Nubia Z17 Lite Review - The (almost) perfect smartphone for 200 €!

by 2. October 2018
The Nubia Z17 Lite is a borderless middle-class smartphone of the ZTE subsidiary "Nubia", which was published as a "Lite" variant in addition to the, in summer 2017 published, Nubia Z17. How the smartphone beats in all respects, more in this review!



Nubia Z17 Lite


Processor and memory
CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 653
GPU: Adreno 510
Internal memory: 64GB (eMMC5.1)
Memory extension: no

Display Type: In-Cell
Display diagonal: 5.5 inches
Display resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Screen Protector: Corning Gorilla Glass

Main Camera: 2x 13 Megapixel Sony IMX258
* Aperture f / 2.2
* Dual Tone LED Flash
Front camera: 16 megapixel
* Aperture f / 2.0
* Wide angle 80 °

Dual SIM: Yes
SIM size: Nano SIM

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
WCDMA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz
TD-SCDMA B34 / B39
FDD-LTE B1 / B3 / B5 / B7 / B8
TDD-LTE B34 / B38 / B39 / B40 / B41

WiFi: 802.11 b / g / n / ac
Bluetooth: 4.2
GPS: Yes

* Ambient light sensor
* Accelerometer
* Proximity Sensor
* E-Compass
* Fingerprint Sensor

Battery: 3.200 mAh
Quick charge function: Quick Charge 3.0
Connection: USB-C

Operating system: Android 7.1 (Nubia UI)
Size: 152.75 72.55 x x 7.60 mm
Weight: 168g

What's in the box

1x Nubia Z17 Lite
1x charger
1x USB-C cable
1x USB-C to 3.5 mm jack adapter
1x SIM needle
1x user manual

Foreword: Nubia Z17 Lite

In the local market are Smartphones from Nubia rather unknown. However, it is better known ZTE, a global leader in mobile devices, the Nubia as a subsidiary is associated. The recently released Nubia smartphones convinced mainly by a excellent hardware, a good quality of workmanship and an exceedingly attractive design, Many of the manufacturer's smartphones are mainly for the Chinese market certainly. Even the Nubia Z17 Lite has so far only appeared in China. Like the previous model Universal Z17 showed, but is also quite one global start to calculate, that's why we do that Chinese model with international ROM already in advance Test have undergone.
The Nubia Z17 Lite in the test - First experiences with the smartphone

Design, workmanship and delivery

Nubia attaches great importance to the appearance of its smartphones noble and above all outstanding design, The same is true for the Nubia Z17 Lite. The smartphone is in the so-called Unibody design held. Case back and frame are made of one piece and form a single unit. The housing material is aluminum. The smartphone is available in the Colors black, black-gold and blue.

Nubia Z17 Lite Review - From Above The Side

Constructed is the Nubia Z17 Lite reasonably:

With the front started, already stands out a first, optical feature in the eye. The Z17 Lite is one of the few smartphones whose display actually reaches the inner edge of the case, and the additional Curved Glass makes it an outstanding one bezel-less look leaves. Below the 5.5 inch large screen has Nubia 3 capacitive control buttons placed. In the middle is one circular home buttonThat in striking red shines. This serves as at the same time Notification LED and glows red with incoming alerts. The control buttons located to the left and right also light up red when pressed. Above the display is the center auricle placed. On the left, Nubia has the 16 megapixel front camera accommodated.

Nubia Z17 Lite Review - Front

Case frame and case back form a unit as already mentioned and are kept in matte black, at least for our test copy. The feel is positive, even if the smartphone is a bit slippery in the hand. Right hand of the case frame are the Power button and the Volume rocker, Left hand of the SIM slot, the one with two nano SIM cards can be equipped. On a 3.5 mm jack audio jack Nubia omitted. A corresponding adapter 3.5 mm Kline on USB-C is included. Consequently, the frame bottom is centered with a USB-C socket fitted. There are left and right next to it Speaker holes, where only one actually acts as a speaker opening (mono). Behind the other opening hides instead Microphone, Another one, noise reducing microphone is placed inside the frame top.

Let's get to it Case back, Striking is the golden Nubia lettering. Above is a circular fingerprint scanner with bevelled and gold-colored edge. Last but not least there is one on the back dual main camera with a prominent, red border and a right next to it LED flash.

Nubia Z17 Lite Review - Backside

The quality of workmanship The Nubia Z17 Lite is first class. Of the What's in the box includes the smartphone, a charger, a USB-C cable, a 3.5 mm jack audio to USB-C adapter, a SIM needle and a user manual.

Nubia Z17 Lite included


The Nubia Z17 Lite is a fast-rimless smartphonethat through especially low bezel noticeable. The optical effect is almost reminiscent of a curved display of the current Samsung Galaxy S model series, although Nubia has no Curved Display installed. Instead, Nubia lets the display area reach to the inner edge of the case. Of the Curved effect is caused by a curved to the edges display glass. A disadvantage of this is that the Curved Glass, which in contrast to many other smartphones already on the display turns into the curvature, a clearer Rainbow effect with slight distortion becomes visible. In everyday life, however, this effect is not disturbing.

The smartphone is equipped with a 5.5 inch display from Type In-Cell, At a In-cell display Both the LCD and the touchscreen are interconnected without an intermediate layer. As a result, panels can be made even thinner, which often results in a thinner and lighter smartphone. The Resolution the display is attached 1920 1080 x pixels, By that achieved Dot density of 403 PPI Individual pixels are no longer visible to the naked eye.

The presentation convinced by saturated colors, albeit with a slight blue cast that is less noticeable in everyday life, one very good contrast and high viewing angle stability, Within the Display settings In addition, the color representation can be individually adjusted. The maximal luminance the display is about 445 cd / m², Even with stronger light, the display remains legible.

The Touchscreen works precisely and recognizes up to 10 simultaneous inputs, Through the coated and also hardened Corning Gorilla Glass ensures good lubricity and protection against scratches.


Unlike many other smartphone manufacturers from China, who mostly rely on processors from MediaTek, Nubia incorporates processors from Qualcomm. The Z17 Lite is with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 653 fitted. This middle class processor has 4 Cortex A72 and 4 Cortex A53 processor cores, With the up to 1.95 GHz overclock. After the so-called big.LITTLE architecture the cores divide again into two clusters, one Power and Energy Saving Cluster, The goal of this "heterogeneous computing architecture" is a more efficient distribution of power. The storage facilities turns out lush and amounts to one 6GB LPDDR3 memory and one 64GB eMMC5.1 Flash Memory. A memory expansion by means of MicroSD memory card is not provided. The graphics processor the system-on-chip is one Adreno GPU 510.

In everyday life, the Nubia Z17 Lite proves to be extremely performant. The Memory speed of 8787 MB / s is first-class despite the LPDDR3 module and surpasses even many other smartphones with LPDDR4X memory. The transition between apps is fluent even with numerous apps that are open at the same time, the smartphone can easily cope. The internal one eMMC5.1 flash memory delivers a meager, but still average Read and write speed of 153 MB / s or 186 MB / s, Also in Gaming The Nubia Z17 Lite cuts a fine figure. Games such as Asphalt 8 are fluently playable and image breaks are more likely to be a rarity. An excessive heat development does not occur.

Despite the good everyday performance, there is Abnormalities in the Bechmarktests, A test with Geekbench 4 has shown that the smartphone does not fully utilize its processing power. Especially in the Multicore test will below-average results scores, which are almost 50% below the measurement results of other smartphone models with identical features. It seems, however, that this is a software problem. A look at the Geekbench test result database reveals that the Nubia Z17 Lite has achieved better results with earlier firmware versions. Should the bug be fixed with future updates (currently V1.03), this passage will of course be corrected!

User Interface

As User Interface is that coming Manufacturer's ROM "Nubia UI 5.0" for use. As with many other smartphone manufacturers, the user interface is based on Android 7.1.1, but deviates visually and partially also functionally strongly from Stock-Android.

Adapted to the design of the smartphone, Nubia uses UI 5.0 Custom Icons in gold-black tile look. If you want to change the look, of course it is free one any theme launcher to install. There is no app drawer. Apps are instead put on pages.

Also adapted was the Quick access, The quick access to settings and notifications was disconnected. On Wipe from top to bottom opens notification window, On Swipe from the bottom up open the Quick access to apps and settings, Functional extensions are among others different Gesture and smart sensing capabilities, For example, apps can be switched by using an 3 finger swipe. Smart Sensing Among other things, shaking the device allows notifications and recently closed apps to close at once. Edge gestures are triggered by a swipe across the edge of the screen, for example to adjust the brightness, to start and switch predefined apps or to clean up the memory. As safety feature can be individually locked apps. For an improved power management The promised performance of each app can be adjusted.

One problem that many Nubia smartphones share is that unclear situation to ROMs, Except for a few models of the manufacturer, which have appeared on the international market, Nubia produces mainly for the Chinese market, Accordingly, many devices are shipped with a Chinese user interface, which usually allows a change of language, but has no preinstalled Google Apps, especially the Google Play Store. The Google Play Services must be installed via Sideload on the smartphone, which already led to the larger Nubia Z17 to numerous problems.

Our test copy has already been delivered with an international and thus also multilingual ROM including Google Apps. A sideload of Google Play Services was therefore not necessary. However, many ROMs adapted for the international market are so-called "shop ROMs", which the vendor adjusts and installs accordingly.


The smartphone is back with a dual main camera fitted. The sensors are divided into one Sony IMX258 color sensor and another Sony IMX258 sensorwho as "Auxiliary sensor" but only monochrome, so monochrome recordings. The cover the main camera indicates Nubia f / 2.2 at. Further features are a Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and a bicolor LED flash.

The Image sensor of the front camera comes from Samsung and solves with 16 Megapixel on. By the Wide angle of 80 ° a particularly large image area is captured. The cover the front camera is f / 2.0.

Practical test of the main camera

Considering that the Nubia Z17 Lite is only in the middle class range, the camera equipment of the smartphone delivers one convincing recording quality, In the foreground is especially Nubias "NeoVison 7.0", a special for Nubia smartphones customized camera system, which offers numerous recording options and embellished with smarter KI recordings.

image capture convince by a strong, but still natural color reproduction, least Details come crisply and even to the edges of the picture is hardly noticeable blurring. at low light conditions Although the color rendition remains reasonably well preserved, the pictures are clearly visible visible noisethat with a likewise clear loss of detail accompanied. Nevertheless, the Nubia Z17 Lite delivers an even more acceptable recording quality compared to other midrange smartphones, even in low light conditions. Understandably, however, it can not compete with current flagship models.

The Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) works precisely and focused in the shortest possible time. The trip time falls on average. Especially in low light conditions, the release time increases, which can sometimes lead to blurred image recordings. Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) is not available. Instead, Nubia relies on a firmly integrated electronic image stabilization (EIS), About the monochrome image sensor, it is possible real Black and white photographs to customize. zoom is with one up to 8-fold (digital) magnification possible.

Of course, a smartphone with dual camera is allowed Bokeh or depth effect mode (Foreground sharp - background blurred) not missing. For the Nubia Z17 Lite, this is very much dependent on the lighting conditions. In particularly good lighting conditions, details are extracted cleanly. In low light conditions, however, the blur area becomes increasingly imprecise. In image editing, the blur area can be adjusted later.

For an improved dynamic range provides the HDR mode, This can be turned on and off, but can also be put into an automatic mode. Is the Auto-HDR mode active, NeoVision decides when it makes sense to turn on the HDR function. In the test, the Auto-HDR mode proved to be extremely effective and conjured up high-contrast images without dripping shadows or eroded lights. Even freehand HDR recordings are not a problem despite the lack of optical image stabilization (OIS). Smallest camera movements forgive the car HDR mode of the Nubia Z17 Lite.

Videos takes the main camera maximum 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) at 30 pictures-per-second on. With a resolution of 1080p even become liquid 60 pictures-per-second reached. Image collapses in increasingly poor lighting conditions do not occur. The refresh rate remains constant. The video recording quality scores as well as the photo-recording quality by a pleasant color and detail reproduction. Only in lower light conditions takes in the video mode, the noise clearly too. Of the Autofocus works precisely and focused within a very short time without pulsating afterwards. The sound recording quality is convincing.

Camera app

The Camera app of the Nubia UI 5.0 is one of the best and most functionally comprehensive camera apps. Stand alone in the general picture-taking mode 16 different effects and presets to select. This can be, for example light painting At the push of a button, starry skies can work in special Starry Sky Mode be captured or you're done shooting with Clone Effect or image overlap at. So-called "Wigglegrams"3D recordings that are mainly known by iPhone users can also be recorded with the Nubia Camera app. A total of 9 color filter take care of one Instagram-like effect, An integrated image editing allows extensive, subsequent processing of the shot recordings.

The Pro camera mode allows settings options for Exposure time, (1 / 60000 - 2 Sec.), The White balance (2250 - 7750 K), The ISO (100 - 12800) und dem Fokus, Image recordings can also be lossless Digital Negative Format (DNG) get saved.

Practical test of the front camera

Even with the front camera Nubia has not lumped and the Z17 Lite one 16 megapixel Samsung image sensor lost. For exact sensor designation, the manufacturer makes no statements. Assuming, however, that one of the usual Samsung ISOCELL sensors The Nubia Z17 Lite would be comparatively well equipped, as it would normally be the main camera on many midrange smartphones rather than a front camera.

The Recording quality of the front camera is excellent and surpasses even some smartphones significantly higher price ranges. Photos takes the front camera with pleasant sharpness on. Colors are accurately captured. Even in low light conditions, the front camera captures enough detail to make useful selfies. The same applies to Videosthat the front camera with maximum 1080p resolution receives. There is no automatic focus. Instead, the front camera uses one "Infinity Focus", For selfie fanatics, there is also one "Beauty Face" modethat diminishes the face and steeps smoothly.



The Nubia Z17 Lite is found in the 2G, 3G and 4G mobile rightly so, however, as is so often the case in this country often used for LTE Tape 20 not supported, The smartphone can be used simultaneously with 2 Nano SIM Cards (Dual SIM), The mobile behavior is based on telephony, as well as mobile surfing extremely solid. The call quality is not objectionable both over the earphones, as well as over the hands-free function.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

The smartphone supports the WiFi protocols 802.11 / b / g / n / ac, In the WLAN, the Z17 Lite achieves a reasonable data throughput. Connection range and connection stability are above average and thus not objectionable. Bluetooth will with version 4.2 supported. Again, the smartphone shows a convincing connection and transmission quality.

GPS and sensors

To criticize is the navigation capability of the Nubia Z17 Lite. Although many satellites come within sight and a GPS fix is ​​found relatively quickly, the Accuracy of position determination leaves much to be desired. Whether you are navigating through the city or in the countryside, the signal strength is comparatively low, which can lead to more deviations during navigation.

The sensory equipment amounts to a distance sensor, a gyroscope, an acceleration sensor, an e-compass and an ambient light sensor. The back is also a fingerprint sensor, which unlocks the smartphone without much delay and convinces by a high detection rate. Also on board is NFC.


Following the trend, comes the Nubia Z17 Lite without 3.5 mm audio jack out. Headphones or external speakers can be wired only via the USB-C socket of the smartphone. On USB-C to 3.5 mm jack audio adapter is included. The sound quality About the adapter leaves nothing to be desired.

The sound over the Mono speaker convinced as well. The maximum volume is appropriate without being distorted. Music played through the speaker sounds powerful and clear.


The permanently installed battery owns one Capacity of 3200 mAh, The measured capacity corresponds to the specification of the manufacturer. In everyday life, the Nubia Z17 Lite proves to be extremely economical. The specially built in Nubia UI 5.0 "Power Management" has a very good grip on the battery consumption and ensures a fair distribution of power without compromising performance.

Nubia Z17 Lite - Battery test and charging curve

Ba normal use can the smartphone easily 1 ½ days to be used without reloading. Even a runtime of 2 days is quite possible with conventional usage. For a quick loading will Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 supported. However, a corresponding charger is not included in the global version of the smartphone. With the supplied charger is the smartphone after 2 ½ hours completely charged. But even with different Quick Charge 3.0 compatible chargers was within the testing phase no better loading time reachable. Although it was charged with a slightly higher voltage and current, as a result, the charging time was included just under 2 hours only 30 minutes under the charging time with a conventional charger.

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Prices last updated on: 2. July 2020 20: 02

Final Words


Attractive design
Very good build quality
Very good, almost borderless display
everyday performance
Main camera in good lighting conditions
Front camera in general
Extensive camera app
Good cellular reception quality
Precise fingerprint scanner
Good battery life


No memory expansion
No 3.5 mm jack socket
Processor performance not fully used
Main camera in low light conditions
Weak GPS reception
No LTE band 20
Weak Quick Support 3.0 support

First impression
User Interface
Fingerprint scanner
GPS & sensors

The Nubia Z17 Lite is a successful mid-range smartphone that sets itself apart from many competing models in the same price range. To criticize there is on this smartphone quite little, it convinces above all by an appealing design, including good build quality, an almost borderless display, a good everyday performance, a convincing camera equipment and a good overall battery life. As is so often the case with smartphones from China, there are cuts in mobile phone support, because the LTE band 20, which is more common in this country, is not supported.

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