These days it’s a common practice for Chinese makers to launch their phones in China first and then, after a while, maybe bring them to a global audience – though many never do. But that is not the case with today’s hero, the nubia Z60 Ultra from ZTE.
This phone is on pre-order in North America and Mexico, Europe and the UK (and China too, of course). Below are the prices with a few things to note. First, pre-orders end and shipping starts on December 29. Second, there is early bird pricing until the 29th. And third, the Chinese model is slightly different and has 16GB/1TB and 24GB/1TB options not available elsewhere, also it has an under display camera rather than a punch hole like the global model.
|Note: early bird pricing (valid until December 29) has a €80 discount on teh 12/256GB model an a €120 discount on the 16/512GB model
Let’s meet the nubia Z60 Ultra. Like others in the family, it has a 35mm main lens with a 50MP 1/1.49” sensor with OIS. The focal length of the ultra wide is equally unusual at 100° (with a large 50MP 1/1.55” sensor and OIS). The periscope is the one fairly standard option here with an 85mm lens and a 64MP senor (1/2”).
That 85mm lens would be slightly over 3x magnification on a typical phone, here it is slightly over 2x compared to the main camera due to its uncommon focal length. Okay, that’s the wrong way to put it – if anything, 35mm is the standard and has been since before digital cameras. It’s just that it is so rare to see on a smartphone these days.
The Z60 Ultra is equipped with a 6.8” AMOLED display with 120Hz refresh rate, 10-bit colors (with HDR10+) and a resolution of 1,116 x 2,480px. As mentioned, the Chinese model has a 12MP under display camera, the global version will get a 16MP punch hole camera.
The phone is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and a 6,000mAh battery with 80W wired-only charging. The battery is 1,000mAh larger than the Z50 Ultra, so the new model is thicker (8.8mm vs. 8.3mm) and heavier (246g vs. 228g).
How do we even talk about competitors to the nubia Z60 Ultra? ZTE is out there doing its own thing and not just with the cameras. Look at the design, most flagship phones coming out of China these days have a big ol’ circle on the back. The nubia has a different design for each of its lenses.
The other thing is availability – the Z60 Ultra is widely available, many of its competitors are not. Will the Xiaomi 14 Pro ever launch outside of China? Maybe not. What about the Realme GT5 Pro? Same. When will the vivo X100 Pro be available globally? Not clear but at least it’s coming.
The vivo X100 Pro has a unique camera setup too with a huge 1/0.98” 50MP main sensor, 50MP 100mm (4.3x) periscope and 50MP ultra wide (119°). It uses the Dimensity 9300 instead of a Snapdragon and its 5,400mAh battery does both 100W wired and 50W wireless. The 12/256GB model starts at CNY 5,000 (so it’s pricier than the nubia).
The OnePlus 12 does use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and its 6.82” display has QHD+ resolution, higher than the nubia and vivo. And it is an LTPO panel. The camera is not as powerful as the vivo, but it’s no slouch either with a 50MP main (1/1.43”), 64MP 70mm periscope (3x) and 48MP ultra wide (114°). The battery is the same as the vivo with 5,400mAh capacity 100W charging and with wireless charging back in the mix at 50W. The OnePlus 12 global launch is scheduled for January 23, so for now we only have the Chinese pricing – CNY 4,300 for the 12/256GB model (the same as the Z60 Ultra).
The iQOO 12 Pro also has a QHD+ LTPO display, a 6.78” 144Hz panel and uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, unlike its vivo cousin. The cameras are comparable with the OnePlus – 50MP main (1/1.3”), 64MP 70mm periscope and 60MP ultra wide (119°). The battery has 5,100mAH capacity and charges at 120W over a wired and at 50W wirelessly. No word on a global launch yet, but the 16/256GB model is CNY 5,000 in China.
The largely similar iQOO 12 launched in India at INR 53,000 for a 12/256GB phone. It’s not clear whether the Pro will be available in India, the same goes for the nubia.
The ZTE nubia Red Magic 9 Pro is also worth considering if you’re more into gaming than photography. It will go on open sale globally on December 27 starting at $650/€650/£580 for a 12/256GB model.
There are also the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S24 phones, especially the Ultra. These should start shipping by the end of January and from rumors we have a pretty good idea of what they will be like. Nothing official on the specs and pricing yet, of course.
Well, what do you think of the nubia Z60 Ultra – your next flagship, a phone to watch out for or not anything that you are interested in?