Nimish SawantSep 30, 2016 15:22:31 IST
Lenovo has been releasing smartphones at fairly regular intervals and it is ably supported by Moto phones as well. But apart from the Moto phones, there is another segment of phones from Lenovo called ZUK. Unlike the Lenovo phones which come with the VibeUI interface, phones powered by ZUK come with a stock Android OS which has been a differentiating factor. While the first phone was launched earlier this year in the form of ZUK Z1, Lenovo has decided to go with its own brand name for the second version – thereby calling it Lenovo Z2 Plus, but there is a ‘Powered by ZUK’ branding on the box which sets this phone apart from the Vibe series of smartphones.
So without further ado, here are our first impressions of this device.
Build and Design
First things first, the Lenovo Z2 Plus is not going to win any awards for its thickness. At 8.49mm it is relatively thicker than its peers and after snapping on the stealth cover, it looks even more thicker. It doesn’t weigh much at 149 grams thankfully. There’s a glossy black glass back which may over time attract smudges and the frame is made of fibreglass.
Thanks to the 5-inch form factor, the phone fits well in the hand and there is a chamfering around the edges which does not leave any sharp edges. The rear side makes the phone a tad bit slippery to grip thanks to the glossy surface. There is a physical button which also functions as a fingerprint scanner on the front. The button/scanner can do multiple functions which we will elaborate below.
The volume rocker and power/standby buttons are present above the dual SIM card tray on the right hand side, and look a bit too plasticky. Top and left hand edges are clean. At the bottom edge you have the 3.5mm audio jack, microphone, USB Type C port for charging and data transfer and the mono speaker.
The design is functional and nothing that will make the Lenovo Z2 Plus stand out among the crowd. Build quality is relatively sturdy as well.
In an age of being surrounded by 5.5-inch devices, it is pleasant when you get a flagship level phone with a 5-inch display. The Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a 5-inch Full HD display giving it a pixel density of 441ppi. The display looks sufficiently bright, but we will need to do more testing outdoors and consume videos on it to get a complete idea. The display is sharp though as one would expect at such high pixel density. Viewing angles are good.
Chipset, RAM, Storage
This is where things really get interesting. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 820 chipset is for all purposes, the flagship SoC (yes, we know the Snapdragon 821 is also out). And the Lenovo Z2 Plus sports the Snapdragon 820 SoC with quad core Kyro CPU clocked at 2.15GHz with Adreno 530 graphics solution. It is paired with 4GB of DDR4 RAM and 64GB of storage out of which around 58.2GB is available to the user. There is no provision to expand the storage by adding in a microSD card. For storage, Lenovo Z2 Plus uses a SanDisk i7232 smartSLC storage which basically has a small portion of the storage with SLC memory which is faster than traditional flash storage.
OS and Software
For all practical purposes, the Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. It is not skinned like the Lenovo Vibe series phones. But just like the Moto phones, the OS does have some custom apps and some bloatware in the form of 9Apps, Hasoffer, Hotoday and so on.
It comes with a U Health app which monitors your daily steps and shows you daily, weekly, monthly charts, just like Google Fit. There are slight variations with accessing the quick menu. You will need to swipe from bottom upwards and you see a floating quick options menu. Notifications can be accessed by swiping from top downwards as usual.
But the most interesting addition is the home button / finger print scanner customisations. Called the U touch fingerprint sensor, it supports certain gestures on the button. For instance, pressing on the button once takes you to the home page, pressing the button twice brings up recent apps, swiping left and right on the button opens previous apps and so on. It is a nice implementation, but we need to dig further and see if there are more customisations possible on this.
The Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a 13MP rear camera with 1.34 micron pixel size which is complemented with a 8MP front-facing camera with a 1.4 micron pixel size. The rear camera is capable to shooting 4K videos and the front camera can shoot up to full HD video. The Z2 Plus also supports slow motion shooting at 120fps, 480fps and 960fps – with decreasing resolutions. The camera interface is slightly modified from a stock Google camera. The menu options present themselves in a circular sort of layout. Here are some of the sample images, but we need to test the phone in all conditions to get the complete picture.
The Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a dual nano SIM configuration which can take in two 4G SIM cards and also has support for 4G+, VoLTE. It supports Wi-Fi 802.11n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with A-GPS and GLONASS, there’s a USB Type C port for data transfer, FM radio is not supported. It houses a 3500mAh battery which is non-removable. It supports Intelligent Charge Cut-off technology which takes power from the AC power source after the battery is 100 percent charged.
Lenovo Z2 Plus offers a very good overall package – the Snapdragon 820 chipset, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage, U-touch fingerprint scanner, 13MP camera capable of shooting 4K video, 3500mAh battery, almost stock Android OS. We will need to run the phone through its paces to see how all these good features come together. The phone’s pricing starting from Rs 17,999 (for the 3GB RAM + 32GB storage) and Rs 19,999 (4GB RAM + 64GB storage) makes it quite competitive as compared to other Snapdragon 820 chipset sporting handsets.
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