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ZTE bringing its 'borderless' Nubia Z9 smartphone to the US

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ZTE's flagship Nubia Z9, which features a nearly borderless display, is coming to the United States in Q3 of this year. The phone will retail at prices between $564 and $725, depending on how much storage and RAM you prefer. (The high-end $725 "Exclusive" model also adds in a fingerprint sensor, which is actually integrated into the side of the Z9 rather than a home button or other implementations we've seen.

All three feature a 5.2-inch 1080p display and are powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810, putting the Nubia Z9 on par with flagship phones from more well-known manufacturers here in the US. Those barely-there side bezels allow ZTE to add some unique gesture controls and app shortcuts through what it calls Frame Interactive Technology. If you can get used to some of the quirky gestures, ZTE says they'll ultimately save you time.

By adopting Nubia’s Frame interactive Technology (FiT), the Nubia Z9 allows users to control their phones by using grip and gesture based controls, such as touching the edge of the screen. For instance, users can quickly launch the camera feature by simply turning the phone sideways and placing four fingertips on the edge of the screen or take a one-handed selfie by squeezing the handset without touching any buttons. With FiT technology, users will reduce the average smartphone process to 2.7 steps as compared to traditional smartphones.  In addition, the nubia Z9’s new ergonomic design makes it easier to hold the phone and less likely to drop it.

ZTE Nubia Z9

ZTE announced its coming US launch via a billboard in Times Square, seen above. Rival Huawei just announced that its less sightly P8 Lite is also coming to the US at a cheap, unlocked price of $249.99. It's by no means what you'd call a flagship, ditching the metal finish from Huawei's top phones for a plastic construction and running an older version of Android (4.4 versus 5.0, which ships on the Nubia Z9). So it seems ZTE is taking the US market a bit more seriously — or at least doing more to impress the many consumers unfamiliar with its brand. Of course, it's also priced much higher, and that alone could prove difficult for ZTE to overcome when lined up against Samsung and LG.