By: Anil Satapathy, The Mobile Indian, New Delhi
Last updated : Saturday, May 28, 2016 - 13:52
At Rs 13,499, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 certainly offers more than what you would expect from a budget phone.
Looks great in metal body
No expandable storage
Gets heated up while gaming
Lenovo Zuk Z1 was launched earlier this month in India at Rs 13,499 and it is available through flash sales only. It offers quite rich specs including the powerful Snapdragon 801 processor, 3 GB RAM, Cyanogen OS based on Android Lollipop, 5.5 inch display, 13 megapixel rear camera and an 8 megapixel front camera. It has dual SIM, WiFi, Bluetooth, a huge 4100 mAh battery, USB Type C port, fingerprint sensor, and host of other sensors.
So is it really that good as it appears on paper? Is the Cyanogen OS better than plain Android version? What about its performance?
We have here tried to answer all such questions. So if you are planning to buy this phone, then you must first read it.
Lenovo seldom did any wrong when it comes to the design of its phones. Most of its phones were praised particularly for their eye-catching designs. And after the purchase of Motorola, Lenovo has borrowed some key design elements of Motorola devices and infused it into its devices.
The Lenovo Zuk Z1 is yet another gorgeous smartphone of the company. It looks much aristocratic than for what it is being offered. It has a metal unibody; though it isn't screw less or perfect (the back panel feels like removable but it isn't) but it looks really beautiful. The curved back panel and the smooth finishing give a great feeling in hand. It doesn't attract dust or sweat. The width is just of the right size for a comfortable grip.
The curved side panels further improves the grip while laser cut edges in silver colour gives it the necessary spark.
The volume and power button are placed on the right hand side with ample gap in between and they are easily reachable. Most would find it easy to hold and operate in one hand. The dual SIM card slot is on the left hand side. The 3.5 mm jack is at the top while the USB Type C port is at the bottom besides a speaker grill and a microphone.
The tiny circular rear camera's lens is well protected as it is on a lower level than the back panel, so it might not get scratched if you keep it in solid surface. Two LED flash lights are just below the rear camera.
In the front, there is a home button just below the display. This rectangular shaped home button also acts as a fingerprint sensor. On either side of this home button there are return and menu touch keys which are LED backlit and the light appears while using the phone. Above the display lies a notification light, a speaker grill and the front camera.
To sum up, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 is well designed; it is good looking and is great to use as well.
I am a great lover of the simplicity and usability of the default Android operating system. Many smartphone makers have tweaked it with their own UI and most of the times they feel awkward and feel unnecessary. I was also not that impressed with Cyanogen's previous versions.
Obviously, I had so many doubts about the Zuk Z1's interface. To recall, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 has Android 5.1.1 based Cyanogen 12.1 operating system. Like the normal Android version, it too has notification panel and Quick Settings. There are several screens in the home page for quick access. There was an app home as well but the surprise lies there. Here all the apps and widgets are arranged in alphabetical order and you have to scroll up-down to see them. This looks much better than the traditional method of swiping left right. The execution was spot on.
The OS was quite fluid and not once I felt in any lag.
The Lenovo Zuk Z1 has the 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 (8974AC) quad core processor, Adreno 330 3D GPU and 3GB RAM. The combination makes the Zuk Z1 quite a fast smartphone. I had no issues while playing games or multitasking. But it does get heated up while gaming.
The huge 5.5 inch screen of Z1 also ensures you have plenty of area to play games. It is an IPS display and hence offers good viewing angles. Most importantly, the display has full HD (1920x1080 pixels) resolution and superb 450 nits of brightness. The capacitive touchscreen was also quite sensitive to touches.
The phone has 64 GB of internal storage â€“ the best that you can right now in a phone that cost just Rs 13,499. However, it has no expandable storage slot which means you have to manage with its 64 GB of internal storage.
The Zuk Z1 has two decent cameras. Both the cameras are quite fast and reproduces colours as they are. The 13 megapixel rear camera has also OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) for blur free images. So if you have got shaking hands, this is the phone for you.
Here are some of the samples:
Battery & Connectivity
The Lenovo Zuk Z1 has two nano SIM card slots. Both can hold 4G SIM cards. Besides it has dual band WiFi (a/b/g/n/ac), WiFi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS with AGPS and GLONASS, and USB Type C port.
The Lenovo Zuk Z1 also impresses in battery segment with its 4100 mAh battery. I had always got more than a day's battery life with one charging. Also thanks to the USB Type C port, it gets charged quite quickly.
The Lenovo Zuk Z1 is a real deal at Rs 13,499. It got a great body and is quite powerful as well. Camera and battery back up wise it is one of the best handsets as well. I wouldn't say that Cyanogen adds some extra points to its case but it certainly fun to use. All in all, if you are okay with its limited storage, the Lenovo Zuk 1 is certainly a handset to watch out for.
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