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Nubia Z40S Pro review: Good smartphone for about 600 euros, but ...

Nubia Z40S Pro test headers
Picture: TechnikNews
(Post picture: © 2022 TechnikNews)

Nubia??? So what is that? Nubia is a sub-brand of ZTE, which is unfortunately only represented in China, which is why the smartphones are unfortunately rather uninteresting for us Europeans, but there is now the newly introduced Nubia Z40S Pro a very exciting smartphone, which you should take a closer look at.

For about 600 euros (Price from TradingShenzhen) customers get, among other things, a large OLED display with 0 Hertz, a 144 mAh battery with up to 5.000 watts fast charge, a Snapdragon 80+ Gen 8 and a 1 megapixel triple camera. You can read how the smartphone has fared in everyday life in this one Shorttest.

Haptics, design & processing

The Nubia Z40S Pro is a large, heavy and thick smartphone, which cannot be operated with one hand in many situations. Due to the angular frame made of matte aluminum, it also doesn't feel too comfortable in the hand, as it conveys a sharp-edged feeling, which is basically the case with all smartphones with an angular frame, but with the Z40S Pro it's even worse.

Nubia Z40S Pro Design

Picture: TechnikNews

The back is made of matte glass, which not only looks beautiful, but is also extremely grateful to fingerprints. Together with the aluminum frame we have it in the Z40S Pro to do a very high quality smartphone. When it comes to colors, customers can choose between black and green. If we look at the front, we see a familiar picture: The display is only interrupted by a small punch hole in the middle and the edges are sufficiently thin.

There is no reason to criticize the workmanship, because the case seems very stable, the keys have a decent pressure point and are firmly seated in the case.

Display – OLED at 144 Hertz

The display is a 6,67-inch OLED panel with a 20:9 aspect ratio, which has a sufficiently sharp resolution with FHD+. The screen also supports a smooth refresh rate of 144 Hz. This puts you a step ahead of most other competitors, at least on paper, but during everyday use you will notice almost no difference compared to displays with 120 Hz. Still, it's commendable.

Nubia Z40S Pro Display

Picture: TechnikNews

While the viewing angle stability is really good, the panel weakens a bit in terms of color reproduction and brightness. Colors are reproduced a bit too oversaturated for my taste and you can't always do without your content on sunny days Proread problems.

Software

Android 12 is used as the software together with the in-house user interface from Nubia, which differs greatly from stock Android. The settings are quite clear, but the notification bar, the control panel and the icons are sometimes very playful and colorful, which I personally don't like. There are also a few Chinese apps and notifications that cannot all be uninstalled or deactivated. You must be aware that this smartphone is not intended for the European market

However, there is no lack of functions. There's an app drawer, always-on display, and double-tap on an empty space to launch the Nubia Z40S Pro switch on or off. Gesture control is also on board, but I find the animations to be below average. Apple, Huawei and Apple are worlds better in this respect.

Performance & battery

Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, which is supported by either 8, 12 or 18 GB of RAM. Depending on the version, there is also 256 GB, 512 GB or even 1 TB of internal memory, which unfortunately cannot be expanded.

As expected, the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 performs in the Nubia Z40S Pro really good. Apps start and close extremely quickly and even with games, the Proprocessor none Protrouble. Another positive thing to mention is the improved heat development compared to the regular 8 Gen 1.

The battery has an impressive capacity of 5.000 mAh and can be charged with up to 80 watts, depending on the version. Nubia also offers a variant with 120 watt fast charge. At the end of the day, with a screen-on-time of 5 to 6 hours, I usually still had about 40 Procent battery left, which is very convincing.

Camera - decent setup

The triple camera setup on the back is convincing across the board: The main sensor is the IMX787 with a bright f/1.6 aperture, 64 megapixels and a large sensor size of 1/1.3 inch. There is also a 50 megapixel ultra wide-angle camera and a periscope lens that enables a 5x optical zoom. It has a resolution of 8 megapixels. A 16-megapixel front camera is responsible for selfies, but unfortunately draws faces too softly.

Nubia Z40S Pro Camera

Picture: TechnikNews

Starting with the main camera, which takes detailed photos with a good dynamic range. The color reproduction is not really reliable, because pictures often look beautifully natural, but sometimes also completely oversaturated. The same also applies to the white balance. As soon as the light conditions deteriorate, the night mode should be used, which exposes the images for a few seconds. The resulting results are more than impressive for around 600 euros. They get sufficiently bright and detailed, but again, the white balance isn't always accurate.

The ultra wide-angle camera also performs well. The difference to the similarly expensive competition is particularly visible in terms of sharpness. I would have expected a little more from the 5x optical telephoto camera. Please don't get me wrong here. Of course, it's great that a smartphone that costs 600 euros has such an enormous zoom on board, but unfortunately the quality of the camera is only partially convincing. Although there is hardly any other competitor in this price range that is better purely in terms of sharpness, you quickly notice that the sensor is not the best. Colors look pale and as soon as the lighting conditions deteriorate even slightly, the telephoto camera quickly reaches its limits.

Other - good speakers, solid fingerprint sensor and more

The Chinese manufacturer treats the Nubia Z40S Pro two speakers that provide a decent sound. They get very loud and sound pretty good up to a certain volume, but they are by no means high-end.

The smartphone can be unlocked via the fingerprint sensor integrated into the display, which is excellently placed. It unlocks the device quite reliably, but there is still a little room for improvement in terms of speed.

Last but not least, I would like to mention the great vibration motor, which provides a high-quality haptic feeling.

Conclusion

In summary, the Nubia Z40S Pro for about 600 euros is a successful smartphone without any major weaknesses. It offers a high-quality glass and aluminum body, a solid 144 Hz OLED display, flawless performance, a decent camera setup and excellent battery life.

Nevertheless, it is really extremely difficult for me to recommend this smartphone. The reason for this is that it is only optimized for the Chinese market, which is noticeable in some places in the software. Added to that with the Google Pixel 6, Samsung Galaxy S21FE, Realme GT2 Pro etc. too strong competition that it without Probleme to buy in Europe. So I see no reason to get the Nubia Z40S Pro to import from China, even if it is basically a (very) good smartphone.

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Fabian Menzel

Fabian has been part of since mid-September 2020 TechnikNews and regularly supplies the site with various news, but also with some test reports on smartphones. He's having so much fun and is extremely grateful to have such a great team by his side. In his free time, he enjoys listening to music and occasionally taking photos with his Huawei Mate 50 Pro.

Fabian has already written 301 articles and left 24 comments.

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