Nubia Z17S review: lots of potential, but ...

Nubia Z17S

Finally with the Nubia Z17S, the company seems to want to change something in the design of his new top of the range. In fact, unlike previous smartphones, we find a bezel-less display in 17:9 even wider and which further reduces the upper and lower frames. In this respect Nubia has done an exceptional job, but will be able to make this smartphone shine in the other sectors? Let's find out in our full review.

Nubia Z17S review

Design and construction

Il design of the Nubia Z17S It's really magnifico, in fact we find a large display on the front and a back cover made of glass, which offers beautiful games of light. Unfortunately, the downside is that in the long run we will find many fingerprints, but you can work around this problem with a cover.

Nubia Z17S

The shell is entirely made of glass with the side frame in aluminum, which is only interrupted by the insertion of the plastic bands for the antennas. There construction is very solid and although I fell a couple of times, I found no damage. Precisely regarding this aspect, the smartphone is very slippery and we must pay attention to the surface on which we rest, because it will suffice that it is slightly inclined to drop the device.

However, in the hand this remains well balance, but because of his generous dimensions it is not easy to use it with one hand. In this case, the software helps us because, thanks to the double tap on the edge of the display, we can open some shortcuts and perform all the basic functions.

Nubia Z17S

Il Nubia Z17S has the dimensions of 147.5 x 72.7 x 8.50cm for a total weight of 170 grams, which does not make it a featherweight, but gives us a feeling of solidity and resistance.

Returning to the back cover, we find the classic configuration including the dual camera, the dual tone LED flash and the fingerprint sensor. On the right side we find the power button and the volume rocker, unlike the left one where there is only the dual Nano SIM slot. At the top, it is possible to notice the microphone useful for the reduction of ambient noise, while the system speaker, the USB Type-C input and the main microphone are located below.

The latter turns out to be accurate, but not a splinter. We can state that 9 times on 10 manages to unlock the smartphone smoothly. The margin of error is due to the fact that, being almost flush with the body, it is often difficult center the sensor perfectly on the first shot.

Only the front part remains, where the dual camera, the headset capsule, the notification LED and the various sensors are located.


Il of the Nubia Z17S it is a unit IPS da 5.73 inches of diagonal with format 17:9, resolution 2040 1080 pixels x, density of PPI 403 and protection Corning Gorilla Glass.

I must admit that the panel of this smartphone is really excellentwe have gods vivid colors, but never too saturated and a good maximum / minimum brightness. In short, the display of this smartphone is a real pleasure for the eyes, thanks to its definition and the percentage of screen-to-body ratio dell '81.7%.

Like all units IPS, at extreme angles i Bianchi they tend a little towards the Grey and the blacks are not completely off, but otherwise viewing angles are very good. Finally, the touch screen it's always quick and responsive and the brightness sensor works well.


Under the shell we find a chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 including a processor octa-core with a maximum clock frequency of 2.45 GHz, a GPU Adreno 540, 8 GB di RAM e 128 GB di internal memory not expandable.

The hardware sector offers the best that can currently be found on the market with a decidedly configuration handsome. In fact, I have not found any lag or impaction of any kind. The applications open quite quickly and there are no problems with the management of the app open in the background thanks to 8 GB di RAM.

La GPU it behaves just as well and we can reproduce the heaviest games like Asphalt 8 without problems and with a high and constant frame rate.


Posteriorly there is one double camera with a sensor from 23 + 12 mega-pixel with opening f / 1.8-2.0, zoom 2x, autofocus Dual Pixel Dual Core e Dual Tone LED flash.

In conditions of good brightness the shots are good, characterized by a good level of detail and faithful colors. Despite the results obtained, one gets the impression that this Nubia Z17S can not give us back shots at the level of the best top of the moment range Galaxy Note 8, Mate 10 Pro o iPhone X. THE'HDR works very well and the results are appreciable, especially for social media.

In the evening the quality drops and the digital noise it becomes more evident, but the photos can still be enough bright. Especially in low light conditions it is important to keep your hand firmly to prevent the photo from being moved, since there is no optical stabilization.

On the front there is always one double camera, but this time with two sensors from 5 mega-pixels and opening f / 2.2.

Regarding this aspect, i selfies they did not convince me much, because the returned shots are not up to a top of the range. The colors are quite faithful, but I was expecting something more on the details front. Moreover, in the evening it is easy to take some blurred photos if you do not have a good steady hand.

With regard to the portrait mode, the software acts too heavily, returning results in my opinion insufficient.

Videos can be recorded up to the maximum 4K resolution with quality and digital stabilization that reach sufficiency.


From the point of view of the audio, Nubia he got used to it quite well and this too Nubia Z17S it's not far behind. In fact, the audio output from the lower speaker is very powerful and quality è good. Listening in headphones with earphones Type-C is just as good and the equalization goes to improve.

No problem even with the audio output from the capsule, in fact we can hear our interlocutor adequately.


Il Nubia Z17S presents connectivity support LTE Cat.12 (we also find the 20 band), Wi-Fi a / b / g / n / ac Dual BandBluetooth 4.1, NFC e GPS / A-GPS / GLONASS / Beidou. Navigation is characterized by a reactive and precise signal fix.

The SIM slot can only contain two Nano SIMin fact, we do not find space for the microSD. Moreover, as usual, reception is very good even in more isolated areas.


Aboard Nubia Z17S are Android 7.1.1 Nougat with personalized interface Nubia UI 5.1 e security patches updated to August 1 2017.

The software is in its variant international and it's entirely in Italian taste. Compared to the last version tested on Universal Z11, we have one greater stability and improved translations, although there are still a couple of errors.

All in all the interface it runs well and I have not found any particular bugs or impositions. I must say that the Chinese company has made progress in this respect, but it is a pity for the August patch.

La Nubia UI presents a wide variety of customizations, including the FiT gestures, or of the gestures associated with edges of the display through which we can perform various functions. Among these there is the possibility to increase and decrease the brightness, browse the open apps in the background or close them all, go back or open a menu with some shortcuts through which you can replace the classic software keys.

In fact, unlike all the others Nubia, the keys are not physically present back, multitasking el 'iconic home button in the shape of a circle, as they have been replaced by gods soft keys to further expand the surface of the .

We also have the game mode, the super screenshot, the split screen and the cloning of some apps like Messenger, Facebook and WhatsApp.


Under the shell we find a battery 3100 mAh, which can guarantee us one good autonomy.

With very intense use, we will manage to arrive safely to will be with 4 hours and minutes 30 di active screen, while with use soft it is possible to arrive up to 6 hours and minutes 15 di SoC.

La recharge it takes place rather quickly, in fact, it takes about 1 45 hours and minutes to reach the 100%.


Il Nubia Z17S is a smartphone incredibly beautiful and with very potential, but unfortunately we find some small uncertainties that fail to make it truly competitive within the smartphone range Premium.

Despite the magnificent display, the excellent design and a hardware configuration at the top, the camera can not stand comparison and the software needs some improvements.

It must certainly be said that the aesthetic factor "alone is worth the price of the ticket" (as they say), but if we also calculate that through the Chinese stores we will not have the official guarantee and that almost certainly will not be imported in Italy, then perhaps tack on other shores. Indeed, the Nubia Z17S is available on Geekbuying at the price of 546.71 €.