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Nubia Flip 5G cover screen in hand
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

nubia Flip 5G review: Should you buy it?

Can this super-cheap flip foldable wow us with more than its low price tag?

Published onJune 25, 2024

nubia Flip 5G

The nubia Flip 5G is one of the cheapest foldable phones around, but this low price tag comes with several key cutbacks, such as reduced durability, a lack of an update pledge, and no ultrawide camera.

What we like

Decent performance
Respectable battery life
Relatively fast charging
Small display crease
Cheap for a foldable

What we don't like

No ultra-thin glass
No IP rating
No ultrawide camera
Running older version of Android
No update commitment

nubia Flip 5G

The nubia Flip 5G is one of the cheapest foldable phones around, but this low price tag comes with several key cutbacks, such as reduced durability, a lack of an update pledge, and no ultrawide camera.

nubia Flip 5G review: At a glance

  • What is it? The nubia Flip 5G is currently one of the world's cheapest foldable flip phones. The device ships with a Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 chipset, 8GB of RAM, 256GB of fixed storage, and a 4,310mAh battery with 33W wired charging.
  • What is the price? The nubia Flip 5G retails for $499 in the US, netting you the 8GB/256GB model.
  • Where can you buy it? The nubia Flip 5G, which launched in late April, can be bought via nubia's official website.
  • How did we test it? I tested the nubia Flip 5G for about a month. The review unit was supplied by nubia.
  • Is it worth it? The nubia Flip 5G is worth a look if you want a cheap flip foldable and don't want to delve into the second-hand market. But durability sacrifices and other cutbacks mean you should seriously consider the Motorola Razr 2023 or an older Galaxy Z Flip device.

Should you buy the nubia Flip 5G?

The unfolded Nubia Flip 5G.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

The nubia Flip 5G seems like a sturdy phone at first glance, featuring an aluminum frame and hinge as well as a glass back and flat edges. The AG glass back does keep fingerprints at bay, but it also makes the device slippery. This is the heaviest Flip foldable I’ve used in recent memory, too.

Unfurl the device and you’ll find a 6.9-inch foldable OLED screen. I noticed the crease at various angles and could certainly feel it when scrolling, but it’s still smaller than the vivo X Flip and Galaxy Z Flip 5 creases. nubia didn’t disclose brightness figures, but it got bright enough for outdoor viewing. I did find that the auto-brightness was too dim for my liking while watching videos via VLC media player during a flight. But it was nothing that a brightness adjustment couldn’t solve.

One massive cutback is the move to drop ultra-thin glass (UTG) protection. That doesn’t inspire confidence in scratch protection over time. This lack of protection also extends to water and dust resistance, as nubia confirmed to Android Authority that the phone lacks an IP rating. That means it isn’t rated to survive a splash of water or a smidgen of dust. By comparison, the mid-range Razr 2023 packs an IP52 rating and UTG.

The nubia Flip 5G sacrifices durability in particular to reach that $499 price tag.

The circular cover screen is more like a smartwatch display and brings to mind last year’s TECNO Phantom V Flip. There aren’t many uses for this screen at all, offering notifications, pedometer functionality, a calendar view, a stopwatch, a recorder widget, a camera viewfinder (exclusively using palm shutter gestures), and weather. You do have a media playback widget too, which worked with YouTube Music but somehow didn’t work with Pocket Casts. Weird. You can’t even toggle quick settings here, which is a real shame.

The nubia Flip 5G is powered by the older but still powerful Snapdragon 7 Gen 1 and 8GB of RAM, much like the Razr 2023. Benchmark scores show that the phone lags behind the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Dimensity-toting Phantom V Flip when it comes to CPU-bound tasks, but it’s mostly a match for the Razr 2023. GPU stress testing shows that the phone offers an impressive 99% stability.

Nubia Flip 5G Wild Life Stress Test results.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Real-world performance is mostly consistent, although I noticed a fair amount of judder in the first hours of using the phone and when the battery was very low. I also found YouTube to be extremely choppy when playing offline videos via Bluetooth earbuds, even after an app update. But everyday usage (e.g. system navigation, multitasking, camera) was smooth outside of these times. You shouldn’t have issues with many demanding games, either, as the likes of Genshin Impact ran smoothly at default settings (low/30fps). The device got very warm when turning things up to 60fps, though.

nubia’s phone ships with a 4,310mAh battery, and real-world battery life is good for a foldable. The time-since-last-charge option doesn’t seem to be available, but I would typically get roughly a day and a half of battery life. During a recent work trip, I was able to use the nubia Flip 5G (albeit in flight mode) to watch videos and listen to podcasts for almost the entirety of a nine-hour flight. And there was still some juice left to tide me over for my three-and-a-half-hour layover. Of course, flight mode helps with endurance in a big way, but you generally won’t need a charge at the end of the day unless you’re running heavy tasks (e.g. gaming, GPS navigation).

Once the battery runs down, you can make use of 33W wired charging. It takes just under an hour to go from zero to 100% capacity, which is notably faster than the Z Flip 5. Don’t expect wireless charging, as it’s a mid-range foldable, after all.

The nubia Flip 5G brings a 50MP main camera and a 2MP depth sensor — no ultrawide camera here. Daytime image quality is solid, although exposure and dynamic range can be very inconsistent. In fact, the selfie camera sometimes offered shots with more accurate exposure and wider dynamic range (albeit with less detail). Meanwhile, low-light shots are prone to hand-induced blurriness and can deliver plenty of noise in dark areas. But you also have a respectable amount of detail and a high level of brightness.

The phone doesn’t have an astrophotography or long-exposure mode, which is unfortunate as Flex Mode is made for these situations. At least there’s a fun mono-color mode similar to Spot Color and Color Pop modes on other phones. Otherwise, video quality tops out at 4K/30fps. You can view our full-resolution sample photos via this Google Drive folder.

The chin of the Nubia Flip 5G.
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

You have to hand it to nubia for trying to make the cheapest flip foldable phone around, and the device certainly delivers in some areas. There’s a tiny display crease, Flex Mode works well here thanks to the reliable free-stop hinge, and there’s enough performance for most users. Toss in 256GB of base storage, good battery life, and an aluminum frame, and there’s a lot to like here.

The nubia Flip 5G is the cheapest flip foldable you can get, but it unfortunately makes cutbacks in critical areas.

Unfortunately, there are some significant compromises to reach that $499 price tag. The lack of ultra-thin glass and an IP rating makes us seriously wonder about long-term durability. The small cover display failed to meet my low expectations for functionality too, while the lack of an ultrawide camera is disappointing. nubia isn’t offering a specific software update policy, either, which is doubly disappointing seeing that Android 13 is used here. Finally, you lose out on network support in the US, too, supporting most of the sub-6GHz 5G bands on AT&T and Verizon but only supporting one T-Mobile 5G band. The phone also lacks mmWave support.

The nubia Flip 5G is worth considering if you absolutely must have a brand-new foldable on a budget. But spending a little extra really pays off here, as phones like the Motorola Razr 2023 and even older Galaxy Z Flip models you can buy on the cheap don’t make nearly as many significant compromises.

nubia Flip 5Gnubia Flip 5G
nubia Flip 5G
Decent performance • Small display crease • Cheap for a foldable
MSRP: $499.99
The foldable flip phone gets even cheaper.
The nubia Flip 5G takes affordable foldables to the next level, bringing respectable performance, a tiny display crease, and solid battery life to the table.

What are the best nubia Flip 5G alternatives?

The Nubia Flip 5G and Tecno Phantom V Flip
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

There aren’t many cheap foldable phones out there, but here are some alternatives worth knowing.

  • Motorola Razr 2023 ($699.99 at Amazon): The Razr 2023 is probably the best cheap foldable on the market. It’s a little more expensive than the nubia Flip but brings valuable extras like ultra-thin glass, an IP rating, an ultrawide camera, and a decent update pledge.
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 ($944.45 at Amazon): The Z Flip 4 came out in 2022, but it’s still worth considering today if you can find it at a discounted price. Expect great overall durability, top-tier performance, good cameras, and fantastic foldable software with a long-term update commitment.

nubia Flip 5G specs

Nubia Flip 5G
6.9-inch pOLED
2,790 x 1,188 resolution (FHD+)
120Hz refresh rate
443 PPI
2,160Hz PWM dimming

1.43-inch AMOLED
466 x 466 resolution
60Hz refresh rate
282 ppi
Snapdragon 7 Gen 1
4,310mAh battery
33W wired charging
No wireless charging
- 50MP wide, f/1.8, autofocus
- 2MP depth

- 16MP
Dual speakers
DTS:X Ultra
2 microphones
4K at 30fps
1080p at 30/60fps
1080p at 30fps
AG glass back
Aluminum frame
No IP rating
No ultra-thin glass
Rated for 200,000 folds
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.1
Side-mounted fingerprint reader
MyOS 13
Android 13
No update pledge
Dimensions and weight
Open: 170 x 75.5 x 7mm
Closed: 87.6 x 75.5 x 15mm
209 grams
Cosmic Black
Sunshine Gold
Flowing Lilac
In the box
Nubia Flip 5G
USB-C to USB-C cable
USB-C adapter
SIM ejector tool
Quick start guide
Protective case

nubia Flip 5G review: FAQ

No, the nubia Flip 5G only offers support for physical SIMs.

Yes, the nubia Flip 5G has NFC.

No, nubia told us that the nubia Flip 5G doesn’t have an IP rating.

No, the nubia Flip 5G has fixed storage. But the phone offers 256GB of internal storage.

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