ZTE Nubia Z5 Review

by Rosgani 1


Many people may never heard the Nubia brand, but when it comes to ZTE, believe that the vast majority of people who are familiar with electronic products has heard of this brand. Nubia as the separation of the flagship high-end mobile phone from ZTE as the independent brand, in Beijing Millennium Monument in December 26, 2012 ZTE has been released its first mobile phone – Nubia Z5. There are a lot of people have a keen interest in this mysterious “newborn”, we come together to look at how performance this phone.

Nubia Z5 is a top hardware can be described with the various sensors are equipped with, and supports a number of extended features such as OTG, MHL. Nubia Z5 software also under a lot of effort, in addition to the professional camera features, also has a number of somatosensory control and gesture features.

The Nubia Z5 also support for China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom, the three major carriers Network standard applicable to a broader range of mobile phones in China.

Nubia Z5 specs:

  • CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 Quad-core 1.5GHz CPU
  • RAM 2GB / ROM 32GB
  • Screen 5 inches 1920×1080 resolution 443PPI
  • New Mode 2, CGS process, OGS full lamination technology
  • Rear camera 13 megapixel the BSI back-illuminated CMOS F/2.2 aperture
  • Blue glass composite filter, sapphire lens, professional cameras function
  • Front camera 2 megapixels
  • Operating system Android 4.1.2
  • Type of SIM card Micro-SIM card
  • Body size 138×68.8×7.6mm
  • Weight 126g (aluminum version)
  • Battery 2300mAh (not removable)
  • Features Support OTG, MHL, WiFi-Display, NFC and scenario label, somatosensory function,
  • Sensor Distance sensor, light sensor, G-Sensor, gyroscope, electronic compass, GPS
  • Network standard GSM / CDMA / WCDMA / EVDO / LTE
  • Selling price $557 USD (aluminum) $1270 USD (titanium version)

What is Nubian mean?, we have ever covered the meaning of word “Nubia”, from the starting point of human civilization, in Latin and other languages, the meaning of a symbol of a better future. Meanwhile, the nubia of the Logo by circles and dots composed of dot symbolizes the origin of human beings. The circle around the circle, to show that the nubia brand continue to extend the vision of the world, explore discovery Eye.

● Unpacking and design

The Nubia Z5 mobile phones and accessories separately with a separate plastic box, and then packed in a paper box. Taking into account the official follow-up to express distribution, packaging of mobile phones and accessories, can play a the nice protective effect.


Box with white design looks very simple, bundled data cable, headset, the charger, card slot thimble, NFC tags and other accessories.

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Let’s take a look at the appearance. the nubia Z5 design by Italian designer Stefano Giovanni. He believes that the mobile phone is not just a communications products, is a work of art, an emotion and personality design works, be able to express an attitude toward life.

Nubia Z5 is equipped with 5.0 inches Sharp the CGS custom New Mode display resolution of 1080p displays with resolutions up 443PPI, single glass full lamination technology (OGS). From a technical point of view, it is somewhat similar with the Meizu MX2 screen. Black state, to be ultra-narrow border design of nubia the Z5 screen and panel one sense is very good.
The Nubia Z5 uses aluminum unibody structure, the official claims processing operations of 15 from the side of the phone, we can also see the aluminum frame. Version priced at $1270 USD, the border will be using the titanium material has higher strength and texture control weight.


The bottom front of the home key position the circle feels very familiar touch operation. Next, there are two relatively small red touch keys.



Nubia Z5 front and rear camera with f/2.2 constant aperture, the main camera with a 1 300-megapixel Konica – Minolta lens, Sony CMOS chip sensors, five optical lens combinations, blue glass composite IR filter, and at the same time with high-strength metal lens ring and sapphire and iPhone 5 scratch-resistant lenses.


The top of the fuselage is a headphone jack and a Micro-SIM card slot. The card slot is open thimble, can the whole extracted. The speaker is placed in the bottom of the back of the fuselage.


Nubia Z5 gives the overall impression is thin, 126g weight is far less than the vast majority of mobile phone equipped with a 4.7-inch screen. Weight enough to bring a reassuring touch, but relatively speaking, like a light user will be some more.

● screen effect

Nubia Z5 is equipped with 5.0 inches Sharp the CGS custom New Mode Display achieve 1920×1080 resolution, accuracy up to 443 PPI , use a single glass full lamination technology (OGS).


By comparing with Xiaomi to see how different piece of the screen relative to traditional 720p resolution full fit IPS screen.

Color contrast

256 gray scale contrast

Details of the contrast of the screen

Through the above comparison, we can see the Nubia Z5 screen quality is still very high, and detail on the screen relative to traditional 720p resolution screen has some advantages.



Display pictures, the difference of the two phones are less obvious, but a closer look, color and detail will be slightly better performance. Let’s look at visual angle contrast.



Low angle, Nubia Z5 screen slightly color cast. Comprehensive comparison of the above the Nubia Z5 screen performance has reached the ranks of the top level can be regarded as a major highlight of the whole. Follow-up piece of screen will be more detailed data test, at the same time will contrast 1080p resolution screen phone.

● System Design

Nubia Z5 uses a custom Android 4.1.2 system, a layer of design to switch classes iOS system, no program list page, all programs are displayed on the desktop, the icon on the desktop can be arbitrary arrangement, set up a folder, or Direct uninstaller.

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The join of the top bar shortcut switch makes operation convenient and greatly improved, the switch also free to customize and more humane. Task Manager card design, support a key Clear.

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The above is the basic structure of Nubia Z5 system, the default theme color is mainly gray, black, dark green, dark lines, was relatively calm. Smooth system is very good, but still felt the trial in some respects is not enough convenient, such as desktop tools add is not very intuitive, not many desktop tools, lock screen shortcut entrance rich enough. The same time, part of the program will still be created on the desktop shortcut icons and other small problem may be a bug in engineering systems can be improved and optimized hope this bug is fixed on the official version.

● Multimedia features

The first is the audio-visual part, Nubia Z5 built-in YAMAHA chip, support Dolby 5.1 audio, visual and audio effects with some assurance. The music player supports a variety of gesture control to adjust the volume (such as vertical sliding, horizontal sliding switch songs, etc.), support timing Close, cover / lyrics display and other basic functions. Deficiencies that can not be online search CD covers and lyrics, a lot of people may use third-party player.


The music format comes with the player supporting flac, mp3, ogg, wav, wma and other mainstream formats, the disadvantage is that the cue index file does not recognize.


Player, comes with a very simple interface, support for picture-in-picture, rotation lock, fullscreen, subtitles and the timing off functions. I play 1080p wmv, mp4 files using the screenshot function, the system prompts unable to complete screenshots, I do not know whether it is engineering the firmware bug. Video format support, comes with the player support 3gp, mp4, mkv, wmv, avi, ts and other mainstream formats, performed well. Some special video format you need to install a third-party player soft solution , hardware solution compared to some of the contributions electricity.

● Features

Nubia Z5 built-in feature-rich security center, a medical examination of the mobile phone, acceleration, antivirus, traffic monitoring, harassment interception, encryption, anti-theft, privacy Behavior Monitoring and malicious ad-blocking function setting items are also very comprehensive, and users do not have to use the basic third-party the housekeeper software.


Nubia Z5 supports motion-sensing capabilities to answer the somatosensory dialing, flip mute, lashing the song or update function, using three fingers to press the on-screen action to push up the screenshot. (Power button + volume down screenshot shortcut off by default, you need to be open in the auxiliary function).


Profile settings is also a nice feature, sleep mode can play music, you can open only the Favorite contacts function calls and messages in order to avoid disturbing. Waving the palm of your hand to enter the alarm Snooze operator actions recognition When the alarm sounds, our hands can play in the top of the screen to enter the alarm snooze mode, which is delayed for several minutes before ringing.


CPU power-saving, power-saving mode can be set screen power-saving as well as close-Fi and touch feedback function, in order to extend the role of standby time. Other aspects of the built-in system Nubia Z5 cloud backup feature can backup all kinds of local resources in the landing Nubia account. Cloud management capabilities can manage local and cloud equipment in the different types of documents.

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Nubia Z5 custom systems or under some effort, most of the demand to meet the ordinary users as well as advanced users.
Nubia Z5 powered by Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064 quad-core processor, clocked at 1.5GHz. The processor using 28nm process manufacturing, integrating the latest in Adreno 320 GPU, the integration four Krait framework of the CPU core, strong performance as Qualcomm’s first quad-core CPU. Memory combination sports with 2GB of RAM and 32 GB of ROM, although the memory is not expandable, but 32GB is basically good enough.

3151429_0010_thumbNubia Z5 test scores for reference only.

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We also use this phone a test run sub safety Benchmark 3.0.3 and got the score 13,000 points in a certain extent, the CPU performance into the normal range, but the APQ8064 performance, I believe for no run due to sub-optimize. Other software to run sub aircraft 3D performance is excellent, although the screen resolution of 1920 × 1080, but fps achieve the same level of nearly 60, the result is still very good. It should be noted that the aircraft engineering machine, does not mean that the level of mass production machine, we only need to know the APQ8064 is good hardware platform on the line.

● Heat test

Nubia Z5 uses alloy body, we do this for the aluminum alloy frame. Metal frame to the Z5 bring good weight control and feel while metal heat thermal conductivity attributes will also to bring mobile phones heat serious problem? We take a look at this point.

Lower temperature before running

Running sub-test after a positive temperature

The back of the temperature in the run sub-test

Side temperature to run sub-test

The indoor temperature was around 17 degrees, The body temperature of about 30 degrees. First to run sub-20 minutes the software testing process, the metal frame of the machine was very hot, the phone fever are also concentrated in the top of the phone. The maximum temperature of 45 degrees, although not very high, but the thermal conductivity of the metal is also really impressive this point MX2 .

Positive after running VELLAMO temperature

The run VELLAMO back of the temperature

The run VELLAMO side temperature

I went on to re-run it again VELLAMO took 10 minutes. heat very fast machine, just one or two minutes Temperature obviously have to rise in the ranks and has maintained a relatively high temperature in the testing process, the cell phone once displayed overheating. Pictures show, you can see a temperature of over 50 degrees, it has been hot, especially aluminum alloy frame.

The standby a positive temperature

The standby back of the temperature

Testing to proceed, followed by 15 minutes of charging standby. nubia Z5 aluminum alloy border is not only the thermal conductivity quickly, the heat also soon be regarded as advantages and disadvantages it. Twenty-three minutes of heat is quite clear too faded down, the level has dropped to about 30 degrees to 15 minutes.

But ran divided we all are not commonly used in everyday life, the following simple simulation of what daily life use, respectively game testing and regular use.

Positive temperature of running the big game

Run the big game on the back temperature

The big game has always been more to eat phone resources, we have chosen the “Asphalt 7” and “9mm” two big game, 1080P screen gaming experience is still perfect, the the APQ8064 performance or good. Author demo for about 15 minutes, the phone battery 19% off, mobile phone maximum temperature of 42 degrees.

Routine use positive temperature

The routine use of the back of the temperature

Then I only a 15 minute routine use of the test, including brush microblogging, play games, watch videos, and other day-to-day use. Electricity out of 9%, temperature aspects positive overall about 37 degrees, the back of the camera at the top of a high temperature, the remaining region of low temperature. By the way, I copy flv, mkv, AVI, MP4, rmvb this 5-minute video format go, but only MP4, AVI playback hardware solutions. While the phone soft the solution full support without pressure, but still a little regret it.

With this test, we summarize the points: temperature aluminum alloy frame sake, thermal conductivity quickly, although the temperature is only 50 degrees, but many are concentrated on the border of the user’s palm grip, so the thermal somewhat obvious. I hope the production machine heat control to strengthen. Of course, aluminum alloy heat and dissemination of very fast, we feel the machine daily use to the user will not bring the heat on the troubled, a piece of border in addition to playing the big game or some “hot”.

● life experience

Power on the aircraft seems somewhat fragile, 15 minutes off 19% of the electricity the big game, and then play the big game 1 hour 15 minutes means 2300mAh battery will run out? Such a calculation can not help but was surprised. During the test power also occasionally false positives, only 9% of the electricity consumption, one minute before the next minute show, there are 11% visual engineering machine power detection is not optimized, we also look forward to the performance of the official amount of sale machine.

Overall performance nubia the Z5 gives people the performance is still very good, enough to cope with all large-scale programs and games, and hair heat control and battery remaining problem, I hope there will be some improvement after production. Of course, the evaluation of engineering machine is also the hope that in a limited period of time to be able to maximize improvements in order to find the lack of optimization.

Since then, I carried a lightweight test standby to full power to go out in 8:00, 3G brush microblogging, read the news about 40 minutes, arrive 9:00 left the company after 67% of the electricity. Basic phone operation placed around 12:00, the remaining charge of 58%. Afternoon I use the phone to send and receive a few micro letter and SMS, the other time is still standby to work afternoon 7:00, 38% of the electricity. Finally, I probably 3G Internet 20 minutes + WiFi Internet 20 minutes of operation, phone final 21:30 remaining 5% of the electricity.


It can be seen, the Nubia Z5 power management is still need to be further strengthened, otherwise if a high strength is difficult to meet a daytime use. However, In brush microblogging daily operation, the heat of the phone is very small, almost no feeling.

● The camera features and proofs

Nubia Z5 has three photographs mode are fun mode, auto mode, as well as pro mode, for different camera needs. Engineering version of the firmware, we have only to find the auto mode, as well as pro mode.

Three camera mode

First look at the auto mode, automatic mode, where we can see on the left side smile recognition the switch and HDR mode switch, in addition to no other camera options.


Let’s take a look at the pro mode, which is the professional mode. In professional mode, the left will have to delay shutter auxiliary line, as well as the the compass level of instrument the switch, the effect has been used in Figure words. At this point we can drag the red metering point as well as the green focus point to anywhere on the screen to find the most suitable exposure and perspective.


Compass and level meter is the middle of the ring, when the the four pointer tip when the phone is now level status, compass style will vary with the the phone angle of change, such as switching to guide positive form. In addition to the form of the have figure Jiugongge style, there is a gold dividing line GUIDE LINES Assisted photo shoot better composition.

pro mode can shoot panoramic photos, native Andrews 4.1 is basically the same functionality and interface.

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Sunny environment, the nubia Z5 photographic effect is good, whether it is a close-range vision have good sharpness performance, normal white balance performance.

Dark light photos
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Ratio of 100% Enlargement

Dark light photos we found a dimly lit pool of hand-washing, using pro mode shooting, the figure can be seen nubia Z5 well.

Dark light photos

Panoramic photo


Panoramic photo stitching is not very obvious traces but native Andrews mechanism, the resolution of the photo is not high. The above picture resolution is only 2248×464, amplified basic viewability.

Conference, the official said nubia Z5 professional camera, a large part is to say that it achieve independent metering and focus, this function in dealing with complex light or dark contrast Obviously scene, the effect is still pretty large. Below I briefly shot photographs taken in the two sets of automatic mode and professional mode to adjust the metering point.

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Left the automatic mode, the photo at right professional mode (metering point move lower to the scene)

Photos above of focus are the center of the screen, adjust the metering point, a lot of screen exposure and white balance performance.

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Left automatic mode, the right picture shows the professional mode (metering point is moved to the center of the scene)

Second Photos film, the focus for the tower at the top, we will to metering point adjustment to screen partial central part, the entire screen is bright and many more show details of the dark, but the tower portion of the event of a loss of detail, some of overexposure situation. Here we have to make a choice, of course, we can also choose to shoot HDR photos.

nubia Z5 photographic effect is a high-end level, the Professional mode also good playability, shoot the photos with better performance. But the problem is still there, such as shooting, I found the camera shutter some delay, not as good as the other flagship phone to readily; pressing the shutter is held down, the phone will automatically enter the burst mode, there is no clear text remind all photos are automatically saved to the album, did not provide follow-up screening, some of the less humane; ISO No information in the EXIF ​​information of the photo, the shutter time is 1/15 seconds. Of course, the engineering version of the firmware is inevitable problems, I hope these points in subsequent firmware update can be effectively improved, so that the user’s camera experience will be better.

● Evaluation Summary
Nubian the nubia Z5 picture evaluation forums offer net acquisition cost

As a high-performance quad-core 1080p screen phone, nubia Z5 with respect to the same configuration competitors in the category, the main advantage of the thin body design. The aircraft photographed satisfactory, professional camera function with a certain degree of playability, performance and display, nubia Z5 showed enough strength. For those who prefer thin and light design, the users of mobile phones have a higher overall performance requirements, nubia Z5 can be used as the object of one of the considerations.

Of course, in engineering the body, we also see fever control and power management is not yet perfect, phone part of the function optimization or bug. the nubia Z5 distance officially listed, there are still about a month’s time, I believe that through the optimization of process correction firmware update can solve the problems in the engineering version. To be the official version arrive, we will conduct a further evaluation.

nubia released called Z5 designed three photographs are fun mode, auto mode, as well as pro mode, for different camera needs. Engineering version of the firmware, we have only to find the auto mode, as well as pro mode.