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ZTE Nubia Z9 follows trend, launches directly to buyers

You can buy three different versions of this unlocked, 5.2-inch Android 5.0 Lollipop handset directly from the vendor.

Starting at $564, the Nubia sub-brand takes a stab at selling buyers its unlocked Android device. Nubia

ZTE's subsidiary brand, Nubia, is the latest phone-maker to sell its wares directly to US buyers. On Thursday, it announced that its Nubia Z9 -- which we saw a bigger variant of a few months back called the Z9 Max -- is going on sale in the US.

The unlocked handset runs Android 5.0 on a 5.2-inch screen, and has a 16-megapixel camera. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 810 chipset and a 2,900mAh battery back performance.

Visually, the Z9's claim to fame is its nonexistent bezel on its sides, as well as a red accent to call out its home button.

Buyers can choose among three models and two colors: black or gold. The base variant comes with 32GB storage and 3GB RAM for $564. Moving up a tier you have the 64GB "Elite" version with 4GB RAM for $645. Finally, a fingerprint reader tops up the "Exclusive" version, which shares the 64/4GB storage combination, for $725.

Nubia hasn't nailed down a specific sale date yet, but it'll be sometime in Q3, at Nubia's website and at "select retailers."

Meanwhile, for all the details of the Z9's slightly larger 5.5-inch counterpart, including CNET's hands-on video, check out the Nubia Z9 Max here .

Article updated at 11:40am PT to correctly identify the Z9 as a new device.