The long overdue ZUK Z2 Pro Review


zuk z2 pro review

With a more than a weeks under my belt with the ZUK Z2 Pro it’s about time I release the full review of this flagship smartphone and what it is like to live with.

For those us keeping count, the ZUK Z2 Pro is the 2nd flagship phone from the Lenovo backed smartphone maker, and the 2nd phone the company has with a Snapdragon 820 chipset. Being a 2nd gen phone it sees a lot of improvements over the original Z1, and also some changes that some potential customers might not enjoy. For example the ZUK Z2 Pro has a smaller screen and smaller battery than the original ZUK, but for me neither have been an issue.

ZUK Z2 Pro Review – Design

zuk z2 pro review

Compared to the first ZUK Z1, the ZUK Z2 Pro sees a few significant changes in design, possibly the most asthetically pleasing change to the phone is the fact the physical home button on the chin of the phone is now cantered rather than offset. There are also narrow bezels, a 2.5D curved display and a new 3D glass rear panel on the phone too.

Before we get ahead of ourselves let’s take a tour around the device and the features on show.

zuk z2 pro review

Kicking off with the front of the phone, we have a 5.2-inch FHD display on the ZUK Z2 Pro. This is not any old display though but a Super AMOLED panel with a pixel density of 424ppi. The 5.2-inch panel might be smaller than last years phone, and other current flagships but not so much so that you feel you are missing some screen real estate.

Above that display and below the 2.5D curved front panel is am 8 megapixel front camera that has a decent F2.0 aperture. And on the chin we have that ‘U’ touch home button that offers gesture controls as well as one rapid fingerprint scanner for security.

Flip the phone over and we have a more detailed 3D glass rear panel which features a few extra curves. What is really nice is that ZUK haven’t had to resort to a protruding rear camera. In fact the designers of the phone have found enough to room for a 13 mega-pixel camera with OIS and F1.8 aperture (one of the best of all Chinese phones this year), with dual LED flash and even an optical heart-rate monitor just below.

The rear glass panel surprisingly tough and even after a few weeks of use it is still scuff free. The same cannot be said about the gold alloy chassis which already has a few knocks and scrapes around it.

zuk z2 pro review

The chassis is where we find a USB Type C, single speaker and 3.5mm headphone jack (in the base). Power and volume buttons on the right. SIM tray in the left, and noise cancelling microphone in the top.

Overall the design is way better than the original ZUK Z1, as is the build quality, but the gold and white version that I have isn’t really my first choice and I would have much preferred the all black option.

ZUK Z2 Pro Review – Hardware

Hardware is exactly what you should expect from a 2016 flagship phone, well bar the 2K display, but I still believe that a 2K panel really isn’t necessary.

Highlights of the hardware are obviously the Snapdragon 820 chipset, and in my case a whopping 6 GB RAM and 128GB internal memory (there is also a. 4+64GB version available too). Take a closer look at the specs and you will see that the rear 13 mega-pixel camera has an aperture size of F1.8, that’s better than the OnePlus 3 and many other new phones this year, in fact it’s only the Vivo Xshot that I remember had an aperture this big.

ZUK made the odd decision to give the Z2 Pro a smaller battery size than the original Z1, 3100mAh compared to the Z1’s 4000mAh. The good news is that the phone also has a smaller display and the ZUI OS is well optimised to give very good battery life. I was seeing 2 days of normal use from a charge, but I could get it down to just a day if I really caned the GPS and tested the pure gaming grunt of the device.

Audio isn’t really an area that ZUK make any claims, the same can be said of the Z1 last year which had very good audio. The Z2 Pro also has decent audio performance from both the internal speaker and headphones.

zuk z2 pro review

Other neat features include a rear heart-rate monitor which integrates with the built in U Health app, and can be used to take selfies with your current heart rate shown in a lovely little heart icon.

ZUK Z2 Pro Review – Performance

With a huge 6GB RAM on tap the ZUK Z2 Pro simply cannot be called a slouch. As such benchmarks are damn impressive, but even more so is the quality of 3D rendering when it comes to gaming!

A beast of a phone, just check out these benchmarks below.

ZUK Z2 Pro Review – Camera

The camera on the ZUK Z2 Pro is one piece of the phones puzzle I’m finding hard to quantify. Yes the camera is good, it’s fast and can take some good photos, but it just seems to be more impressive in low light conditions rather than during a sunny day. I suppose this is down to the F1.8 aperture, but in well lit natural conditions I’m left wanting for a little more ‘pop’ to my images.

zuk z2 pro review

There are a few quirks in the ZUI camera app too, that I found odd to live with. For example the holding down the shutter button won’t create a burst of photos but rather a short video similar to a ‘sight’ in Wechat, or a live photo.

zuk z2 pro review

Also the slow motion settings aren’t quite as honest as they may seem. While the phone claims to be able to shoot slow motion 960fps footage this doesn’t actually seem to be the case. Shooting in slower, higher frame-rates on the phone will give you super, duper, paint dryingly slow motion on the phone, but export that video and it will play at 120fps.

For example the below video should be 960fps and plays as such on the phone, but when exported reverts to a faster frame rate.

Below are some photo samples taken with the ZUK Z2 Pro, take a look and let me know what you think.

ZUK Z2 Pro photo samples

The front camera is better than most, but with ZUI there (seems) to be no way to disable beauty mode.

zuk z2 pro review

ZUK Z2 Pro Review – Specifications

Model: ZUK Z2 Pro
Sim Card:
  • Dual SIM(Nano SIM) , Dual Standby
Color: White | Black
Capacity High speed flash memory: 128GB ROM

Memory: 6GB RAM

Multi-Languages English, Simplified/Traditional Chinese
Chipset
CPU : Snapdragon 820 Quad Core CPU 2.15GHz

GPU : Adreno 530 624MHz

System ZUI 2.0
Screen Display Size: 5.2-inch Super AMOLED Screen

Resolution: 1920*1080 (~401 ppi pixel density)

Technology : IPS, GFF, NTSC 100%,1500:1 contrast (standard) ,450 cd/m2 BRI MA (standard) ,Anti-fingerprint coating on the front , Polarizing coating on the screen, GFF design

Camera Rear Camera: 13 million effective pixels, single pixel size: 1.12 μm, OIS, Sony Exmor RS™ stack image sensor
Front Camera: 8 million effective pixels, 1.4μm pixel OV8865 adopts OmniBSI-2™ technology
Lenses: 5P
F-number: f/2.2
Focal Length: 3.88mm
FOV: 73.6 degrees (diagonal)
Edge Distortion: <1%
Center: up to 2100lp/PH; Edge: up to 1800lp/PH
Focus Range: 10cm – infinity
Qualcomm dual ISP image processing solution, Morpho HDR optimized algorithm and image selection algorithm
Double LED flash
Blue glass infrared filter
Face detection, panorama mode, continuous shoot,178°Wide Angle Lens
Network and Wireless Connectivity 4G: FDD – LTE: B1/B2/B3B4/B5/ B7/B8/B20, TDD – LTE: B38/B39/B40/41

3G: WCDMA 850/900/1900/2100MHz , TD-SCDMA (Frequency band 34, 39 ) ,CDMA2000 (800 MHz)

2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz  ,CDMA (800MHz)

WIFI : 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz supported

GPS: GPS GLONASS Beidou Positioning

Bluetooth: V4.1

Battery capacity and life Non-removable 3100mAh

Replaceable battery: Not supported

Theoretical battery life: 4G standby: approx. 526 hours; 4G call: approx. 48 hours; music play: approx. 120 hours (local music); video play: approx. 15 hours (local video);

Standby Time: About 2 days

Sensor U-Touch 2.0 (fingerprint recognition) , USB 3.1 Type-C,Three-axis gyroscope , Compass , Accelerometer sensor,
Distance sensor , Hall sensor , Ambient light sensor,
Multi-media  Supported audio formats: MP3, M4A, AAC, MKA, AMR

Supported lossless formats: FLAC, APE, WAV (up to 192-KHz/24-bits)

Supported voice decoding formats: AAC/AAC+/eAAC+, MP3, MP3 VBR, NB-AMR, WB-AMR

ZUK Z2 Pro Review – Gallery

ZUK Z2 Pro Review – Conclusion

The ZUK Z2 Pro is quite simply amazing for a second attempt. Not only is the phone itself much more attractive, better made and better spec’ d than its predecessor, but ZUI has come along with leaps and bounds.

It’s is by no means perfect, but the hardware and build quality is all there. Even ZUI is maturing, but for international buyers a few of those camera quirks need to be solved.

Previous Blackview A8 Max will make an appearance in August
Next $189.99 bargain Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro buy it now

200 Comments

  1. Switchgott
    July 5, 2016

    Hi, big thanks for this review.
    Have a question.
    Does the zuk z2 pro have a notification led?

    Thanks

    • July 5, 2016

      Yup

      • Switchgott
        July 5, 2016

        Realy?
        Havent find any video or screenshot where i can see it.
        Is it possible to make a screeshot or a small video from it?
        Realy thanks 🙂

        • mf1gt3r
          July 5, 2016

          Hmmm. Wasn’t “yup” good enough?

          • Switchgott
            July 5, 2016

            Shure :-))))

            As i said, it would realy nice if …

        • illystor
          July 5, 2016

          It’s a fairly unassuming blue LED between the earpiece and the front facing camera. It isn’t turned on for notifications by default, though, so for a while I thought I didn’t have one. Then I decided to actually go look in Settings and saw I could enable it.

  2. fido futte
    July 5, 2016

    Andy Please make an review of the Apollo Lite – it should be in mass production now.

    • July 5, 2016

      I don’t have one. I think someone else will be doing it

    • July 5, 2016

      Nobody has gotten a hold on one. I have ordered one for a review, most are simply still waiting.

      • fido futte
        July 5, 2016

        Just check -It is available here now as myPhone X20 Lite : http://unicomputer.dk/da/437-55-myphone-x20-lite-mobil.html

        • Steve B
          July 5, 2016

          Not sure what that is, but the spec does not exactly match Apollo Lite, camera is only 13mp and sensor same as Thor.

          • fido futte
            July 6, 2016

            Yes – but it is available now and this model is already in mass production – the camera and display brand is different from Apollo

            • Steve B
              July 6, 2016

              its a different phone, how many other difference might there be, software enhancements, etc., reviewing it as an Apollo Lite is pointless. not exactly widely available either, apart from that one pretty ropey looking site you linked to.

  3. mf1gt3r
    July 5, 2016

    Nice review.

  4. HBK
    July 5, 2016

    That camera looks good.

    • Assefa Hanson
      July 5, 2016

      yes

    • illystor
      July 5, 2016

      It’s a good performer but there’s no manual mode in the stock app giving you fine control over things like exposure, iso, or even manual focus. It also doesn’t seem to want to let other camera apps do that, as the several I have tried report they are unable to access those features. I’m hoping this will change in future as whilst I’ve gotten used to the default camera app, and it does well enough most of the time, I would really like a manual mode or at least the option of using another app for that purpose.

  5. SnowyCat
    July 5, 2016

    Is there any Chance that there will be a review of the normal Zuk Z2 (5″ with worse camera)?

    I’m currently trying to help a friend decide on her new Phone

    (She had an Iphone Recently) the z2 Pro is tooo expensive

    She would pay woughly 40€less for the Z2 and would get 4gb ram isntead of 3…64gb storage instead of 32…more battery with 3500 and she likes the home button more on the Z2 compared to the Mi5

    The mi5 is thinner, maybe feels more premium i would guess and has a better camera but also more expensive

    any recommendations what i should suggest her?

    • Sere83
      July 5, 2016

      Yeah the Z2 is available a lot less than the normal Z2 pro at $300. Z2 pro 128gb is over almost $500 on most sites. The Mi5 64GB beats the normal Z2 on camera definitely but is closer to $400. I know of no other snapdragon 820 with 4GB ram phone available for $300 so in terms of raw performance the normal Z2 is unbeatable in that price category and is a nice compact size. In terms of camera normal Z2 is not great in low light but in well lit environments look OK. Just depends what is important to her, if camera is more important than performance maybe nexus 5X or older flagship is better but specs will be worse than Z2.

      • Karly Johnston
        July 5, 2016

        The regular Z2 has a really washed out screen. This review says the AMOLED on the Pro panel is only 1500:1, but it should be more like 100,000:1

    • July 5, 2016

      I think we might be getting one, I’ll find out for sure

    • MattD
      July 5, 2016

      I’ve read a review just yesterday of the z2, and it’s a bit underwhelming, especially in materials and camera departments… However, it still has good performance and battery life, but the software is still a bit buggy (although they may resolve with the upcoming zui 2.0)

      EDIT: however, the source is gizchina. it, you can try to google-translate the review to get some kind of idea about it

      • SnowyCat
        July 5, 2016

        thats a bit sad 🙁 i’ve read before that the materials are good but i guess that review was wrong then 🙁 hmm thats a bummer, maybe i will really have to suggest her the mi5 over it, ..if it only had 4gb ram in the base version 🙁

        • VMortens
          July 6, 2016

          Unfortunatley the list of castrated in regular Z2 model features is longer:
          – not sure how accurate, but according to Kimovil, looks like LTE Band 20 is only available in Z2Pro – if true, a massive downside.
          – rear cam aperture size
          – lack of stabilization
          – darker screen and only IPS panel (vs AMOLED in Z2Pro)
          – slower internal memory (Z2Pro has eMMC)
          – USB Type-C connector with only USB 2.0 transfers (vs USB 3.1 transfer rates in Z2Pro)
          – 24-bit/192kHz audio only in Z2Pro version
          – lack of altimeter and pulsometer are just details now

          Mi5 really looks like a better option here, even though the screen isn’t great in bright light too.

          • March 25, 2017

            Mi5 also lacks band 20. Instant dealbreaker.

    • July 5, 2016

      The Mi5 has a better camera than the cheaper Z2, I recommend it as a more camera focused device.

      • SnowyCat
        July 5, 2016

        yeah but it also costs more and has less storage , ram and battery + more expensive

        thanks for the reviews btw, i’m really happy with the le max 2 :3

        • July 5, 2016

          My personal experience with Lenovo devices is they always look good on paper or the first few weeks and then they begin to have problems. Wouldn’t recommend to any friend, always a better deal at that price(except maybe the K3 Note which was a real HIT).
          LeEco rock – great specs, great prices, great quality. A few skimmed things like the bigger bezels, but work like a charm.

          • SnowyCat
            July 6, 2016

            yeah i love my le max 2 but she wants a smaller phone, white and more rounded so the mi5 and z2 were the cheapes/viable options with good specs

            + she also likes the button so the only alternative would be a meizu phone

            i would just like to know if its would be also possible via xposed or soemthing to map the button on the mi5 like the one on the z2 ? for example since its a capacitive button to like tap for back and press for home? and possible long press for recent apps

            but i dont know anyone with a mi5

            • July 6, 2016

              Basically anything that works just like na iphone.
              Get her a new iPhone 🙂
              Meizu are OK, but too pricey. Might be ok to wait for the Pro 6(that will come out next month). Should pack the newest Exynoss chip(same in the S7). At that current time no Meizu phone is worth the price they are asking for.

            • SnowyCat
              July 6, 2016

              yeah thats why she likes the z2 and the mi5 because they do look nice ^^ but from the design of the ui she prefers zui over miui atleast miui 8 she doesnt like the new drop down thing of the notifications

            • July 6, 2016

              Aesthetics is up to the person. I personally love blocky(soap bar) phones, don`t go for curves, or edge features. Give me a nice clean slate of stone and I`m happy 😀

          • balcobomber25
            July 6, 2016

            I can second this on Lenovo phones they are usually nothing but trouble. But I will say Zuk has been an exception. I know quite a few people that are still using the Z1 and haven’t had any issues.

  6. Ionut Johnny
    July 5, 2016

    Finally a review, not only hands on.
    Good phone but I will wait for asus zenfone 3 deluxe to be released internationally and maybe Mi note 2 and then I will decide between these and and the ZTE Axon 7.

    • Alex
      July 5, 2016

      Same here. The camera would be my 1st priority.

    • July 6, 2016

      Axon 7 has been confirmed for a review, just waiting for it to be sent

      • Ionut Johnny
        July 6, 2016

        Great news Andi, thanks.

  7. sifri
    July 5, 2016

    Have you heard anything abut international rom or other language than Chinese and English??

    • July 5, 2016

      I’ve not, but ZUI is actually much better than it was with th eZ1

  8. Karly Johnston
    July 5, 2016

    Do you have any issues getting third party widgets to auto update? MIUI is bad about that.

    • balcobomber25
      July 5, 2016

      Flyme was terrible with that too.

  9. Guest
    July 5, 2016

    Hi, big thanks for this review.
    Have a question.
    Does the zuk z2 pro have a notification led?

    Thanks

    • Andi Sykes
      July 5, 2016

      Yup

    • Guest
      July 5, 2016

      Realy?
      Havent find any video or screenshot where i can see it.
      Is it possible to make a screeshot or a small video from it?
      Realy thanks 🙂

    • mf1gt3r
      July 5, 2016

      Hmmm. Wasn’t “yup” good enough?

    • Guest
      July 5, 2016

      Shure :-))))

      As i said, it would realy nice if …

    • illystor
      July 5, 2016

      It’s a fairly unassuming blue LED between the earpiece and the front facing camera. It isn’t turned on for notifications by default, though, so for a while I thought I didn’t have one. Then I decided to actually go look in Settings and saw I could enable it.

  10. fido futte
    July 5, 2016

    Andy Please make an review of the Apollo Lite – it should be in mass production now.

    • Andi Sykes
      July 5, 2016

      I don’t have one. I think someone else will be doing it

    • Steven Fox
      July 5, 2016

      Nobody has gotten a hold on one. I have ordered one for a review, most are simply still waiting.

    • fido futte
      July 5, 2016

      Just check -It is available here now as myPhone X20 Lite : http://unicomputer.dk/da/437-55-myphone-x20-lite-mobil.html

    • Steve B
      July 5, 2016

      Not sure what that is, but the spec does not exactly match Apollo Lite, camera is only 13mp and sensor same as Thor.

    • fido futte
      July 6, 2016

      Yes – but it is available now and this model is already in mass production – the camera and display brand is different from Apollo

    • Steve B
      July 6, 2016

      its a different phone, how many other difference might there be, software enhancements, etc., reviewing it as an Apollo Lite is pointless. not exactly widely available either, apart from that one pretty ropey looking site you linked to.

  11. mf1gt3r
    July 5, 2016

    Nice review.

  12. Guest
    July 5, 2016

    That camera looks good.

    • Assefa Hanson
      July 5, 2016

      yes

    • illystor
      July 5, 2016

      It’s a good performer but there’s no manual mode in the stock app giving you fine control over things like exposure, iso, or even manual focus. It also doesn’t seem to want to let other camera apps do that, as the several I have tried report they are unable to access those features. I’m hoping this will change in future as whilst I’ve gotten used to the default camera app, and it does well enough most of the time, I would really like a manual mode or at least the option of using another app for that purpose.

  13. balcobomber25
    July 5, 2016

    Good review Andi, some of those low light look shoots remind me of the Xshot.

    What is your current daily driver?

    • July 6, 2016

      I was back on my OP2 although it does feel a little dated compared to the Mi5, Z2 Pro, Xplay 5 etc. Just received my OP3 so will be using that for a while now.

  14. SnowyCat
    July 5, 2016

    Is there any Chance that there will be a review of the normal Zuk Z2 (5″ with worse camera)?

    I’m currently trying to help a friend decide on her new Phone

    (She had an Iphone Recently) the z2 Pro is tooo expensive

    She would pay woughly 40€less for the Z2 and would get 4gb ram isntead of 3…64gb storage instead of 32…more battery with 3500 and she likes the home button more on the Z2 compared to the Mi5

    The mi5 is thinner, maybe feels more premium i would guess and has a better camera but also more expensive

    any recommendations what i should suggest her?

    • Sere83
      July 5, 2016

      Yeah the Z2 is available a lot less than the normal Z2 pro at $300. Z2 pro 128gb is over almost $500 on most sites. The Mi5 64GB beats the normal Z2 on camera definitely but is closer to $400. I know of no other snapdragon 820 with 4GB ram phone available for $300 so in terms of raw performance the normal Z2 is unbeatable in that price category and is a nice compact size. In terms of camera normal Z2 is not great in low light but in well lit environments look OK. Just depends what is important to her, if camera is more important than performance maybe nexus 5X or older flagship is better but specs will be worse than Z2.

    • Andi Sykes
      July 5, 2016

      I think we might be getting one, I’ll find out for sure

    • MattD
      July 5, 2016

      I’ve read a review just yesterday of the z2, and it’s a bit underwhelming, especially in materials and camera departments… However, it still has good performance and battery life, but the software is still a bit buggy (although they may resolve with the upcoming zui 2.0)

      EDIT: however, the source is gizchina. it, you can try to google-translate the review to figure out a general idea of it

    • Karly Johnston
      July 5, 2016

      The regular Z2 has a really washed out screen. This review says the AMOLED on the Pro panel is only 1500:1, but it should be more like 100,000:1

    • SnowyCat
      July 5, 2016

      thats a bit sad 🙁 i’ve read before that the materials are good but i guess that review was wrong then 🙁 hmm thats a bummer, maybe i will really have to suggest her the mi5 over it, ..if it only had 4gb ram in the base version 🙁

    • Steven Fox
      July 5, 2016

      The Mi5 has a better camera than the cheaper Z2, I recommend it as a more camera focused device.

    • SnowyCat
      July 5, 2016

      yeah but it also costs more and has less storage , ram and battery + more expensive

      thanks for the reviews btw, i’m really happy with the le max 2 :3

    • Steven Fox
      July 5, 2016

      My personal experience with Lenovo devices is they always look good on paper or the first few weeks and then they begin to have problems. Wouldn’t recommend to any friend, always a better deal at that price(except maybe the K3 Note which was a real HIT).
      LeEco rock – great specs, great prices, great quality. A few skimmed things like the bigger bezels, but work like a charm.

    • SnowyCat
      July 6, 2016

      yeah i love my le max 2 but she wants a smaller phone, white and more rounded so the mi5 and z2 were the cheapes/viable options with good specs

      + she also likes the button so the only alternative would be a meizu phone

      i would just like to know if its would be also possible via xposed or soemthing to map the button on the mi5 like the one on the z2 ? for example since its a capacitive button to like tap for back and press for home? and possible long press for recent apps

      but i dont know anyone with a mi5

    • Steven Fox
      July 6, 2016

      Basically anything that works just like na iphone.
      Get her a new iPhone 🙂
      Meizu are OK, but too pricey. Might be ok to wait for the Pro 6(that will come out next month). Should pack the newest Exynoss chip(same in the S7). At that current time no Meizu phone is worth the price they are asking for.

    • SnowyCat
      July 6, 2016

      yeah thats why she likes the z2 and the mi5 because they do look nice ^^ but from the design of the ui she prefers zui over miui atleast miui 8 she doesnt like the new drop down thing of the notifications

    • VMortens
      July 6, 2016

      Unfortunatley the list of castrated in regular Z2 model features is longer:
      – not sure how accurate, but according to Kimovil, looks like LTE Band 20 is only available in Z2Pro – if true, a massive downside
      – rear cam aperture size
      – lack of stabilization
      – darker screen and only IPS panel (vs AMOLED in Z2Pro)
      – slower internal memory (Z2Pro has eMMC)
      – USB Type-C connector with only USB 2.0 transfers (vs USB 3.1 transfer rates in Z2Pro)
      – 24-bit/192kHz audio only in Z2Pro version
      – lack of altimeter and pulsometer are just details now

      + regular Z2 has bigger battery – 3500mAh vs 3100mAh in Z2Pro

      Mi5 really looks like a better option here, even though the screen isn’t great in bright light too.

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      I can second this on Lenovo phones they are usually nothing but trouble. But I will say Zuk has been an exception. I know quite a few people that are still using the Z1 and haven’t had any issues.

    • Steven Fox
      July 6, 2016

      Aesthetics is up to the person. I personally love blocky(soap bar) phones, don`t go for curves, or edge features. Give me a nice clean slate of stone and I`m happy 😀

    • MRDA
      March 25, 2017

      Mi5 also lacks band 20. Instant dealbreaker.

  15. Alex
    July 5, 2016

    Is the IOS and low light as good as S7?

    • July 5, 2016

      Definitely not.

      • Alex
        July 5, 2016

        What would you recommend for low light and OIS in the same price as Z2 Pro?

        • July 5, 2016

          Actually in that price range is a bit of mixed bag, you always get either a better photo quality, but lack of OIS or a more mediocre video quality.
          Low light shots can be done great with the Honor V8, which I think is just about the same region price as the Z2 Pro, but you get no OIS, however camera is the same as the P9(which delivers great low-light shots)
          Actually I would recommend you getting the Nexus 6P or 5X as the IMX377 does very well in low-light and has good OIS.
          LG G4 is also pretty affordable and is a great camera phone.

          • Alex
            July 5, 2016

            Thank you. I’ve never tried the Nexus but was really intrigued by the HDR+. I’ll have to wait for Zenfone 3 and Axon 7. If they are not better than the Z2 pro then I probably might just get the 6P.

          • MinusPlusDivide
            July 5, 2016

            6P and 5X don’t have OIS.

  16. Frank Wu
    July 5, 2016

    No NFC is a joke!

    • July 5, 2016

      It really is a puzzle why they don`t put it in there.
      The chip must cost like 1$!

      • Muhammad Yasir
        July 5, 2016

        are u sure its $1 ? even if bought on large scale (like 500 , 000 or half million NFC chips ordered in BULK by Lenovo to make ZUK Z2 phones ?)

        • July 5, 2016

          I`m saying ~1$ 😀 can`t be more than that.

      • balcobomber25
        July 6, 2016

        It’s probably because NFC is still not that popular in China.

  17. Ionut Johnny
    July 5, 2016

    Finally a review, not only hands on.
    Good phone but I will wait for asus zenfone 3 deluxe to be released internationally and maybe Mi note 2 and then I will decide between these and and the ZTE Axon 7.

    • Alex
      July 5, 2016

      Same here. The camera would be my 1st priority.

    • Andi Sykes
      July 6, 2016

      Axon 7 has been confirmed for a review, just waiting for it to be sent

    • Ionut Johnny
      July 6, 2016

      Great news Andi, thanks.

  18. sifri
    July 5, 2016

    Have you heard anything abut international rom or other language than Chinese and English??

    • Andi Sykes
      July 5, 2016

      I’ve not, but ZUI is actually much better than it was with th eZ1

  19. Nam Dang
    July 5, 2016

    Long overdue Z2 Pro review – when is the Xiaomi Mi Max review coming you got before Z2 Pro?

    In camera department it seems you’re only describing photo quality. Video quality, as shown in some YT videos, is pretty mediocre in general and really weak in low light (framerate drops).

    EDIT: it’s still 960 fps PLAYBACK, not recording.

  20. illystor
    July 5, 2016

    Andi, since there’s no international ROMs etc, you should be running the same version as me. Beautify was simply automatically on when using front-facing, but it’s just a filter/effect you can deselect in the camera app from the magic wand icon. I’m able to take photos with front-facing without any Beautify effects being applied.

    • July 6, 2016

      Thanks I’ll check that out

  21. Karly Johnston
    July 5, 2016

    Do you have any issues getting third party widgets to auto update? MIUI is bad about that.

    • balcobomber25
      July 5, 2016

      Flyme was terrible with that too.

  22. NextHype
    July 5, 2016

    which sensor is it ?

    in this article (design chapter) : 13MP f/1.8
    in this article (spec chapter) : Sony Exmor 13MP f/2.2
    on kimovil : Samsung Unknown 13MP f/1.8

    that’s a bit confusing

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      According to the Zuk website it’s an ISOCELL sensor which would mean Samsung.

      http://www.zuk.com/z2pro/camera/index.html

      • NextHype
        July 7, 2016

        thanks balco.
        This article could be updated.

  23. Muhammad Yasir
    July 5, 2016

    camera is sort of an odd joe … BETTER in low light but BAD in good light ?!

    WOT !

    • VMortens
      July 6, 2016

      He didn’t say BAD, he said he expected more.
      Still it looks like the oposite to Mi5 situation 🙂
      I bet the day photos are still good enough and it’s usually the low-light that cause problems. IMHO, an OK istuation.

      • Muhammad Yasir
        July 6, 2016

        ” I bet the day photos are still good enough and it’s usually the low-light that cause problems.”

        PLZ NO ! i want the low-light to be GODLY EPIC !

        • balcobomber25
          July 6, 2016

          The only way you will get GODLY EPIC low light photos is to buy a DSLR. The sensors in smartphones are far too small to ever give you that good of low light shots.

          • Muhammad Yasir
            July 6, 2016

            aww mann… well , i’ll wait for Technological improvments 😀

            back in the day , when i was prolly not born , Nintendo said that their SNES games would require no less than a NASA Supercomputer , to be properly emulated on a platform other than SNES itself 😀

            i can play SNES games on a Pentium 1 if i want atm 😀 !

            • Nam Dang
              July 8, 2016

              Muhammad, just forget your requirements, you’ll never get a smartphone.
              All you want is highest specs (flagship material), best camera, HiFi audio chip, dual speakers, dual SIM, micro SD slot and a huge battery at a price of 200$.
              If a flagship smartphone at 500-800$ gets 300-400$ cheaper after 1-2 year, it’s not good anymore for you. Why?
              Because then we will have new flagship processors, new camera sensors, blabla.
              Currently the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro is the best deal for you.
              Go get it or an used flagship phone like LG G4.

            • Nam Dang
              July 8, 2016

              Btw the LG G5 is currently at 450€- it got released with a 700€ price tag in April lol

            • Muhammad Yasir
              July 9, 2016

              damn 😀 !

            • Nam Dang
              July 10, 2016

              Even better: I’ve heard people in Germany got it for 280-400€.. LG failed but nevertheless, the G5 is an awesome phone haha

            • Deniz Kasap
              July 10, 2016

              Muhammed Yasir is the biggest troll. I will buy him a flagship if i will be rich. Maybe he wouldn’t talk anymore if it happen.

  24. balcobomber25
    July 5, 2016

    Good review Andi, some of those low light look shoots remind me of the Xshot.

    What is your current daily driver?

    • Andi Sykes
      July 6, 2016

      I was back on my OP2 although it does feel a little dated compared to the Mi5, Z2 Pro, Xplay 5 etc. Just received my OP3 so will be using that for a while now.

  25. Muhammad Yasir
    July 5, 2016

    one point tho … @Gizchina:disqus , the title of this Review is LIKELY to be missed by some people … since they may be browsing real fast , they MIGHT mistake this article for something else and TOTALLY miss out on such a nice Z2 review !

  26. Alex
    July 5, 2016

    Is the OIS and low light as good as S7?

    • Steven Fox
      July 5, 2016

      Definitely not.

    • Alex
      July 5, 2016

      What would you recommend for low light and OIS in the same price as Z2 Pro?

    • Steven Fox
      July 5, 2016

      Actually in that price range is a bit of mixed bag, you always get either a better photo quality, but lack of OIS or a more mediocre video quality.
      Low light shots can be done great with the Honor V8, which I think is just about the same region price as the Z2 Pro, but you get no OIS, however camera is the same as the P9(which delivers great low-light shots)
      Actually I would recommend you getting the Nexus 6P or 5X as the IMX377 does very well in low-light and has good OIS.
      LG G4 is also pretty affordable and is a great camera phone.

    • Alex
      July 5, 2016

      Thank you. I’ve never tried the Nexus but was really intrigued by the HDR+. I’ll have to wait for Zenfone 3 and Axon 7. If they are not better than the Z2 pro then I probably might just get the 6P.

    • Guest
      July 5, 2016

      6P and 5X don’t have OIS.

  27. Frank Wu
    July 5, 2016

    No NFC is a joke!

    • Steven Fox
      July 5, 2016

      It really is a puzzle why they don`t put it in there.
      The chip must cost like 1$!

    • Guest
      July 5, 2016

      are u sure its $1 ? even if bought on large scale (like 500 , 000 or half million NFC chips ordered in BULK by Lenovo to make ZUK Z2 phones ?)

    • Steven Fox
      July 5, 2016

      I`m saying ~1$ 😀 can`t be more than that.

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      It’s probably because NFC is still not that popular in China.

  28. Nam Dang
    July 5, 2016

    Long overdue Z2 Pro review – when is the Xiaomi Mi Max review coming you got before Z2 Pro?

    In camera department it seems you’re only describing photo quality. Video quality, as shown in some YT videos, is pretty mediocre in general and really weak in low light (framerate drops).

    EDIT: it’s still 960 fps PLAYBACK, not recording.

  29. illystor
    July 5, 2016

    Andi, since there’s no international ROMs etc, you should be running the same version as me. Beautify was simply automatically on when using front-facing, but it’s just a filter/effect you can deselect in the camera app from the magic wand icon. I’m able to take photos with front-facing without any Beautify effects being applied.

    • Andi Sykes
      July 6, 2016

      Thanks I’ll check that out

  30. NextHype
    July 5, 2016

    Anyone knows which sensor is it (back camera) ?

    in this article : Sony Exmor 13MP f/1.8
    on kimovil : Samsung Unknown 13MP f/1.8

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      According to the Zuk website it’s an ISOCELL sensor which would mean Samsung.

      http://www.zuk.com/z2pro/camera/index.html

    • NextHype
      July 7, 2016

      thanks balco.
      This article could be updated.

  31. sudione
    July 5, 2016

    Two very important question:
    1. Does the ZUK Z2 Pro have a video output in USB-C?
    2. What is better 1+3 or ZUK Z2 Pro?
    Thank you for specific answers.:)

    • July 6, 2016

      1. No idea
      2. Just received my OP3 this morning too early to say

  32. Guest
    July 5, 2016

    camera is sort of an odd joe … BETTER in low light but BAD in good light ?!

    WOT !

    • VMortens
      July 6, 2016

      He didn’t say BAD, he said he expected more.
      Still it looks like the oposite to Mi5 situation 🙂
      I bet the day photos are still good enough and it’s usually the low-light that cause problems. IMHO, an OK istuation.

    • Guest
      July 6, 2016

      ” I bet the day photos are still good enough and it’s usually the low-light that cause problems.”

      PLZ NO ! i want the low-light to be GODLY EPIC !

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      The only way you will get GODLY EPIC low light photos is to buy a DSLR. The sensors in smartphones are far too small to ever give you that good of low light shots.

    • Guest
      July 6, 2016

      aww mann… well , i’ll wait for Technological improvments 😀

      back in the day , when i was prolly not born , Nintendo said that their SNES games would require no less than a NASA Supercomputer , to be properly emulated on a platform other than SNES itself 😀

      i can play SNES games on a Pentium 1 if i want atm 😀 !

    • Nam Dang
      July 8, 2016

      Muhammad, just forget your requirements, you’ll never get a smartphone.
      All you want is highest specs (flagship material), best camera, HiFi audio chip, dual speakers, dual SIM, micro SD slot and a huge battery at a price of 200$.
      If a flagship smartphone at 500-800$ gets 300-400$ cheaper after 1-2 year, it’s not good anymore for you. Why?
      Because then we will have new flagship processors, new camera sensors, blabla.
      Currently the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro is the best deal for you.
      Go get it or an used flagship phone like LG G4.

    • Guest
      July 8, 2016
    • Nam Dang
      July 8, 2016

      Btw the LG G5 is currently at 450€- it got released with a 700€ price tag in April lol

    • Guest
      July 9, 2016

      damn 😀 !

    • Nam Dang
      July 10, 2016

      Even better: I’ve heard people in Germany got it for 280-400€.. LG failed but nevertheless, the G5 is an awesome phone haha

    • Deniz Kasap
      July 11, 2016

      Muhammed Yasir is the biggest troll. I will buy him a flagship if i will be rich. Maybe he wouldn’t talk anymore if it happen.

  33. Guest
    July 5, 2016

    one point tho … @Gizchina:disqus , the title of this Review is LIKELY to be missed by some people … since they may be browsing real fast , they MIGHT mistake this article for something else and TOTALLY miss out on such a nice Z2 review !

  34. Sere83
    July 5, 2016

    It looks nice and i am still tempted but the international price is just too high and has minimal plus points against the oneplus 3. I’m thinking that I will just get a oneplus 3 now.

    • July 6, 2016

      I just received my OP3. First time I started it it wouldn’t take photos. Factory reset and now only sim slot 2 works. This is an official OP3 from OP too…..

      • Sere83
        July 6, 2016

        Wow how annoying, sounds like you have been having a mare. Hope issues can be resolved. How you finding it in comparison to Z2 pro so far?

  35. sudione
    July 5, 2016

    Two very important question:
    1. Does the ZUK Z2 Pro have a video output in USB-C?
    2. What is better 1+3 or ZUK Z2 Pro?
    Thank you for specific answers.:)

    • Andi Sykes
      July 6, 2016

      1. No idea
      2. Just received my OP3 this morning too early to say

  36. Sere83
    July 5, 2016

    It looks nice and i am still tempted but the international price is just too high and has minimal plus points against the oneplus 3. I’m thinking that I will just get a oneplus 3 now.

    • Andi Sykes
      July 6, 2016

      I just received my OP3. First time I started it it wouldn’t take photos. Factory reset and now only sim slot 2 works. This is an official OP3 from OP too…..

    • Sere83
      July 6, 2016

      Wow how annoying, sounds like you have been having a mare. Hope issues can be resolved. How you finding it in comparison to Z2 pro so far?

  37. liamo
    July 6, 2016

    What about fingerprints & marks on the display? I have read a good few comments about how it’s a fingerprint magnet…

    • July 6, 2016

      Not been an issue for me. It did come with a screen protector which I have used during the review though.

  38. mikey
    July 6, 2016

    hi Andi. As I read in many forums there is a problem with chinese phones about spyware,…
    I have a ulefone Paris and I get a message from “anti-malware” adware.Ewind.mb and I can’t remove it.
    From “essent mobile security” I get a message treath found cleanmaster.appmonitor.tool……..and I also can’t remove it.
    So It would be nice to mention it also in the reviews if the phone is free from spyware,etc… scanned with anti-malware bytes, scanned with….. = nothing found
    1 line extra is not that bad, is it?
    With this i guess we can put pressure to get a clean rom, or else there are “maybe” people who don’t buy it. or do we like infected rom’s?

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      Ulefone and Zuk are two completely separate companies. Mentioning spyware found in one has nothing to do with the other. Cleanmaster is an app that doesn’t come preinstalled on the Paris. The problem is many Chinese phones are bought from resellers who add apps/adware/spyware onto phones before shipping them to consumers. Not every reseller does it and most review phones are sent from the companies themselves or from a trusted partner (like shop gizchina here).

      It’s the same with non Chinese phones in the US and Europe. If you buy a Samsung Galaxy S from Verizon in the US it comes with twice as many preinstalled apps (sometimes even more) as an unlocked S7 would. And many of those apps will be identified as malware/adware/unwanted by Security software.

      • mikey
        July 6, 2016

        I didn’t mention it that Zuk is the same company as ulefone and it doesn’t matter also!!
        Just add a line in the review that tells if there was spyware and/of virus detected with that kind of programs. no more no less….and then you can choose if you buy that phone or from that reseller

        • balcobomber25
          July 6, 2016

          If there was any spyware they would report it, that’s my entire point. The phones reviewers are given are usually straight from the company themselves and those phones are usually clean. The posts you see in forums are one of two things: people bought the phone from a reseller and the reseller added the spyware. Or there is no spyware and the security app is identifying system apps with permission access. Not everything a security suite finds is true adware/spyware/malware.

            • balcobomber25
              July 8, 2016

              Next time try actually reading the article you paste.

              “Initially discovered in February, HummingBad infects Android devices via two methods: drive-by downloads and malicious payloads delivered by websites distributing adult content.”

              The company responsible for this attack has NOTHING to do with any one phone brand. This is a virus that can affect any phone from any country from any brand if they download it or visit one of those sites. You do realize China is a huge country with millions of companies?

            • mikey
              July 9, 2016

              Hey balbomber. Dont feel this personal….I am not trying to go for a colision between us. You are correct with your explenation. Just wanna say that it will be in the future more important to buy a malware, adware …ect. Free phone and even if the reselers like banggood, …. Put this on it. Prices between them are just a few Dollars. I would like to chose next time a reseller (phone) who hassent been effect out of the box. Thats my point…if in the review stands and info from users : malware detected on that phone or from that reseller, we should put this in Points and publish To realize witch phone or reseller gives a non malware,adware… Out of the box. No more no less. Maybe that is difficult in your and other ears…finally it is the biggest threath in the future or maybe allready now because as you see…YOUR personal data is big money to others. Have a nice weekend 😉

            • balcobomber25
              July 9, 2016

              Here is what you are failing to understand though, the review units most of the time are sent by the company themselves not by a reseller. Also a review phone wouldn’t be a good judge of malware because usually the same unit is reviewed by multiple people meaning there are multiple chances for someone to infect it with malware.

              My personal data is big money which is why I do everything possible to secure it. No phone, computer, tablet or anything else connected to the internet is safe regardless of the brand.

  39. liamo
    July 6, 2016

    What about fingerprints & marks on the display? I have read a good few comments about how it’s a fingerprint magnet…

    • Andi Sykes
      July 6, 2016

      Not been an issue for me. It did come with a screen protector which I have used during the review though.

  40. mikey
    July 6, 2016

    hi Andi. As I read in many forums there is a problem with chinese phones about spyware,…
    I have a ulefone Paris and I get a message from “anti-malware” adware.Ewind.mb and I can’t remove it.
    From “essent mobile security” I get a message treath found cleanmaster.appmonitor.tool……..and I also can’t remove it.
    So It would be nice to mention it also in the reviews if the phone is free from spyware,etc… scanned with anti-malware bytes, scanned with….. = nothing found
    1 line extra is not that bad, is it?
    With this i guess we can put pressure to get a clean rom, or else there are “maybe” people who don’t buy it. or do we like infected rom’s?

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      Ulefone and Zuk are two completely separate companies. Mentioning spyware found in one has nothing to do with the other. Cleanmaster is an app that doesn’t come preinstalled on the Paris. The problem is many Chinese phones are bought from resellers who add apps/adware/spyware onto phones before shipping them to consumers. Not every reseller does it and most review phones are sent from the companies themselves or from a trusted partner (like shop gizchina here).

      It’s the same with non Chinese phones in the US and Europe. If you buy a Samsung Galaxy S from Verizon in the US it comes with twice as many preinstalled apps (sometimes even more) as an unlocked S7 would. And many of those apps will be identified as malware/adware/unwanted by Security software.

    • mikey
      July 6, 2016

      I didn’t mention it that Zuk is the same company as ulefone and it doesn’t matter also!!
      Just add a line in the review that tells if there was spyware and/of virus detected with that kind of programs. no more no less….and then you can choose if you buy that phone or from that reseller

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      If there was any spyware they would report it, that’s my entire point. The phones reviewers are given are usually straight from the company themselves and those phones are usually clean. The posts you see in forums are one of two things: people bought the phone from a reseller and the reseller added the spyware. Or there is no spyware and the security app is identifying system apps with permission access. Not everything a security suite finds is true adware/spyware/malware.

    • balcobomber25
      July 8, 2016

      Next time try actually reading the article you paste.

      “Initially discovered in February, HummingBad infects Android devices via two methods: drive-by downloads and malicious payloads delivered by websites distributing adult content.”

      The company responsible for this attack has NOTHING to do with any one phone brand. This is a virus that can affect any phone from any country from any brand if they download it or visit one of those sites. You do realize China is a huge country with millions of companies?

    • mikey
      July 9, 2016

      Hey balbomber. Dont feel this personal….I am not trying to go for a colision between us. You are correct with your explenation. Just wanna say that it will be in the future more important to buy a malware, adware …ect. Free phone and even if the reselers like banggood, …. Put this on it. Prices between them are just a few Dollars. I would like to chose next time a reseller (phone) who hassent been effect out of the box. Thats my point…if in the review stands and info from users : malware detected on that phone or from that reseller, we should put this in Points and publish To realize witch phone or reseller gives a non malware,adware… Out of the box. No more no less. Maybe that is difficult in your and other ears…finally it is the biggest threath in the future or maybe allready now because as you see…YOUR personal data is big money to others. Have a nice weekend 😉

    • balcobomber25
      July 9, 2016

      Here is what you are failing to understand though, the review units most of the time are sent by the company themselves not by a reseller. Also a review phone wouldn’t be a good judge of malware because usually the same unit is reviewed by multiple people meaning there are multiple chances for someone to infect it with malware.

      My personal data is big money which is why I do everything possible to secure it. No phone, computer, tablet or anything else connected to the internet is safe regardless of the brand.

  41. Barry
    July 6, 2016

    $189.99 bargain Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro buy it now

    Andi –
    July 5, 2016
    0

    The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro has been basking in review glory around the
    web and we thought we would slash the price to just $189.99 for our
    loyal readers!

    Read more

    Really? Are the shop Gizchina people so desperate that they have to masquerade their advertisements as articles?

  42. sifri
    July 6, 2016

    wish one would you choose for same price s7 europé edition with exynos 8890 or zuk z2?
    I know hardware is better on zuk z2 but i mean the complete feeling and Everything if you have compared it Before?

    • Lupo
      July 6, 2016

      S7

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      I would choose Z2 Pro because I am not a fan of Samsung phones. But I would choose Huawei P9 and Mate 8 over both of them.

      • yalok
        July 9, 2016

        Just because it’s Samsung?

        • balcobomber25
          July 9, 2016

          Nope because it runs Touchwiz. I don’t hate the Samsung name just the software and price they charge.

  43. Guest
    July 6, 2016

    $189.99 bargain Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro buy it now

    Andi –
    July 5, 2016
    0

    The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro has been basking in review glory around the
    web and we thought we would slash the price to just $189.99 for our
    loyal readers!

    Read more

    Really? Are the shop Gizchina people so desperate that they have to masquerade their advertisements as articles?

  44. sifri
    July 6, 2016

    wish one would you choose for same price s7 europé edition with exynos 8890 or zuk z2?
    I know hardware is better on zuk z2 but i mean the complete feeling and Everything if you have compared it Before?

    • Lupo
      July 6, 2016

      S7

    • balcobomber25
      July 6, 2016

      I would choose Z2 Pro because I am not a fan of Samsung phones. But I would choose Huawei P9 and Mate 8 over both of them.

    • yalok
      July 9, 2016

      Just because it’s Samsung?

    • balcobomber25
      July 9, 2016

      Nope because it runs Touchwiz. I don’t hate the Samsung name just the software and price they charge.

  45. Sam Moraitis
    July 7, 2016

    How is the screen quality compared to something like the mi5? Colour accuracy? Brightness?

    Thanks for the review.

  46. Sam Moraitis
    July 7, 2016

    How is the screen quality compared to something like the mi5? Colour accuracy? Brightness?

    Thanks for the review.

  47. Thang Cheong Pin
    July 8, 2016

    Hi Andy, is this phone good enough to be your daily driver of the year 2016?

  48. Thang Cheong Pin
    July 8, 2016

    Hi Andy, is this phone good enough to be your daily driver of the year 2016?

  49. Lero
    July 11, 2016

    If you buy the chinese version, can you install a international rom+GAPPS without issue?

  50. Lero
    July 11, 2016

    If you buy the chinese version, can you install a international rom+GAPPS without issue?

  51. martin golder
    August 7, 2016

    Fort Bill World Cup!

  52. martin golder
    August 7, 2016

    Fort Bill World Cup!

  53. Omran Mohammed
    January 31, 2017

    Whats name this laucher?

  54. Omran Mohammed
    January 31, 2017

    Whats name this laucher?

  55. Krzysztof Komoń
    September 17, 2017

    Whats name this laucher?

  56. Krzysztof Komoń
    September 17, 2017

    Whats name this laucher?