One of the key challenges for mobile phone makers in an increasingly crowded market is, to just get noticed by customers. After all, a user who has had a good experience with the brand influences other customers to buy the product, isn’t it? In a market like India, there are a lot of device makers—domestic as well as international—selling Android-powered phones. And if you haven’t noticed, the phones produced by these companies have increasingly started to look alike with little differentiation in software or hardware.
Nubia (a sub-brand of ZTE) is the latest to foray into the Indian mobile phone market. Its Z9 mini device, a beautifully crafted phone which boasts a DSLR quality camera and striking design made of aircraft grade alloy for fairly good robustness, makes it evident that this China-based high-end smartphone maker has put in a lot of effort to make its offering stand out. Whether a relatively new player can craft out a new identity for itself remains to be seen. However, its eye-catching Z9 mini makes it obvious that it has enough captivating power to woo users towards itself, with its retail price tag of R16,999 as an added bonus. The Z9 mini is available to consumers through Amazon.in.
Out of the box, the Nubia Z9 mini is a complete head turner. It looks and feels great in the hand. Company officials reckon that the Z9 mini design is based on the fundamentals of building structure designing and uses aircraft grade alloy to ensure fairly good robustness and rigidity. The strong structure is encased in a beautiful metal body to ensure style and substance. The entire phone is made of plastic and glass, with a grey trim around the phone that looks like it has a metal casing around it. The back of the phone is a transparent material too.
Nubia has placed both volume rocker and power button on the right side of the phone, while the left side is reserved for the SIM tray. Up top is a 3.5 mm headset jack and a noise-cancelling microphone, and on bottom is a single speaker on the opposite side of the micro-USB charging port. The front of the phone houses the 5-inch screen with fairly average sized bezels, while three capacitive keys lie below the screen: home, back and menu.
The Nubia Z9 mini exhibits an impressive glass design with a 5-inch full HD Sharp CGS display, which offers upto 95% ultra-high colour saturation at 441 ppi. The device boasts of Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The Nubia Z9
mini is powered by 64 bit Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor that clocks in at 1.5 Ghz. The device integrates a 2 GB RAM, and a 16 GB ROM expandable up to 128 GB backed by the Qualcomm Fluence V5 Noise cancellation technology, which offers a very high quality experience to the user, at a fraction of the price of phone of equivalent features and superior quality from any other brand.
Probing the innards, the Nubia Z9 mini is powered by Android Lollipop 5.0 and Nubia 2.8 user interface out of the box. It sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, 64 bit eight-core processor, powered by the new Adreno 405 graphics processor. The processor seamlessly manages 3D games, advanced camera functions and brings fun and excitement to you everyday.
Arguably one of the best parts of the phone is the camera. This dual SIM device features the Sony Exmor R 16 megapixel primary and 8 megapixel front camera supported by the NeoVision 5.0 SLR system which enables the user with good manual photography possibilities. The device is stacked up with image sensor camera by six precision optical lenses, low power mid-motor hybrid filter composed of blue glass, to enhance the almost professional level camera experience. The camera also showcases a 2.0 aperture that perfects blurred backgrounds in the day and is a great fit for night photography, as well. With DSLR comparable manual settings, Nubia Z9 mini has various professional photography modes and effective image stabilisation capabilities to excite even a serious photography enthusiast. The camera app sports advanced editing functions, making every captured moment beautiful.
I spent close to two weeks with this beautifully designed phone and take my word, the Nubia Z9 mini is a phone that will make your friends and colleagues jealous. It offers a pleasant design and an interesting interface. Switch on the device and its 5-inch sharp Full HD (1920 x 1080) display pops with colour and vibrancy and packs a pixel density of 441 ppi. The phone’s display is one of the best that I have seen in recent months. Its screen has the kind of clarity you would normally expect from your television. The user interface in general is very light, mostly consisting of whites with a few black and red highlights throughout the experience.
Multitasking is generally a good experience on this phone. It’s got enough processing power under the hood to run pretty much any game or application you can throw at it. The phone packs a slightly larger battery (3000 mAh) than most phones this size would. At my end, I managed to get three days of mixed use. Call quality was excellent and nothing negative can really be reported here. Dual-SIM card support is here with two nano-SIM cards that fit in the tray, keeping the tray the same size as a regular SIM would be. Coverage was great on my Vodafone network too.
In short, Nubia deserves praise for bringing something new to the smartphone world. Highly recommended!
* Dimensions: 141.3 x 69.8 x 8.1 mm (H x W x D)
* Display: 5-inch Sharp Full HD (1920 x 1080) display
* Processor: Snapdragon 615 1.5 Ghz, 64 bit Octa Core processor
* Operating system: Android 5.0.2 with Nubia UI V2.8
* Memory & storage: 2 GB RAM, 16 GB ROM (expandable to 128 GB)
* Camera: Sony Exmor R Series 16 MP + 8MP camera with Neo Vision 5.0 camera system
* Battery: Non removable 3000 mAh Lithium ion battery
** Estimated street price: Rs 16,999