Chinese company ZTE brings stylish Nubia smartphone to U.S.
When ZTE started making sponsorship deals with the New York Knicks and the Golden State Warriors, to be the teams’ official smartphone, it was trying to raise its profile in a U.S. market that had never seen one of its phones.
But the Chinese telecommunications company changed that in a big way Thursday when it used a large Times Square billboard to announce its high-end nubia Z9 Android smartphone will soon be available in the U.S.
The Z9, which will bypass service providers and sell directly to U.S. customers, features a 5.2 borderless screen, 16 MP camera with image stabilization, fingerprint sensor technology controls that work with grip and gestures.
Available in black or gold, the nubia Z9 will come in three models and range in price between $594 and $725.
ZTE joins fellow Chinese competitor Huawei as selling to U.S. customers direct without any deals with providers. For manufacturers that do not have a big name, like Apple or Samsung, providers often ask for changes in products.
ZTE did not provide a launch date other than to say the Z9 will be for sale sometime during Q3.
The borderless style is as much about function as it aesthetics, according to the company.
The edges provide controls based on your grip. Turn the phone sideways and the phone activates. Squeeze the device for a buttonless selfie.
The phone will be available through the nubia website and at select retailers, according to Thursday’s announcement. The three models are: the Classic with 3GB RAM and 32 GB storage for $564; the Elite with 4GB RAM and 64 GB storage for $645; and the Exclusive, which adds the fingerprint sensor for $725.