ZTE’s stunning bezel-free Nubia Z9 is coming to the U.S. later this year

ZTE often does things a little differently. A while ago, it introduced the Nubia Z9 Max and Z9 Mini — which are the large and small variations of the Nubia Z9 flagship — but it failed to even mention the standard Z9 in its presentation. Then, in May, ZTE finally revealed the Z9 we’ve all been waiting for.

Updated on 06-04-2015 by Kyle Wiggers: Updated with U.S. availability news.

Availability and price

ZTE’s incredible Nubia Z9 phone will sell in China first, with the 32GB variant priced at 3,499 Yuan ($565) and the 64GB model at 3,999 Yuan ($645). A more expensive version of the phone, which has 64GB of storage and ZTE’s fingerprint scanner on it will cost 4,499 Yuan ($726). Chinese consumers can already pre-register for the device on the company’s official website or Jingdong Mall.

It’ll migrate from the mainland soon enough, though. On the heels of competitor Huawei’s unlocked P8 Lite unveiling in New York, ZTE has announced — via a billboard in Times Square, pointedly enough — that it’s bringing the flagship Nubia Z9 to U.S. shores later this year. It’ll come in three models priced from $564 to $725, according to the press release. No word on retail partners yet.

ZTE Nubia Z9

The Nubia Z9 is just about everything we imagined it’d be based on the many leaks we’ve seen ahead of its launch. The nearly bezel-free phone looks absolutely stunning and continues along the lines of the Nubia design language, but it has a metal chassis and 2.5-dimensional screen. The slightly curved screen measures 5.2 inches and sports a 1,920 x 1,080 pixel resolution. The screen spills gracefully over the edges by a millimeter or so, and thanks to ZTE’s new Frame Interaction Technology (FIT), certain gestures made along the bezels will enable preprogrammed actions, like taking a screenshot or turning the screen off.

A Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 64-bit octa-core processor powers the Z9, along with 3GB of RAM. ZTE offers both 32 or 64GB of internal storage, depending on how much you need, and no MicroSD card slot is mentioned. The Nubia Z9 runs Android 5.0 Lollipop with ZTE’s Nubia UI 3.0 on top. The phone packs a 2,900mAh battery, which should keep things running for a day or so.

ZTE popped a 16-megapixel OIS camera with an f/2.0 aperture, 6P optical lens, and 1/2.6-inch CMOS sensor on the back of the Z9 next to a LED flash. The front camera is a selfie taker’s dream with its 80-degree, wide-angle 8-megapixel sensor.

ZTE Nubia Z9 Max and Mini

The Z9 Max’s screen measures 5.5-inches and shows Android 5.0 with the latest Nubia user interface over the top. It’s driven by a 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 810 processor with 3GB of RAM. The design is reminiscent of the Apple iPhone 6, and in turn, the ZTE Blade S6.

ZTE’s made an effort with the camera, fitting a 16-megapixel rear camera, and an 8-megapixel front camera — but there’s no mention of the retina-unlocking system, which utilized the same type of front camera on the Grand S3 here. This camera combination is repeated on the Z9 Mini, which has a slightly smaller 5-inch 1080p screen, and the 64-bit Snapdragon 615 chip with 2GB of RAM. The Z9 Mini also has swappable rear panels to give the phone a unique look, while the body on both phones is made from metal.

Both phones have 16GB of internal memory, a MicroSD card slot, and dual-SIM functionality, plus a 2,900mAh battery. The models announced here run on China’s 4G system, but ZTE has released Nubia phones in the U.S. before, so there’s a chance we’ll see international versions in the future. Converted pricing puts the Z9 Max at $400 unlocked, and the Z9 Mini at $240. In China, this puts the Z9 Max in direct competition with the new Xiaomi Mi Note, which costs slightly less, but has a Snapdragon 801 chip, and a 13-megapixel rear camera.

Previous updates:

Updated on 05-06-2015 by Malarie Gokey: Added official launch news for the Nubia Z9.

Next page: All the rumors of the Nubia Z9 prior to launch

Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Mobile

If you want Samsung's advanced folding phone, be prepared to pay a lot for it

Samsung has been showcasing bendable display tech for a few years and now a folding smartphone might finally arrive. The Galaxy X, or perhaps the Galaxy Fold, may be the company's first example. Here's everything we know about it.
Mobile

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Mobile

Everything we know about the Nokia 6.2, which might arrive in January

The Nokia 6.1 was our favorite budget phone of 2018, so we were always going to get excited when details of a successor came to light. However, the Nokia 6.2 will exceed those expectations if leaks are true.
Computing

What is fixed wireless 5G? Here’s everything you need to know

Here's fixed wireless 5G explained! Learn what you need to know about this effective new wireless technology, when it's available, how much it costs, and more. If you're thinking about 5G, this guide can help!
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Gaming

Xbox app lets you access your console while away from home. Here's how

Microsoft's Xbox allows you to access your profile information and launch media content directly from your mobile device. Check out our quick guide on how to connect your smartphone to an Xbox One.
Wearables

The best Apple Watch bands and straps to stylize your timepiece

If you have an Apple Watch, you know how easy it is to take off the strap it came with, so why not buy yourself another one? Here, we've gathered the best Apple Watch bands we've seen so far. There's something for everyone.
Mobile

How to choose an iPad in 2019: A practical guide to Apple’s tablets

Selecting an iPad from Apple's lineup can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. Our comprehensive guide should put the numbers and specs in practical, easy-to-understand terms. Find your ideal iPad with the help of our guide.
Mobile

Apple resurrects the iPhone SE with brand-new units starting at $249

Apple quietly started selling the iPhone SE again, at even lower prices than when it was discontinued four months ago. Brand new units of the 32GB version are on sale for $249, while the 128GB version is going for $299.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.
Mobile

Google Maps will now help drivers stay within speed limits, avoid speed traps

Google Maps will now start showing speed limits and speed camera locations, so that drivers will not be flagged for speeding tickets. The new features arrive to the app years after they were introduced in Waze.
Mobile

Text up a storm with the best messaging apps for iOS and Android

These days, most people tend to favor digital messages over phone calls. We have the best messaging apps that allow you to share photos and documents, send text messages, and more with end-to-end encryption.
1 of 2