Let’s look at two Android-powered smartphones from Nuu Canada. The M2 and the Z8.

I know they sound like German car models, but really, they’re unlocked smartphones targeting the budget or mid-range of the market. Could a Nuu smartphone be in your future? Let’s take a closer look.

Nuu is a maker of entry-level or budget pre-paid handsets which are ideal for users looking for an upgrade over a basic feature phone or who need a second device for use outside their home network.

The company currently features three distinct series of smartphones: the N Series, the X Series, and the Z Series.

All Nuu Mobile smartphones are protected by a two-year limited warranty. Each device also features two SIM card slots, expandable microSD storage, and removable batteries.

Understanding the needs and features that users want and need, Nuu has been able to create devices that don’t look or feel like budget options.

Nuu M2

The Nuu M2 is a 5.0-inch smartphone with a metal unibody and thin bezels. It has Android 7.0 and an internal battery. Closely resembling more expensive premium devices, the Nuu M2 is a surprisingly sleek and light handset

An interesting feature of the Nuu M2 is the dual SIM slots, which means you can have two numbers or two carriers on one device, which is convenient if you travel a lot.

Specs are standard for phones in this price range. You get a 1.3 quad-core processor from MediaTek, 2GB of RAM as well as 16 GB of onboard storage which can be expanded to 64GB using a microSD card. Running Android 7.0, the Nuu M2 has a 2,400 mAh battery which should last for a day.

The Nuu M2 has an 8-megapixel rear camera as well as a 5-megapixel front facing camera capable of HD recording. No 1080p or 4K recording here, unfortunately. Photos are pretty good provided you have a steady hand.

The 5” HD screen of M2 supports Smart Wake technology and Air Gestures, so you don’t even have to unlock your phone to enjoy quick effortless control, all that with swipe of a finger.  While these features do take some getting used to, they’re convenient and unexpected in a smartphone that’s not considered to be premium.

I like the stylish design, the trimmed bezels as well as the clarity of the 5-inch display. I find that 5-inches is the sweet spot for smartphones. They can easily fit a shirt pocket, they are usable in one hand and have more than enough screen real estate.

What is also unexpected, but welcome is the M2’s metal and glass construction with near seamless corners and premium metal finish. It certainly feels upscale, which will attract users stepping up from a basic phone. The black and gold colours, which are quite fashionable today, are sure to resonate with buyers.

Nuu Z8

The Nuu z8, the larger of the two, is an older model and has a removeable backplate and battery which some users prefer. Another Dual SIM phone, the Nuu Z8 has a larger 5.5-inch display and is better for watching HD videos.

Once the flagship device from Nuu, the Z8 is more of a mid-ranger by today’s standards. A key feature here is a phablet-sized 5.5-inch display on a budget price. The Z8’s OS is rather old, it comes with Android 5.1, with no upgrade path certain.

For some users and those who want basic smartphone functionality, this won’t be a huge deal breaker. Still, some apps require the latest OS to run smoothly or run at all and while you may be able to get by for a few years, but there are no guarantees.

The good news (or bad news, depending where you stand) is that the majority of the world’s Android devices are running on older software. So, there’s that.

The advantage of this design, and the plastic material, is that the Nuu Z8 looks like it could take more of a beating if it is dropped. Some users will find it old fashioned while others will revel in its classic good looks.

The Z8’s processor is a 1.7 GHz 8-core chip, it has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. A 13-megapixel rear camera and a removable battery round out the basic feature set.

I like the Nuu Z8 because it reminds me of classic smartphones I used to love, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 2, which had a similar size, a removeable backplate and battery as well as textured plastic construction.  Nuu’s implementation of Android isn’t heavy handed like other OEMs and is generally very familiar.

The ability to remove and replace the backplate and the battery is something that may appeal to certain users who want the option of swapping batteries on the fly.

 

Great features that you should consider when buying a phone

There’s no shortage of affordable and capable smartphones designed for the entry-level, midrange or pre-paid segment of the market. Few of these offerings bring dual-SIM card functionality standard, especially in North American markets.

Nuu Canada’s M2 and Z8 are both relatively affordable handsets with various features that users will find valuable in this segment. The more premium M2 features a metal and glass body, sleek design and more contemporary colour options.

The Z8 offers a larger 5.5-inch display as well as a practical removeable backplate and battery. It is an ideal step up for anyone pining for a larger smartphone but still with in an affordable range.

Bringing a lot of high end-features to the prepaid segment, the Nuu smartphones are certainly worth considering. Dual SIM functionality is welcome in this price range and makes these devices worth considering as a second phone for travellers or students abroad