The next flagship from Chinese manufacturer ZTE might be the Z11. The phone has already leaked online, only five months after the Z9 launch. It seems rather quick, but the Z9 has been a huge hit for the company, so ZTE might be looking to strike while the iron is hot.
The Z11 is likely to carry premium specs with a bezel-less display, and we wouldn’t expect anything less. Here’s what we know so far.
Updated on 12-01-2016 by Julian Chokkattu: Added in leaked renders showing a dual-camera setup on the back of the Nubia Z11.
Specs and design
New leaks of the ZTE Nubia Z11 have hit Chinese microblogging service Weibo, and the unverified images show a dual-camera setup like that on the ZTE Axon and the Axon Pro. The back render also highlights the device’s metal frame, dual-LED flash, and fingerprint sensor. The glossy back points to a glass back panel, but it’s hard to tell. Take this information with a grain of salt as it’s not verified and is solely a rumor.
The front render shows the ZTE device using the company’s Frame Interactive Technology, which was used on the ZTE Nubia Z9. FIT refracts the light to make the side of the display interactive through gestures and swipes.
The Weibo post that showcased these two renders also said the ZTE Nubia Z11 would be unveiled on January 18. We can’t verify this information, so we’ll have to wait and see if this rumor comes true. That said, the Nubia Z9 itself only launched six months ago, and with an Elite and Max version announced later in the year, the rumored launch period for the Nubia Z11 feels rushed.
In mid-November, fairly different photos of the Z11 were leaked, showing the side and back of the Nubia Z11, along with the bezel-less 5.2-inch display and fingerprint sensor. First reported on KKJ.cn, the Nubia Z11 is expected to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 128GB of internal storage.
The report suggests that ZTE will outfit the Nubia Z11 with a 13-megapixel front-facing camera and a 20.7-megapixel rear camera. It might be one of the first devices in China to run Android 6.0 Marshmallow, alongside ZTE’s own ROM employed for Nubia devices. The display is less curved than Samsung’s Galaxy S6 display, making it hard to notice on the press photo.
ZTE has been quietly gaining mobile market share, and is now one of the top seven manufacturers in the world. The company is the fourth largest mobile provider in the U.S. and it recently announced its own lease-to-own program for its America-based customers.
Nubia’s senior vice president, Ni Fei, revealed that the Z11 would launch in the U.S. and China at the same time. Although ZTE has enjoyed modest success with its phones in the U.S., this isn’t the norm. The Nubia Z9 launched in China in June 2015, but it hasn’t launched here in the U.S., even though the company promised it would hit stateside during the third quarter. Even sans the U.S. launch, ZTE has sold over 500 million Z9 phones, which is quite an achievement.
ZTE has made a name for itself in the U.S. with budget phones, but the release of the Axon Pro is a clear sign that ZTE is trying to take things up a notch in this market.
At CES 2016, ZTE continued its push into the U.S. with the launch of two new phones — the Grand X3 and the Avid Plus, both of which are headed to networks in the coming months.
Updated on 11-30-2015 by Robert Nazarian: Added in news that ZTE might launch the Z11 in the U.S. and China at the same time.