Lenovo has come a long way as a smartphone maker in India. In the past couple of years, almost all of their phones have been aggressively priced and have had great success. Recently Lenovo announced a sub brand in China, the ZUK where the phone is sold online only. The ZUK brand made an entry to India with ZUK Z1 with Cyanogen OS. Now, Lenovo has brought in their latest flagship device under the ZUK brand, the Lenovo Z2 Plus.
Unlike the Chinese version, the India version is devoid of ZUK branding, but the phone is developed by the ZUK team. The Z2 Plus packs the best hardware you can get on a flagship device and is priced aggressively as well. The phone comes in two variants and is priced starting 17,999. We review the phone to find out how good a flagship the Lenovo Z2 Plus is.
Design and Building
Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a different design when compared to other Android flagship and it resembles iPhone SE in terms of design. It has uniform thickness and weighs 150gms. Today, most of the flagship devices are made of metal, but Lenovo has used fibre glass materials along with glass. While the build quality looks great, the glass finishes makes it a fingerprint magnet.
The power and volume keys are on the right side, while the SIM tray is on the left side. The top panel does not have any openings and the bottom section has USB C Type port, 3.5mm audio jack and speaker unit. The rear panel has 13MP camera, LED flash and the Lenovo logo at the bottom. There is no ZUK branding on the device. The front panel has 5 inch HD display, 8MP camera, usual set of sensors and the U touch button. The phone comes with on screen navigational buttons. Overall, the phone looks quite decent and the build quality is good.
Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a 5 inch Full HD (1080p) IPS LCD display. While most of the flagship devices have 5.2 or 5.5 inches in screen size, Lenovo has gone in for a smaller screen size. We found the display to be sharp, clean and bright, with good color quality which is fairly accurate.The sunlight legibility also looks good, but the problem is with the ambient light sensor as it is not accurate and at times you end up with low brightness.
The phone also comes with options to customize the display color temperature. You can choose either warm or colder colors from the display settings. There is also a night mode if you read a lot on your smartphone. Overall, the display quality of Z2 Plus is good.
If you have used a Lenovo phone before, you might be familiar with Vibe UI. But unlike other phones, the Z2 Plus comes with a completely different software experience. Since this is developed by the ZUK team, we have a blend of stock Android and a customized UI. Lenovo has used Google launcher as the default launcher in the phone, but it does come with customization in the form of quick toggle and settings page.
The quick toggles are accessible from the bottom with a swipe, the implementation is similar to iOS. The settings panel is a customized one with an easy to use UI. One of the most important aspects of the phone is the U touch, which is a physical button integrated with the fingerprint scanner. The U touch button can do multiple tasks like going back, multitasking, switching between apps and also opening specific apps. In short, you can configure 6 actions with the U touch button.
The Z2 plus runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow and developed by the ZUK team, we are expecting Android 7.0 for the device. Unlike other Lenovo devices, there is no support for themes in this phone, so the customization options are limited.
Lenovo Z2 Plus is powered by 2.3Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 SoC coupled with 4GB of RAM and 64GB internal storage. There is also a variant with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. As we all know SD 820 is one of most powerful chipsets available and this shows up in the performance of Z2 Plus. The phone handles any task with ease and we seldom noticed any issues or lags. The multi tasking is also implemented pretty well and with U touch button it is even easier to use.
The gaming performance of the device was really good and there was no lag or notable frame skips. The phone did get warm slightly (upto 43 degrees) while gaming, but did not go to alarming levels. It can handle all types of high graphic intensive games with ease. The call quality of the phone was pretty good and we tested with Jio network and VoLTE works fine. The phone also supports dual SIM card with 4G LTE and 3G fall back on the second SIM card.
The device comes with 64GB internal storage and you have plenty of storage to store your personal files. There is also a 32GB version, but the device does not support micro SD card. The speaker performance of the device was quite average and it misses out on the Dolby Atmos feature available on most Lenovo phones as this is from the ZUK team. The phone also comes with a fingerprint scanner and it works perfectly well and is very accurate in unlocking the device.
Overall, we would say the Lenovo Z2 Plus provides you with stellar performance in this segment.
Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a 13MP rear camera with PDAF and LED flash, while there is an 8MP front shooter for selfies. The camera interface is quite different from what we have seen on Lenovo smartphones. The camera app comes with basic options like HDR (auto), Panorama, Slo-motion and time lapse but misses out on manual mode. The phone can also record videos in Full HD and 4K resolutions.
Lenovo Z2 Plus camera looks quite decent in day light shots and they have come good. The color quality of the photos looks decent and does not over saturate the photos. But at the same time it is not as good as the quality offered by Xiaomi Mi5 or OnePlus 3. The camera also struggles in low light photos and they look over sharpened with processing. The phone supports 4k video recording and the samples are quite good. Overall, we would say that the camera on Lenovo Z2 Plus is above average, but still not of flagship quality. Here are some of the photos taken with the device.
Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a 3500mAh battery with Quick charge 3.0. But the company has not included the QC 3.0 compatible charger with the device, probably to cut costs. Now, talking about the battery performance, we found the Lenovo Z2 Plus battery to be quite capable. With the phone connected to 4G network all the time along with dual SIM cards, we could get a day of battery life with 4 hours SOT. This will be even better when you are connected to WiFi.
So overall, we would say that the battery performance of Z2 Plus is quite good and you won’t be disappointed with the performance.
Priced at Rs 17,999 for the 3GB, 32GB variant and Rs 19,999 for the 4GB, 64GB storage variant, the Z2 Plus offers excellent value for money and is the cheapest Snapdragon 820 powered chipset in India. It is an all-round device with good design, build, display, software and excellent performance with great battery life.
If you are looking for an affordable flagship, you cannot wrong with the Lenovo Z2 Plus. We would suggest you to pick the 64GB variant as there is no support for micro SD card.