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Lenovo Z2 Plus First Impressions: Top-end hardware at compelling price-point
Chinese tech giant Lenovo today announced the launch of company's flagship smartphone- Z2 Plus under its online only brand Zuk. The Z2 Plus is basically a rebranded Lenovo Zuk Z2, which was launched in China back in May 2016 and is the most affordable smartphone packing in the flagship Snapdragon 820 processor.
As expected, the company has launched the handset in two variants- one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, priced at Rs 17,999. The second variant, which as per Lenovo targets the power users offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage and will cost Rs 19,999.
As per Lenovo, Z2 Plus is for consumers who are more technologically advanced and don't want to compromise on performance. We tried to find this out with our initial testing during the launch event.
Here's first impressions of the top-end 4GB+64GB Lenovo Z2 Plus.
Design- Well constructed but boring
While Lenovo has managed to design a smartphone that feels quite compact and solid in hands, Z2 Plus fails to impress as far as its design is concerned. The company hasn't tried anything new in the deisgn department, and Z2 Plus looks like a thick slab of shiny plastic that lacks the overall premium feel.
Z2 Plus is made of fibre glass, which Lenovo claims is lighter and stronger than metal, helps enhance cellular quality and also provides for very efficient thermal management in everyday usage. We will evaluate such claims while reviewing the handset in the coming month.
The right side has the power button and volume rockers. The 3,5mm headphone jack, USB type C port for charging and speaker grilles sits at the bottom.
The rear side is made up of glass, which looks more like glossy plastic and is a fingerprint magnet. Besides, it's quite prone to scratches and you have to a protective case if you don't want it to get scratched easily. Lenovo is also offering cases for the device to be sold separately. The accessory list include a Chrono case for Rs 1,299, Skullcandy Ando headphones for Rs 1,299 and a Stealth case (back cover) for Rs 6,99.
Despite its boring and uninspiring looks, the smartphone scores quite well in ergomonics. It's very comfortable to hold, easily fits in one hand and will please consumers who are not very fond of big screen devices.
Display- Crsip and bright 1080p panel
The front of the device boats a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The display churns out a pixel density of 441ppi that makes everything look quite crisp and clear. During our brief usage, we took the handset outside in sunlight and were impressed by its sunlight legibility and good viewing angles. The colours also looked quite vivid on the 5-inch 1080p display.
Hardware- The most affordable Snapdragon 820 smartphone
Now this is where things get interesting. Lenovo Z2 Plus is the most affordable handset in the market that comes powered by the flagship Snapdragon 820 CPU. The smartphone also gets top-end Adreno 530 GPU to handle graphics related tasks.
With whatever time we spent with the handset, we didn't notice any lags and found the handset to be buttery smooth. There were no lags in basic screen navigation, application loading and shifting from one app to another during multitasking. The CPU is supported by 3/4GB DDR4 RAM, which offers faster multitasking compared to the previous DDR3 class RAM.
Sadly, Lenovo is not offering microSD card slot and you have to compromise with the inbuilt 32GB and 64GB storage.
Software-No Cyanogen OS
The device runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow out of the box, unlike the previous Lenovo Zuk Z1 that offered Cyanogen OS 12.1 So the smartphone runs pretty much stock Android but gets some useful tweaks from Lenovo like a redesigned quick switch panel, which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the display instead of swiping down from the top. The camera app has also been tweaked and offers a new intuitive user interface.
Camera- Doesn't waste time and offers vibrant shots
The Z2 Plus sports a 13MP camera on the rear with f/2.2 aperture. The camera comes with phase detection autofocus and LED flash along with Electronic Image stabilisation (EIS). It is capable of recording slow motion, time-lapse and 4K videos.
We took some random shots in various lighting condition and were pleased to see punchy colours and good detailing. The camera sensor also does not waste any time in locking a subject and capturing it. However, we will reserve our verdict after testing out the camera's full potential during the full review of the smartphone.
The front has an 8MP camera.
Intuitive Home button and a dedicated Pedometer
Lenovo has tried to offer something more with the biometric sensor integrated on Z2 plus. The Home-button that serves as a fingerprint sensor is placed on a touch-enabled base that comes with gestures support. It allows you to switch between apps with the swipe of a finger. It works seamlessly and let you control the handset much faster.
Besides, Lenovo has also added a dedicated 'Pedometer' that is always active in the background and tracks users' steps, distance travelled, calories burnt and more. A dedicated app- U health offers the insights to users on their daily activities.
Battery and Connectivity
The dual-SIM smartphone comes with 4G LTE, VoLTE, 3G, GPRS-EDGE/ GPS/A-GPS support and is backed by a 3,500mAh battery that supports Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0 technology.The battery unit also comes with Intelligent Charge Cut-off that helps enhance the life of the battery in everyday usage.
Availability- Amazon Exclusive
Lenovo Z2 Plus will be exclusively available on Amazon India by September 25 in open sale, which is a great move by the company to help consumers get their hands on the smartphone without getting into the troubles of flash sales. The smartphone will be available in the Black and White colour options.
Lenovo Z2 Plus seems to be a powerful handset and offers a good set of hardware at a compelling price-point. There's not much difference in the price point of the two variants and buying the top-end 4GB+64GB variant actually makes more sense.
We will stress test the handset in the coming month to come out with a final verdict.