Lenovo Z2 Plus (ZUK Z2) Hands On (and a bit of a review spoiler)


Lenovo Z2 Plus ZUK Z2

When ZUK first came out with their rather obnoxious marketing campaign last year, I certainly wasn’t very kicked about the brand. Then they churned out the ZUK Z1, which despite its thick body was well received by ‘power users’ thanks to some really nice hardware-software integration and of course, Cyanogen OS (it used to be really nice back then).

Fast forward to this season, and Lenovo spin off ZUK came out with the ZUK Z2, which is also sold as the Lenovo Z2 Plus in India. It continues to appeal to a niche set of users; this time around, the company put a 5-inch display on it, along with the Snapdragon 820 SoC and 3/4GB of RAM. What we’re testing here is the 4GB RAM version.

I only got the phone yesterday, but had received the Chinese flavour (ZUK Z2) a few days back. Unfortunately I’m using the Ulefone Metal right now (review early next week!), so the Z2/Z2 Plus (referred to as the Z2 henceforth) isn’t yet my ‘daily driver’ (excuse the jargon).

Before accusing me of being biased, it’s worth letting you guys know that I prefer 5-inch phones. The Mi 2s had probably been the best phone for me until it got really outdated with the specs, so you have an idea. The Z2 gets the ergonomics just right, with a body that’s not too slim and nor too thick… just what they call the ‘sweet spot’.

Lenovo Z2 Plus ZUK Z2

 

The fingerprint sensor thus sits on the front, on top of the U-Touch button. This is an implementation similar to Meizu’s mTouch, and one that I think is extremely ergonomic and practical. Tap once to go back, press to go home. On the Z2, there’s a couple of other configurable action that you can program — swipe (I use it to switch between apps) and long touch (recent apps). More on that in the full review!

Benchmarks

The camera seems to be one that’s easy to use without too many features. One downside is there’s no manual mode with many photography enthusiasts might not like too much. On the other hand, for the experimentalists, there’s 960fps slo-mo (software aided, of course) that could be worth a shot.

Here’s a teaser camera sample before the full review.

img_20160930_164820_result

Device Photos

Buyers in India will be able to avail some offers courtesy Amazon and Lenovo, including exchange, no cost EMI’s and more. The phone costs 17,999 INR and 19,999 INR for the 3/32 and 4/64 versions respectively.

On the other hand, buyers outside of India can purchase one (ZUK Z2) for around the $255 shipped.

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37 Comments

  1. Muhammad Yasir
    September 30, 2016

    cam looks nice af

    • Jh1
      September 30, 2016

      In other z2 reviews I have read, the camera is average, but nothing exceptional. Still a nice little phone though

    • Gabest
      September 30, 2016

      4k videos outside in sunlight are amazing, the default bitrate is ~40mbit, but can be increased to 100mbit by editing an xml file. However, inside it’s unusable without flash, even during the day.

    • AtereJr
      October 2, 2016

      Nothing close to my Nubia Z11 max. Kinda a bit dissapointing compared to what i’m used to.

      • Muhammad Yasir
        October 2, 2016

        yeah ofc , your Z11 max is in a league of its own.

        i swear , if i had the money i would buy the z11 max or le eco max 2 if i had a little less

  2. TheOfficialTed
    September 30, 2016

    This is one of the most underrated phones:

    5 inch display with 1080p
    3500 mah battery
    Snapdragon 820
    Physical Home Button
    64gb Rom
    4gb Ram
    LTE Bands for US (Zuk Z2 version)

    There are not too many highly spec’d compact phones anymore. To think I purchased the Zuk z2 with these impressive specs for only $250 USD is unreal.

  3. balcobomber25
    September 30, 2016

    This isn’t a review spoiler because we all know there will never be a review of this phone and if there is it will be months after the phone is already out.

    Not enough time for reviews, too many Ulefone/Elephone/UMi comparison videos to do.

    • Eddie K
      September 30, 2016

      I fully agree with you. Lately Gizchina lacks of reviews, still waiting for a few reviews that they promised.

      • September 30, 2016

        @balcobomber25 and Eddie, I know where this is coming from, and totally concede we’ve been sloppy lately. Things have changed a bit though, and I assure you the charm of GizChina will be back sooner than you expect. Just stick with us for a bit (if I may add, for old times sake 🙂 ).

        Cheers!

        • Jh1
          September 30, 2016

          Very glad to hear this. Gizchina used to be my go to source for China phone news and reviews. Lately things have been rather disappointing. Looking forward to seeing it get back on track.

    • Tremaine Underwood
      October 1, 2016

      Well said Balco, there are a lot of old followers that feel the same way. I miss the days of Andi’s video reviews.

    • Nam Dang
      October 1, 2016

      Still waiting for promised Xiaomi Mi Max review lol

      • AtereJr
        October 2, 2016

        And LeEco Le 2/Le2pro

    • Yeti hand
      October 4, 2016

      BALCO!! Dropping the bomb 24/7 on gizchina!!
      Go get them Balco, we’re counting on you!!!

  4. Maximiliano On Line
    September 30, 2016

    I really like 5 inch phones. This is a nice option, good for lenovo/zuk

  5. Guest
    September 30, 2016

    cam looks nice af

    • Jh1
      September 30, 2016

      In other z2 reviews I have read, the camera is average, but nothing exceptional. Still a nice little phone though

    • AtereJr
      October 2, 2016

      Nothing close to my Nubia Z11 max. Kinda a bit dissapointing compared to what i’m used to.

    • Guest
      October 2, 2016

      yeah ofc , your Z11 max is in a league of its own.

      i swear , if i had the money i would buy the z11 max or le eco max 2 if i had a little less

  6. TheOfficialTed
    September 30, 2016

    This is one of the most underrated phones:

    5 inch display with 1080p
    3500 mah battery
    Snapdragon 820
    Physical Home Button
    64gb Rom
    4gb Ram
    LTE Bands for US (Zuk Z2 version)

    There are not too many highly spec’d compact phones anymore. To think I purchased the Zuk z2 with these impressive specs for only $250 USD is unreal.

  7. balcobomber25
    September 30, 2016

    This isn’t a review spoiler because we all know there will never be a review of this phone and if there is it will be months after the phone is already out.

    Not enough time for reviews, too many Ulefone/Elephone/UMi comparison videos to do.

    • Guest
      September 30, 2016

      I fully agree with you. Lately Gizchina lacks of reviews, still waiting for a few reviews that they promised.

    • Yash Garg
      September 30, 2016

      @balcobomber25 and Eddie, I know where this is coming from, and totally concede we’ve been sloppy lately. Things have changed a bit though, and I assure you the charm of GizChina will be back sooner than you expect. Just stick with us for a bit (if I may add, for old times sake 🙂 ).

      Cheers!

    • Jh1
      October 1, 2016

      Very glad to hear this. Gizchina used to be my go to source for China phone news and reviews. Lately things have been rather disappointing. Looking forward to seeing it get back on track.

    • Tremaine Underwood
      October 1, 2016

      Well said Balco, there are a lot of old followers that feel the same way. I miss the days of Andi’s video reviews.

    • Nam Dang
      October 1, 2016

      Still waiting for promised Xiaomi Mi Max review lol

    • AtereJr
      October 2, 2016

      And LeEco Le 2/Le2pro

    • Yeti hand
      October 4, 2016

      BALCO!! Dropping the bomb 24/7 on gizchina!!
      Go get them Balco, we’re counting on you!!!

  8. Maximiliano On Line
    September 30, 2016

    I really like 5 inch phones. This is a nice option, good for lenovo/zuk

  9. Alfred
    October 1, 2016

    I like it. It will be available for Europe States?

  10. Alfred
    October 1, 2016

    I like it. It will be available for Europe States?

  11. Allanitomwesh
    October 2, 2016

    Is that stock Android? So the Lenovo branded one has sane software?

    • November 2, 2016

      Nope, both ZUI.

      • Allanitomwesh
        November 19, 2016

        Interesting, is that the Indian ROM? I’d consider this if it wasn’t too bloated, or had custom ROMs

  12. Allanitomwesh
    October 2, 2016

    Is that stock Android? So the Lenovo branded one has sane software?

    • Yash Garg
      November 2, 2016

      Nope, both ZUI.

    • Allanitomwesh
      November 19, 2016

      Interesting, is that the Indian ROM? I’d consider this if it wasn’t too bloated, or had custom ROMs