Nubia Z11 review: Work hard, play hard

Work hard, play hard

GSMArena team, 14 October 2016.

Telephony and loudspeaker

In the latest version 4.0, Nubia UI seems to have lost some of its former feature set across some of the basic bundled apps as well. The Contacts app, for instance, no longer has the "Yellow Pages" feature form the Z9. However, the latter was undeniably geared towards the Chinese market, so its absence might be tied to us having an international ROM.

Standard Contacts interface - Nubia Z11 review Standard Contacts interface - Nubia Z11 review Standard Contacts interface - Nubia Z11 review Standard Contacts interface - Nubia Z11 review Standard Contacts interface - Nubia Z11 review
Standard Contacts interface

Other than that, the Contacts is a part of the Phone app and is a pretty standard deal. You can assign personal ringtones for each contact and scan a business card to quickly add a new contact.

As for the dialer portion, it shows your recent calls with the keypad on top and a standard num pad on the bottom. Smart dialing is enabled - that is you can quickly search your contacts by typing. There used to be a quick way to search for businesses and listing online from this interface as well, but it might have been part of the "Yellow Pages" feature and is no longer there.

Favorite contacts - Nubia Z11 review Dialer - Nubia Z11 review Dialer - Nubia Z11 review
Favorite contacts • Dialer

In our loudspeaker test, the Nubia Z11 only managed to score an "Average" mark. Its results do, however, almost put it in the "Good" segment. Still, we wouldn't count on it at parties. Plus, with a single speaker, it can't really come anywhere close to the impressive experience the ZTE Axon 7 delivers.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
LG Nexus 5X 61.2 65.8 61.7 Below Average
Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016) 66.2 64.8 66.8 Below Average
Meizu m3 note 66.5 64.6 71.7 Average
HTC 10 (Music mode) 63.1 66.7 74.3 Average
Samsung Galaxy J7 (2016) 64.5 71.0 68.9 Average
nubia Z11 64.3 70.7 71.2 Average
Oppo F1 Plus 67.9 71.9 66.5 Average
ZTE Nubia Z9 67.9 66.5 73.5 Average
Samsung Galaxy C7 67.3 67.8 72.8 Average
Xiaomi Mi 5 66.9 67.2 74.0 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 64.2 67.2 76.9 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 66.5 66.6 75.8 Good
Xiaomi Redmi Pro 68.1 71.8 69.4 Good
Samsung Galaxy C5 67.4 69.0 72.9 Good
Samsung Galaxy S7 edge 70.0 69.1 71.8 Good
OnePlus 3 62.4 71.0 77.8 Good
Huawei Honor 5c 66.5 71.1 74.4 Good
Lenovo Moto Z Droid 64.5 66.2 81.8 Good
LG G5 68.7 70.9 73.5 Good
Huawei P9 72.1 66.6 75.6 Good
Huawei Honor 8 70.5 70.5 78.2 Very Good
ZTE Axon 7 66.4 72.2 84.1 Very Good
Meizu Pro 6 64.0 71.5 89.1 Very Good

Text input

Just like the Nubia Z9, the new Z11 relies on Google's AOSP keyboard by default. However, if that is a bit too plain for you, TouchPal is also pre-installed. In has extensive support for various languages and input styles. There are also gestures and shortcuts. Predictive text has also come a long way and now does a fairly good job trying to automatically switch between languages.

AOSP keyboard - Nubia Z11 review TouchPal - Nubia Z11 review TouchPal - Nubia Z11 review TouchPal - Nubia Z11 review
AOSP keyboard • TouchPal

Oh and in terms of looks, the sky is the limit. Practically every aspect of the TouchPal keyboard is customizable. You get a whole Theme store of choices, as well as access to additional styles via the Google Play Store.

Even more TouchPal options - Nubia Z11 review Even more TouchPal options - Nubia Z11 review Even more TouchPal options - Nubia Z11 review
Even more TouchPal options

Messaging

Like the dialer, the messaging app lets you easily send a message from either SIM card. Once you open a message thread you also get a clear indication of which SIM card received a given text too. The app itself looks like it belongs on iOS, it has a fairly clean UI but it's functional. A tab shows only starred messages and you can use search to find others.

Pretty standard messaging app - Nubia Z11 review Pretty standard messaging app - Nubia Z11 review Pretty standard messaging app - Nubia Z11 review Pretty standard messaging app - Nubia Z11 review
Pretty standard messaging app

For email, you get a custom solution out of the box. It supports Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo, to name a few with practically zero configuration. You can also add any other POP3, IMAP or SMTP server as well. As for the interface, it is pretty standard with nothing really remarkable or noteworthy to mention.

Of course, since a full suit of Google apps is now in place, you can just opt for the familiar Gmail client and have it handle all your inboxes.

Clean and simple email app - Nubia Z11 review Clean and simple email app - Nubia Z11 review
Clean and simple email app

Reader comments

  • AnonD-137518

What are the features missing in international rom? does it has French language as it is not sold in France? thank you.

  • Rico m

A great good looking and with good performance however white a poor international rom in comparison with the Chinese rom. If zte will put an effort in bringing to the international rom theme features like in Chinese rom it would make it an awesome...

  • Sombir verma

I want this phone