The latest Nubia Z5S LTE is a true Xiaomi Mi3 killer! This attractive 5-inch phone packs a Snapdragon 800 processor, FHD display, OIS camera and more. Here are full details and first impressions of the latest flagship Nubia.
ZTE launched the Nubia brand in China earlier 2013 with the hope that they could create a premium brand Chinese phone fans would flock too. Since the initial launch ZTE’s plans have changed for the brand and the company is now seen as a rival to Xiaomi! Producing phones with the latest hardware at ultra affordable prices! The flagship Z5 range starts at 1999 Yuan ($331) for the base Z5S, rising to 2999 Yuan ($496) for the Z5SN (with OIS) and on to 3495 Yuan ($579) for the flagship Z5S LTE.
Nubia Z5S LTE Specifications
The flagship phone in the Nubia range is the Z5S LTE. The design of the phone remains largely unchanged from the previous generation model with most of the big differences all happening under the hood.
First of all the older quad-core Qualcomm processor has been replaced with a more modern Snapdragon 800 processor, there is 2GB RAM, a 5-inch FHD from Sharp with a pixel density of 443ppi, Corning Gorilla Glass, 13 mega-pixel OIS main camera, and even support for LTE networks.[komper pid=155 compareform=no]
Nubia Z5S LTE Preivew
If you were to take the original Nubia Z5 and the new Z5S LTE and place them side to side the differences between the two models would be almost impossible to see. The new phone features the same red halo home touch area as the original phone and is available in either white (seen here) or black.
The display measure in at 5-inch, exactly the same as the previous version, and is a thin OGS model from Sharp which incorporates both CGS and NM2 technology to boost the user experience. A layer of tough Corning Gorilla Glass has been added to, to help save the phone from accidental drops.
The Nubia designers have been careful to keep the flagship Z5S LTE as easy to hold and look at as possible. Creating a narrow phone was key to this and Nubia have accomplished this by having narrow bezels of just 2.67mm on either side of the 5-inch panel.
Width is kept to a minimum too and measures in at just 7.6mm, which is more than thin enough for most users.
A neat feature on the Nubia Z5S LTE is the fact that the volume rocker can be used as a two-part shutter button for the main camera. Pressing the rocker down to its first stage with have the camera focus, then pressing it all the way down will capture the image.
Speaking of the camera, the main shooter on the Nubia Z5S LTE is easily one of the highlights of the phone. The sensor is a 13 mega-pixel sensor like it’s rival, the Xiaomi Mi3, however Nubia have also implemented OIS (optical image stabilisation) to reduce blur and create an overall better image. The inclusion of OIS itself has been enough for some owners of the original Nubia to upgrade to this new version.
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The camera app has also been highly tweaked to add some additional metering features so you can quickly and easily adjust images depending on the light source, white balance and obviously focus. Although the UI is different the features are similar to the CyanogenMod camera app Focal.
Although Google is now on Android 4.4 Kitkat, and tweakers are already running CM builds based on 4.4, the Nubia Z5S LTE (like many phones) is still on Android 4.2.2. As the ROM is a heavily modified version of Android, the Nubia team have added plenty of features to the system so you probably won’t miss not having the latest OS.
One such feature is a minimised home screen mode to aid one-handed operation. Keep in mind that the Nubia Z5S LTE has just a 5-inch display so operation is quite easy with one hand, but for those who do struggle this minimised option is a fantastic feature. It is really surprising that Nubia have included this considering the size, and we would recommend Oppo take not and add something similar to ColorOS on the Oppo N1.
One the phone is turned on and powered up the lock screen is very simple with a single ring which can be slid to the side to unlock.
We have seen plenty of companies opt for a flat looking ROM, which in our opinion looks more modern and less fussy. The Nubia has a more traditional looking ROM with more detailed icons. Whether you like the look of the Nubia ROM or a flat ROM like Flyme is personal preference, and it’s simple to change icons if you feel the need.
Another killer feature of the Nubia Z5S LTE is it’s support for various cellular networks. Most Chinese phones will ether come with WCDMA/GSM or TD-SCDMA/GSM, the Z5S LTE boasts CDMA, EVDO, GSM, WCDMA, and even 4G LTE.
As for performance, a quick look over the hardware should keep your mind at ease, but if you were worried that the Snapdragon 800 with 2GB in the Nubia Z5S LTE would under perform just feast your eyes on these Antutu scores. The phone in the pictures is a pre-production model which scored 33, 035 points, production version of the Z5S score a minimum of 35,000 points!
The Nubia Z5S LTE is currently only available in China through the official Nubia website, and through a few dedicated Nubia Experience stores dotted around the country. The only issue we can see with the Nubia Z5S, and any of the Nubia range of phones are due to the low pricing, high-demand and limited availability it is extremely difficult to get your hands on one! If you do get the chance though we highly recommend this flagship Chinese smartphone.
- Official Nubia Website