The much talked about flagship from ZTE's Nubia brand, the Z9, has apparently sold out in just 10 minutes at launch in China, after having gone on sale for the first time on Thursday. The company has made the device available in three versions, two of which can also be ordered by international buyers through online retailer OppoMart. The Classic edition comes with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, and is priced at $565, while the Elite and Exclusive editions feature 4 GB RAM and 64 GB built-in storage and come with price tags of $645 and $726 respectively. The international pricing of the devices however, are significantly higher, and can set you back by $649 and $749 respectively for the Classic and Elite editions. The top-end Exclusive edition is not yet available to buyers outside China.
The Nubia Z9 is one of the first devices with a true bezel-less design, with a mind-bogglingly high 74% screen-to-body ratio. The device features a 5.2-inch Full-HD display, and is powered by Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 810 MSM8994 SoC, with an octa-core CPU and Adreno 430 GPU. The device comes with a 16-megapixel sensor on the back, with OIS and auto-focus, and features an 8-megapixel camera on the front, capable of recording 1080p videos at 30 fps. The storage and RAM options, as mentioned earlier, range from 3 GB / 32 GB for the Classic edition and 4 GB / 64 GB for the higher-end Elite and Exclusive editions. The devices come with Nubia UI overlaid on top of Android 5.0.2 Lollipop.
The Nubia brand is a result of ZTE's push for more business at the retail level, where margins are typically higher than what ZTE has been used to thus far, as a recognized white-box manufacturer for multiple carriers in Europe, North America and Asia. ZTE hopes the brand will be able to bring in business at the retail level that has thus far eluded the company. ZTE of late, has been aggressively expanding overseas, and has already launched the Nubia brand in India through the introduction of the Z9 Mini, with the flagship Z9 and the Z9 Max phablet expected to follow soon. The company also has ambitious plans of becoming one of the top three smartphone vendors in the US by the end of the year.