Wednesday 9 December 2015

Lenovo's Zuk Z1 is a Cheap Smartphone with More Battery than Bite

Zuk Z1

The Zuk Z1 – First Smartphone From Lenovo’s Zuk Sub-Brand

The Zuk Z1 is the first smartphone from Lenovo’s Zuk sub-brand which joins the growing list of cheap Android handsets such as the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 and Asus ZenFone 2. The Zuk Z1 had been unveiled in August in China and though there was no planned date of release for US, it is available now in Europe for €319.99.

One could get a 5.5 inch full HD display, 3GB of RAM, 64GB internal storage, 13-megapixel camera with dual SIM support, fingerprint scanner as well as an equally dated Snapdragon 801 processor with that price. This is because like the powerful though cheap Android smartphone, the Zuk Z1 is not much appealing with regards to the design.

The metal chamfered edges are attractively designed and the plastic antenna stripes towards the top and bottom of the phone are somewhat familiar. The Z1 tends to have a rounded bubbly feel of an older phone for instance like a Samsung Galaxy Note 2 of 2012. The sleek plastic back tends to swell slightly as though the battery within seems to be inflating and though not uncomfortable to hold, it lacks the refinement one tends to get from the latest Galaxy and iPhone devices.

Software – Very Appealing

The most appealing aspect of the Z1 is its software which comes loaded with one of Android’s popular variants, Cyanogen OS, meaning that individuals could get more granular control over their device than Google’s regular mobile operating system. One could tweak anything from the shortcuts on the notification drawer, to check for individual apps to hardware button towards the bottom of the device.

Besides this it also bundled with the software like Truecaller, a caller ID service which besides other things, tends to block spam calls, which is useful and can be uninstalled if not needed. The performance of Z1 is perfect for daily usage, swiping around the home screen scrolling through the apps, texting friends and much more.

Though the Snapdragon 2.5 GHz801 processor does not keep up in head-to-head use with the new chips from 2015, there seems to be slight and infrequent impediments at the time of gaming. The 13-megapixel camera is a bit of a disappointment and attempting to capture moving subjects seems difficult as well as well- illuminated indoor shots are not up to the mark. Besides this, Cyanogen OS’s camera app is particularly poorly designed with no easy access to pictures taken.

Z1 – A Capable Phone

The rest of the hardware seems solid though there are some more limitations. For instance the addition of a USB Type-C port seems that one could use reversible cables which tend to work either way up though it makes the old microUSB chargers useless.

The phone does not come bundled with one Type-C cable. Since there is no microSD port or a removable battery, the 64GB storage and 4,100 mAh battery of Z1 would be adequate to satisfy most of the users. The fingerprint scanner seems good though there were a few missed scans. The Z1 overall seems to be a very capable phone.

 It is not a flagship quality, but it is definitely no ship. The Z1 though, with a generic and somewhat swollen design of the handset does not seem right for all hands, its price at least would be suitable for several users.

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