Notebookcheck

Lenovo ZUK Z2 Smartphone Review

Marcus Herbrich (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 07/31/2016

A lot of smartphone for little money. With the second generation of the Z series, ZUK continues where the Z1 model left off: Very good technical specifications at a low purchase price. Only a handful of manufacturers manage a Snapdragon 820, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM for 270 Euros (~$302). Find out in our report where Lenovo's subsidiary brand ZUK had to make cutbacks.

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For the original German review, see here.

Due to the increasing competition in the high-end smartphone sector, the Chinese company ZUK has set up a special price-performance bundle. The purchase price is difficult to guess just based on the technical data of ZUK's Z2 - Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820, 3500 mAh battery and a 5-inch FHD IPS panel are some configuration features for a price well below 300 Euros (~$335; importers). 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB of ROM are also a significant amount of memory for a smartphone that is situated in the price range of a mid-range handset.

Compared to the pro model, ZUK's Z2 does not support the LTE band 20 that is important for Germany. Furthermore, it is not possible to upgrade from the eMMC 5.1 to the faster UFS 2.0 storage (128 GB version).

Despite the low purchase price, potential rivals have to be looked for in established brands from the premium range in Germany. We will use the following comparison devices in the test: the Samsung Galaxy S7, the HTC 10, the LG G5, the OnePlus 3, and the Huawei P9. However, the recently tested Xiaomi Mi 5 is also a direct rival of ZUK's Z2 since Xiaomi's smartphone also scores with a very good price-performance total package.

Lenovo ZUK Z2 (ZUK Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
4096 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1920x1080 pixel 441 PPI, capacitive, multitouch, LCD, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
64 GB eMMC Flash, 64 GB 
, 53.17 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, 1 Fingerprint Reader, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: proximity sensor, Hall sensor, compass, position sensor, three-axis gyroscope, OTG
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, 2G: 850, 900, 1800, 1900 MHz, 3G: 850, 900, 1900, 2100 MHz, LTE bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 38, 39, 40, 41, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.45 x 141,65 x 68.88 ( = 0.33 x 5.55 x 2.71 in)
Battery
3500 mAh Lithium-Ion
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 16 MPix Samsung ISOCELL, f/2.2 aperture
Secondary Camera: 8 MPix f/2.0 aperture
Additional features
Speakers: mono, Keyboard: onscreen, Keyboard Light: yes, USB cable, power supply, ZUI 2.0, 12 Months Warranty, SAR unkn., fanless
Weight
149 g ( = 5.26 oz / 0.33 pounds), Power Supply: 53 g ( = 1.87 oz / 0.12 pounds)
Price
270 Euro

 

Case

Both the front and back of ZUK's Z2 are made of scratch-resistant glass, which merges into a metal frame in a lightly curved 2.5D bezel. Both glass plates give the smartphone a high-quality appearance, but they also reduce the device's grip considerably. Compared with other smartphones with a glass back, such as Xiaomi's Mi 5 or Samsung's Galaxy S7, the Z2 feels much sleeker. The block-like shape increases the smartphone's restricted flexibility even more. ZUK seals its smartphone with an anti-fingerprint finish to prevent finger marks. Although grease residues were visible on our tested white version, they were not as aggravating and rather less noticeable than on comparable devices.

The dimensions of 141.7 x 68.9 millimeters (~5.6 x 2.7 in) and a screen diagonal of 5 inches result in a screen-surface ratio of almost 71% for ZUK's Z2 - a rate similar to the comparison devices in the test. The handset's stability is very good. However, the build of the keys for volume control and power on the handset's right are not on par with devices from the premium range. We found these buttons too wobbly in our review sample, but their pressure points were well-defined.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

With 64 GB of internal eMMC 5.1 memory, ZUK's Z2 offers plenty of storage for personal data, such as photos or music files for a handset in this price range. After deducting the operating system the user has approximately 53.17 GB at their disposal. It is not possible to expand the storage of the dual-SIM smartphone.

ZUK's Z2 features the modern USB Type-C port on the handset's lower edge. However, it only supports the USB 2.0 standard. Furthermore, the Z2 is equipped with a fingerprint scanner and an LED for new notifications.

Software

The Android 6.0 Marshmallow operating system as well as the manufacturer's ZUI user interface in version 2.0 is preloaded. ZUK does not install an app drawer in its smartphone, and the various apps are arranged on the home screen. The Z2's user interface hardly looks like Google's Vanilla UI – rather, we discovered elements from Apple's iOS mobile operating system, such as the appearance of the setting menus, multitasking view or the shortcut at the screen's lower edge.

Since the Z2 was initially intended for the Chinese market, ZUK's smartphone does not support any Google services ex-factory. The only language options are English and Chinese.

Communication & GPS

Short interruptions in transmission rates, Iperf server
Short interruptions in transmission rates, Iperf client
GPS test, indoors
GPS test, outdoors

The Z2 features Bluetooth version 4.1 for wireless communication between mobile devices. The manufacturer does not install an NFC chip. Furthermore, ZUK's smartphone supports the use of  2 nano-SIM cards. However, only one slot supports LTE Cat. 6 - this high-speed mobile network standard achieves up to 300 MBit/s in downstream and 50 MBit/s in upstream. The second SIM card is limited to 3G connections.

The Wi-Fi module supports the IEEE 802.11 a/b/g/n and ac standards. The reception performance is very good and the Wi-Fi signal is stable in routine use. The attenuation of just under -30 dBm is low next to the router (Telekom Speedport, W921V). The average data transmission rates at one meter (~3 ft) away from our reference router (Linksys EA8500) are very good with 311 Mbit/s (transmit) and satisfactory with 154 Mbit/s (receive).

Networking
iperf Server (receive) TCP 1 m
Xiaomi Mi 5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash (5.0 GHz)
316 MBit/s ∼100% +2%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB eMMC Flash (5.0 GHz)
311 MBit/s ∼98%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash (5.0 GHz)
303 MBit/s ∼96% -3%
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
286 MBit/s ∼91% -8%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
249 MBit/s ∼79% -20%
iperf Client (transmit) TCP 1 m
Xiaomi Mi 5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash (5.0 GHz)
265 MBit/s ∼100% +72%
OnePlus 3
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
256 MBit/s ∼97% +66%
Huawei P9
Mali-T880 MP4, Kirin 955, 32 GB eMMC Flash
205 MBit/s ∼77% +33%
Lenovo ZUK Z2
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 64 GB eMMC Flash (5.0 GHz)
154 MBit/s ∼58%
LG G5
Adreno 530, 820 MSM8996, 32 GB eMMC Flash (5.0 GHz)
151 MBit/s ∼57% -2%

The navigation systems GPS, BeiDou, and GLONASS are supported for localization, and functioned very fast with an accuracy of 3 meters (~10 ft) in the outdoors. The signal quality was too weak indoors and thus no satellites were found. We ride our test route by bike and compare the total distance of the GPS module in ZUK's smartphone with that of Garmin's Edge 500 GPS bike computer. Although there are slight deviations in the route, the measured difference of 30 meters (~98 ft) between the two devices is very small.

GPS ZUK Z2
GPS ZUK Z2
GPS ZUK Z2
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500

Telephone & Call Quality

The voice quality of the Z2 is good in both directions - both the contact as well as the caller `could hear each other distinctly. The quality of the installed microphone was praised, particularly in video calls. Distracting side noises were not produced. We performed the test calls via Skype and the German Vodafone mobile network (D network).

The phone app's layout is simple and straightforward, and offers all the standard functions. However, sometimes Chinese layout was displayed even though the system language was set to English (e.g. number suggestions or Yellow Pages menu).

Phone app
Yellow Pages
Discussion

Cameras

Front-facing camera photo
Macro photo

The rear-facing 13 MP camera offers a wide aperture of f/2.2 and a phase detection autofocus that the manufacturer specifies with a focus time of 0.1 seconds. The image sensor (1/2.6") comes from Samsung (ISOCELL technology), and each pixel has an edge length of 1.34 millimeters (~0.05 in). Furthermore, a dual-LED flash and optical image stabilizer (OIS) are also installed.

The photo quality of ZUK's Z2 is very good considering the price. The dynamic range is sufficiently high so that bright and high-contrast photos with good image sharpness are produced (scene 1: surroundings). A visible image noise is created in low-light conditions, and the blurriness in the photos increases (scene 3: night). Overall, the Z2's photo quality is good, but it cannot compete with Samsung's Galaxy S7 in terms of sharpness, image details, and brightness.

The front-facing camera has a resolution of 8 MP and an aperture of f/2.0. The photo quality for selfies is satisfactory. Colors are reproduced well, but the resulting photos often do not look sharp enough.

ZUK's smartphone records Ultra HD resolution videos (3840x2160 pixels, 30 FPS) maximum. Slow motion videos at up to 960 FPS in 720p can also be recorded. The video resolution drops to 1080p at 30 FPS when using the 8 MP front-facing camera.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the zoom step. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories & Warranty

ZUK's Z2 comes with a modular power supply, USB cable, and a manual in Chinese.

The manufacturer's warranty is 12 months.

Input Devices & Handling

The Z2 is not operated via the commonly used Android onscreen buttons for "Back", "Multitasking", and "Home" or their capacitive counterpart below the screen. ZUK's smartphone can only be controlled via the physical-capacitive home button. In addition to fingerprints for unlocking the handset, the main control detects predefined gestures. For example, the home button is only tapped for a fraction of a second for "Back" and somewhat longer for "Multitasking". Applications can be changed via swiping left to right over the capacitive home button. Applications are scaled down and the home screen opens when the physical button is pressed down. Although this operating concept is rather strange at first, it is not less effective than the traditional navigation in Android after some getting used to.

The virtual keyboard "Sogou" and Googles standard model (QWERTY layout) are available as onscreen input devices. Naturally, alternative keyboards (e.g. QWERTZ layout) can be downloaded from the Play Store.

Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode

Display

Subpixel grid

The 5.2-inch screen has a Full High Definition resolution of 1920x1080 pixels and a pixel density of 424 PPI. Individual pixels are not visible even when looking closer.

The maximum brightness of ZUK's Z2 on a pure white screen background is a very good 538 cd/m². We also examine the brightness when white and dark areas are distributed evenly (APL50) in the test. We determined a brightness of 526 cd/m² here. We measured a luminosity of 512 cd/m² with enabled, adaptive ambient light sensor for controlling screen brightness.

538
cd/m²
512
cd/m²
474
cd/m²
525
cd/m²
512
cd/m²
463
cd/m²
521
cd/m²
516
cd/m²
453
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 538 cd/m² Average: 501.6 cd/m² Minimum: 3.09 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 84 %
Center on Battery: 512 cd/m²
Contrast: 883:1 (Black: 0.58 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 3.8 | - Ø
ΔE Greyscale 2.7 | - Ø
Gamma: 2.09
Lenovo ZUK Z2
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Xiaomi Mi 5
IPS, 1920x1080, 5.15
Samsung Galaxy S7
SAMOLED, 2560x1440, 5.1
LG G5
IPS Quantum, 2560x1440, 5.3
HTC 10
Super LCD 5, 2560x1440, 5.2
Huawei P9
IPS-NEO, JDI, 1920x1080, 5.2
OnePlus 3
Optic-AMOLED, 1920x1080, 5.5
Screen
7%
18%
-12%
11%
6%
-11%
Brightness
502
566
13%
351
-30%
774
54%
434
-14%
563
12%
431
-14%
Brightness Distribution
84
90
7%
98
17%
91
8%
93
11%
91
8%
84
0%
Black Level *
0.58
0.51
12%
0.43
26%
0.36
38%
0.38
34%
Contrast
883
1173
33%
1823
106%
1236
40%
1532
73%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
3.8
3.5
8%
2.04
46%
6.5
-71%
2.8
26%
4.4
-16%
4.1
-8%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
2.7
3.5
-30%
1.63
40%
8
-196%
3.7
-37%
4.8
-78%
3.3
-22%
Gamma
2.09 115%
2.29 105%
2.07 116%
2.22 108%
2.31 104%
2.2 109%
2.1 114%
CCT
6076 107%
6532 100%
6391 102%
8699 75%
7164 91%
6175 105%
6550 99%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
86.86
68.08
77.78
89.38
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
99.35
97.46
99.44
100

* ... smaller is better

The black level of 0.58 cd/m² (APL50 rate: 0.58 cd/m²) is clearly higher than the rates of some rivals with an IPS panel, and results in an only mediocre contrast ratio of 883:1. Subjectively and objectively, the screen's color reproduction convinces us (display mode: warm). We assess the IPS panel with a spectrophotometer and the professional CalMAN software. Compared with the sRGB color space, the average DeltaE deviation in colors (3.8) is close to the ideal (<3). The rates for both grayscale deviations and gamma are even below the target rate of 3.0 and 2.2.

CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB), display mode: standard
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space: sRGB), display mode: standard
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB), display mode: standard
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space: sRGB), display mode: standard
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB), display mode: warm
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space: sRGB), display mode: warm
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB), display mode: warm
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space: sRGB), display mode: warm
CalMAN ColorChecker (target color space: sRGB), display mode: cool
CalMAN Colorspace (target color space: sRGB), display mode: cool
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps (target color space: sRGB), display mode: cool
CalMAN Grayscale (target color space: sRGB), display mode: cool

Thanks to the very bright liquid crystal display, reading the screen is even possible on sunny days in the outdoors. As typical for IPS panels, the viewing angle stability is good although a minor brightness loss in flat viewing angles is visible.

Outdoors, shade
Outdoors, sunny
Outdoors, sunny
Viewing angles
 
 

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
18 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 7 ms rise
↘ 11 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 9 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (27.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 19 ms rise
↘ 11 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 13 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (44.3 ms).

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 60 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 965 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 30860) Hz was measured.

Performance

The SoC in ZUK's Z2 is Snapdragon 820 MSM8996  from the USA-based chip manufacturer Qualcomm. The SoC designed for 2016 carries 4 CPU cores from the proprietary Kryo architecture. Two cores clock at a maximum of 1.6 GHz and the other two at a maximum of 2.15 GHz. Qualcomm's SoC alongside 4 GB of RAM displays its potential in the benchmarks and meets the Android opponents eye to eye. ZUK's Z2, Xiaomi Mi 5, and OnePlus 3 are the performance leaders in graphic-driven benchmark tests. The results of the browser test are also very good in total, although slightly lower than current flagship devices - apart from LG G5.

ZUK implements an "Overclock Mode" for somewhat higher performance in its smartphone. Enabling this mode leads to short performance boosts via overclocking the processor from its maximum of 2.15 GHz to 2.30 GHz. This only has a marginal if any impact in the benchmarks during the browser tests. The biggest boost was recorded in Google's Octane V2 (+8%).

The performance of the internal eMMC storage is not on the good level of other high-end devices - the manufacturer has made some cutbacks here and does not rely on a modern UFS 2.0 storage. Compared with mid-range devices that have a similar purchase price as the Z2, the access times of ZUK's smartphone is quite satisfactory (see for example ZTE Blade V7).

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
5.64 MB/s ∼4%
Xiaomi Mi 5
13.61 MB/s ∼9% +141%
Samsung Galaxy S7
16.01 MB/s ∼11% +184%
LG G5
16.22 MB/s ∼11% +188%
HTC 10
15.89 MB/s ∼10% +182%
Huawei P9
47.45 MB/s ∼31% +741%
OnePlus 3
18.23 MB/s ∼12% +223%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
21.27 MB/s ∼13%
Xiaomi Mi 5
106.78 MB/s ∼63% +402%
Samsung Galaxy S7
85.9 MB/s ∼51% +304%
LG G5
89.26 MB/s ∼53% +320%
HTC 10
29.92 MB/s ∼18% +41%
Huawei P9
39 MB/s ∼23% +83%
OnePlus 3
137.62 MB/s ∼82% +547%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
46.52 MB/s ∼25%
Xiaomi Mi 5
159.29 MB/s ∼84% +242%
Samsung Galaxy S7
145.72 MB/s ∼77% +213%
LG G5
141.26 MB/s ∼74% +204%
HTC 10
115.56 MB/s ∼61% +148%
Huawei P9
72.19 MB/s ∼38% +55%
OnePlus 3
153.3 MB/s ∼81% +230%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
239.42 MB/s ∼32%
Xiaomi Mi 5
459.64 MB/s ∼62% +92%
Samsung Galaxy S7
483.82 MB/s ∼66% +102%
LG G5
427.65 MB/s ∼58% +79%
HTC 10
275.09 MB/s ∼37% +15%
Huawei P9
281.26 MB/s ∼38% +17%
OnePlus 3
408.71 MB/s ∼55% +71%
AnTuTu Benchmark v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
122513 Points ∼66%
Xiaomi Mi 5
116330 Points ∼63% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S7
127902 Points ∼69% +4%
LG G5
124244 Points ∼67% +1%
HTC 10
131866 Points ∼72% +8%
Huawei P9
95743 Points ∼52% -22%
OnePlus 3 (Version 6.1.4)
142090 Points ∼77% +16%
Geekbench 3
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
5410 Points ∼17%
Xiaomi Mi 5
5447 Points ∼17% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
6401 Points ∼20% +18%
LG G5
5507 Points ∼17% +2%
HTC 10
5117 Points ∼16% -5%
Huawei P9
6522 Points ∼20% +21%
OnePlus 3
5645 Points ∼17% +4%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
2277 Points ∼48%
Xiaomi Mi 5
2303 Points ∼48% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2199 Points ∼46% -3%
LG G5
2396 Points ∼50% +5%
HTC 10
2376 Points ∼50% +4%
Huawei P9
1767 Points ∼37% -22%
OnePlus 3
2398 Points ∼50% +5%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
1706 Points ∼66%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1976 Points ∼76% +16%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2010 Points ∼78% +18%
LG G5
1695 Points ∼66% -1%
HTC 10
1512 Points ∼58% -11%
Huawei P9
2510 Points ∼97% +47%
OnePlus 3
1789 Points ∼69% +5%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
4506 Points ∼58%
Xiaomi Mi 5
4558 Points ∼59% +1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
3018 Points ∼39% -33%
LG G5
4468 Points ∼58% -1%
HTC 10
4581 Points ∼59% +2%
Huawei P9
1080 Points ∼14% -76%
OnePlus 3
4633 Points ∼60% +3%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
3302 Points ∼68%
Xiaomi Mi 5
3542 Points ∼73% +7%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2715 Points ∼56% -18%
LG G5
3277 Points ∼67% -1%
HTC 10
3157 Points ∼65% -4%
Huawei P9
1237 Points ∼25% -63%
OnePlus 3
3424 Points ∼70% +4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
20910 Points ∼30%
Xiaomi Mi 5
21483 Points ∼31% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S7
19944 Points ∼29% -5%
LG G5
20997 Points ∼30% 0%
HTC 10
20344 Points ∼29% -3%
Huawei P9
15517 Points ∼22% -26%
OnePlus 3
21771 Points ∼32% +4%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
32997 Points ∼7%
Xiaomi Mi 5
32613 Points ∼7% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
33348 Points ∼7% +1%
LG G5
32109 Points ∼7% -3%
HTC 10
30061 Points ∼7% -9%
Huawei P9
21577 Points ∼5% -35%
OnePlus 3
34023 Points ∼7% +3%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
29241 Points ∼15%
Xiaomi Mi 5
29246 Points ∼15% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S7
29015 Points ∼15% -1%
LG G5
28730 Points ∼15% -2%
HTC 10
27176 Points ∼14% -7%
Huawei P9
19854 Points ∼10% -32%
OnePlus 3
30241 Points ∼15% +3%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
91 fps ∼7%
Xiaomi Mi 5
90 fps ∼7% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
84 fps ∼6% -8%
LG G5
74 fps ∼6% -19%
HTC 10
73 fps ∼6% -20%
Huawei P9
40 fps ∼3% -56%
OnePlus 3
89 fps ∼7% -2%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
60 fps ∼13%
Xiaomi Mi 5
60 fps ∼13% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S7
53 fps ∼12% -12%
LG G5
47 fps ∼10% -22%
HTC 10
43 fps ∼9% -28%
Huawei P9
43 fps ∼9% -28%
OnePlus 3
60 fps ∼13% 0%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
44 fps ∼8%
Xiaomi Mi 5
42 fps ∼8% -5%
Samsung Galaxy S7
40 fps ∼7% -9%
LG G5
42 fps ∼8% -5%
HTC 10
39 fps ∼7% -11%
Huawei P9
18 fps ∼3% -59%
OnePlus 3
47 fps ∼9% +7%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
43 fps ∼19%
Xiaomi Mi 5
42 fps ∼18% -2%
Samsung Galaxy S7
27 fps ∼12% -37%
LG G5
30 fps ∼13% -30%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼11% -44%
Huawei P9
19 fps ∼8% -56%
OnePlus 3
46 fps ∼20% +7%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
30 fps ∼7%
Xiaomi Mi 5
30 fps ∼7% 0%
Samsung Galaxy S7
28 fps ∼7% -7%
LG G5
31 fps ∼7% +3%
HTC 10
24 fps ∼6% -20%
Huawei P9
10 fps ∼2% -67%
OnePlus 3
31 fps ∼7% +3%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
29 fps ∼17%
Xiaomi Mi 5
31 fps ∼18% +7%
Samsung Galaxy S7
15 fps ∼9% -48%
LG G5
17 fps ∼10% -41%
HTC 10
14 fps ∼8% -52%
Huawei P9
11 fps ∼6% -62%
OnePlus 3
30 fps ∼17% +3%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
6969 Points ∼86%
Xiaomi Mi 5
6873 Points ∼85% -1%
Samsung Galaxy S7
4826 Points ∼59% -31%
LG G5
5581 Points ∼69% -20%
HTC 10
5809 Points ∼71% -17%
Huawei P9
7058 Points ∼87% +1%
OnePlus 3 (OxygenOS 3.1.2)
7101 Points ∼87% +2%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
1071 Points ∼69%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1106 Points ∼72% +3%
Samsung Galaxy S7
957 Points ∼62% -11%
LG G5
900 Points ∼58% -16%
HTC 10
928 Points ∼60% -13%
Huawei P9
1029 Points ∼67% -4%
OnePlus 3
1112 Points ∼72% +4%
Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
4335 Points ∼50%
Xiaomi Mi 5
4522 Points ∼53% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S7
1723 Points ∼20% -60%
LG G5
4807 Points ∼56% +11%
HTC 10
5009 Points ∼58% +16%
Huawei P9
1583 Points ∼18% -63%
OnePlus 3
4813 Points ∼56% +11%
Memory (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
1983 Points ∼52%
Xiaomi Mi 5
1801 Points ∼47% -9%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2244 Points ∼58% +13%
LG G5
1478 Points ∼38% -25%
HTC 10
1772 Points ∼46% -11%
Huawei P9
2627 Points ∼68% +32%
OnePlus 3
2052 Points ∼53% +3%
System (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
2986 Points ∼45%
Xiaomi Mi 5
3638 Points ∼55% +22%
Samsung Galaxy S7
4217 Points ∼64% +41%
LG G5
2925 Points ∼44% -2%
HTC 10
2806 Points ∼43% -6%
Huawei P9
3930 Points ∼60% +32%
OnePlus 3
3537 Points ∼54% +18%
Overall (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2
2290 Points ∼70%
Xiaomi Mi 5
2392 Points ∼73% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S7
1987 Points ∼61% -13%
LG G5
2079 Points ∼63% -9%
HTC 10
2193 Points ∼67% -4%
Huawei P9
2025 Points ∼62% -12%
OnePlus 3
2496 Points ∼76% +9%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2 (Chrome Version 51)
8436 Points ∼17%
Xiaomi Mi 5 (Chrome Version 51)
8619 Points ∼17% +2%
Samsung Galaxy S7
13161 Points ∼27% +56%
LG G5 (Chrome 49)
9731 Points ∼20% +15%
HTC 10 (Chrome 49)
8905 Points ∼18% +6%
Huawei P9 (Chrome 48)
11783 Points ∼24% +40%
OnePlus 3 (Chrome 51)
9155 Points ∼18% +9%
JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2 (Chrome Version 51)
51.655 Points ∼16%
Xiaomi Mi 5 (Chrome Version 51)
53.969 Points ∼17% +4%
Samsung Galaxy S7
74 Points ∼23% +43%
LG G5 (Chrome 49)
49.7 Points ∼16% -4%
HTC 10 (Chrome 49)
52.1 Points ∼16% +1%
Huawei P9 (Chrome 48)
68.4 Points ∼21% +32%
OnePlus 3 (chrome 51)
54.4 Points ∼17% +5%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo ZUK Z2 (Chrome Version 51)
3290.2 ms * ∼6%
Xiaomi Mi 5 (Chrome Version 51)
2973.3 ms * ∼5% +10%
Samsung Galaxy S7
2561.5 ms * ∼4% +22%
LG G5 (Chrome 49)
3461.1 ms * ∼6% -5%
HTC 10 (Chrome 49)
3146.3 ms * ∼5% +4%
Huawei P9 (Chrome 48)
2922.6 ms * ∼5% +11%
OnePlus 3 (Chrome 51)
2920.7 ms * ∼5% +11%

Legend

 
Lenovo ZUK Z2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Xiaomi Mi 5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy S7 Samsung Exynos 8890 Octa, ARM Mali-T880 MP12, 32 GB UFS 2.0 Flash
 
LG G5 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC 10 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei P9 HiSilicon Kirin 955, ARM Mali-T880 MP4, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
OnePlus 3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 MSM8996, Qualcomm Adreno 530, 64 GB UFS 2.0 Flash

* ... smaller is better

Games

Thanks to the powerful Adreno 530 graphics unit by Qualcomm, ZUK's Z2 is quite suitable for games. Even demanding games such as "N.O.V.A 3" or "Need for Speed No Limits" can be played smoothly using high settings. The well-functioning sensors further contribute to a good gaming experience.

"N.O.V.A 3"
"Need for Speed No Limits"

Emissions

Temperature

The surface temperatures made a good impression in the test. ZUK's smartphone only heats up marginally in idle mode and during low load. We even measured just 39.8 °C (~104 °F; rear) during maximum load as the hottest spot. Although the surface temperatures are noticeable in routine use, they are not unpleasant.

Temperature development: Maximum load (front)
Temperature development: Maximum load (rear)
Max. Load
 41.4 °C40.7 °C38.8 °C 
 41.9 °C39.2 °C37.9 °C 
 39 °C38.4 °C37 °C 
Maximum: 41.9 °C
Average: 39.4 °C
34.3 °C36.9 °C39.8 °C
35.4 °C36.8 °C36.2 °C
35.3 °C35.5 °C35.8 °C
Maximum: 39.8 °C
Average: 36.2 °C
Power Supply (max.)  31.7 °C | Room Temperature 21.4 °C | Voltcraft IR-260

Speaker

The Z2's mono speaker is situated behind milled drill holes on the casing’s lower edge. The sound quality is good, and the maximum volume of 85 dB(A) is typical for smartphones. The sound impression hardly shows any noteworthy distortions; as expected, basses are absent.

Playing music via the 3.5 mm jack is on a good level.

Pink Noise speaker test
dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.232.433.22529.931.329.93130.331.730.34032.42632.45046.639.446.66329.836.229.88026.428.626.410025.725.425.712527.821.327.816038.823.338.820042.922.542.925049.222.449.231553.121.353.140059.618.459.650063.617.563.663066.817.566.880067.817.267.8100072.516.872.5125071.817.371.8160071.617.471.6200072.516.672.5250076.617.376.6315076.817.676.8400074.217.674.2500072.917.772.9630074.217.474.2800073.617.773.61000071.417.971.41250062.218.162.21600048.618.148.6SPL85.329.885.3N61.61.361.6median 67.8Lenovo ZUK Z2median 17.7median 67.8Delta11.81.611.83832.43832.431.332.430.431.730.436.42636.452.439.452.436.836.236.829.428.629.427.325.427.33321.33343.523.343.548.122.548.152.122.452.160.321.360.358.118.458.162.817.562.865.817.565.868.517.268.567.116.867.170.617.370.672.617.472.67216.67274.417.374.476.817.676.879.217.679.276.917.776.976.517.476.575.917.775.972.317.972.358.118.158.14718.14786.529.886.5651.365median 67.1Xiaomi Mi 5median 17.7median 67.110.91.610.935.432.335.235.428.226.137.828.228.63028.428.630.629.833.830.637.53739.537.529.329.434.329.328.426.927.328.432.229.130.832.238.426.526.238.441.22323.841.246.227.322.946.252.23322.452.2573819.95759.641.220.459.666.748.418.766.768.25117.768.270.25317.970.272.957.21872.973.857.117.873.873.255.11773.276.758.216.976.777.558.217.477.579.359.217.879.377.757.117.577.775.254.217.375.27858.817.3787253.4187264.646.318.364.663.245.517.963.253.33617.953.387.568.330.187.569.722.11.469.7median 68.2Samsung Galaxy S7median 51median 17.9median 68.210.711.12.410.733.836.432.433.831.829.931.331.832.732.731.732.732.333.12632.345.446.139.445.429.630.736.229.629.525.228.629.525.923.125.425.925.623.421.325.637.124.723.337.150.127.122.550.156.234.622.456.261.840.421.361.864.74318.464.769.648.717.569.668.847.117.568.867.647.417.267.672.850.316.872.87552.217.37575.953.717.475.97652.116.67674.849.817.374.874.849.417.674.874.548.917.674.576.251.317.776.275.750.817.475.775.451.917.775.472.55117.972.571.150.518.171.164.247.518.164.286.462.729.886.46816.41.368median 71.1LG G5median 48.9median 17.7median 71.19.86.81.69.839.632.44132.431.335.531.531.731.234.22630.446.839.441.833.936.234.629.328.630.233.825.430.629.421.334.434.523.340.541.922.544.845.622.450.153.321.355.85518.458.155.817.56056.817.56152.517.256.660.216.861.769.717.362.774.417.466.87416.672.175.317.371.973.717.665.469.717.663.266.317.756.170.617.459.27017.761.167.317.961.259.118.159.463.318.155.583.129.878.149.11.337.6median 60.2HTC 10median 17.7median 59.410.71.64.734.429.632.434.42729.531.32728.125.831.728.131.432.22631.445.74539.445.72929.636.22926.324.428.626.325.726.725.425.724.321.621.324.328.923.423.328.939.229.622.539.249.94022.449.957.846.221.357.859.450.218.459.462.452.417.562.466.655.317.566.667.454.817.267.468.853.716.868.871.955.817.371.973.55617.473.575.357.716.675.376.758.817.376.779.36117.679.381.263.517.681.278.160.617.778.174.657.517.474.674.357.117.774.372.85617.972.868.85118.168.860.942.218.160.987.970.529.887.96825.51.368median 68.8Huawei P9median 54.8median 17.7median 68.811.38.11.611.3hearing rangehide median Pink Noise

Frequency diagram in comparison (check boxes above can be turned on/off!)
Rate 1: Pink Noise 100% volume; Rate 2: Audio off

Energy Management

The power consumption of ZUK's Z2 is satisfactory for a high-performance smartphone based on a high-end SoC and 4 GB of RAM. However, the manufacturer could optimize the idle power consumption in particular - a comparison with OnePlus' 3 shows the possibilities despite a much larger screen.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.03 / 0.26 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.31 / 2.03 / 2.08 Watt
Load midlight 5.45 / 6.75 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
Lenovo ZUK Z2
3500 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 5
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7
3000 mAh
LG G5
2800 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Huawei P9
3000 mAh
OnePlus 3
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
8%
30%
7%
1%
15%
13%
Idle Minimum *
1.31
0.45
66%
0.68
48%
0.55
58%
0.68
48%
0.77
41%
0.57
56%
Idle Average *
2.03
1.68
17%
1.02
50%
1.37
33%
1.49
27%
2.36
-16%
1.24
39%
Idle Maximum *
2.08
1.71
18%
1.14
45%
2.25
-8%
1.91
8%
2.37
-14%
1.36
35%
Load Average *
5.45
6.7
-23%
4.73
13%
6.24
-14%
7.4
-36%
3.09
43%
5.92
-9%
Load Maximum *
6.75
9.18
-36%
7.16
-6%
9.12
-35%
9.71
-44%
5.35
21%
10.53
-56%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The Z2 is equipped with a large 3500 mAh lithium ion battery. ZUK's smartphone places itself in the upper third among the rivalling devices with 9 hours and 6 minutes in our practical Wi-Fi test using a brightness of 150 cd/m². Considering the battery capacity and screen size, the runtimes are good but could still be improved.

ZUK's Z2 is fully recharged in approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes with the included 13.25-watt power supply (5.3 V; 2.5 A) and Qualcomm's Quick Charge 3.0.

Battery Runtime
WiFi Surfing v1.3
9h 06min
Lenovo ZUK Z2
3500 mAh
Xiaomi Mi 5
3000 mAh
Samsung Galaxy S7
3000 mAh
LG G5
2800 mAh
HTC 10
3000 mAh
Huawei P9
3000 mAh
OnePlus 3
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-8%
-16%
-29%
-24%
4%
54%
WiFi
WiFi v1.3
546
504
-8%
456
-16%
387
-29%
413
-24%
569
4%
840
54%

Pro

+ very good price-performance
+ 4 GB of RAM
+ performance
+ high-quality casing
+ dual-SIM
+ USB Type-C
+ decent camera

Cons

- non-expandable storage
- feel
- availability/no LTE band 20 support
- no NFC

Verdict

In review: ZUK Z2. Review sample courtesy of www.uuonlineshop.com
In review: ZUK Z2. Review sample courtesy of www.uuonlineshop.com

The Chinese manufacturer ZUK does a good job in many respects with its Z2 model. Firstly, the high-quality casing made of metal and glass and the generously sized memory (4 GB of RAM, 64 GB of ROM) in addition to the high-performance Snapdragon 820 SoC - and all that at a street price of roughly 270 Euros (~$302; importers). Furthermore, the Z2 features one of the most innovative home button implementations in the Android market. Whether this is an advantage or disadvantage is a matter of personal taste - we liked the handling concept.

Does ZUK's Z2 connect to the premium smartphones with this? Not in our opinion considering that too many cutbacks have been made in order to achieve the price. Starting with the internal storage - ZUK only relies on the "slower" eMMC 5.1 memory instead of the faster UFS 2.0 storage. The primary camera strikes with high light yield and good image quality, but it does not achieve the standard of current premium smartphones. Furthermore, the configuration list has been slimmed down somewhat (no LTE band 20 support, no NFC) and the manufacturing quality (dedicated buttons) could be improved in some places.

ZUK's Z2 is a very good smartphone in a very good price-performance bundle. If the price is not the most important thing and the restrictions involved with an import device can be accepted, we would recommend looking closer at Xiaomi's Mi 5 - although it is slightly more expensive (32 GB model), it offers a better total package in our opinion.

Lenovo ZUK Z2 - 07/27/2016 v5.1
Marcus Herbrich

Chassis
84%
Keyboard
68 / 75 → 91%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 77%
Weight
92%
Battery
92%
Display
86%
Games Performance
61 / 63 → 97%
Application Performance
59 / 70 → 84%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
71 / 91 → 78%
Camera
76%
Average
78%
87%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo ZUK Z2 Smartphone Review
Marcus Herbrich, 2016-07-31 (Update: 2016-07-31)