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First Impressions

The Nubia Flip 5G is an interesting first attempt at a clamshell-style foldable that looks to close the gap between foldable and candybar smartphones, though design sacrifices seem to have been made to achieve those lofty aims.

Key Features

  • Dedicated telephoto cameraWith a 20MP telephoto camera, the Nubia Flip 5G is one of few clamshells to offer dedicated telephoto hardware.
  • High-end performanceWith the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and up to 24GB of RAM, the Nubia Flip 5G will likely be one of the most powerful clamshells around.
  • Unique circular displayThe 1-inch circular cover display helps the Nubia Flip 5G stand out from a growing sea of clamshell foldables.


Nubia used MWC 2024 to reveal its first foldable, the Nubia Flip 5G, a clamshell phone with a different approach to those from Samsung and Motorola.

Rather than focusing on making the foldable as thin and light as possible, Nubia has gone down the opposite route with top-end hardware that, on paper at least, looks to close the gap between clamshell foldables and regular candybar phones more than any other has so far. That’s not only true of performance, but elements like battery and camera.

While I’m not yet ready to deliver a full review, I did get to spend some time with the phone at MWC 2024 in Barcelona, and here’s what I think so far. 

Design and screen

  • Thick, heavy clamshell foldable design
  • Circular 1-inch cover display
  • 6.9-inch foldable display

ZTE’s Nubia Flip 5G may sport the same clamshell design as popular alternatives like the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 or Motorola Razr 40 Ultra, but it looks entirely different. That’s mainly down to the cover display, which rather than the squared-off screen like its competitors, uses a 1.04-inch OLED circular display within the large circular camera bump. 

Nubia Flip 5G in-hand
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It’s an interesting look as, when off, it looks like a regular camera island – albeit much bigger than any other I’ve seen on a foldable – and tapping the screen brings it to life. It’s not quite as expansive as the cover screen software from the Razr 40 Ultra, able to run any Android app on the phone, instead offering a range of custom widgets for weather, calendar, camera and more, akin to the Oppo Find N3 Flip

The 340 x 340 resolution does seem a little low, with widgets looking a little bit soft in places, but it wasn’t enough to detract from the overall experience. 

Camera-screen hybrid aside, the Nubia Flip 5G’s sparkly black glass body draws attention, giving it an Edward Cullen-esque sheen in the light. 

Nubia Flip 5G in-handHand holding Nubia Flip 5G smartphone partly open.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

When handling the Flip 5G, one thing is obvious; this isn’t a thin and light foldable. There’s a notable level of heft to the device, weighing in at 190g, and while the aluminium frame feels robust, it’s also thick, measuring in at 15.2mm folded and 7.2mm unfolded. That seems to be a trend among recent Nubia phones, however, with a similarly thick design on the new Nubia Z60 Ultra. 

Unfold the phone – a process that feels smooth – and you’ll be presented with a premium AMOLED foldable screen. It measures in at 6.9 inches, boasts a smooth LTPO-enabled 120Hz refresh rate and takes things further with support for premium HDR formats including HDR10+, Dolby Vision and IMAX Enhanced. As such, the screen looked bright, smooth and detailed when scrolling throughout the OS. 

Nubia Flip 5G in-handHand holding a Nubia Flip 5G smartphone over display table.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

Crucially, as seems to be the case with more and more foldables, Nubia has done a lot of work on reducing just how visible that inner display crease is in use. Of course, it’s still very much present, but that’s only really noticeable when looking at the phone side-on. When straight on, there’s very little to hint that this screen folds – aside from the fact it’s protected by plastic rather than the more premium glass, of course, but that’s a trend among all current foldables. 


  • Triple camera setup
  • One of few clamshells to have a telephoto camera
  • 4K@60fps video

When it comes to cameras, Nubia has thrown everything at the Nubia Flip 5G – and it’s not a surprise considering the sheer size of the camera bump. More specifically, the Nubia Flip 5G is headed by a 50MP f/1.9 snapper with OIS alongside an OIS-enabled 20MP f/2.4 telephoto lens and a 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide. 

Nubia Flip 5G in-handNubia Flip 5G phone showing time and weather on cover display.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

That’s not only a wholly more capable camera offering than the dual-camera Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, but it’s one of few clamshell-style foldables to offer a dedicated periscope lens. Competitors like the Razr 40 Ultra do offer zoom capabilities, but this is a cropped view of the main sensor rather than a dedicated lens.

When it comes to video, expect 4K@60fps capture with HDR10+ recording capabilities from the rear lenses, and a 1080p cap on the bog-standard 16MP selfie camera. That said, I’m very much looking forward to putting the cameras to the test for my full review. 

Performance and software

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 3
  • 5000mAh battery
  • Android 14 with Nubia UI

When it comes to performance, the Nubia Flip 5G should be one of the most powerful clamshells on the market with the combination of a Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 and either 12-, 16- or 24GB of RAM depending on the storage option you go for. 

For context, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 sports the previous-gen Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 while the Motorola Razr 40 Ultra houses the even older Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.  

Nubia Flip 5G in-handHand holding Nubia Flip 5G showing circular calendar display.
Image Credit (Trusted Reviews)

It certainly felt rapid during my limited time with the device, and I’ll be very interested to see how well it benchmarks compared to other clamshell foldables once we get a sample back to the Trusted Reviews offices for full testing. 

That should also translate to solid battery life when paired with a whopping 5000mAh battery that, again, is larger than most of the clamshell competition and goes some way to explain why the Flip 5G is so thick and heavy.

When it comes to software, expect Android 14 with Nubia UI applied on top. As you’d expect from a Chinese manufacturer, it’s quite far from stock Android with custom app icons, UI tweaks and more to help it ‘stand out’.

I’m not sure standing out from the crowd with annoyingly customised software is a good thing, but there we are. It’s not overly offensive, but it does feel like it’d take some time to get to compared to stock Android. The only question I still have surrounds long-term software support, with ZTE not confirming any long-term promises right now.

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Early Verdict

The ZTE Nubia Flip 5G may not be the sleekest or best-looking foldable around, but it does look like it’ll close the performance gap with regular candybar smartphones more than any other clamshell-style foldable has so far. It’s hefty and thick, but there’s potential here, and I can’t wait to spend more time with the phone in the near future.

If you can’t wait for the Nubia Flip 5G, then make sure to check out our Best Foldable Phone and Best Phone guides for even more options.

Full specs

Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Refresh Rate
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