The Nubia Z40 Pro comes in a very sober black rectangular box, and when we open the box, we find a negative surprise, it does not come with a charger! And supporting the 80W terminal is a shame because they are not usually the ones that all users at home have to spare. We did find a black flexible TPU case leaving room for the large camera block, a red USB-C USB-C cable, manual, warranty, and the SIM slot extraction skewer.
Our version is the 8GB 256GB one in black (a gray version). Without wireless charging, there is another superior version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, called “Gravity,” that has magnetic wireless charging (in theory, more precise and efficient than wireless charging technology). This technology realm is presented but only conceptually since it is not available in any terminal today.
We have Android 12 under the MyOS12.0 customization layer that we also find in the new ZTE Axon 40, a terminal that, being from the same manufacturer, you will see that it has many similarities. My e is a Chinese layer, without the Play Store pre-installed but with Google services pre-installed. We can install the Play Store and, from there, install our favorite applications. The default languages in the installation are English and Chinese, but once installed, we can add languages from the configuration menu, and we will have it in Spanish. Some menus and options will continue to be in English and some in Chinese, but approximately 90% of the system will be in Spanish. It is curious that if we go to “Languages and input,” we will not find Spanish or the option to add it, but if we search for “Add a language,” we get the opportunity to add it and make it the main one of the system.
The rest of the system is quite confusing; despite having many options, it is difficult to find them by browsing the menus, and many times, you only see them by looking for them, just as I have told you about the way to add a language.
ZTE incorporates apps for backup and restoration, battery control, security, and privacy management. We found the classic swipeable application shortcut widgets from the right (having it activated many times, I took it out when I made the back gesture). It is difficult to find all the permissions and auto start and lock options, an incomplete and complex interface.
On the screen, we can configure automatic refresh that the system will change according to the applications running or leave it fixed at 60/120/144Hz. Battery consumption by leaving it improved at 144Hz has increased considerably.
It comes pre-installed with many Chinese applications, but we can uninstall them without any problem. Regarding the applications from the Play Store, I have encountered problems installing Google Chrome; it would not let me install it, nor did it do a hard reset; I had to install it from another store. It has its theme store; you need to create a ZTE account to be able to install new themes.
It features a small “play space” app. It is a simple application; it gives us information on the speed of the CPU, GPU, and the network; it allows you to speed up the terminal, record the game and activate the do not disturb notifications and calls.
I haven’t found any more drawbacks when installing things from the Play Store. Otherwise, the system passes the SafetyNet test; in the Play Store, it appears as a certified device, lets me make payments by NFC, has Widevine L1, etc.
Power and Hardware
We find a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor with the Adreno 730 GPU, and in our version, 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM and 256GB of UFS 3.1 storage with a 9-layer cooling system with an area of 3500 mm2. We started by running Antutu (version 9.3.8), reaching 990745 points, an outstanding grade, the temperature it had before the test was 23º, and it has risen to 41º; according to the presentation data, it was able to maintain temperatures below 30º with its dissipation, we do not know in what environments they measured it, but in our case, it has not been like that.
We have tested Pubg and Apex Legend. In none of them have we achieved a configuration of more than 60fps; this is something developers have to do since these games support that frame rate in other terminals. The maximum format of Pubg did not exceed 40 fps, keeping them constant and rising to temperatures between 41 to 45º after 20 minutes of play. Yes, they reach 60fps if you lower it to HD resolution (with HDR) and select Extreme Frame Rate. In Apex Legends, in Ultra-HD quality and Ultra frame rate, keep It also had constant 60fps, and with temperatures similar to Pubg, we did not notice a drop in frames after 20 minutes of play either. You can see in the screenshots that even if we force the refresh rate to be 120Hz in the screen settings, we do not have more than 60fps in the game.
We have the classic options of Photo, Pro, video, and night mode. Apart from them, a submenu called “Family Camera” has the utilities of macro, slow motion, light drawing, Time Lapse, VLOG, moon mode, panorama, and a multi-camera mode, which takes the photo with the three sensors simultaneously (saves it in HVAC format), etc. I haven’t found a specific portrait mode, and if a “Street” mode is that, I don’t know what it does precisely since it highlights the vertices of the shapes in red and a vertical manner, which I don’t see any use for either.
This is one of the sections that has left us with the best taste in our mouths. The Nubia Z40 Pro has a Sony IMX787 as its primary sensor, a 64MP sensor with a generous size of 1/1.7″, a pixel size of 0.7µm, and an aperture of f/1.65, with a 7-element lens, focus by phase detection and optical stabilizer. The photos, both in sound and low light, are outstanding without exaggerating the noise and have an excellent focus speed.
As for ZTE’s processing, we see that it exaggerates the red colors too much, and in low-light photos, the sky forces the blue to simulate a scene with more light. On the other hand, it achieves an excellent dynamic range and a good level of detail with accurate and vivid colors, and HDR also achieves marvelous results. I wouldn’t say I liked the AI mode of the camera; although it does detect the scenes, it exaggerates reality too much to highlight the objects it has seen; I mean, in a sandwich, when activating the AI, the colors of the bread was very far adding more oranges and highlighting the red and green colors looking more like a plastic object than something to eat.
Keep in mind that with the Nubia Z40 Pro, we are dealing with a 35mm lens, something very unusual since smartphones typically mounts 22, 23, and 24mm lenses. We are not experts in photography, but in short, with 35mm, you have a greater focal length and a smaller angle of view, which makes us capture a smaller portion of the scene, brings us closer to it and is widely used for portraits or objects in a location. We also have less distortion (barrel effect) as it is a smaller angle. This 35mm lens influences how we perceive the scene’s perspective; it will seem that the distance of the objects behind is shorter than with other mobiles. We will have to move away from the scene as much as possible for landscapes, group photos, or buildings, but we will gain a lot when we want to capture part of a scene.