Lenovo Z2 Plus comes at a very affordable price in India Rs. 17,999 for the 3 GB RAM / 32 GB storage version and Rs. 19,999 for the 4 GB RAM / 64 GB storage variant. Both the smartphones are powerful and yet have a 5.0 inch screen which makes it really compact.
Update 16/Jan/2017 – There is a price cut for the Z2 Plus , it is now available for Rs. 2500 less.
Ever since Lenovo has acquired Motorola and Zuk brands, its smartphone portfolio turned pretty interesting. On one hand, it has the upper mid-range Moto Z Play (read review) which is the company’s first attempt at modularity and on the other hand, it has the affordable Moto G (4th Gen) — a no nonsense smartphone with near stock Android experience.
And right between these two smartphones sits the company’s latest flagship killer (or killer flagship), the Lenovo Z2 Plus. And there’s a good reason for it to be labelled so.
The Lenovo Z2 Plus is the first smartphone to come equipped with Snapdragon 820 chipset under Rs. 20,000 price segment. Moreover, it has a few unique features up it sleeve which only makes the smartphone more interesting.
I have used the smartphone for more than 10 days as a daily driver and here’s what I think about it.
Compact Size Yet Incredibly Powerful, Un-inspiring Design
Let me get this straight out of the way, the Lenovo Z2 Plus looks good but not great. Unlike most of the smartphones out there(in the similar price range), the device comes with a Fibre Glass frame which helps the smartphone keep a check on weight (149g) despite its 8.49mm thickness.
Moreover, it feels quite sturdy in the hand. With that being said, the glossy glass back is quite a fingerprint magnet and we would recommend you to use it with the bundled case.
It comes with a 2.5D curved glass at the front and back (glossy), save for the rectangular home button (which is also the fingerprint scanner) on the front and it bears a striking resemblance to the Apple iPhone 5s (Space Grey).
In terms of real estate, the smartphone’s 5-inch form factor makes for a comfortable and convenient experience. It sits well in the hand and at any given point of time, I could reach the notification center without any issues even on single-handed usage. Also, the button placement is very ergonomic.
Speaking of which, the volume rocker and power button are present on the right side of the device just above the dual-SIM tray. At the bottom, you have the USB Type-C port, 3.5mm audio port, and a microphone along with the mono-speaker.
All in all, for what its worth, the smartphone looks good and will undoubtedly please the crowd who have been waiting for power packed handset in a compact form factor.
Crisp and Sharp display
In the current day scenario, where 5.5-inch is a norm for smartphones, the 5-inch Z2 Plus comes as a breath of fresh air. The Z2 Plus has a 5-inch Full HD display with a pixel density of 441 PPI which means text appears crisp and sharp. Also, a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass technology runs above the display to protect it from wear and tear.
As far as the sunlight legibility is considered, I had a tough time reading text under direct sunlight but, cranking up the brightness levels to maximum resolved the issue to a good extent. The display can get quite bright indoors, though. Viewing angles were pretty decent and contrast ratio was good as well.
Top-of-the-line hardware – Fast and Fluid
In terms of hardware, the smartphone comes with a Quad-core 2.15 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chipset coupled with Adreno 530 GPU for graphics. The Z2 Plus is available in two variants — 3 GB/32 GB storage variant and a 4 GB/64 GB variant. There is no option for expanding the storage space, though.
The smartphone is backed by a 3,500mAh battery and supports Quick Charge 2.0 technology for faster charging. The imaging department is taken care of by a 13MP primary camera (which is capable of shooting 4K Video) and an 8MP front facing camera.
In terms of connectivity, the smartphone offers support for Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.1, USB Type-C for charging and data transfer, dual-SIM with 4G LTE (band 3/5/40 in India) support on the first SIM.
Hardware section is incomplete without the home button (also referred as U-Touch) which doubles as the fingerprint scanner. However, there’s one more thing to be excited for, and it’s the support for gestures via U-Touch. Although it may sound gimmicky at first, it just works. You can easily switch between apps, set up different functionalities and much more. It takes some getting-used-to, though.
Software and Performance
On the software side of things, the Lenovo Z2 Plus runs ZUI 2.0 based on Android 6.0 Marshmallow. By default, the smartphone comes with Google Now Launcher in India. However, this is the only stock Android feature you’ll see on the smartphone, everything else is heavily customised.
Unlike other phones, the notification panel doesn’t have any quick toggles, instead they’ve been shifted to a dedicated pane called the Quick Switch panel which can be accessed by swiping up from the bottom of the screen. Lenovo claims that re-locating the quick toggle panel will make for a better one handed usage and it actually does.
There are a few apps like 9Apps, Hasoffer, Hotoday, Superb Cleaner and Lenovo’s own ShareIt come pre-installed with the smartphone. Thankfully, all these apps can be uninstalled.
Right from the moment I started using the smartphone, I was pretty much impressed by how the Z2 Plus handled my day-to-day tasks. No matter what task I threw at it, the smartphone handled each one of them with ease. There were no signs of lag despite running multiple apps in the background. Moreover, graphic-intensive games like the Asphalt 8 Airborne, and Mortal Kombat X ran smoothly without any frame drops, thanks to the powerful chipset.
Even the benchmark scores were great. I ran some of my regular benchmark tests including AnTuTu Benchmark, GeekBench, Ice Storm Unlimited benchmark in which the device scored 129,961,1734 (for single-core) and 3469 (for multi-core), and 27,941 respectively.
Mediocre Camera Quality left me asking for more
To begin with, the smartphone performs pretty decently under proper lighting conditions. It captures good amount of details with minimal noise and the colour reproduction is close to natural as well. However, things appear to fall out of place as soon as start capturing indoors or in low lighting conditions.
As a result, you can see noise in the images. The front facing camera, on the other hand, captures sharp images which are not bad to be shared on social media sites.
Coming to video recording, the smartphone allows users to record 4K videos which were turned out to be pretty decent.
All said and done, the camera is lightly a bit underwhelming especially in low-lighting conditions and indoors.
Like mentioned earlier, the smartphone features a 3,500mAh battery with support for Qualcomm Quick Charge 2.0 technology. On our daily usage which involves spending good amount of time on social networking sites, video streaming, playing games intermittently, texting friends on WhatsApp the smartphone lasted for more than one day.
It is worth mentioning the fact I have used a 4G Airtel SIM throughout my testing and the smartphone still offered a day’s worth of charge easily. The smartphone, if charged with the bundled charger took around 2 hours to reach full charge from zero percent.
Conclusion: Lenovo Z2 Plus Review India
Lets first sum Up with the Pros and Cons for the Lenovo Z2 Plus.
- Compact size
- Stellar performance
- Impeccable battery life
- UI Touch tweaks are useful
- Value for money
- Mediocre camera performance
- Slightly on the thicker side
Priced at Rs. 19,999 for the high-end variant, the Lenovo Z2 Plus is a complete package, save for the mediocre camera and offers great value for your money.
It gives tough competition for the flagship smartphones like the OnePlus 3 and the Xiaomi Mi 5 but slightly falls behind owing to the sub-par camera and a bit better display on the OnePlus 3. However, the Z2 Plus is one of the finest smartphone we’ve used under Rs. 20,000 price category and it’d be very difficult for other devices priced similarly to outclass the handset.
This is itself is a big complement for the smartphone and you’ll certainly not be disappointed if you purchase the smartphone.
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