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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  • Dragonstongue - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    ^.^..that would be very nice IMO..I see many use the "wallet style" case, this would be the perfect phone to use a similar style, protects the phone AND you could actually use like a book..O.o
  • jabber - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    Some sort of clear case?
  • Mr Perfect - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    Sure you can. Just get one of the clear TPU rubbery cases, they're like $10 on Amazon. It's more then enough protection if you're not drunk-dropping your phone all the time.
  • zodiacfml - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    Wow. Just WoW! I'm in my late 30's and rarely impressed.
    ZTE impressed me previously with their Axon 7 but never available to the rest of the world.

    I never liked glass backs until now. This could easily get rid of personalized phone cases with people's interests.
    I also like their "Courage" to get rid of the selfie camera. There was a time where selfie's where made using the main/rear camera.
    I just had my S8 last year and wished I could burn money for this.
  • Dribble - Thursday, November 1, 2018 - link

    They've not really got rid of the selfie camera - they just don't need a camera on both sides as they have displays on both sides, so you can still take selfies and look at yourself doing it.
  • Xex360 - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    It's great that someone is doing some interesting designs and not the ugly clones we are getting used to.
  • TheWrit - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    These people - the people who make phones need to take their head out of their asses and take some queues from their own markets, and the markets of their competitors: from the smartphone sector. Specifically Casio and TicWatch. They "ALSO" have two displays, but they are on TOP of one another. Greyscale and full color. Why is this good? Because who the FUCK needs color to do most things on ther phones? Not many - but it's nice ot have when playing games, MAYBE surfing th e web sht checking out video and photos. Otherwise, MOST of the time, we're reading texts, goofing off on social media or just plain wasting time on wasteful games. This is where the low power low battery consumption screen comes in. With something like this in place, phones could last up to a week or more. What else? One could assign a screen personality to each app so the phone would know which screen to use depending ON the app. What does this translate to? I'm a genius, that's what.
  • Alistair - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    Wow what a fantastic surprise. I thought this was a good idea 5 years ago, and someone finally made it now the tech has caught up. Hope Anandtech can review this one!
  • shabby - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    Leave to the chinese phone manufacturers to push the envelope further, kudos to them.
  • Dragonstongue - Wednesday, October 31, 2018 - link

    cool, but yet again IMO battery size is "not that good" considering two screens to power (quite high combined resolution) and the CPU wise while not "top of the class" still is a higher powered one.

    I always thought would be really cool if a phone maker would use 18650 battery style, sure it would be a bit thicker and heavier (no doubt) but capacity would be much much much better then nearly all phones AND can easily "swap batteries" if needed...phones all eventually "die" or need upgrading, but why do they always put out new batteries all the damn time, use a "standard" battery and make different phones from there..cheesh

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