Nubia, a ZTE brand, this week introduced its new range-topping smartphone outfitted with front and rear displays and Qualcomm’s high-end SoC. The new Nubia X features a rare 93.6% screen-to-body ratio on the primary LCD, maximizing its screen real estate while also offering a serious performance. The phone will certainly catch some eyes, but what remains to be seen is how useful the second display is and how will it affect battery life of the device.

Impressive on the Outside

The two screens are naturally the key selling point of the Nubia X. The primary display is a 6.26-inch IPS LCD offering a 2280×1080 resolution, a 19:9 aspect ratio, and featuring no notch (as there is no camera). The secondary display is a 5.1-inch OLED that has the same aspect ratio, but a 1520×720 resolution. The screen on the rear of the smartphone blends with the device’s aluminum body and is designed primarily for ultimate personalization (e.g., you can load your own unique wallpaper on the back and get a handset no one else has). To make selfies as the Nubia X does not have a front-facing camera, but users will use the main camera and the rear screen to do so.

Speaking of the body, the Nubia X features a CNC-machined frame with Deep Gray, Black Gold, or Sea Light Blue finishes. The chassis has two side-mounted fingerprint readers, so the phone can be activated from either of its “sides”. It is noteworthy that despite packing two displays, the Nubia X is neither thicker or heavier than competitors. The phone has an 8.4-mm z-height and weighs 181 grams.

Powerful Inside

The smartphone is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 845 SoC that integrates eight general-purpose Kryo 385 cores running at 1.80-2.65 GHz, the Adreno 630 GPU, a 64-bit LPDDR4X memory controller, Qualcomm’s X20 LTE modem, and so on. Right now, the S845 is Qualcomm’s flagship SoC for smartphones, so from processing and general features point of view, the Nubia X is on par with its competitors from other companies. The SoC is paired with 4 or 8 GB of LPDDR4X memory as well as 64 or 128 GB of storage. Interestingly, Nubia claims that it uses graphene layers too cool down the key electronic components of the Nubia X.

As for the battery, the handset is equipped with a 3,800 Li-Po battery, which is in line with battery capacity of  top-of-the-range smartphones from other makers. Meanwhile, one has to keep in mind that the Nubia X has second screen and therefore consumes more than competing devices. Even though OLEDs do not consume a lot of power, they still do consume some, so it will be interesting to see how long will the Nubia X live on one charge.

When it comes to imaging capabilities of the Nubia X, they are limited to the back-facing dual camera setup. The primary camera comprises of a 24 MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture, followed by a 16 MP sensor with a f/1.8 aperture, and a dual-LED dual-tone flash (one of the LEDs is a soft light one). As noted above, the camera is designed to be used both for regular and for selfie photos. The latter will clearly benefit from an advanced flash and high-performance sensors, so the Nubia X could become popular among those interested in selfies. Nubia claims that its camera software can detect scenes and environments to adjust settings, but does not elaborate.

Next up is connectivity. The smartphone supports modern 4G/LTE networks, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 5.0 on the wireless side of things. As for physical interfaces, the Nubia X has a USB Type-C port for charging, but no 3.5-mm jack for headsets.

Nubia will ship the X with Google Android 8.1 OS and its own Nubia 6.0 UI.

General Specifications of the Nubia X
  Nubia X
6 GB + 128 GB
Nubia X
8 GB + 256 GB
Display(s) Size 6.26 inches + 5.1 inches
Resolution 2280×1080 (19:9) + 1520×720 (19:9)
PPI 403 PPI + 330 PPI
Cover Gorilla Glass 3
SoC Snapdragon 845
4 × Kryo 385 Gold @ 2.65 GHz
4 × Kryo 385 Silver @ 1.80 GHz
GPU Adreno 630
Storage 64 GB 128 GB
Networks GSM GPRS (2G), UMTS HSPA (3G), LTE (4G) CAT 18/13 (DL/UL)
Peak Download Speed: 1.2 Gbps
Peak Upload Speed: 150 Mbps
SIM Size Nano SIM
SIM Options Dual SIM
Local Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11ac, BT 5.0
USB Type-C
Front Camera none
Rear Camera 24 MP sensor with an f/1.7 aperture with PDAF
16 MP sensor with a f/1.8 aperture with PDAF
Dual-LED dual-tone flash (one of the LEDs is a soft light one
Battery 3,800 mAh
Dimensions Height 154.1 mm | 6.07 inches
Width 73.3 mm | 2.89 inches
Thickness 8.4 mm | 0.33 inches
Weight 181 grams | 6.8 ounces
Launch OS Android

Nubia will start sales of the X in early November in China with availability in other countries following a bit later. The version equipped with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage will cost around $470 in China, whereas the flavor accommodating 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage will be priced at approximately $600.

Related Reading

Source: Tom’s Guide, GSM Arena, AndroidCentral

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  • jmunjr - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    I would call the lack of a "selfie camera" on any phone a feature, and a darn good one.
  • beginner99 - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    Me too. It's at least a new idea also with the 2 screens. But then again there is the huge size. I want a phone I can put in my front pockets. 5" is pretty much max for that especially when sitting down.
  • piroroadkill - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    I feel like they've actually nailed the design here, it's interesting, and quite a lot different than the competition. But I agree with you, I'm tired of all the huge phones. They've shrunk the bezels here to absolutely nothing, but still made the phone enormous. This phone in a 5" form would be TINY and actually pocketable, whilst still retaining the stunning appearance.
  • haukionkannel - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    Yep. A 5” version of this would be super good! Small size, big screen. And the back screen would not have to be so big because you use it mainly for takin selfies, so the electricity straw would be small exspecially if you can turn that back screen of when not taking pictures!
  • jospoortvliet - Saturday, November 3, 2018 - link

    73mm width isn't too bad actually, though more than I like to use. I wont consider a phone over 70 ;-)
  • eek2121 - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    I've never had a smartphone not fit in my pocket. Just how small of pants are you wearing? Toddler size?
  • NewBro - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    This I can't agree more. Not everyone like to take selfie and in fact there are some like me who despise it. I haven't used my front camera on my S6 once.
  • PixyMisa - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    But it does have a front-facing camera for selfies. It's just on the other front.
  • Samus - Friday, November 2, 2018 - link

    The thing is, it still has a camera you can use for video chats\selfies. Just turn the phone around like you would any phone, with the obvious difference being there is a screen on the back.

    This is a genius phone.
  • stanleyipkiss - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    This is genius. I can't believe Apple, Samsung or even LG or ANYONE else hasn't done this yet. Making a 2nd screen on the back a dedicated selfie-screen would negate the need for unsightly notches.

    Sure, no face-ID or unlock, but come on! Under-screen fingerprint plus this thing ... makes Samsung cry for investing so much R&D into a camera BELOW the screen to get rid of notches.

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