The Nubia Z20 is an Android phone that doesn’t fold, but it has two screens

If you want revolutionary new designs and spectacular spec sheets packed into inexpensive units, then you will have come throughout Nubia earlier than. This Chinese model began as a subsidiary of ZTE and it’s additionally behind gaming telephones just like the spectacular Red Magic three. Its newest is the Nubia Z20 and the headline function is a twin show, but in contrast to the lately revealed Microsoft Surface Duo, the two screens within the Nubia Z20 are again to again.

There’s an everyday, massive show on the entrance and a secondary, smaller show on the again beneath the triple-lens digicam module.

Dual-screen design

As phone producers have raced to shave down these bezels and obtain an all-screen entrance they’ve moved from notches to smaller notches to hole-punch designs to pop-up cameras or flip-up cameras, but Nubia has an solely completely different strategy. The Nubia Z20 has a dual-screen design, with a principal 6.42-inch, AMOLED display screen and a secondary 5.1-inch AMOLED show on the again.

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The principal display screen covers virtually the complete entrance of the phone; there are slim bezels high and backside and even slimmer bezels on the perimeters, and it gently curves on the edges. When you first take a look at the again, you haven’t any motive to suspect there’s a display screen lurking beneath that shiny, blue glass exterior.

Apart from the very fact it seems cool, particularly with an animated wallpaper of a fish swimming alongside, there is additionally a function to this second show — it does away with the necessity for a front-facing digicam altogether, as a result of you possibly can simply swap to the again display screen and use the primary digicam to seize a selfie. We’ll dig somewhat bit extra into the digicam in a minute, but first, let’s take a look at the remainder of the design.

The again show turns out to be useful as it reveals the time and any incoming notifications at a look.

The Nubia Z20 has a satisfying symmetry with light curves that meet within the center. The backside and high each have a type of unusual trench that’s pronounced sufficient that you possibly can steadiness the phone standing up fairly simply. There’s additionally a USB-C port on the underside. The symmetry extends to the perimeters the place you’ll discover lozenge-shaped fingerprint sensors, which additionally act as energy buttons, in the midst of each the left and proper edges. There’s just one quantity rocker, although, and it’s on the appropriate edge.

While the Nubia Z20 is an enormous phone, it seems nice and feels snug to carry, but I’ve by no means had a phone so susceptible to unintentional touches. Just slipping it from my pocket and flipping it up the appropriate approach usually resulted within the unintentional launch of an app or service. It additionally helps Active Edge, or “Pressure Border” as it’s referred to as right here, like Google’s Pixel telephones, but as an alternative of solely with the ability to activate Google Assistant, you possibly can squeeze the perimeters to take a screenshot or launch an app.

nubia z20 review front in handSimon Hill/Digital Trends

The large all-screen look of the entrance is precisely what you need in a phone and it works completely — it’s additionally HDR10 licensed — but the smaller display screen on the again is closely tinted by the blue end, so it may be arduous to see. It’s additionally reflective, so if you happen to’re open air or someplace with vibrant lighting, it’s not simple to make out.

If you’re within the behavior of placing your phone face down on the desk, the again show turns out to be useful as it reveals the time and any incoming notifications at a look, with out you need to choose it up. It’s additionally useful for taking selfies, but outdoors of those moments, I can’t discover another motive to make use of it past visible fashion.

Triple-lens digicam

The digicam within the Nubia Z20 is a triple-lens affair with a 48-megapixel principal digicam with an f/1.7 aperture, flanked by an Eight-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens. It’s a flexible setup that’s just like hottest telephones, just like the iPhone 11 Pro and the Galaxy S10, and it’s able to capturing some very nice pictures. There is additionally a portrait mode, but you possibly can shoot with the digicam in any mode once you’re taking a selfie as a result of it’s the identical principal digicam. The secondary display screen is sufficient that can assist you line issues up and get the most effective angle.

The telephoto lens affords you a 3x optical zoom and you may zoom all the best way as much as 10x digitally, although the dearth of optical picture stabilization, which is solely in the primary lens, will grow to be obvious if you happen to zoom in that far. The digicam additionally has an evening mode for low-light pictures and there’s a professional mode if you wish to actually dig in and fiddle with all of the settings.

While it’s not going to compete with Apple or Google, the Nubia Z20’s digicam is completely succesful and it reinforces how far cameras have are available the previous few years; it’s comparatively powerful to purchase a phone with a poor digicam now.

Specs and software program

The spec sheet is spectacular. The Nubia Z20 boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Plus processor, which is even quicker than the common Snapdragon 855 you’ll discover in telephones just like the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus. That’s backed by 6GB of RAM within the 128GB model and 8GB of RAM within the fashions with 256GB or 512GB of storage.

One apparent concern with a phone just like the Nubia Z20 is battery life. While the screens aren’t designed to each run on the similar time, although they’ll if you wish to activate beauty options like an animated wallpaper or gaming results, they nonetheless inevitably require plenty of energy. The four,000mAh battery would doubtless be ample for the primary display screen, but I discovered it drained fairly shortly once I was utilizing the Z20 lots and flicking between the screens.

Luckily, there is assist for quick charging as much as 27W, but there’s no wi-fi charging.

nubia z20 review back screen wallpaperSimon Hill/Digital Trends

If the has you excited, the software program will convey you again all the way down to earth. The Nubia Z20 runs Android 9.zero Pie with a Nubia consumer interface excessive. While I didn’t have any points with efficiency, the software program is not at all times intuitive and it requires the attention of an honest copy editor.

While some issues are positively misplaced in translation, Nubia did inform me that the software program in my evaluation unit isn’t remaining, so hopefully, it will enhance earlier than launch. It’s purposeful, but if you happen to like your software program menus and core apps to be slick and polished, the Nubia Z20 is most likely not the phone for you.

Price and availability

Though the Nubia Z20 is already on sale in China, the worldwide model isn’t out there till October 14. The remaining value has not but been introduced, but based mostly on the worth in China it seems more likely to be someplace round $500. That’s an spectacular bundle at that value. If $500 is a tough finances for you, our present suggestion is the Asus Zenfone 6, and whereas the Nubia Z20 doesn’t do sufficient to vary that, it’s an fascinating and revolutionary system that gives good worth for cash.

I can positively see different producers riffing off this design in future units, but a back-to-back show setup like this requires extra regarded as actually helpful.

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