today we, Lenovo Zook Z1 Will review. Although, globally this phone is introduced as ZOOK Z1 but Lenovo launched it as Lenovo ZUK Z1 in India with the intention of retaining its parent name. Notably, the Zook Z1 was first launched in China in September last year. That’s why reviewing this phone today is a bit outdated. Today in our investigation, we will know the advantages and disadvantages of Lenovo Zook Z1.
look and design
It was only a few years ago, when a phone with a 5.5-inch screen was considered oversized. With this, the discussion would start when you saw a big phone in your hand. But today, size is a necessary condition due to high media consumption in smartphones. The Lenovo Zook Z1 comes with the same size though it definitely feels a bit bulky.
The two main reasons why this smartphone is heavy is the metal frame and the 4100 mAh battery, which makes the phone weigh 175 grams. However, the phone does not have a unibody case and the rear panel is plastic. Users cannot access the battery. Along with the frame, there is a dual SIM tray on the left side. The phone does not support expandable storage, so microSD card slot is not provided.
Lenovo Zook Z1 is available in India in White and Space Gray color variants. Our review unit was gray, which we liked slightly better than white. The rear of the phone is of Dull, Metallic finish. The phone doesn’t have any Lenovo branding but only the Zook logo at the bottom on the rear. On the rear, the camera and flash have been given in the center at the top. Overall, we really liked the look, design and style of the phone.
The Lenovo Zook Z1 packs a microphone, speaker and USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer at the bottom. Users will get a 13-watt power adapter and a USB 3.0 cable (with a Type-A plug on one side and Type-C on the other) in the box with the phone. The phone houses the power and volume buttons on the right side while the 3.5mm headphone socket is on the top. About 70 percent of the screen is occupied at the front of the phone, while above it is the camera, earpiece and proximity sensor. At the bottom is a physical home button with integrated fingerprint sensor. Below the display is the capacitive Android navigation button.
We have seen many such smartphones in which fingerprint sensor comes built-in in the home button itself. Samsung Galaxy A8 And HTC One A9 (review) In many phones, the phone is unlocked by touch only (even in standby mode) but this is not the case in the Zook Z1. This phone has to be activated by pressing the Home button and holding the button until the fingerprint is not recognized.
Not only is this a problem in itself, but it takes a little more effort to press the button. The sensor works quite quickly and properly to unlock the phone. But the process is not as easy as on other devices. Earlier the sensor also functioned as a capacitive back button but now it has been disabled through a software update.
Lenovo Zook Z1 flaunts a 1080×1920 pixel resolution screen with a density of 401 ppi. The screen is great and meets almost all the needs. The IPS-LCD screen given in the phone is not as bright as we expected and even at the highest brightness level, it does not give as much brightness as it should. However, the Polarize coating given on the screen helps to use the phone easily in sunlight, so there is no need for too much brightness in the phone.
Apart from this, the phone also has a LiveDisplay, with the help of this setting the color tone of the screen can be optimized according to the time of day.
Today, while smartphones under Rs 15,000 are powered by the latest MediaTek Helio or Snapdragon 600 series processors, the Lenovo Zook Z1 is powered by the premium but outdated 32-bit quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor clocked at 2.5GHz. The Snapdragon 801 smartphone was first introduced in the market about two years ago, so the choice of Lenovo’s processor is in question. Especially 32-bit processors while practically all hardware has now come to 63-bit processors.
Zook Z1 has 3GB RAM and the phone supports 4G connectivity (with Indian band support), Wi-Fi ac connectivity on both the SIMs. To make the smartphone strong, a battery of 4100 mAh has been given. 64 GB of inbuilt storage has been given in the phone but the phone does not support expandable storage, so you have to work with a limited storage.
Lenovo Zook Z1 smartphone runs on Cyanogen OS 12.1 which is based on Android 5.1.1. Although the phone is said to be upgraded to Cyanogen OS 13 based on Android 6.0, this update is currently not available in the phone’s OTA software update system. Cyanogen OS definitely gives the option to customize the phone as per your convenience.
In many ways, Cyanogen OS works like stock Android and you can also change the theme to look like stock Android. The hallmark of the system is that it’s customizable in every way and that’s what we saw on the Lenovo Zook Z1. The home screen and app drawer can be changed to different layouts. Apart from this, the grid size, scroll effect and icon labels can also be changed and toggled. There is more to do on the phone. Apart from this, you can also control the user interface at the basic level to a great extent.
Apart from this, there are many different options available in the Settings app, so that you can control the device in a better way. There are also many options like turning the light on or off when the phone is charging, the color of the notification light for battery alerts, custom actions for the home and recent buttons, different elements for the status bar and notification drawer. Cyanogen OS is a great system for advanced users who want more control over their phone. We enjoyed using this phone.
Lenovo Zook Z1 sports a 13-megapixel rear camera that is powered by Sony’s IMX214 sensor. The camera has optical image stabilization and dual-LED flash. The phone has an 8-megapixel front camera. Video up to 1080 pixels can be recorded with both cameras. Apart from this, there is also 60fps video recording from the rear camera.
The camera app is Cyanogen’s own Camera Next, which comes with a lot of options to use and function. The most used toggles, including flash, camera and timer settings, can be easily accessed from the viewfinder screen itself. Video can be recorded with just one touch. Panorama mode can also be toggled easily. Apart from this, resolution setting, manual control and codec selection can be done by going to the settings menu. These options also provide an option to make photos and videos much better.
The camera of the phone is very good and the pictures come with sharp and detail. The color tone also comes right in the pictures. Photos are good in good light, while even in low light, we managed to take good pictures with little noise and scatter. Indoor photos are not as good as compared to natural light, but according to the detail and color, they can be called fine.
The video is of much better quality in good light but the quality deteriorates in low light.
Despite the processor being two years old, the Lenovo Zooka Z1’s performance is pretty decent. However, you will get much better performance in the new Qualcomm 650 and 652 processors which are available in other devices of the same price. Apart from this, it is also worth remembering that the Adreno 330 GPU is also very old and it does not support OpenGL ES 3.1 and 3.2, due to which some new graphics intensive games cannot be played in the phone.
The general performance of the phone was excellent. Along with this, we did not even get to see any heating, shutter problem in the phone. The credit for this definitely goes to Cyanogen OS which has ensured that the Zook Z1 runs smoothly without any hassle.
We got great figures in the benchmarking test of the phone, especially in the graphics benchmark.
In the Zook Z1’s video loop test, its battery lasted for 13 hours and 40 minutes, which is a big feature of the phone. At the same time, on a single charge during normal use, we could run the Zook Z1 for more than a day. Wi-Pie, cellular connectivity and call quality are also very good. But the speaker of the phone (which gives very bad sound) disappoints. However, the headphones provide decent sound for music players and watching videos.
Lenovo has introduced a great device in the form of Zook Z1. The design of the phone, the build is great, the software works well, the display is good and the storage is also good. Connectivity and battery life are also great. Apart from this, the screen is also sharp and the phone can be customized according to its own. Above all, the company has priced the phone in such a way that customers will definitely be attracted towards this phone. Especially those advanced users who know a little bit about Cyanogen OS.
But, the phone also has some noticeable drawbacks. However, we did not see any decrease in its performance while using the phone. The phone runs on an outdated 32-bit processor and GPU, which can cause problems with some new games and apps. Apart from this, there is an older version of Cyanogen OS and Android and no information has been received about the new software update. Apart from this, buying the Z1 will also not be easy as this phone will be sold through flash sale.
Considering the price of Lenovo Zook Z1 it is a great option which comes with great features. If hardware is not an issue for you and you want to use it as a secondary phone, then the Zook Z1 is definitely better than other smartphones coming in this price range.