Lenovo unveiled the ZUK Z2 Pro in China on 21st of April, which is the successor of Zuk Z1 which was launched last year in China. The company has now confirmed that the Zuk Z1 will be coming to India very soon, and it will be available for purchase from May 2016. The company has not confirmed any particular date for the availability or the price till now but we can expect it to cost around 11K-14K.

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For those who don’t know, Zuk is Lenovo sub brand that has released only 3 phones till now. The USP of this phone is the powerful hardware package at minimal price. The hardware looks a little old on paper, but Snapdragon 801 will surely work if comes at a reasonable price. We were invited by the Zuk team to try our hands on the Zuk Z1 and here is our take on the smartphone.

Zuk Z1 Specifications

Key SpecsZuk Z1
Display5.5 inches IPS
Screen Resolution1920x1080
Operating SystemCyanogen 12.1
Processor 2.5 GHz Quad-core Krait 400
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC
RAM3 GB (LPDDR3, 1866MHz)
Storage 64 GB (eMMC 5.0)
Primary Camera13 MP Sony Exmor RS stack sensor with Double-LED flash
Secondary Camera8 MP
Battery 4100 mAh (Non-removable)
Price 280 Euros
(approx INR 20,500)

ZUK Z1 Photo Gallery

Physical Overview

The Zuk Z1 comes packed in a flat rectangular body with curved corners for a better feel in hand. The sides have a solid metal frame that holds the body pretty firmly; it is rounded and has chamfered edges which give it a smooth transition between the front glass panel and the plastic rear panel.

The back panel has a slight curve which makes it sit perfectly in hands, although one handed usage with 5.5 inch display phone is never an easy task. With 4100 mAh battery, the phone feels a little heavy but still manages to stay under 175 grams of bulk and thickness is just 8.9 mm.

The front top has the speaker grill, front camera, proximity sensor and ambient light sensor. Below the screen we have a physical home button that feels a little stiff as it has a fingerprint sensor built in it. A pair of capacitive navigation buttons is baked on each side-the left one displays our recent apps, and the right one works as back button.

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The 13 MP primary camera is at the center top of the back side and dual LED flash is also residing right below it.

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The volume rocker and power/sleep key is on the right side of the phone and both are made out of metal.

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SIM tray is placed on the left hand side of the phone.

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At the bottom, you will find the USB Type-C port in the center, microphone of its left and loudspeaker grill on its right.

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3.5mm audio jack is on the top edge of the Zuk Z1.

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Camera Overview

The Zuk Z1 comes with a 13 MP primary camera with Sony Exmor RS image sonsor with f/2.2 aperture and a 5-element lens. Rear camera performs decent in good lighting conditions, but in natural light, it captures good amount of detail and colours. We could not test the camera in low light but we can expect it to be average in such conditions.

The front camera is 5 MP and it performs the same as we have seen in phones costing around 12K-15K. The picture quality was good in day light but not too good when the light is on the lower side.

Display

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One of the most appealing features of this phone is its display. It comes with a 5.5 inch full HD (1080 x 1920 p) IPS LCD display. It is a really good display for playing games, watching videos and anything that counts pixels. The pixel density is 401 ppi which is adequate for crisp and vivid visuals. The colour production is really good and also the viewing angles are much better than the expectations.

User Interface

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It comes with Cyanogen Mod OS 12.1 on top of Android 5.1.1. Although the company has said that it will soon be coming with the latest version of Android and Cyanogen 13. Cyanogen OS is a well-known custom UI that brings a lot of additional options to play with your phone. It has a totally different icon pack, camera UI and app notification panels. We will be talking about the UI in detail later on once we receive a unit.

Fingerprint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor is baked in the home button, and the good part is that it is a 360 degree sensor. You can put your finger in any angle to unlock your phone, and it also offers multiple fingerprint gestures which can be used as shortcuts. The unlocking speed was quick and it was accurate as well.

Conclusion

Lenovo is bringing the ZUK Z1 a little late in the Indian market, but we cannot ignore the fact that this phone is really solid in many ways and mainly in terms of software. We liked the build quality and design, apart from the bulk. The display looks really good in almost every condition and the camera is also something impressive.

It does not offer a microSD card slot but the company is bringing the 64 GB variant to compensate the memory issues. Snapdragon 801 sounds a little old but it all depends on the final price it will come for. If it is priced under between 12K-14K, then this handset will surely be a good competitor in its range.