Home / Reviews / Nubia M2 – Shining star! [Review]

Nubia M2 – Shining star! [Review]

Nubia is on the roll and they have introduced yet another mobile in India: Nubia M2. M2 is a mid range mobile. It has a promising spec sheet power and an attractive design. It is priced at Rs 21499 and let us find out if the mobile is worth the price.

nubia m2

Exclusively available on Amazon

Design

Nubia M2 has a premium build quality. It has a metal body with matte black finish. But the rims all around the mobile has a shining golden finish. While Black and Gold is definitely a good combination, the red rims on the camera and the red circle on the fingerprint sensor is disturbing the view. I would have preferred uniform red accents throughout the mobile or even uniform gold. The build quality of the mobile is rock solid. The display with rounded corners meet the metal rims smoothly. The device feels nice in the hand. It is comfortable to hold and handle. The metal body with diamond cut edges and curved corners looks elegant, but I wish Nubia had a better choice of color accents, instead of mixing red and gold. Z17 mini also had red and gold mixed, but the gold was minimal, only restricted to the fingerprint. But anyways, it is a matter of personal preference and that is just my opinion.

nubia m2

At the bottom, you would find the USB C port with speaker and mic. The top has the 3.5 mm audio jack and noise canceling mic. The right side has the power and volume button. The left has the hybrid sim slot. The front has a 2.5D curved display glass protected by Corning gorilla glass of unspecified version. The home button at the center is integrated with the fingerprint sensor and it does not have the iconic Nubia breathing light effect.The back and menu keys are mildly back-lit with a dot and their orientation can be changed. This back-lit is the one which has the breathing effect and it is not much noticeable. The back-lit is weak and almost invisible. But you get used to the location of the buttons over the time.

Display

Z17 Mini has a 5.5 inch AMOLED panel with full HD 1080p support. The display is bright indoors with good viewing angles. The colors are vivid but the contrast levels are deep. The ambient light sensor is quick to respond and change brightness. Under direct sunlight, legibility is good. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla glass and the 2.5D curved glass gives it a premium feel. The punchy colors and the brilliant contrast levels, makes the M2 display stand tall and proud.

nubia m2

Camera

Like most Nubia mobiles, camera is a key highlight on the M2 as well. The M2 has a 13 MP dual camera arrangement at the back like the Z17 Mini. One 13 MP sensor shoots RGB color information while the other sensor is for black and white. It is capable of shooting 4K videos and 1080p videos at 60 fps. The lenses are protected by the sapphire glass for scratch resistance. The front camera is a 16 MP sensor with f/2.0 lens. It is capable of shooting 1080p videos

nubia m2

The camera UI is inspired from iOS, but it has a lot of functions. Nubia calls it the Neovision 6.0. The UI has portrait mode to click sharp portraits with bokeh background. The manual or the pro mode can be used to get full control over your shots. The “Camera Family” has about 16 modes to get your creativity flow.

  • Multi-Exposure – Click creative pictures by exposing and controlling the exposure of multiple frames in one shot.
  • Light Draw – Light painting
  • E-Aperture – This is like the portrait mode, but not only controls aperture but also controls a few more parameters like shutter speed. This is like pro mode and portrait mode merged.
  • Slow-Shutter – To click creative photos, but slowing the shutter speed.
  • Star-Trail – To click start trails.
  • Video maker – Create vine like videos
  • Trajectory – Click creative shoots with trails blurred.
  • DNG – Raw mode. This is useful for professionals who want to edit the photos in powerful software later.
  • Clone – Click same foreground subject in multiple locations on the same background
  • Time-Lapse – create time – lapse or hyper lapse videos
  • Slo-Mo – Slow motion videos
  • Pano – Panorama shots
  • Mono – Dedicated black and white mode
  • Macro – Assist in clicking very close up macro shots
  • 3D – create parallax 3D videos of objects
  • Time-Shuttle – A filter to give you a time travel feel in your shots.

With all these modes, you can keep churning out creative photos without much effort. But a basic knowledge of photography will help you get the right shot.

The quality of photos is good on the Nubia M2. Focusing is fast, but accuracy is a miss and go. The colors are bright and natural. The exposure is perfect. It lacks sharpness and details to match my expectations. The low light shots capture the details but has a bit of noise. The dual camera setup is not doing anything special here. The B/W mode lacks contrast. On the Huawei P9/P10 the B/W sensor can click some insane monochromatic pictures and the M2, is similar to what we saw on the Z17 Mini and is not as good as the P9. If you really want a dual camera setup, go for the Z17 Mini as it is cheaper. The Nubia M2 has a better camera than the Moto G5, Honor 6X or the newly launched Honor 8 Lite. I still can’t get over the quality of Nubia Z11 Mini S and my hunt for its replacement is still on.

Check out the camera samples and you will see what I mean.

Considering the price range and average consumer usage, the Nubia Z17 Mini is a better choice, but let’s first check out the internals and then decide.

Hardware

The Nubia M2 is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 processor. It has 4GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. Memory is expandable with the hybrid SIM slot. The mobile has DTS enabled DAC over the 3.5mm jack. The speakers are loud enough. It has all the usual set of sensors including the Gyro and magneto meter. The fingerprint sensor is on the front and it is fast and accurate.

nubia m2

Performance

We have seen Snapdragon 625 in every alternate mobile in the market. Manufacturers opt for it because it is a good processor. It does not heat up. It is not a resource hogger. It is easy on battery and it is not expensive. It fits in a sweet spot, where the value for money meets performance. The M2 with SD625 is a good performer. It does not lag and it does not heat up beyond 3-5 degree Celcius on continuous usage. The graphics quality is average as expected from Adreno 506, but the game play is smooth and there is no frame drop noticeable. Overall, the M2 is a decent mid-range performer.

Software

Nubia M2 runs on Android 6.0 with Nubia UI. Though I wish it had Android 7.0 on it out of the box, the user experience from the Nubia UI is pretty good. The UI is fast and feels light weight. It has a whole bunch of useful features scattered and buried at multiple places. The edge feature is one of the innovative features that would redefine gesture based navigation on Android mobiles. When enabled, this feature lets you navigate back and forth between applications, clear all open applications, adjust screen brightness, etc… using gestures along the edges of the display. It does not have any bloatware. The Nubia UI is nimble and sensible.

Battery

Nubia M2 is powered by a 3630 mAh battery sealed in the body. Snapdragon 625 is known for its a power efficiency. M2 has a 5.5 inch AMOLED 1080p display and this translates to good battery life. The mobile gives me about 5-6 hours of screen on time. On continuous video loop test, the mobile lasted for 8 hours from 85 to 10%. On my typical usage, the mobile lasted for more than a day. The mobile supports fast charging, and it gets fully charged in about 2 hours. In 60 minutes, it gets charged from 0 to 75% and after that, it takes another 60 minutes to get fully charged using the stock Fast Charger.

Verdict

Nubia M2 is priced at Rs 21499 19999. For this price, you get a mobile with an impeccable build quality, aesthetic presence, cool camera features and a decent performance. I am not a believer in the dual camera setup. But mobiles these days insist on having a dual camera setup on every other mobile. Nubia M2 has a dual camera setup with can click some good shots, but even without using the second lens. Nubia mobiles have always been centered around photography. The camera family of apps is very helpful to click creative shots with ease. So this mobile will please anyone looking to have a stylish premium mobile with good camera. The Nubia M2 is definitely priced a bit high, but there is very little competition in this segment. There are not many good phones in the price bracket of Rs 17k to 25k. Nubia M2 fills that gap, but I still have my heart enslaved to the Nubia Z11 Mini S. I wish Nubia stocks it up once again. But for now, the M2 is what we have and it is a satisfying mobile if the price is reduced by a few thousand. (Update: Mobile price has been reduced to Rs 19999 from Rs 21499)

Available exclusively on Amazon

Nubia M2

Design - 8
Display - 8
Performance - 8
Camera - 8
User Interface - 7
Battery - 8.5
Value for Money - 7

7.8

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About Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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