Business / Technology

Nubia launches new phablet, eyes niche market in China

By Liu Zheng ( Updated: 2016-06-08 17:27


Domestic smarphone manufacturer Nubia, formerly affiliated with ZTE Corp, unveiled the Z11 Max phablet on Tuesday, putting it in direct competition with Xiaomi's Mi Max launched last month.

Compared to Mi Max's 6.44-inch display, the device comes with a 6-inch screen, which is larger than most of the mainstream phablets on the market. The size is believed to be an attempt to feed local users' growing appetite for smartphones with extra-large displays.

Nubia launches new phablet, eyes niche market in China

Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo's picture is displayed during the Nubia Z11 Max launch event held on June 7, 2016 in Beijing. [Liu Zheng/]

The Z11 Max is powered by the Snapdragon 652 processor and comes with 4 GB of RAM, along with 64 GB of expandable storage.

As always highlighted at the company's product launch ceremonies, the device carries Nubia's tradition of quality and confidence in the performance of the device's camera.

The primary camera on the Z11 Max has a 16-megapixel sensor with Phase Detection Auto-Focus, an f/2.0 aperture and LED flash, whereas the secondary shooter reserves an 8-megapixel unit with f/2.4 aperture and 1.4um pixel size.

The phablet also carries a 4,000 mAh battery that supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0, while the same power is higher for the Mi Max, which includes a 4,850 mAh non-removable battery.

The company also launched a limited edition of the Z11 Max and the previous smaller-sized Z11 mini that will come with Portuguese football star Cristiano Ronaldo's autograph inscribed on them.

Nubia announced Ronaldo as its brand ambassador in May. It followed a wave of sports celebrities' endorsement agreements signed with Chinese smartphone enterprises; for example, Lionel Messi's announcement as the global brand ambassador for Huawei in March.

According to consulting company International Data Corporation (IDC), the growth rate of the smartphone market will continually suffer a slowdown in 2016. IDC estimated that the global shipping volume will reach 1.48 billion units, up 3.1 percent. That's lower than the same figures achieved in the past two years, 10.5 percent and 27.8 percent, respectively.

Nubia launches new phablet, eyes niche market in China

A photo clone feature of Nubia Z11 Max is displayed during the product launch event held on June 7, 2016 in Beijing. [Liu Zheng/]

Since the second half of last year, many domestic brands have unveiled new phones equipped with faster chips and software upgrades, which were promoted as "technology breakthroughs", to attract customers keen on exploring their pain-points.

"With a bigger display, better performance of heat radiation and a nicer game experience, users who heavily use their devices for entertainment prefer to choose a bigger-screen smartphone," said Ni Fei, co-founder and CEO of Nubia Technology Ltd.

Ni pointed out that increasing battery life is currently one of the main demands of smartphone users.Only enhancing the capacity of a battery will not be an optimum approach, as the operating system and energy saving coding all have to be improved synchronously, he said.

According to Nubia, the new phone, priced at 1,999 yuan ($304), will go on sale in China beginning June 16. No overseas sales plans were disclosed during the launch event.

Nubia launches new phablet, eyes niche market in China


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