ZTE's Nubia Z9, with a virtually borderless display, ships to US in Q3

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The ZTE Nubia Z9 has virtually no bezels on the sides of its screen

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In the last few years, we've seen smartphone bezels get smaller and smaller, and we've even seen one phone that tried to eliminate them on three sides. ZTE's latest, the Nubia Z9, is continuing that trend – with a virtually borderless (on the sides) design. Today we learned that the handset is coming to the US later this year.

It's getting harder for OEMs to differentiate smartphones these days, but the Nubia Z9 is one of the more distinctive designs you'll see. Its 5.2-inch display has 1080p resolution, and appears to stretch to the edge of the device (or very close to it).

Though the Z9 lacks a dual-curved display, this otherwise gives it an appearance that reminds us a bit of the Galaxy S6 edge.

The Z9 has a high-end set of specs elsewhere too, with a Snapdragon 810 processor, 16 MP rear camera with OIS and 2,900 mAh battery. It runs Android 5.0 Lollipop, ships with either 3 GB or 4 GB of RAM and the highest-end model even has a fingerprint sensor.

Another way ZTE is trying to differentiate the Nubia Z9 is through grip and gesture-sensing tech. These include things like launching the Z9's camera by tilting the phone sideways and placing four fingers on the edge of the screen or taking a selfie by squeezing the phone.

Similar to Huawei's recent strategy, the Z9 appears to be skipping US carriers and selling as an online exclusive. It begins shipping to the States in Q3 in three pricing tiers. US$564 gets you the "classic" Z9 with 3 GB RAM and 32 GB storage, while $645 moves you up to the "elite" with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB storage. To get the fingerprint sensor (on what's otherwise the Elite), your price tag will be $725.

There are two color options – black and gold – to choose from.

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