Creating a spin-off company of the parent company and producing a better device than the manufacturer's Top Range itself seems to be, in recent times, a common custom in China. Here it is born Zuk, a company born from the Lenovo partnership and, according to "rumors" Elephone.
Zuk Z1 arrives on the market with some small skepticism on the technical data sheet as it offers non-latest-generation hardware. The company will be able to mix well and to propose a new, super device?
Zuk Z1, the review of GizChina.it
Zuk Z1 - Technical Sheet
- CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM 8974AC 32-bit quad-core from 2.5 GHz;
- But by the full GPU acceleration tech Adreno 330;
- 3GB RAM memory;
- 64GB of internal memory;
- Display from 5.5 inch IPS FULL HD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, 403 ppi;
- Main camera from 13 megapixel Sony IMX214 with OIS and dual Tone dual LED flash;
- Front camera from 8 megapixel OmniVision;
- 802.11 WiFi a / b / g / n / ac - Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, Glonass, WiFi Dircet;
- Dual Nano SIM support; 4G LTE;
- Dimensions of 155,7 x 77,3 x 8,5 millimeters;
- Weight of 175 grams;
- Battery from 4100 mAh;
- USB Type-C;
- Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Z-UI.
Zuk Z1 - Packaging
Simple and essential. The package of Zuk Z1 it comes with a simple white hardcover enclosed by a light blue band, on which the manufacturer's logo is imprinted.
Inside we find:
- Zuk Z1;
- battery charger aside with 2A output;
- flat USB cable - micro-USB type-C 3.0;
- Quick use manuals,
- paper clip for the nano-SIM compartment.
Equipment, therefore, really reduced to the bone for Zuk Z1, which really includes the strictly necessary for the operation of the smartphone. The experience of use may, perhaps, repay the lackluster content.
Zuk Z1 - Design
Zuk Z1 looks like a monobloc smartphone and built around a frame entirely made of aluminum, with a diamond cut similar to that makes it really nice to use the device to the touch, despite having been chosen to use the polycarbonate for the realization of the back -cover.
On the front we find a large display from 5.5 inch IPS FULL HD that overhangs the only physical key, which integrates a biometric sensor for unlocking the smartphone. The same physical key is polyvalent. Touching the sensor will return to the previous screen, with a swipe you can move between open applications and, finally, with a double press will open multitasking.
Plause a Zuk that with the use of a single physical button has concentrated all the experience of use of Android.
Present one front camera from 8 mega-pixel together with the sensor of brightness, proximity and always welcome notification LED, set next to the capsule.
The profile of the smartphone is surrounded by a frame with a diamond edge in the upper and lower part, which makes the smartphone more elegant and streamlines the lines. The right side houses the power button and the volume rocker, also in aluminum.
On the left side we find the slot for the two Nano SIMs instead.
The door plug is housed below micro-USB type-C, located in the middle between the speaker and the main microphone. Great attention to detail is also noted for the processing of the holes in the speaker and the main microphone.
Superiorly there is only the housing for the 3.5 mm jack for the earphones.
On the back we find the main camera from 13 mega-pixel, with a protective aluminum frame and slightly protruding from the body of the device. On the same axis of the camera we find the double Flash LED, the second microphone for environmental noise reduction and the manufacturer's logo.
The materials of the bodies alternate the common polycarbonate, used for the back-cover, to the most noble aluminum for the realization of the frame that surrounds the whole profile of Zuk Z1. The frieze of the aluminum frame really makes the smartphone very elegant, as well as giving it a greater pleasantness of use.
The front, on the other hand, is surmounted by a Gorilla Glass 3 glass, coated with an oleophobic finish, which makes the device more pleasant to use, especially for cleaning freaks.
THEErgonomics is discreet! The weight of 175 grams is important, but it is well distributed over the entire surface of Zuk Z1. Holding and using the device with one hand is quite an aurdua undertaking, given the size of the display itself, which does not allow it to be managed in the best possible way.
Zuk Z1 - Dispaly
Excellent display of Zuk Z1. The panel is a unit from 5.5 inch IPS FULL HD, with 16 aspect ratio: 9, 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, pixel density per inch of PPI 403 and 85% NTSC contrast.
It works very well the brightness sensor, which, thanks to the dedicated software bar, allows you to fine-tune even the automatic brightness.
The Display settings menu allows the calibration of the color temperature, with a choice between a preset of 3 modes:
Zuk Z1 - Software
Z-IU is the proprietary OS that accompanies Zuk Z1 on the market. It is a software that fully reflects Eastern software philosophy.
Zuk Z1, in fact, is without the App Drawer and, consequently, the management of the applications is entrusted to the home, which can obviously count on a multiple number of pages. As always, the management is recommended in folders, unless you want to have an exponential number of screens, full of applications.
Applause to Zuk for the management of the physical key. The biometric sensor for unlocking the device is perhaps one of the most accurate on the Android panorama today and always recognizes the registered fingerprint for unlocking the device.
Zuk Z1 - Benchmark
As anticipated, the endowment of Zuk Z1 is certainly not the latest. The processor that moves the system is in fact a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 8969-bit MSM 32AC with a maximum clock of 2.5 GHz, coupled with a GPU Adreno 330 e 3GB of RAM.
Zuk Z1 - Antutu Benchmark
Here is the result of the various Benchmarks:
Zuk Z1- Multimedia
The Zuk Z1 main camera features a sensor Sony Exmor RS IMX214 with a powerful double Led Flash. The sensor proves once again up to expectations, confirming itself as one of the most performing in circulation.
The photos are of excellent quality and Zuk Z1 can give excellent shots in all environmental conditions. It also amazes the HDR mode that, if properly used, with the lighting effects can give very exciting results. Small note to do on the flash, which, in poor environmental conditions, goes to dazzle the subject of the photo, in macro mode, ruining the final outcome.
The front camera is a mega-pixel 8 made by Omnivision which proves more than adequate for selfies.
The software interface is treated in looks and without frills. The settings, however, will not be present in the camera app but within the settings menu and this will force us to switch between the various screens each time you need to change a parameter. We come to our rescue the physical button that allows you to change apps with a simple swipe.
The video part remains on high levels, with the recording reaching the resolution of FULL HD 1080p in 30 FPS, with a fluidity of image and a very faithful audio capture.
Zuk Z1- 1080p video recording test
Even the Gallery is revisited with a style in an oriental key, with a very pleasant graphic design.
The music player presents itself with a simple and pleasant graphic look. However, it is not possible to exploit all the features, since many are located in Chinese, but there will be a karaoke mode, which will automatically display the text of the song being played.
Zuk Z1 - Internet browser
From the east, the personalization and performance of the Web Browser are always a bit underestimated. It also happens on Zuk Z1 that seems to show the side when trying to push the foot sull'accelleretatore and use multiple tabs open on sites full of data to manage.
We are obviously talking about micro-lag, which are present, but do not ruin the general browsing experience. But for those who love lightning navigation can use Google Chrome, thus eliminating those refreshes and micro-lag too.
Zuk Z1 - Autonomy and Office Part
The autonomy of Zuk Z1 is certainly one of the points of greatest interest of the device. They are well 4100 mAH made available to the user, who do not disappoint the expectations. The stress test is concluded with flying colors with about a 30% of residual autonomy and 4 abundant hours of screen on (with main use in WiFi even 5 hours).
With a softer use, you could cover more than half of the second day of use. Merit of both the Snapdragon 801 processor and the FULL HD display panel, and no higher resolutions.
Our stress-test includes:
- 2 gmail account in push;
- 1 Facebook account that synchronizes every 30 minutes;
- 1 Twitter account that synchronizes every 30 minutes;
- Intensive use of WhatsApp;
- about 40 minutes of calls;
- about 60 minutes of web nevigation;
- about 15 minutes of leisure with games;
- Watch connected in Bluetooth;
- Mi-Band connected in Bluetooth.
Although it is not a smartphone voted for the business sector, with Zuk Z1 we can count on a good management of Office files, thanks to WPS Office and a User Interface designed to make easy and immediate the use of all the applications in the segment productivity.
Zuk Z1 - Conclusions
It now seems "taken for granted" that the spin-offs of smartphone manufacturers are able to create better devices than the parent companies. In Zuk Z1 there is a study and software engineering that is truly expertly carried out.
Really difficult to find a weak point to the device, if not in the same dimensions, but those who buy a device with such a large screen will surely know what it's going to meet.
Excellent construction, design and attention to detail. Attention also placed within the software with an interface, in an oriental key, but well studied, simple and intuitive. The unlocking sensor with fingerprint is very good and the possibility to use the single physical button is also excellent.
Good in all the various sectors, excelling in autonomy, performance and fluidity, despite the hardware has a year behind it.
Let's talk about the device dedicated to the Chinese market, with Z-UI and without Italian language, buy them on Topresellerstore.it with our usual discount code GIZCHINA.
The Zuk Z1 is also available on the official distributor's website zuk-store.com. The product will be shipped directly from Europe (Belgium) and, therefore, no additional customs costs will be charged.
If you wait for the European version, it will arrive with Cyanogen Mod 12.1, there will still be a few weeks to wait for the official arrival in Europe, but in the meantime you can deceive the wait with the our review coming out in a few days.