Nubia Z20 is definitely one of the more interesting phones I’ve played with this year. We’ve, seen a whole bunch of variations from different companies to attempt to remove the notches and bezels from the front of the phones. We’ve seen pop-up cameras, flip up cameras, shark fin cameras. These are all just attempts to remove notches and bezels from the front, to keep that front clean. This phone does it really differently.
They have a screen on the front as well as a screen on the back, and the purpose of this double screen is to keep the front super clean. There’s, no cameras in the front. You’re using the same rear facing cameras for your selfies or video conferencing stuff. It’s just the same set of cameras are just flipping the phone back and forth to activate the different modes.
Now, this phone sells for $500 right now. It’s only available in China as of this moment. But, it’s supposed to come up in North America sometime in September or October. This phone is the Nubia Z20. Nubia have launched another phone in North America recently. It was the Red Magic Three and they also have a Red Magic 3S that’s coming out. I think it’s ready out, but when I first saw the press release in August, I remember thinking that this just seemed like such a eccentric way to solve that whole bezel list notch — less front thing.
But having used the Nubia Z20 for a little bit, it is super cool. So, there’s way more functionality to the second screen than I thought it’s, not just for monitoring your selfies or video conferencing in the commercials they show. I mean, they have a couple examples if, like a guy walking through some subway, he’s got a map on one screen and then he flips it around to use his subway pass. But you can also run apps on these different screens right. You can run one app on-screen one, a second app on screen to flip between them. You’d, also run the same app on both screens.
If you want and just switch between different accounts on like say, a social media platform, even when you’re, shooting video like you, can monitor what’s in frame at the same time as the people that you’re filming. It’s not like this phone became super thick or super heavy because of this screen, it feels like a regular phone. You can’t even tell that this thing has a second screen until it lights up.
In fact, when you look at the back look, if the back is off, there’s a tint on the glass like a mirrored finish that really hides the fact that there is a second screen on this thing at all. If you’re just holding this thing up, It just really looks like a normal phone until it lights up.
So, one of the ways to activate this back screen is just to launch the selfie camera like. If you have the back of the phone looking at you and you just launch the camera app, it automatically goes to the selfie mode. The selfie mode has a regular focal length as well as a really wide angle. This wide-angle selfie is not something that everyone’s going to use. I’ve, always been a big fan of wide-angle lenses on their phones and it’s, the same cameras for the regular. When you just have it in rear-facing mode, it’s the same cameras and you just have clean photos, and you also have the extra functionality of a zoom function when it’s in rear-facing mode.
I’ve noticed that Nubia Z20 doesn’t have a zoom functionality when you’re in front-facing selfie mode. Now there is one kind of caveat to this. I like to run G-cam like Google’s camera software when it comes to phones like this. But because of how custom the software is in terms of like the flipping and all the stuff that’s happening in the software. When you flip the phone around to activate the different screens. I don’t know how difficult it will be to port G-cam on to this phone, the stock software.
The hardware overall though, is just really solid for five hundred bucks. You’re, getting a Snapdragon 855, 6GB of RAM, 256GB of storage, 4000 milliamp/hour battery, two screens, two AMOLED screens. So, 6.4 inches in the front, the 5.1 I believe in the back like if there’s so much Hardware going on here with functionality to that hardware, also something I notice.
I threw my sim card in here. There’s, also an earpiece on the back screen, like obviously there’s, an earpiece in the front, but when you flip it and you want to dial off the back screen like you – can do it and there’s. Actually, a functional earpiece at the top. I’m, not sure exactly why they did it like, maybe so you can have some kind of reference material on the other screen. But then why wouldn’t you just dial from the main screen to look at the back. I don’t know it’s weird that they have like, they actually put in an extra earpiece on the back, but hardware-wise like it, this is cool.
I don’t know how much the Nubia Z20 will cost once it hits North America. I have a feeling we’ll, probably bump up to like $650, which you know it’s, not bad. It’s, still not like mid to your range, and you’re, getting a lot of good stuff on this thing. Point being a secondary screen like there’s way more utility to this thing than I thought there would be. It looks cool. The software is good in terms of the double screen functionality stuff and it’s just a good overall phone.
Now there are kind of two things I don’t love about this phone. Number one – it doesn’t have a headphone jack. I know they had this stuff, a lot more on this phone than your average phone. That doesn’t have a headphone jack, but I would have liked to seen one on this particular phone. The other thing is that to protect this thing properly, to get a case on this thing, its bumper, only like you can’t, have a full protection on the back.
So, who knows about like fragility? This is like it’s, just a regular glass on the back. I’m sure like Gorilla Glass, but you got to be careful with this thing, a lot more than you would with a regular phone.
Now, you have a screen on the back, but I don’t know: look, would you use this? Does this give you extra functionality like at first, when I saw this, I honestly thought it was really gimmicky, but having tried this thing out. I think it’s pretty legit for the right user.