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Lenovo Zuk Z1 Price, Specifications, Features, Comparison And Review

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Price, Specifications, Features, Comparison And Review

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  • The Lenovo Zuk Z1 is priced at Rs. 13,499.
  • The phone runs Cyanogen OS 12.1, based on Android 5.1.1.
  • It’s powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 SoC with 3GB of RAM.

Lenovo Zuk Z1 smartphone was launched in May 2016. The phone comes with a 5.50-inch touchscreen display with a resolution of 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels at a PPI of 401 pixels per inch.

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The Lenovo Zuk Z1 is powered by 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor and it comes with 3GB of RAM. The phone packs 64GB of internal storage cannot be expanded. As far as the cameras are concerned, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 packs a 13-megapixel primary camera on the rear and a 8-megapixel front shooter for selfies.

The Lenovo Zuk Z1 runs Android 5.1.1 and is powered by a 4100mAh non removable battery. It measures 155.70 x 77.30 x 8.90 (height x width x thickness) and weighs 175.00 grams.

The Lenovo Zuk Z1 is a dual SIM (GSM and GSM) smartphone that accepts two Nano-SIM. Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, 3G, 4G (with support for Band 40 used by some LTE networks in India). Sensors on the phone include Proximity sensor, Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, and Gyroscope.

Lenovo Zuk Z1 detailed specifications

GENERAL
Release date May 2016
Form factor Touchscreen
Dimensions (mm) 155.70 x 77.30 x 8.90
Weight (g) 175.00
Battery capacity (mAh) 4100
Removable battery No
Colours Space Grey, White
SAR value 0.46
DISPLAY
Screen size (inches) 5.50
Touchscreen Yes
Resolution 1080×1920 pixels
Pixels per inch (PPI) 401
HARDWARE
Processor 2.5GHz  quad-core
Processor make Qualcomm Snapdragon 801
RAM 3GB
Internal storage 64GB
CAMERA
Rear camera 13-megapixel
Flash Yes
Front camera 8-megapixel
SOFTWARE
Operating System Android 5.1.1
Skin Cyanogen OS 12.1
CONNECTIVITY
Wi-Fi Yes
Wi-Fi standards supported 802.11 a/ b/ g/ n/ ac
GPS Yes
Bluetooth Yes
NFC No
Infrared No
USB OTG Yes
Headphones 3.5mm
FM No
Number of SIMs 2
SIM 1
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/ CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
SIM 2
SIM Type Nano-SIM
GSM/ CDMA GSM
3G Yes
4G/ LTE Yes
Supports 4G in India (Band 40) Yes
SENSORS
Compass/ Magnetometer Yes
Proximity sensor Yes
Accelerometer Yes
Ambient light sensor Yes
Gyroscope Yes
Barometer No
Temperature sensor No

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The screen of the Lenovo Zuk Z1 sports a resolution of 1080×1920, with a density of 401ppi. It’s a decent screen, and is sharp enough to serve most of your requirements. Brightness isn’t quite as great as we’d have expected from an IPS-LCD screen, and even at its brightest it doesn’t quite seem as bright as it should be. However, a polarising coating on the screen does help with legibility under bright sunlight, so it doesn’t need to be too bright. It is best to control brightness manually, as the adaptive brightness mode usually makes it too dull. Black levels are decent as well, as is the contrast ratio which ensures a fairly accurate representation of colours through the spectrum.

Additionally, there is also LiveDisplay, a setting that allows you to optimise the colour tone of the screen based on the time of day. You can choose how cool or warm you want the colours to get based on the time of day, or set the colour temperatures manually. This lets you set up the IPS-LCD screen exactly as you want it. The temperature switches made a noticeable difference to viewing comfort, and the ability to adjust this at any time is a great addition to the phone.

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Specifications
At a time when new smartphones priced at under Rs. 15,000 are running the latest MediaTek Helio or Snapdragon 600 series SoCs, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 packs in the higher-end but older 32-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801, clocked at 2.5GHz. It’s been about two years since the first Snapdragon 801 smartphones hit the market, so Lenovo’s choice of SoC will raise a few eyebrows, particularly because it’s a 32-bit SoC when practically all hardware is now geared for newer 64-bit processors.

Apart from the fact that the phone was first launched the better part of a year ago, an explanation offered by Lenovo for this is that the Cyanogen team knows the Snapdragon 801 really well, and using a different SoC at this point would send all its software optimisation efforts for a toss. However, you’re still buying a phone with an old SoC, and this is cause for concern about the longevity of the Zuk Z1. That said, the phone does run the latest and most stable variant of the Snapdragon 801, the MSM8974AC, and has the excellent Adreno 330 GPU. It’s an extremely capable SoC even today, continuing to perform with the same consistency and strength as when it was new.

The Zuk Z1 also has 3GB of RAM, 4G connectivity on its two SIM slots (Indian bands supported), Wi-Fi ac connectivity, and a 4,100mAh battery. The phone has a significant internal storage capacity of 64GB as well, but there’s no support for expandable storage so you’re limited to that much.

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Software
The phone runs on Cyanogen OS 12.1, which is based on Android 5.1.1. Although there has been talk of a planned upgrade to Cyanogen OS 13 based on Android 6.0, this update isn’t available through the phone’s OTA software update system yet. While Cyanogen OS isn’t quite as tweakable as the geek-inspired CyanogenMod, it offers a decent blend of customisability and stability.

In most ways, Cyanogen OS functions just like stock Android, and you can even change the theme to have it look like that. The system’s trademark is its high degree of customisability, and we see a lot of this in Lenovo Zuk Z1. The home screens and app drawer can be changed to different layouts, the grid sizes, scroll effects and icon labels can be changed and toggled, and there’s much more to play with. You get a fair amount of control over how the user interface looks at its most basic level.

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Going further in, the Settings app also has a few different options that give you a greater sense of control over the device than most standard manufacturer UIs offer. This includes being able to control whether the screen should light up when you plug in a charger, the colour of the notification light for battery alerts, custom actions for the home and recent buttons, the position of various elements on the status bar and notification drawer, and much more. Cyanogen OS is the ideal operating system for advanced users who want control over more aspects of their phones, and one we love using because of its general stability, light footprint and ease of use. Additionally, it’s free of any bloatware and has a good set of system apps that are well designed and light on phone resources.

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Camera
The Lenovo Zuk Z1 has a 13-megapixel primary camera built on Sony’s IMX 214 sensor, and also features optical image stabilisation and a dual-LED flash. The front camera sports an 8-megapixel sensor, and both cameras can record video at up to 1080p, with the rear camera also featuring 60fps video recording.

The camera app is Cyanogen’s own Camera Next, which is a fairly decent option in terms of ease of use and functionality. Most useful toggles are easily accessible from the viewfinder screen itself, including flash, camera and timer settings. Video recording is a one-step procedure, and panorama mode can also be quickly toggled this way. Additionally, resolution settings, manual controls and codec selection can be done through the settings menu, which gives you an atypically large amount of control over your pictures and videos.

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The camera itself is fairly capable, taking pictures that are sharp and detailed, and manage to capture colour tones effectively and accurately. In well-lit images, the handling of light and dark areas is particularly good, while low-light images succeed in capturing a fair amount of detail with an acceptably low amount of noise and grain. Indoor shots aren’t quite as good as well-lit outdoor shots, but are up to an acceptable standard as far as detail and colours go.

Videos are fairly good in decent light, but suffer a bit in low-light conditions. However, the ability of the camera to focus quickly and readjust to lighting conditions is commendable, and far better than other devices we’ve seen in this price range. High-speed and slow-motion modes produce fun results with a clean sense of motion and fluidity.

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Performance
Despite its two-year-old SoC, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 is a capable performer that outdoes a lot of newer options from both Qualcomm and MediaTek. However, you are likely to get better performance from the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 and 652 SoCs which are found on some similarly priced devices. It’s also important to remember that the Adreno 330 GPU is too old to support OpenGL ES 3.1 and 3.2, so this may affect the phone’s ability to play some newer, more graphics-intensive games.

General performance on the phone, as well as with the games we tried (Marvel: Contest of Champions, Trials: Frontier and Uncharted: Fortune Hunter) was excellent, with no significant heating issues and absolutely no lag or stutter. This can also be credited to Cyanogen OS, which ensures that the Zuk Z1 always runs smoothly thanks to its low impact and optimal utilisation of the device’s resources.

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Our suite of benchmark tests corroborated all of this, with impressive scores through the tests, particularly with the graphics benchmarks. AnTuTu and Quadrant produced scores of 57,835 and 24,885 respectively, while GFXBench and 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited returned scores of 28fps and 19,550. All of these are excellent, particularly when you consider the age of the Snapdragon 801 SoC, and are an indication of just how capable and ahead of its time the SoC was back in 2014.

The Zuk Z1 ran for 13 hours, 40 minutes in our video loop test, which is an impressive figure. In ordinary day-to-day use, the phone would last us well over a day on a full charge, despite continuous 4G connectivity, a bit of gaming and the screen brightness set at the highest level throughout. Wi-Fi, cellular connectivity and call quality are excellent as well, and the only drawback is the somewhat weak speaker that sounds poor. However, with headphones, the sound quality is decent enough to use the phone as your primary music player and for watching the occasional video.

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Verdict
Lenovo has an excellent device on its hands with the Zuk Z1. The phone is well built, runs excellent software, has a good display, comes with plenty of storage, and has excellent connectivity and good battery life as well. There’s also a great screen which is sharp and can be tweaked and customised to your preferences. Above all, the company has achieved all of this at a great price that will tempt a lot of buyers, particularly advanced users who know a thing or two about the advantages of Cyanogen OS over other manufacturer-developed user interfaces.

Unfortunately, there are some noteworthy drawbacks as well. Although we faced no performance or compatibility issues during our time with the phone, it does run an old 32-bit SoC with a GPU that may have trouble with new games and apps going forward. There’s also the previous version of Cyanogen OS and Android out-of-the-box, with no timeline on an update to the newest software. Although a relatively minor complaint given the ample 64GB of on-board storage, the phone does not support expandable storage. And finally, buying the Z1 won’t be easy because of the annoying flash sale model.

However, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 is a great option nonetheless, particularly considering its price and the features on offer. If you don’t expect the age of the hardware to be a problem for you over the next couple of years or plan to use this as a secondary smartphone, the Zuk Z1 may well be worth considering over some of the other options in this price range.

 




 

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