Lenovo Zuk Z1 Review: Camera, Gaming & Battery Life

Today, I’ll be reviewing the Lenovo Zuk Z1 Android Smartphone, which is available for a price tag of Rs.13,499 on Amazon.in. There are many attractive features in the phone, which we shall see in the post. It is also the first in the ZUK series and it runs Cyanogen OS based Android v5.1.1 Lollipop. As of now, there is no word on when the Marshmallow update would be available for this device, but I’m sure they’d definitely announce it soon.

Related: Yunicorn Review & LeEco 1S Review

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Box Contents

Inside the box, you’ll find the Zuk Z1 phone, user manuals, SIM card ejector pin, Fast charger and Type C USB Port 3.0 cable. There are no headphones shipped with the device and you’ll have to buy them separately.

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Review

Before doing the review, I’ve spent a week with the device and used it as my primary phone. So, the below review is purely based on my daily usage statistics. It is a completely unbiased review. You can take my word for it.

Design

The Zuk Z1 is using the aluminum metal frame made of aircraft grade and it gives a premium feel to the device. The build quality is very good and the silver linings on the top and bottom of the sides gives it an elegant look. The phone is available in two colors – sea gray and white. I purchased the white variant since it looks more beautiful than the sea gray version. The handset sports a 5.5 inch Full HD display and the viewing angles are very good. There is no Gorilla glass and it is scratch resistant to some extent. So, it is better you use a tempered screen guard for extra protection.

On the bottom are the mic, Type C USB port and speaker out vent. The power button and volume rockers are placed on the right hand side. The 3.5 mm jack is placed on the top. On the left, you’ll find the SIM ejector tray which supports dual nano SIM cards. Thankfully, both the SIMs support 4G LTE connectivity. The handset weighs 170 grams, but it doesn’t feel that heavy when you hold it in your hands. As a word of caution, the rear glossy finishing makes it a little slippery and so please be careful while handling the phone.

The Z1 comes with LiveDisplay option, which allows the phone to automatically adjust the brightness based on the surrounding conditions. There are dedicated navigation buttons, which can be disabled by enabling the on-screen nav buttons. You can also change or customize the battery and notification light colors.

Hardware Specifications

The Lenovo Zuk Z1 houses a slightly old (not outdated) but powerful Snapdragon 801 2.5 Ghz processor along with 3GB of RAM and 64 GB of internal storage. There is no expandable memory support. You get around 1.8GB of free RAM and 54GB of internal memory on the first boot. Thankfully, there are no bloatware apps installed on the device.

There is no FM radio or IR blaster. The OTG is supported.

The handset runs Cyanogen OS 12.1 based on the Android v5.1.1 Lollipop. The UI is similar to that you see on the YU and OnePlus devices. Performance wise, the phone can handle multiple number of tasks very easily and without any lag.

Zuk Z1 Camera Review

The Z1 comes with a 13MP rear shooter which can shoot full HD videos and decent photos. Thanks to the OIS (optical image stabilization), the pictures came out very well. I didn’t face any problem with the quality of the pictures. In fact, the Zuk Z1 is the best camera phone under 15000 price range. There is also an option to record videos in slow motion at 60 fps and you can pause the video recording at any time. You cannot record 4K videos but can play them without any problem. On the front, there is an 8MP camera which lets you take stunning selfies even in low-light conditions. Do check the sample images and videos below.

Long Shots Taken with Lenovo Zuk Z1 13MP Camera

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Autofocus Camera Samples

Closeup Shots Taken with Lenovo Zuk Z1 Camera

Dim Light Samples using Lenovo Zuk Z1

Dim Light Photo Samples with ZUK Z1 Camera

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Camera Samples under Direct Sunlight

Sample Indoor Photos without Light using Zuk Z1 Camera

Zuk Z1 Indoor Photos with Light On

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Low Light Camera Samples

Sample Picture without Flash with Zuk Z1

Outdoor Camera Samples Shot on ZUK Z1 Phone

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Camera Sample Puppy

Lenovo Zuk Z1 Sample Picture with Flash

Gaming on Lenovo Zuk Z1

I’ve played the Asphalt 8 on this mobile and the game is playable without any lags even in the high quality mode. However, the handset tends to heat up a lot after playing the game for about 30 minutes. The max temperature I encountered was 44 degrees. But, it is only while gaming and didn’t find the heating issue when browsing or watching videos. I’m sure a software update from Lenovo would fix this problem.

Battery Life of Zuk Z1

The 4100 mAh battery does a decent job. I got nearly 2 days of moderate usage and while testing the device continuously on the first day, it lasted for about 6 hours. It took 1 hour 30 minutes to charge the device from 25% to 100%. Overall, the battery backup of ZUK Z1 is pretty good.

Fingerprint Scanner

The device comes with a touch ID based fingerprint scanner, which allows adding up to 5 fingerprints for locking and unlocking the phone. The fingerprint lock is pretty fast and accurate. You can also use it to click pictures by just tapping it.

Other features

The 4G LTE is supported on both the SIMs and I’ve connected to the 4G internet without any issues. The call quality and signal reception are very good. You also get the truecaller app integrated with the dialer app. Other connectivity options include 3G, WiFi, Bluetooth and GPS.

Pros and Cons of Lenovo Zuk Z1

Pros

  • Old but powerful processor
  • Fingerprint lock
  • Premium feel & Build quality
  • Best camera with OIS
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No Marshmallow (may be announced soon)
  • No FM Radio & IR Blaster
  • No Gorilla Glass
  • Heating Issues while gaming (can be fixed with future OTA updates)
  • No headphones in the box

Despite these few cons, the Lenovo Zuk Z1 is a powerful device with the best camera and long battery life under 15000 rupess in India.

Final Verdict:

I’d definitely suggest the handset for anyone looking for the best Android phone in the 15k price bracket. Except some light heating issues while gaming, the handset has no other issues. And the combination of Fingerprint scanner, 64GB of space, 41000 mAh battery, USB Type C port and fast charging support makes this phone best for the bucks.

Lenovo ZUK Z1 Review Hands-on Video

Lenovo ZUK Z1 Camera Samples

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