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Nubia launches the Z20: a new dual-display, Snapdragon 855+ flagship

The Nubia Z20. (Source: ZTE)
The Nubia Z20. (Source: ZTE)
ZTE's high-value sub-brand Nubia has just released its latest phone. The Z20 looks a lot like the Samsung Galaxy S10, if that phone had an additional display on its rear panel. This new device is powered by the Snapdragon 855 Plus SoC, up to 8GB of RAM and a 4000mAh battery with 27-watt fast charging.

It seems that this week (August 5-11, 2019) welcomes not 1 but 2 intriguing new flagship releases. The first is (obviously) the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series, whereas the second is from the lesser-known Nubia brand. However, its new offering, the Z20, may in fact be able to give the base Note 10 (at least) a run for its money.

The Nubia Z20 is a successor to the X from last year, in that it upholds the unique selling point of having a secondary display on its rear panel. This year, it is a 5.1-inch HD+ AMOLED panel, which, as with the X, can be programmed to blend nicely into the rest of the back when not in use. When operational, however, it can be used to turn the Z20's main cameras to selfie mode.

These sensors have been upgraded to triple lenses for 2019. They comprise a 48 MP (f/1.7) main shooter with PDAF and OIS; an 8 MP telephoto module with 3x optical zoom and a 16 MP ultrawide camera. They are laid out in a Galaxy S10-esque horizontal arrangment above the rear display.

The Z20 also challenges the new Notes in that it boasts the Snapdragon 855 Plus, whereas the non-Exynos Samsung mid-year flagships stick with the vanilla 855. Like the non-Plus variant of these phablets, the Z20 has a FHD+ AMOLED screen (of 6.42-inches in diagonal length); however, unlike the Note 10, this panel is not marred with a punch-hole camera.

On the other hand, this leaves the Z20 with a (surprisingly low) 85% screen-to-body ratio. The new Nubia flagship also lacks an in-display fingerprint reader. However, what it lacks in state of the art it makes up for in usability and innovation: the Z20 has dual sensors mounted on opposing points of its frame. Therefore, the phone can be unlocked from the point of view of either display.

The Nubia Z20 starts at 3,499 yuan (or about US$497) for a 6GB RAM SKU with 128GB in storage. Alternatively, a buyer could pay 200 yuan more (about $30) to increase their RAM to 8GB. There is also a top-end variant 8/512GB for 4,199 yuan (or approximately $596). These options are up for pre-order in China from now, and will go on sale normally on August 16, 2019.


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> Expert Reviews and News on Laptops, Smartphones and Tech Innovations > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2019 08 > Nubia launches the Z20: a new dual-display, Snapdragon 855+ flagship
Deirdre O Donnell, 2019-08- 8 (Update: 2019-10-14)