series is their first offering and we have the 5.5″ version in our office for review.

We’ve had the chance to review other Chinese smartphone manufacturers phones like Huawei, Meizu, and Leagoo. With the exception of the Huawei phones, most of the Chinese phones are running MediaTek processors. The Nubia Z11 opts for the more robust and slightly better performing Qualcomm Snapdragon SoC. Here’s the full specs list on the Z11:

  • Bezel-less display
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor
  • 4GB/6GB RAM
  • 64GB/128GB Internal storage
  • Expandable storage up to 200GB
  • Android 6.0.1
  • 5.5″ FHD 1920 x 1080
  • Screen covered with D Arc Glass
  • 16MP rear camera
  • 8MP front facing camera
  • Phase detection autofocus
  • Advanced camera software
  • Optical image stabilization rear camera
  • Finger print sensor
  • IR blaster
  • NFC
  • USB Type-C
  • Fast Charge

The Z11 has an all aluminum construction and is super slim in width due to the side bezels being nearly non-existent. Build quality is right up there with the Huawei P9 and One Plus phones. The 1080p screen is brilliant and colorful, one of the best screens I’ve seen on a phone in this class. The side bezels are so thin, it makes you feel like all you’re holding is screen. Unlike the Xiaomi Mi Mix, the Z11 does have top and bottom bezels but they’re nicely done with a touch screen home button on the bottom flanked by recent apps and back buttons.

The one area the Nubia Z11 has an issue is in LTE connectivity (using T-Mobile), now this could very well be because the review unit sent to us is made for the Chinese market. We’ve only been able to connect to 3G and HSPA+.  Since Nubia is looking to break into the U.S. market I am contacting them to see if the U.S. versions will support U.S. LTE bands.

Overall this phone is really well built and snappy. I have yet to play with the camera and its other features but my first impressions are that this phone has a quality build, great specs, and a competitive price in this range of phone. The Z11 will also come in a higher more premium configuration with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage with a black and gold color scheme. There isn’t an official U.S. price but the price in India is around $370USD. That puts the Nubia Z11 in direct competition with the likes of One Plus. We won’t have the full review until after CES, which is partly why we wanted to write up this first impression article, so stay tuned in January.

Last Updated on January 23, 2017.


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