Our Verdict

Despite its low price, fetching Samsung-inspired design, lack of bloatware apps and removable battery, the Nuu X4 fails to pass muster in almost every other regard. There are much better budget options available right now, so this is best avoided.

For

  • Low price
  • Solid design
  • Removable battery

Against

  • Dull screen
  • Terrible camera
  • Sluggish performance

The Nuu Mobile is the latest low-cost Android firm to emerge from China, and it's aiming to take the affordable mobile market by storm with its first handset  - the Nuu Mobile X4.

The X4 offers a decent sounding spec list on paper (for the price) with a 5-inch 720p HD screen, quad-core processor, 16GB of storage and 13-megapixel rear camera.

You also get a removable 2,250mAh battery (something of a rarity these days), and it's all housed in a case which mixes plastic with premium-quality metal. 

The Nuu Mobile X4 is running an almost stock version of Google's Android 5.1 operating system, which is rather on the old side but still, it's so far, so good.

Nuu Mobile X4 specs

Weight: 151g
Dimensions: 142.2 x 71.1 x 7.9mm
OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
Screen size: 5-inch
Resolution: 1280 x 720
CPU: 1.3GHz quad-core
RAM: 2GB
Storage: 16GB
Battery: 2,250mAh
Rear camera: 13MP
Front camera: 5MP

Nuu Mobile X4 price and release date

  • Just £130, $170 SIM-free
  • Available in UK and US

The Nuu Mobile X4 is the first handset from the firm to reach the UK, but it's also available wider in Europe and in the US.

SIM-free from Amazon you're looking at a Nuu Mobile X4 price of just £130 ($170) which sees it rub shoulders with the Moto G4, HTC Desire 530 and Wileyfox Swift.

Key features and design

  • Design combines plastic with metal
  • Quad-core power with 2GB RAM
  • 5-inch 720p screen

The moment you pick up the Nuu X4 it's obvious where the phone's designers got their inspiration from – the handset is a dead ringer for the Samsung Galaxy Note 5, with its metal chassis and rounded sides.

While it doesn't quite match the build quality and overall desirability of Samsung's phone, it's a close imitation, and, slavish copying aside, there's little reason to feel short-changed from a purely aesthetic standpoint. 

The X4 looks good from practically every angle, which isn't something you can always say about budget Android handsets.

Metal runs around the edges of the device, which means your fingers are almost always in contact with it, and this lends the X4 a premium feel.

The back of the phone, however, is covered by a plastic panel. This snaps off to reveal a user-replaceable battery – something of a rarity these days – as well as dual microSIM slots and a microSD slot, which enables you to expand the phone's 16GB base storage.

Because of this pop-off panel, the X4 offers no protection against water or dust ingress, which shouldn't be all that shocking given the low cost of this phone.

Around the corners of the X4 you'll find the usual array of buttons and ports, but Nuu has made some strange choices here, the most obvious of which is putting the micro USB port at the top of the device, along with the 3.5mm headphone socket.

This means the bottom edge is reserved solely for the single loudspeaker and in-call microphone. On the right-hand side is the power button, while the volume rocker is positioned on the opposite edge.

Despite giving the impression that it has an edge-to-edge screen, the X4's 5-inch IPS display is surrounded by quite a large black bezel. Three capacitive buttons are located below the screen – back, home and multitasking – and there's no fingerprint scanner.

The screen has a HD resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, which is perfectly acceptable in daily use so long as you don't look too closely – if you do, you'll notice that text can sometimes look jagged, and images aren't quite as sharp as they could be.

However, by far the most pressing issue with the screen isn't resolution, but overall quality; the display has a washed-out look which robs photos, movies and games of visual impact.