ZUK Z1 Review – A lot of hardware at a good price


zuk z1 review

This review has been a long time coming for various reasons but it’s finally here. Keep reading for my full ZUK Z1 review.

Due to various reasons this review was pushed back further than we had hoped. I was at the launch of the ZUK Z1 but that phone was given to us running the Chinese ZUI ROM but really the phone isn’t that great with the ZUI. So then I had to wait for CM to release, and it did while I was at IFA. Finally I managed to brick my Z1 when installing CM (due to an issue with the Qualcomm tool not wanting to run on Virtual Box).

Anyway I have a replacement phone, it has the right ROM and its the grey model too. The ZUK Z1 review follows.

ZUK Z1 Review – Design

zuk z1 review

If I was to be polite about the ZUK Z1 then I would say that the phone is simple and understated, but I’m not going to beat around the bush with pleasantries. The Z1 is by far the most bland looking device I have laid eyes on in recent years. There is nothing that makes the phone standout from the crowd and it’s not going to impress your friends on looks alone.

zuk z1 review

The ZUK team have created a unibody phone with alloy chassis, narrow bezels and 5.5-inch FHD display with an off-centre physical home button on the chin. The physical home button looks out of place as it sits closer to the bottom of the phone than the screen, but also because it is more angular than the curved device it sits on.

zuk z1 review

An alloy chassis separates the glass on the front from the plastic on the rear, and has space for the Type C USB port in the base (with speaker to the right), SIM tray on the left, power and volume buttons on the right and 3.5mm headphone jack in the top. Speaking of the headphone jack, you can also plug a set of USB Type C headphones in the USB too so too people can listen to the phone at once.

zuk z1 review

The metal frame is curved in the middle and has a bevel at the front and rear. To the rear the bevel leads its way on to the rear plastic cover where you will discover the lens for a 13 mega-pixel main camera, dual LED flash and ZUK logo.

8.9mm, is quite thick for a smartphone, but in this case we can totally understand why the Z1 is a little fatter than usual, in addition to a dual nano SIM tray there is also a 4100mAh battery inside that gives the phone killer battery life (around 6 hours of gaming in my tests).

ZUK offer the Z1 in either white or grey (there are also rumours of a gold model too). If it was my money then I would opt for the grey version, with black front. The dark colours means the metal frame and metal borders around the home button and camera, stand out and give it a more flashy look and feel.

So the ZUK Z1 is a bit of a plain Jane, but looks are not what this phone is about.

ZUK Z1 Review – Hardware

Hardware is where the ZUK Z! stands out, highlights include a 5.5-inch FHD display, 64GB internal memory as standard, that monster 4100mAh battery, USB 3.0 Type C, surprisingly good audio, fingerprint scanner in the home button, decent 13 mega-pixel main camera, Snapdragon 801 processor and 3GB RAM.

zuk z1 review

There are people who say that the SD801 is too old to be in a flagship phone, but I don’t agree with them. I still have SD801 phones in use today that feel just as fast as newer devices and they stay cooler too. Sure benchmarks are more impressive on a SD810, but real world differences are negligible.

When I met with ZUK at their international launch they told me the Z1 was made for heavy users in mind, this is why they concentrated on hardware first and design second. They also say this is the reason for having 64GB as standard and mounting a 4100mAh battery inside. That battery might not be as large as some in other phones (the BV5000 has a 5000mAh for example) but in my tests you aren’t ever going to wish you had a bigger cell in the Z1. 2 days on a single charge is not uncommon with the Z1 and that’s with some serious game time thrown in to the mix!

Audio isn’t a feature that ZUK promote on the Z1 but it is rather good. I have only used the 3.5mm headphone jack (usb headphones don’t come with the international version of the phone) but audio through earphones is really enjoyable. Audio as standard on the ZUI model is good, but it’s even better on the international model due to CM’s built-in AudioFX system.

zuk z1 review

Security has been a big deal this year and most smartphones now come with a fingerprint scanner of some description. The ZUK Z1 has a scanner under a physical home button, pressing the button with the fingerprint that you have set up will unlock the phone. Accuracy and speed is good, I would say better than the OnePlus 2 overall.

With Cyanogen on the ZUK Z1 the LED notification light is active and you have the option of setting up hardware or onscreen navigation buttons. With ZUI you need to start the developer mode to turn hardware buttons but I never found the LED notification option.

There is no micro SD card slot on the Z1, but with 64GB memory as standard we feel that this is more than enough for even heavy users. Also the battery is none removable but again 4100mAh and 2 days of use is not to be sniffed at.

Are there issues? Well some users have reported problems with WIFI and others have said that applications force close from time to time or the phone might randomly reboot. These are issues that Cyanogen will work on fixing, and with CM on the case we should frequent updates.

ZUK Z1 Review – Performance

Being a machine made for gaming and heavy usage you would expect benchmarks to rival the hottest machines of today. In benchmarks though the ZUK Z1 isn’t quite up there with the likes of the OnePlus 2 or LeTV LeMax, but it still offers impressive scores, and more importantly can handle even the most advanced games you can throw at it.

ZUK Z1 Review – Camera

zuk z1 review

With Cyanogen on the ZUK Z1 you have a lot more to play about with in the camera application. The app itself is similar to how the camera app was on the OnePlus One, so swiping up and down brings up the different settings.

Compared to the OnePlus 2 or Xiaomi Mi Note, the camera on the ZUK Z1 is slightly off the mark, but overall its a decent performer and produces good photos most of the time. Speed of the camera is good, although HDR photos are slightly slower to process and save when compared to other phones.

ZUK Z1 Review – CyanogenOS

Cyanogen are an official partner to ZUK so the system on the international phone is the official CyanogenOS system not the Cyanogen ROM that other Chinese phone makers offer on their devices. This differences between the two are the CM ROM is an open source project relying on fans and third party developers to grow, while CyanogenOS is handled by the Cyanogen company with guaranteed updates.

So for I’ve had a few OTA updates which have added to the stability of the phone, and overall I’m happy with the system, which is basically a tweaked version of vanilla Android with some added security features, and custom CM apps.

CM really does improve the phone as a whole. I barely like the ZUK Z1 with ZUI but the international model with CM is a much nicer device, with more useful features and a more user friendly UI.

ZUK Z1 Review – Gallery

ZUK Z1 Review – Specifications

Model: ZUK Z1
Sim Card: Dual Standby , 2 x Nano  SIM
Color: White/Grey
Memory RAM: 3GB

ROM: 64GB(Available Memory 54GB)

Support SD card

Multi-Languages English, Bahasa Indonesia, Bahasa Melayu, Catala,Cestina, Dansk, Deutsch,Eesti,Espanol,Euskara, Filipino, French, Galego,Hrvatski,Isuzulu,Islenska,Italiano,Kiswahili, Latviesu,Letzebuergesch, Lietuviu, Magyar, Nederlands, Norsk, Polish, Portuguese, Romana, Slovencina, Suomi, Svenska, Tieng viet, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Russian, Ukrainian, Hebrew, Arabic, Thai, Khmer, Korean, Simplified/Traditional Chinese
Chipset CPU: Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core (Qualcomm 8974AC)

GPU: Adreno 330

System CM  base on Android Lollipop
Screen Display Size: 5.5 inch FHD IPS, GFF, NTSC 100%, AF coating

Resolution: 1920*1080

Technology:Corning Gorilla Glass 3
Camera Rear Camera:  13MP OIS AF,

dual-LED (dual tone) flash

Front Camera:  8MP HD FF

Video Capture: 1920*1080

Network and Wireless Connectivity GSM/EDGE:850,900,1800,1900MHz; CDMA:800MHz

WCDMA :850/900.1900,2100MHz; CDMA2000:800MHz

TD-SCDMA:Band 34/39

FDD:Band 1/3/7; TDD: Band 38/39/40/41

WIFI :802.11 ac/b/g/n 2.4GHz and 5GHz Dual Bands

GPS:GPS/GLONASS

Bluetooth: V4.1

Battery capacity and life Non-removable 4100mAh Li-polymer battery

Standby Time:Stand by: >3 weeks

Talk Time:48hours

Others: OTG,USB3.0 Type C

3.5 mm headphone jack

Sensor Accelerometer/Proximity /Gyro/Ambient Light/Hall/Magnet

ZUK Z1 Review – Conclusion

Before buying the ZUK Z1 you need to ask yourself what is important to you when buying a phone. If you want the latest processor and highest benchmarks then obviously the Z1 isn’t for you, but you would be silly to base your buying decision on this.

zuk z1 review

If on the other hand you want a phone with killer battery life, solid build, the latest standard USB, great gaming performance, a ton of internal memory, decent camera and updates handed by Cyanogen then the ZUK Z1 is the phone to buy. Heavy gamers and hardcore users will be hard pushed to find a Chinese device that offers so much.

The ZUK Z1 is available through numerous online stores, we received our grey international version from shop.gizchina.com where it is available for EU customers and comes with a 24 month warranty for just $299.99.

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190 Comments

  1. Jocke
    October 27, 2015

    Andi get the new letv s1 phone and make a hands on video please.

  2. Daniel Schrøder
    October 27, 2015

    Have CM really said they are working on the wifi problem?

  3. October 27, 2015

    In the end i did buy my ZUK from gizchina shop website. Im really happy with it, everything is just perfect for me apart from the camera. It is decent, but it could be better. Software tweeks can improve it tho.
    The screen is beautiful, good audio on speaker and through headphones. Fingerprint scanner is super fast and then there’s the battery. Im a heavy user and i get 7-8h sot. Enough said.

  4. Rob
    October 27, 2015

    The SD801 is quad core and not octa-core as mentioned in the article. Also surprised by the lack of band 20 since this is an international model and that you gave it 7/10 for design when you basically said it’s really ugly (and I agree)!

    • thor2001
      October 27, 2015

      There is only ONE hardware-revision, that without B20.

      • balcobomber25
        October 27, 2015

        He’s not saying there is multiple models, he is saying this phone was designed for international markets.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      Id give the design about a 5-6, its not ugly or good looking. Its very dull and boring.

      • October 27, 2015

        To me the performance it the most important factor, therefore i prefer ZUK to OPT for example.

        • balcobomber25
          October 27, 2015

          OPT is hideous looking lol. For me it’s more about the dimensions than the actual looks. I like thin phones meaning under 8mm.

          • October 27, 2015

            Right, matter of taste really.
            One of the nicest looking phones in you’re opinion then?
            Just to give me the idea.

            • balcobomber25
              October 27, 2015

              For me Gionee Elife S7, Meizu MX5 (current phone) and Huawei P8.

            • October 27, 2015

              Cool.
              I’m not loving the looks of the ZUK, but the black version looks pretty nice in real life. Ask Andi;)
              Also, it is quite similar to MX5;P

            • balcobomber25
              October 27, 2015

              Not really close to MX5. MX5 is mostly metal, Z1 is mostly plastic. MX5 isnt original looking (cross between HTC and MX4) but it is good looking. Z1 is just bland. Also the hardware is very different.

  5. Bility
    October 27, 2015

    Any particular reason why Chinese manufacturers avoid Band 20?

    • thor2001
      October 27, 2015

      It’s believed to be a licensing/patent thing …

    • October 27, 2015

      I believe SD801 doesn’t allow band 20.

      • balcobomber25
        October 27, 2015

        That is not correct. HTC One M8 has SD801 and band 20. It’s because of costs like Thor mentioned.

        • October 27, 2015

          Well, that’s something I’ve read on xda. I was trying to check it, but didn’t find anything.
          Thanks for correcting.

          • balcobomber25
            October 27, 2015

            Yea those messages pop up often on XDA and other forums. Qualcomm chips have support for all GSM bands but it’s up to each manufacturer to support them.

            • October 27, 2015

              Apparently there’s a way to unlock band 20 in SD801, but I’m not that advanced…

            • balcobomber25
              October 27, 2015

              You can only unlock it if your phone is a global phone which has the 800mhz radio inside. For instance Sony usually has one global model but they software block certain frequencies (due to carrier agreements and licensing). So those phones you can unlock it. But not all SD801 phones have the same equipment. The chip can support all bands but it still requires multiple antenna to be included.

      • Bility
        October 27, 2015

        How about mtk6795 does that not allow it too?

        • balcobomber25
          October 27, 2015

          Every chip sold today has support for Band 20. The reason a lot of phones don’t include it is because they aren’t officially sold in Europe, same reason they don’t include the US bands and there are some licensing costs to operate on those networks. The won’t invest the money to support those networks until they have an official presence there or they see strong sales.

          • Bility
            October 28, 2015

            Best answer so far, thanks

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      they don’t use it because in China they have different standards:
      t’s not just Band 20, it’s band 2, band4, band 5, band 6…

  6. Roberto Tomás
    October 27, 2015

    I am not one of those people who can tell the difference in ugliness between an iphone, this, or the new nexus 5x (I actually think the 5x, despite being considerably cheaper and plastic design, is a better design than the 6p)… so the looks don’t bother me. the only thing that does bother me is the yesteryear soc. other than this this is a great phone to me

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      That SoC is still a beast, it’s actually better than the 810 in the long run. It doesn’t overheat or throttle so you have sustained performance the entire time. There’s very little the 801 won’t handle if anything.

      • Joel Adames
        October 27, 2015

        EXCEPT… that they could have used the SD805 for added power and stuff :-I

        • balcobomber25
          October 27, 2015

          The major difference between the 805 and 801 is the 805 has better support for 4k displays and a slightly better GPU. Power though is an insignificant difference, you would never notice it.

          • Joel Adames
            October 28, 2015

            Sure but the wouldn’t be that much of a complain of it being so old and meager.

            • balcobomber25
              October 28, 2015

              Calling the SD801 meager is like calling a Porsche 911 slow because it’s not a Ferrari. The Porsche is still a fast car no matter what else is available and the SD801 is still a very powerful chip.

            • Joel Adames
              October 28, 2015

              I get your point but it more like comparing a porche 911 with a porche 911 carrera S sd805 then carrera 911turboS being sd810 and the sd808 being the 911cabrio. Also the sd807. so basically they had options but if they came and said clearly is all for price sake I would understand but they say is a power user phone??? They better get real and wake up to the fact that if nothing great happens with price LeTV Le 1s will make their Z1 inventory remain as an non moving inventory for a long long time.

            • balcobomber25
              October 28, 2015

              It is a power user phone. The SD801 is still a power user SoC, 99% of people will never notice a power difference between it and 805.

  7. balcobomber25
    October 27, 2015

    Design reminds me of an Asus phone. The SD801 is more than powerful enough and will handle 99% of the playstore with ease. The camera is a bit of a letdown especially at this price point.

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      i don’t get an this hype about this phone.
      i think it’s overestimated.

      • balcobomber25
        October 27, 2015

        It’s the newest CM phone, just like the OPO was overhyped.

        • MaxPower
          October 27, 2015

          it was, and it made sense a year ago. but this one?
          it is a good phone, don’t get me wrong, but not to justify this hype.

          and i would definitely spend $300 elsewhere.

          • balcobomber25
            October 27, 2015

            I would too because it’s boring looking, I dont like the OS and the camera isn’t that great. My MX5 blows this away and can be found for as cheap as $290. But if it was like $249 or even $269 it wouldn’t be a bad deal to me.

  8. newphoenix
    October 27, 2015

    Sorry but the hardware does not deserve 9.5, the SD801 is old 32 bit.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      64 bit is still a few years from having major advantages. Even the majority of apps are still written in 32 bit.

  9. E8hffff
    October 27, 2015

    When they decided on the CPU/SoC, was it when they tripped on an old box and some old component stock fell out? Thumbs up to the 8MP front cam, but the screen res and SoC is stale sour cream.

    • Joel Adames
      October 27, 2015

      agree to most except screen. it could kill the gains froma a 4000mah battery, and just balance it evenly out. and then the sd801 would have strugled even more. jajajaja

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      What can’t the SD801 do that another chip could in this phone?

    • Hugo Vaz
      November 21, 2015

      SD810 are crap and not even the new version did much about it. Overheating, poor battery management, etc. Take a look at Xiaomi Mi4 and Xiaomi Mi4i, it’s not even a question on wish of them is better. Maybe not clear cut is between Xiaomi Mi4 and Xiaomi Mi4c (that has the SD808), but if in terms of Antutu scores the SD808 scores higher, the truth is that in real life usage the Xiaomi Mi4 still beats the crap out of Mi4c.

      Truth be told: Qualcomm has had a terrible year with their last SoC’s, SD801 still beats all the new ones, and you have to look to Exynos SoC’s to see who has the best SoC’s at the moment. So if the decision is between a SD801 or any other SD8xx, either wait for the gamble on the SD820 or skip the rest. 64b vs 32b is a gimmick taking into account the specs, so it’s useless.

  10. Jeremy Render
    October 27, 2015

    How does this compare to Asus Zenfone 2?

    • October 28, 2015

      Hmm that is an interesting one. If you like lots of interesting ROM features then the Asus is great and updates are fantastic. On the hardware front they are similar but I’d say the ZUK has the win for the better camera performance and fingerprint scanner

      • Jeremy Render
        October 28, 2015

        Hi Andi, thank you for that insight.

  11. Varun Varma
    October 27, 2015

    How long are Quallcomm likely to continue supporting the SD801 processor that is over a year old? If they stop supporting the SoC, it could prevent the phone being updated to the latest version of android further down the line.

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      Qualcomm makes the SoC and release the documentation.
      They don’t make software, there’s nothing to support from them.

      it’s up to phone manufacturer to care of the software. they can put Android, they can put Linux or Windows.

      nothing to do with Qualcomm.

        • MaxPower
          October 27, 2015

          you can still keep the previous drivers.
          that’s a scenario, it doesn’t mean that happens all the times.

          in the past we have seen the phone manufacturers being lazy rather than chip manufacturers, especially when it’s up to drivers

        • balcobomber25
          October 27, 2015

          OS support is almost never an issue with chips from Qualcomm.

  12. COS
    October 27, 2015

    CM = CyanogenMod = open source Android system. Cyanogen OS is closed source Android system from Cyanogen inc and should not be called CM.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      It shouldn’t be but it is called that. Cyangonen had no choice but to make it closed source to have it ship on phones. Each new version is based on a lot of the work the community does it just has support for proprietary components of specific phones and those components are almost always closed source.

      • COS
        October 28, 2015

        Not it is not, COS is better acronym for closed source system and it is already used everywhere.

        • balcobomber25
          October 28, 2015

          COS maybe a better acronym but CM is the dominant one used in the industry and it won’t change anytime soon.

  13. Georgi Uzunov
    October 27, 2015

    Anyone knows if the phone sold in Gizchina store have the Wi-Fi issues?

    • October 27, 2015

      I bought mine from Gizchina and i don’t have the wifi problem.
      Doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t, but i wish you luck:)

    • Maccag
      October 30, 2015

      No WiFi issues. Mine bought from gizchina. From xda forums appears phones from gizchina/honorbuy are fine.

    • November 8, 2015

      I believe the WiFi issues have been solved long ago….. mine is also running just fine with WiFi.

  14. Guest
    October 27, 2015

    Andi get the new letv s1 phone and make a hands on video please.

  15. Guest
    October 27, 2015

    Andi get the new letv s1 phone and make a hands on video please.

  16. Daniel Schrøder
    October 27, 2015

    Have CM really said they are working on the wifi problem?

  17. Daniel Schrøder
    October 27, 2015

    Have CM really said they are working on the wifi problem?

  18. MUG3NHC
    October 27, 2015

    In the end i did buy my ZUK from gizchina shop website. Im really happy with it, everything is just perfect for me apart from the camera. It is decent, but it could be better. Software tweeks can improve it tho.
    The screen is beautiful, good audio on speaker and through headphones. Fingerprint scanner is super fast and then there’s the battery. Im a heavy user and i get 7-8h sot. Enough said.

  19. Alessio Igor Bogani
    October 27, 2015

    Could you compare zuk z1 with letv le one pro, please?

  20. Rob
    October 27, 2015

    The SD801 is quad core and not octa-core as mentioned in the article. Also surprised by the lack of band 20 since this is an international model and that you gave it 7/10 for design when you basically said it’s really ugly (and I agree)!

    • thor2001
      October 27, 2015

      There is only ONE hardware-revision, that without B20.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      Id give the design about a 5-6, its not ugly or good looking. Its very dull and boring.

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      To me the performance it the most important factor, therefore i prefer ZUK to OPT for example.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      OPT is hideous looking lol. For me it’s more about the dimensions than the actual looks. I like thin phones meaning under 8mm.

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      Right, matter of taste really.
      One of the nicest looking phones in you’re opinion then?
      Just to give me the idea.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      For me Gionee Elife S7, Meizu MX5 (current phone) and Huawei P8.

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      Cool.
      I’m not loving the looks of the ZUK, but the black version looks pretty nice in real life. Ask Andi;)
      Also, it is quite similar to MX5;P

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      Not really close to MX5. MX5 is mostly metal (top and bottom are plastic rest is all metal), Z1 is mostly plastic. MX5 isnt original looking (cross between HTC One and older Meizu models like the MX4) but it is good looking. Z1 is just bland. Also the hardware is very different: The MX5 has a much better camera.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      He’s not saying there is multiple models, he is saying this phone was designed for international markets.

  21. Nolan
    October 27, 2015

    299 is too much. This should have been priced around 179, or better still – 149. No one will buy this for 299 – that’s brand territory.

    • October 27, 2015

      Show me a phone with these specs for 149-179.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      What makes it a $149 phone? Because it has a last gen SoC?

      • Joel Adames
        October 28, 2015

        No because the kind of lost their momentum and now LeTV me 1s mitgh eat their lunch if properly timed and decently timed (as it seems it will be) (( well many brands will suffer if LeTV throws out the LE 1s at those prices they claim or near them)) IMHO only lacking memory size and battery capacity.

        • balcobomber25
          October 28, 2015

          LeTV is just another competitor they aren’t some holy grail of smartphones. I can find as many faults in their devices as I can others. Zuk is a business that wants to make a profit, selling this device for $149 means they would lose money on every transaction. It costs apple $199 to make each iPhone, keep in mind many of their components are made by Apple owned companies. It probably costs Lenovo about $220 to make this phone.

    • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz
      October 28, 2015

      Brand territory? Really? Don’t you know that this phone is actually build by Lenovo? One of the best Chinese technology OEM ever.

  22. Bility
    October 27, 2015

    Any particular reason why Chinese manufacturers avoid Band 20?

    • thor2001
      October 27, 2015

      It’s believed to be a licensing/patent thing …

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      I believe SD801 doesn’t allow band 20.
      Edit: wrong info.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      That is not correct. HTC One M8 has SD801 and band 20. It’s because of costs like Thor mentioned.

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      Well, that’s something I’ve read on xda. I was trying to check it, but didn’t find anything.
      Thanks for correcting.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      Yea those messages pop up often on XDA and other forums. Qualcomm chips have support for all GSM bands but it’s up to each manufacturer to support them.

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      Apparently there’s a way to unlock band 20 in SD801, but I’m not that advanced…

    • Bility
      October 27, 2015

      How about mtk6795 does that not allow it too?

    • Bility
      October 27, 2015

      How about mtk6795 does that not allow it too?

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      You can only unlock it if your phone is a global phone which has the 800mhz radio inside. For instance Sony usually has one global model but they software block certain frequencies (due to carrier agreements and licensing). So those phones you can unlock it. But not all SD801 phones have the same equipment. The chip can support all bands but it still requires multiple antenna to be included.

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      they don’t use it because in China they have different standards:
      t’s not just Band 20, it’s band 2, band4, band 5, band 6…

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      Every chip sold today has support for Band 20. The reason a lot of phones don’t include it is because they aren’t officially sold in Europe, same reason they don’t include the US bands and there are some licensing costs to operate on those networks. The won’t invest the money to support those networks until they have an official presence there or they see strong sales.

    • Bility
      October 28, 2015

      Best answer so far, thanks

  23. Roberto Tomás
    October 27, 2015

    I am not one of those people who can tell the difference in ugliness between an iphone, this, or the new nexus 5x (I actually think the 5x, despite being considerably cheaper and plastic design, is a better design than the 6p)… so the looks don’t bother me. the only thing that does bother me is the yesteryear soc. other than this this is a great phone to me

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      That SoC is still a beast, it’s actually better than the 810 in the long run. It doesn’t overheat or throttle so you have sustained performance the entire time. There’s very little the 801 won’t handle if anything.

    • Joel Adames
      October 27, 2015

      EXCEPT… that they could have used the SD805 for added power and stuff :-I

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      The major difference between the 805 and 801 is the 805 has better support for 4k displays and a slightly better GPU. Power though is an insignificant difference, you would never notice it.

    • Joel Adames
      October 28, 2015

      Sure but the wouldn’t be that much of a complain of it being so old and meager.

    • balcobomber25
      October 28, 2015

      Calling the SD801 meager is like calling a Porsche 911 slow because it’s not a Ferrari. The Porsche is still a fast car no matter what else is available and the SD801 is still a very powerful chip.

    • Joel Adames
      October 28, 2015

      I get your point but it more like comparing a porche 911 with a porche 911 carrera S sd805 then carrera 911turboS being sd810 and the sd808 being the 911cabrio. Also the sd807. so basically they had options but if they came and said clearly is all for price sake I would understand but they say is a power user phone??? They better get real and wake up to the fact that if nothing great happens with price LeTV Le 1s will make their Z1 inventory remain as an non moving inventory for a long long time.

    • balcobomber25
      October 28, 2015

      It is a power user phone. The SD801 is still a power user SoC, 99% of people will never notice a power difference between it and 805.

  24. balcobomber25
    October 27, 2015

    Design reminds me of an Asus phone. The SD801 is more than powerful enough and will handle 99% of the playstore with ease. The camera is a bit of a letdown especially at this price point.

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      i don’t get an this hype about this phone.
      i think it’s overestimated.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      It’s the newest CM phone, just like the OPO was overhyped.

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      it was, and it made sense a year ago. but this one?
      it is a good phone, don’t get me wrong, but not to justify this hype.

      and i would definitely spend $300 elsewhere.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      I would too because it’s boring looking, I dont like the OS and the camera isn’t that great. My MX5 blows this away and can be found for as cheap as $290. But if it was like $249 or even $269 it wouldn’t be a bad deal to me.

  25. manohar basavaraju
    October 27, 2015

    Battery is not that great. Its below one plus one battery performance. SOT touches hardly 6.5 Hours. So for a 4100mAh battery it is not at all great. Shame on ZUK

    • October 27, 2015

      When I had the OPO, it was managing around 5h sot. I get 7-8 on ZUK.

      • balcobomber25
        October 27, 2015

        Everyone’s batttery time is different based on networks used, display brightness, apps used etc.

        • October 27, 2015

          Ofc.
          Just saying that i had both and i get 2+ hours with ZUK with exact same usage.

      • November 8, 2015

        I totally agree with that, the ZUK clearly has better batterylife

  26. Guest
    October 27, 2015

    Sorry but the hardware does not deserve 9.5, the SD801 is old 32 bit.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      64 bit is still a few years from having major advantages. Even the majority of apps are still written in 32 bit.

  27. Mario Pruteanu
    October 27, 2015

    I know antutu benchmark tests really like around here, (but just to brag here) my jiayu s3 basic gets 49,000 on antutu

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      it’s not that they aren’t liked, it’s that they don’t tell you much about actual performance. A phone that scores 30k can perform as good as one that scores 50k. Another one that scores 30k could perform worse than one that scores 12k. Theres no meaning behind the numbers.

      • José
        October 28, 2015

        Hi, hope you are doing well. I have seen many of your comments here and it comes to me that you are pretty good in advicing people like me. I need your point of view regarding a future purchase.

        I am facing the following dilemma. I really like the Black version of the Xiaomi MI4 with 3gb Ram which is sold on Ibuygou website for 210€ without shipping costs. I could also buy the Black version of the MI4C with 3gb Ram and 32gb of storage for 233€ using a coupon without shipping costs. Both phones are amazing on the paper but I really don’t know which one I should buy. The original MI4 has only 16gb of storage (well in reality there is around 11gb of storage taking into account that the system is using a few gbs).

        The only version of the MI4 with 3gb of Ram is the wcdma version which imply that there is no LTE frequencies for europe. Moreover it doesn’t have an SD card slot for memory extension (same downside for the MI4C). However, the MI4C with 3gb Ram have 32gb of
        storage which might be more than enough for me if I decide to take
        pictures and videos occasionally. Moreover, the MI4C is dual sim and this could be useful. The build quality of the MI4 is a lot better than the MI4C but I have seen some comments of people saying that they prefer the weight of the MI4C in comparison with the MI4 they have had the opportunity to use for a while. Some users admit that the MI4C fit much better in their hands. Original MI4 has black paint peeling issue too.

        I really believe that the MI4C is the best bet for the future in terms of updates and functionalities added (ok it is not going to change my life too :D). This is going to be my first smartphone and the Xiaomi community for regular updates is an asset too. Or maybe I should wait for the Letv Le 1S? Redmi Note 2 is a great phone too but too big for my hands.

        Your opinion is welcome.

        • balcobomber25
          October 28, 2015

          They are both good phones, if you need the extra storage get the C. As far as updates, Xiaoami supports products for a long time so both are fine for the future. I had a Mi4 and loved it, one of the best phones i ever used.

          • José
            October 28, 2015

            Thank you balco! I appreciate the time you took to reply me. All the best!

  28. E8hffff
    October 27, 2015

    When they decided on the CPU/SoC, was it when they tripped on an old box and some old component stock fell out? Thumbs up to the 8MP front cam, but the screen res and SoC is stale sour cream.

    • Joel Adames
      October 27, 2015

      agree to most except screen. it could kill the gains froma a 4000mah battery, and just balance it evenly out. and then the sd801 would have strugled even more. jajajaja

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      What can’t the SD801 do that another chip could in this phone?

    • Hugo Vaz
      November 21, 2015

      SD810 are crap and not even the new version did much about it. Overheating, poor battery management, etc. Take a look at Xiaomi Mi4 and Xiaomi Mi4i, it’s not even a question on wish of them is better. Maybe not clear cut is between Xiaomi Mi4 and Xiaomi Mi4c (that has the SD808), but if in terms of Antutu scores the SD808 scores higher, the truth is that in real life usage the Xiaomi Mi4 still beats the crap out of Mi4c.

      Truth be told: Qualcomm has had a terrible year with their last SoC’s, SD801 still beats all the new ones, and you have to look to Exynos SoC’s to see who has the best SoC’s at the moment. So if the decision is between a SD801 or any other SD8xx, either wait for the gamble on the SD820 (and hope for the best) or skip the rest and stick with SD801. 64b vs 32b is a gimmick taking into account the specs, so not even that is a show stopper (makes no difference at all).

      So yeah, if you’re going to make a new phone and really want a SD SoC you should stick to SD801 until Qualcomm can offer something better (that it’s not only better on paper), specially because everyone else will be following the bandwagon going for the crappy more recent Qualcomm SoC’s and making the SD801 cheap.

  29. Cherry Picking
    October 27, 2015

    How does this compare to Asus Zenfone 2?

    • Andi Sykes
      October 28, 2015

      Hmm that is an interesting one. If you like lots of interesting ROM features then the Asus is great and updates are fantastic. On the hardware front they are similar but I’d say the ZUK has the win for the better camera performance and fingerprint scanner

    • Cherry Picking
      October 28, 2015

      Hi Andi, thank you for that insight.

  30. Varun Varma
    October 27, 2015

    How long are Quallcomm likely to continue supporting the SD801 processor that is over a year old? If they stop supporting the SoC, it could prevent the phone being updated to the latest version of android further down the line.

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      Qualcomm makes the SoC and release the documentation.
      They don’t make software, there’s nothing to support from them.

      it’s up to phone manufacturer to care of the software. they can put Android, they can put Linux or Windows.

      nothing to do with Qualcomm.

    • Guaire
      October 27, 2015

      Look at #4 and #5

    • MaxPower
      October 27, 2015

      you can still keep the previous drivers.
      that’s a scenario, it doesn’t mean that happens all the times.

      in the past we have seen the phone manufacturers being lazy rather than chip manufacturers, especially when it’s up to drivers

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      OS support is almost never an issue with chips from Qualcomm.

  31. Guest
    October 27, 2015

    CM = CyanogenMod = open source Android system. Cyanogen OS is closed source Android system from Cyanogen inc and should not be called CM.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      It shouldn’t be but it is called that. Cyangonen had no choice but to make it closed source to have it ship on phones. Each new version is based on a lot of the work the community does it just has support for proprietary components of specific phones and those components are almost always closed source.

    • Guest
      October 28, 2015

      Not it is not, COS is better acronym for closed source system and it is already used everywhere.

    • balcobomber25
      October 28, 2015

      COS maybe a better acronym but CM is the dominant one used in the industry and it won’t change anytime soon.

  32. Georgi Uzunov
    October 27, 2015

    Anyone knows if the phone sold in Gizchina store have the Wi-Fi issues?

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      I bought mine from Gizchina and i don’t have the wifi problem.
      Doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t, but i wish you luck:)

    • Maccag
      October 30, 2015

      No WiFi issues. Mine bought from gizchina. From xda forums appears phones from gizchina/honorbuy are fine.

    • s7yler
      November 8, 2015

      I believe the WiFi issues have been solved long ago….. mine is also running just fine with WiFi.

  33. Alessio Igor Bogani
    October 27, 2015

    Could you compare zuk z1 with letv le one pro, please?

  34. Guest
    October 27, 2015

    299 is too much. This should have been priced around 179, or better still – 149. No one will buy this for 299 – that’s brand territory.

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      Show me a phone with these specs for 149-179.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      What makes it a $149 phone? Because it has a last gen SoC?

    • Joel Adames
      October 28, 2015

      No because the kind of lost their momentum and now LeTV me 1s mitgh eat their lunch if properly timed and decently timed (as it seems it will be) (( well many brands will suffer if LeTV throws out the LE 1s at those prices they claim or near them)) IMHO only lacking memory size and battery capacity.

    • balcobomber25
      October 28, 2015

      LeTV is just another competitor they aren’t some holy grail of smartphones. I can find as many faults in their devices as I can others. Zuk is a business that wants to make a profit, selling this device for $149 means they would lose money on every transaction. It costs apple $199 to make each iPhone, keep in mind many of their components are made by Apple owned companies. It probably costs Lenovo about $220 to make this phone.

    • Mr.Flying Zoom3rz
      October 28, 2015

      Brand territory? Really? Don’t you know that this phone is actually build by Lenovo? One of the best Chinese technology OEM ever.

  35. manohar basavaraju
    October 27, 2015

    Battery is not that great. Its below one plus one battery performance. SOT touches hardly 6.5 Hours. So for a 4100mAh battery it is not at all great. Shame on ZUK

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      When I had the OPO, it was managing around 5h sot. I get 7-8 on ZUK.

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      Everyone’s batttery time is different based on networks used, display brightness, apps used etc.

    • MUG3NHC
      October 27, 2015

      Ofc.
      Just saying that i had both and i get 2+ hours with ZUK with exact same usage.

    • s7yler
      November 8, 2015

      I totally agree with that, the ZUK clearly has better batterylife

  36. Mario Pruteanu
    October 27, 2015

    I know antutu benchmark tests aren’t really liked around here, (but just to brag here) my jiayu s3 basic gets 49,000 on antutu

    • balcobomber25
      October 27, 2015

      it’s not that they aren’t liked, it’s that they don’t tell you much about actual performance. A phone that scores 30k can perform as good as one that scores 50k. Another one that scores 30k could perform worse than one that scores 12k. Theres no meaning behind the numbers.

    • Guest
      October 28, 2015

      Hi, hope you are doing well. I have seen many of your comments here and it comes to me that you are pretty good in advicing people like me. I need your point of view regarding a future purchase.

      I am facing the following dilemma. I really like the Black version of the Xiaomi MI4 with 3gb Ram which is sold on Ibuygou website for 210€ without shipping costs. I could also buy the Black version of the MI4C with 3gb Ram and 32gb of storage for 233€ using a coupon without shipping costs. Both phones are amazing on the paper but I really don’t know which one I should buy. The original MI4 has only 16gb of storage (well in reality there is around 11gb of storage taking into account that the system is using a few gbs).

      The only version of the MI4 with 3gb of Ram is the wcdma version which imply that there is no LTE frequencies for europe. Moreover it doesn’t have an SD card slot for memory extension (same downside for the MI4C). However, the MI4C with 3gb Ram have 32gb of
      storage which might be more than enough for me if I decide to take
      pictures and videos occasionally. Moreover, the MI4C is dual sim and this could be useful. The build quality of the MI4 is a lot better than the MI4C but I have seen some comments of people saying that they prefer the weight of the MI4C in comparison with the MI4 they have had the opportunity to use for a while. Some users admit that the MI4C fit much better in their hands. Original MI4 has black paint peeling issue too.

      I really believe that the MI4C is the best bet for the future in terms of updates and functionalities added (ok it is not going to change my life too :D). This is going to be my first smartphone and the Xiaomi community for regular updates is an asset too. Or maybe I should wait for the Letv Le 1S? Redmi Note 2 is a great phone too but too big for my hands.

      Your opinion is welcome.

    • balcobomber25
      October 28, 2015

      They are both good phones, if you need the extra storage get the C. As far as updates, Xiaoami supports products for a long time so both are fine for the future. I had a Mi4 and loved it, one of the best phones i ever used.

    • Guest
      October 28, 2015

      Thank you balco! I appreciate the time you took to reply me. All the best!

  37. Mesterio
    October 27, 2015

    Am i the only one who actually thinks the gray version is rather beautiful? ?

    • jimberkas
      October 27, 2015

      nope.
      many reviewers says its quite bland, but I think it looks great. plus, i stopped trying to impress my friends with how cool my phone looks about 30 years ago

      • Mesterio
        November 6, 2015

        Really you did? I am not sure that ever gets old. 🙂

    • October 27, 2015

      I like it as well:)

    • October 28, 2015

      I do prefer the grey it is way better looking than the white

      • Mesterio
        October 28, 2015

        Good to know we are not alone.

    • Maccag
      October 30, 2015

      The gray is gorgeous. Love it.

  38. jimberkas
    October 27, 2015

    love it. now make it 5-5.2″ with US bands and I’ll buy one. improve camera performance and I’ll buy 3 and convince family and friends to buy at least 5

  39. jimberkas
    October 27, 2015

    been holding out for the z1 to come to US, but might bite on the letv 1s instead. its available for preorder for 219 right now. thats significantly cheaper. holding out for news of zuk or letv to release a us version of either phone. first one that does get my money

  40. Joel Adames
    October 28, 2015

    I was going to mention that now this phone might need a price overhauling or some crazy offers as the competition is going to be rude and gruesome in 2 weeks from LeTV left 1s and others and then that delayed Elephone Vowney if not delayed anymore too, will need to do something. At least the Lite Version of the vowney is priced more like the leTV 1S BUT not as near to be expected quality or whatever….

  41. Mesterio
    October 28, 2015

    Am i the only one who actually thinks the gray version is rather beautiful? 😳

    • Guest
      October 28, 2015

      nope.
      many reviewers says its quite bland, but I think it looks great. plus, i stopped trying to impress my friends with how cool my phone looks about 30 years ago

    • MUG3NHC
      October 28, 2015

      I like it as well:)

    • Andi Sykes
      October 28, 2015

      I do prefer the grey it is way better looking than the white

    • Mesterio
      October 29, 2015

      Good to know we are not alone.

    • Maccag
      October 30, 2015

      The gray is gorgeous. Love it.

    • Mesterio
      November 6, 2015

      Really you did? I am not sure that ever gets old. 🙂

  42. Guest
    October 28, 2015

    love it. now make it 5-5.2″ with US bands and I’ll buy one. improve camera performance and I’ll buy 3 and convince family and friends to buy at least 5

  43. jimberkas
    October 28, 2015

    been holding out for the z1 to come to US, but might bite on the letv 1s instead. its available for preorder for 219 right now. thats significantly cheaper. holding out for news of zuk or letv to release a us version of either phone. first one that does get my money

  44. Nitro
    October 28, 2015
  45. Joel Adames
    October 28, 2015

    I was going to mention that now this phone might need a price overhauling or some crazy offers as the competition is going to be rude and gruesome in 2 weeks from LeTV left 1s and others and then that delayed Elephone Vowney if not delayed anymore too, will need to do something. At least the Lite Version of the vowney is priced more like the leTV 1S BUT not as near to be expected quality or whatever….

  46. Brooklyn701
    October 28, 2015

    Is the Notification LED multicolor? So can I set the color it blinks to whatever I wish according to app (Example Whatsapp message from contact: green, Message from group: White)?

  47. Guest
    October 28, 2015

    Is the Notification LED multicolor? So can I set the color it blinks to whatever I wish according to app (Example Whatsapp message from contact: green, Message from group: White)?

  48. Matthew Darmanin
    October 28, 2015

    Would you recommend this over the Xiaomi Mi4c (3GB RAM)?

    • November 2, 2015

      Nah, I would go for the Xiaomi

  49. Matthew Darmanin
    October 28, 2015

    Would you recommend this over the Xiaomi Mi4c (3GB RAM)?

    • Andi Sykes
      November 2, 2015

      Nah, I would go for the Xiaomi

  50. Tal Bar
    October 29, 2015

    It’s look like great phone in my opinion. I not purchased it only because one button, i Meizu MX3 owner and have very bad experience with one-button designed phones. Enough for me. Purchased OPO and waiting Z1 designed phone, but with 3 hardware buttones.

    • November 2, 2015

      With Cyanogen it has the hardware buttons either side of the physical home button too

      • Tal Bar
        November 2, 2015

        Are you serious, man? I’m not believe and nobody not advertized. It’s so sad. because i didn’t knew and bought Oneplus One instead Z1….So sad…i some disappoint.

  51. Tal Bar
    October 29, 2015

    It’s look like great phone in my opinion. I not purchased it only because one button, i Meizu MX3 owner and have very bad experience with one-button designed phones. Enough for me. Purchased OPO and waiting Z1 designed phone, but with 3 hardware buttones.

    • Andi Sykes
      November 2, 2015

      With Cyanogen it has the hardware buttons either side of the physical home button too

    • Tal Bar
      November 2, 2015

      Are you serious, man? I’m not believe and nobody not advertized. It’s so sad. because i didn’t knew and bought Oneplus One instead Z1….So sad…i some disappoint.