Nubia Z11 Smartphone
Nubia Z11 is an accomplished smartphone which almost sounds identical to the OnePlus 3 in terms of design and features. Both models feature a 5.5-inch full HD display, Snapdragon 820 processor, 64GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, 16MP rear camera, 8MP front snapper, 3000mAh battery and Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow (which has been coated in the firm’s own Nubia UI4.0 interface).
It is the first mobile from Nubia, a Chinese firm, to hit the UK and is a very cool smartphone. The Z11 has mainly focused on its design and photography. It also managed to offer a hearty spec sheet to ensure that it keeps pace with the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, LG G5 and HTC 10.
One of the best thing about the Z11 is obviously its framework. It has 5.5 inches full HD display that stretches edge-to-edge. Thankfully, it has no bezels to bulk up the phone. It is easy and comfortable to clutch with a single hand but can’t be operated with one hand. It needs both the hands of the user to operate it.
Beneath the mighty screen, you get some stylish touch buttons, which glow whenever the phone is in use. It’ll also alert you to the notifications that are waiting. These buttons definitely look cool. Depending on your personal preference, you can even switch the back and menu buttons around.
The phone has a sleek metallic edge are curved which seems very comfortable to fit in your palm. On the left edge, you get a SIM and a memory card slots. Whereas the power and volume buttons reside on the right. Up on the top, you get the headphone jack and an infrared blaster. And on the bottom edge, there are two built-in speakers on either side of the Type-C USB port.
Flip the Nubia Z11 over and you’ll see the metal surfacing continues across the back. There is a fingerprint sensor mounted in the middle. Beside this sits the rear camera lens.
The edge-to-edge screen not only looks fantastic, but it also has the ‘Edge Gestures’ too included within itself. This provides a different way to jump between apps and performs basic operations like changing the brightness of the screen.
For instance, tap the very edge of the Z11’s display and the icons for your two most recently used apps will appear on-screen. You can then drag your finger towards one of them to switch, complete with a funky page-turning effect. You can also swipe repeatedly to clear all apps from memory.
The Edge Gestures aren’t always recognised the first time but on the whole work well. You can also individually activate and deactivate them in the settings menu, turning the lot of them off if you so desire. This is good news, as we found our palms often accidentally strayed onto the edges by accident when clutching the Z11, which called up the app selection when it wasn’t wanted.
Dual Instance is another cool and original feature, which creates a second copy of select apps and allows you to log in with two different accounts, one on each. This is handy for those irritating apps where you can’t have two different profiles on the go at one time.
Performance and Battery Life :
A Snapdragon 820 is the processor packed inside the Z11. It has 4GB of RAM in the silver/grey model and 6GB in the black/gold version. That means you’ll get smooth use every day and have no trouble blasting through the latest Android games.
In fact, you can even open a very cool multi-view mode. This splits the screen into two and gives you two different versions of your desktop. You can open any app in each half and adjust the size of each section to suit your needs. We used this feature a lot to run two apps simultaneously, with no drop down in its performance.
Battery life is just as strong as that of OnePlus 3’s. Our Z11 survived for a full 36 hours between charges, even with plenty of use. But it doesn’t charge quite as quickly as the OnePlus 3.
It has a Full HD screen, so you’ll struggle to make out individual pixels, while colors are impressively rich and vibrant. Also, you can tinker with the display warmth in the settings. That’s particularly handy at night, where you can boost up the warmth for an easy-on-the-eye experience. Visibility isn’t a problem either. On maximum brightness, the Z11’s display can counter the very worst glare. Whereas the viewing angles are also strong. You’ll have no trouble watching a movie with your BFF.
Dolby Atmos audio is supported for a sensory aural experience, as long as you plug in some decent headphones. And if you want to rely on the built-in speaker, it’s not too shabby. On top volume it’s certainly powerful, easily cutting through the background clamour of a busy street. Just don’t expect crisp sound reproduction.
The camera is the area where the Nubia Z11 definitely improved when compared with OnePlus 3. The 16-MP camera can shoot detailed and perfectly sharp photos even when faced with tricky contrast and annoying lighting conditions. For instance, flick to HDR mode and you can capture a monument framed by a super-bright sky. Moving subjects tend to be shot with minimal blur, particularly handy when trying to snap your kids or pets.
You can shoot video in 4K UHD or Full HD at 30 or 60 frames per second. Image stabilisation could be better, but it’s only really an issue if you’re moving fast while shooting. The focus occasionally ‘pops’ too, as the lens tries to keep track of a moving subject. But on the whole, results are perfectly fine for home movies.
The only area where the Z11 falls down is low light shots. There’s a flash to compensate, but photos taken in bars, clubs and other dingy environments tend to pale.
The Nubia Z11 is a great handset with no real flaws. The design is very sleek with the truly beautiful 5.5-inch screen. There’s enough power packed in to run two apps side-by-side. Battery life is just as good and the cameras are dependable in almost any conditions.
Of course, the Z11 is a bit more expensive than the OnePlus 3, which is almost as great in every way. Only the OnePlus’ camera tech let us down.
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