The Lenovo Z5 is latest “Phablet” with good specifications in our review. Again, this offers on paper outstanding hardware at a fantastic price.
For about $170 you get a 6.2-inch smartphone with the latest Snapdragon 636, 6GB RAM, as well as a dual camera setup, which should score with a large sensor.
There is even a global version available, which has the English language and all the required LTE tapes.
Thus, the Lenovo Z5 is more comparable with $299-399 smartphones like the Moto G6 Plus or the BQ Aquaris X2. But is the Z5 really good too? First, let’s find out in specs of Lenovo Z5.
Lenovo Z5: Specifications
|Display:||6.2 inches with 1920 x 2246 pixels|
|CPU:||Snapdragon 636 Octa Core 1.8GHz|
|Cameras:||16.0MP + 8.0MP main and 8.0MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,3G, 4G, Bluetooth 4.2, and GPS|
|Connections:||USB Type-C and 3.5mm audio jack|
|Dimensions:||153 x 75.7 x 7.9 mm|
Lenovo Z5: Design and Appearance
The Lenovo Z5 in our analisis is a smartphone, so you can assume a glass case.
Unfortunately, this is the best glass case. So, the Lenovo Z5 feels good and is well made, but it uses the case type with two plastic covers on the top and bottom.
This case design has long been typical of China smartphones. I do not want to say that the Lenovo Z5 is not working well, but it is less expensive than some competitors are now.
This also plays something in the optics again. The back is pretty unremarkable. Away from the dual camera, the Lenovo Z5 is one of many. But that does not have to be bad either.
The front, for example, stands out a bit more here. Lenovo relies on a 6.2-inch display with notch and narrow, but not tiny edges. This makes the Lenovo Z5 not an absolutely tiny smartphone, but not too big for its 6.2 inches.
Its size and feel are more like the 5.5-inch smartphone from 2 years ago. Due to the very narrow display edges, the front looks quite modern, so you do not have the feeling to have bought an old smartphone.
On the front, we find the mentioned 6.2-inch display with the notch, as well as the auricle and an 8 MP camera. The connections, as well as the speaker, are mounted on the bottom. Interestingly enough, Lenovo relies on USB Type-C port ?! There is still the 3.5mm headphone jack available.
The three typical physical buttons of a smartphone are on the right side of the Lenovo Z5 as usual, maybe a bit high for my taste, but pressure point etc.
The back is occupied by the dual camera, which uses a vertical structure, as well as the fingerprint scanner.
Lenovo Z5: Display
Lenovo Z5 uses a 6.2 inch LCD display with the notch. This resolves with 1080 x 2246 pixels, so Full HD PLus.
The somewhat unfamiliar resolution of 2246 x 1080 comes about through the 18.7: 9 aspect ratio. The display is a bit wider or longer than a normal 16: 9 Full HD display.
But what does the display look like? Unsurprisingly, the answer is good! The display is bright, with a good contrast and a very strong black point for a smartphone of this class.
Colors are also clear, but not overly strong. However, this seems to be more the color profile and the user interface than the actual panel.
Lenovo uses rather softer colors and seems to have adopted the display for that. Photos and pictures are pleasantly strong.
In short, a good display for a smartphone in the $250-300 price range.
Lenovo Z5: Hardware and Performance
The Lenovo Z5 in the analisis features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Octa Core as well as 6GB of RAM and 64GB of memory.
The Snapdragon 636 is based on a newer and better architecture than the Snapdragon 630, which is used for example in the clearly expensive Moto G6 Plus.
Like the Snapdragon 630, the Snapdragon 636 is an 8-core SoC with a clock of 1.8GHz.
So the 636 clocked a bit lower than the normal 630, but the Snapdragon 636 relies on a new “Kryo 260” architecture, which should nevertheless provide a 40% better performance.
Let’s take a look at the whole thing in a few benchmarks!
The “middle class” Snapdragon 636 has a lot of power!
The Snapdragon 630 is beaten by a good 30% in my tests, which fluctuates slightly depending on the benchmark. But the Snapdragon 630 was already a very fast chip.
The Snapdragon 636, for example, leaves the Snapdragon 821 behind, at least as far as CPU performance is concerned. As far as the GPU is concerned, the 636 is a bit weaker, but still, it’s on the level of 2016/early 2017 flagship smartphones.
Impressive! This impression is also confirmed by the more practical PCMark Work Benchmark.
But, of course, benchmarks are just one thing. The other is the practice. How is the Lenovo Z5 beating here?
It’s probably no surprise that the Lenovo Z5 runs perfectly in practice! No stuttering or stuttering.
Even the standard apps like Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, etc. start at lightning speed and run great. There is hardly any difference to a Google Pixel 2 or similar.
However, this is no surprise with such powerful hardware, especially since Lenovo has not allowed any errors in the software.
ZUI 4.0 runs fast and stable, I had no problems here.
If there is a difference between high-end smartphones, then while playing. I’m not talking about “the usual suspects” like Pokemon Go, Clash of Clans, Angry Birds and so on. Of course, they run smoothly on the Lenovo Z5 in the test.
However, in high-end 3D games of all PUBG Mobile or the various emulators, the smartphone can reach its limits. For example, PUBG Mobile runs smoothly on low to medium settings.
This also applies to other games, you get to work on the Lenovo Z5 everything, just in case of doubt on medium quality. This beats but already significantly better than all other smartphones in the $250 price range.
Lenovo Z5: Software
The Lenovo Z5 is available on the software side in several versions. My version is the Global version, which I have from Asian dealer.
In contrast to the purely Chinese version, both the English language and Google Apps are preinstalled here.
Of course, ZUI 4.0 is based on Android on the current 8.0. If you are worried about missing updates then this is wrong.
Lenovo is known to provide even his middle-class devices with updates for a long time (some 3 years or more).
ZUI is a pretty full skin on Android. Starting with the launcher via the notification center to the settings everything is visually and partly also functionally “revised”.
Also, there are some additional features like Second Space, in which your Android OS “clone” in two users interface with their own apps between which you can switch back and forth.
After all, it’s a matter of taste that you prefer, normal Android or ZUI. But what has to be left to ZUI is that it is well done.
Of the 64GB memory of the Lenovo Z5 are still available 52.5GB.
Lenovo Z5: Camera
The Lenovo Z5 in the test has a dual-camera setup. The main camera has 16megapixels, the secondary camera 8-megapixels.
Roughly summarized, the sensor of the Lenovo Z5 is larger than that of the Samsung Galaxy S9, LG G7, iPhone X etc. and the same size as the Google Pixel 2 XL.
Larger camera sensors usually offer better image quality, especially in less favorable lighting conditions.
The secondary camera of the Lenovo Z5 only for portrait mode. As a rule, the portrait mode of cheap smartphones is completely scrapped to moderate, but with the Lenovo Z5, I was able to achieve quite good results.
Certainly, the portrait mode is not perfect here, but better than the vast majority of smartphones this class.
Let’s get to the test images of the main camera.
Let’s start with the basics. The Lenovo Z5 has a car HDR mode, which does a good job. This is quite inconspicuous in practice.
The triggering or processing of the recordings takes only a little longer and the pictures show some dynamics and contrast, but not overly exaggerated.
Therefore, I would recommend the Auto HDR mode to be active, which was the case with my test images.
The dynamics are also very good thanks to Auto HDR! But the Lenovo Z5 in our analisis produces quite “natural” recordings.
Important, switch off in the Low Light Auto HDR. This activates here often but only leads to shaking the recordings.
Recordings in the dark are still relatively sharp and noise-free, without becoming a slushy mud.
However, one must also say that in direct comparison, the Moto G6 Plus performs even better.
This also applies to the video mode, which supports 4K.
Here also helps the impeccable autofocus, which produced almost no committee in my test.
Lenovo Z5: Speaker
The Lenovo Z5 has a classic only a speaker on its underside. Certainly not the optimal setup, but basically sufficient.
If the speaker is reasonable? Let’s put it this way, if you attach great importance to a good sound, rather buy a Bluetooth speaker to the Lenovo Z5 added.
Basically, the speaker is okay. But this is quite thin and quite scratchy at high volumes and tends to be shrill.
For a Youtube video or a little web radio next to this is complete enough, but there is still room for improvement here. After all, the volume is neat.
Lenovo Z5: Battery
As befits a large smartphone, the Lenovo Z5 also has a large battery with a full 3300mAh.
But in practice, often the battery capacity is not so important when it comes to the final term. Much more important is the energy efficiency of the SoC or the display.
So how is the Lenovo beating here?
In my usual battery test, so a colorful mix of web browsing, social media, light gaming, etc. in an indoor display brightness, I could achieve a battery life of a whopping 10 hours!
Of course, depending on how you use the Lenovo Z5 in the review, this value will be significantly different, but 10 hours is pretty neat!
Lenovo Z5: Conclusions and Reviews
For around $230 the Lenovo Z5 is an amazingly good deal in our review! The Lenovo Z5 is more comparable with $300 smartphones than with $230 models.
It can impress as so often with China smartphones, especially the performance. The built-in Snapdragon 636 was fully convincing and is rightly more likely to be found in $300+ smartphones. In everyday life, the Lenovo runs like clockwork!
If you are dealing with normal usage with apps like Facebook, Twitter, Chrome or WhatsApp, there are few reasons to choose an expensive smartphone.
The processing is convincing but is slightly behind devices such as the Moto G6. The display, in turn, can easily compete with all competitors.
Both in daylight and in darkness, the Lenovo Z5 still delivers recordings that can compete with the best smartphones in the $200 price range, especially if you prefer not super colorful shots as you many Samsung and Moto devices produce.
Last but not least, there is a strong battery life and, as experience shows, good update support from Lenovo and it is not difficult to make a recommendation for the Lenovo Z5!
Lenovo Z5: Price and Where to buy cheaper?
Right now you can already buy phone Lenovo Z5 at a good and low price only $168.88 for the version with 6 GB of RAM and 64 GB of storage.
For around $200 you will not find a better smartphone anywhere!