Lenovo praises its laptops and computers, but few people know that the manufacturer also does smartphones. Today we would like to review one of the latest models called the Lenovo Z5 Pro in our full review.
This is an improved version of the phone Lenovo Z5, which you can read already in our review.
It’s honest to say this phone is in the price range of about $ 350 and is a direct competitor for Xiaomi Mi Mix 3. In our test, we will look at all the positive and negative sides of the Lenovo Z5 Pro phone.
In short, the Lenovo Z5 Pro has a slider screen, an integrated fingerprint scanner on the screen, and a Snapdragon 710 processor with 6GB of RAM and 64GB of storage. For only $350 it is a good phone, but is everything so good? So, let’s get down to our review. We start with the specification.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Specification
|Lenovo Z5 Pro:||Specs|
|Display:||6.39 inches AMOLED with 1080 x 2340 pixels|
|CPU:||Snapdragon 710 Octa Core 2.2GHz|
|Cameras:||16.0MP + 24.0MP main and 16MP + 8MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,3G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS|
|Battery:||3350mAh (Quick Charge 15W)|
|Dimensions:||155.1 x 73 x 9.3 mm|
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Design and Appearance
The Lenovo Z series has stood out for a long time clearly from the remaining devices.
Lenovo Z5 Pro puts on a glass back with curved edges.
Although the back of the glass has been retained on the Z5 Pro, it has left curved edges to the left and right.
The back remained free of scratches during a week of intensive use even without a protective cover.
The frame itself is slightly rounded and thus ensures a pleasantly soft transition. The frame has a shiny finish and is black in the black model, but shows a silvery sheen when the light falls.
On the right side, there is only a power button and on the left is a volume rocker. At the top, there is a SIMs slot.
At the bottom are openings for the microphone, the media speaker, light indicator and of course the USB Type-C connector.
Let’s now talk about the slider mechanism itself, in general, Lenovo Z5 Pro is a good device and it works well. But the work is work, but there are some nuances, for example, gaps between the case and the screen.
As you can see at the bottom of the gap is about 1.5mm and at the top less than about 1mm.
What is the reel between the case and the screen, everything is fine, and it opens and closes smoothly and everything is accurate.
At a price of Lenovo Z5 Pro around $350, this is a good opportunity to get the latest technology with a slider screen, such a review to get a screen with a large screen to body ratio and small edges.
After all, the slider of Lenovo Z5 Pro does not seem to be a mechanical vulnerability. Repeated pulling and bending on the display module did not cause any change in functionality and did not increase the “wobble problem”.
Intentional falls on the wooden floor with open and closed slider have also caused no damage. The same applies to a multiple opening and closing. 500 times in a row we pressed the slider without impact.
As far as dirt is concerned, in everyday life, it definitely enters the gap between the smartphone and the display. After a day you will find a lot of dust and other particles in the front camera modules and sensors.
Effects on the mechanics of Lenovo Z5 Pro in our analisis and also scratches have none so far. However, you should keep your smartphone away from the sand. Although we have dispensed with explicit tests in this direction, what happens can be thought of.
At first, it should come to scratches, with larger quantities surely also to an impairment of the mechanics.
As far as the usability of the slider is concerned, you have to praise Lenovo. There has obviously been a lot of effort to balance the mechanism. If you push the display down a little, it springs directly back into the standard position.
Only when you move it about halfway out, the mechanism completely snaps open. To open the slider a certain amount of effort is required, which seems a bit strange at the beginning, but is to be welcomed.
If the resistance is too low, there is a risk that the slider will open if you put the Lenovo Z5 Pro in your trouser pocket. But you get used to it quite quickly and quickly find the right technique to open the slider comfortably with one hand.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Display
The Lenovo Z5 Pro in our test makes a big leap forward in the display. This applies to both the technology and the optics.
The latter clearly benefits from the further reduced bezels, with the almost disappeared edge under the display immediately catching the eye.
That puts the Lenovo Z5 Pro on a stately “Screen to Body Ratio” of 95.06%. The optics resulting from this is just fun and provides especially in landscape mode for a more symmetrical look.
In terms of technology, Lenovo finally makes the switch to an AMOLED panel on the Z5 Pro.
In addition to a very high brightness of 820+ lux, which makes the panel effortless against sunlight, the display also supports HDR.
Compared with corresponding YouTube content and other (good) displays without HDR support, this results in an impressive increase in the visual quality of contrasts and colors.
Even the very good displays in the Apple iPhones without HDR support look old in a direct comparison.
In general, we are very impressed by the display in the Lenovo Z5 Pro. For an AMOLED display, the built-in panel provides a very natural appearance, without having to manually hone on any settings.
Colors are intense and lively, without falling into the category “candy optics”. The viewing angles are stable and the rainbow effect that is often seen in OLED displays is missing.
Even the sharpness of Lenovo Z5 Pro in our analisis does not fall by the wayside, whereby one can recognize a fine screening at a very short distance.
The pixel structure of OLED panels is just a little bit coarser than the LCDs. At an everyday distance, however, the difference does not strike, which is why this point is completely irrelevant.
The touchscreen of Lenovo Z5 Pro behaves identically to that of the Pocophone F1. Basically, it works precisely, reliably and without noticeable delay.
But if you type very fast, it changes suddenly. There are occasional hangers in the detection (about 0.3 – 0.5 seconds) and a significant decrease in accuracy. This then leads to a significant accumulation of spelling mistakes.
If you slow down the typing speed, the phenomenon completely disappears.
The last thing I wanted to say in this section is a fingerprint scanner. Yes, here it is located on the screen, and many producers make the location of the finger scanner on the front side, as it is more convenient.
But there is a drawback in time of Lenovo Z5 Pro, ie the scanner built into the screen works well and sensitively but with a delay of about 2 seconds. This is not as fast as a standard fingerprint scanner.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Hardware and Performance
In terms of processor, the Lenovo Z5 Pro has done anything. The smartphone is equipped with a Snapdragon 710. Nevertheless, Xiaomi was able to improve on the performance at least in benchmarks.
In everyday life, however, you will notice nothing, because even the predecessor was already very fast and it changes nothing in Lenovo Z5 Pro.
The smartphone is fluid and round. Games do not bring it also from the rest. The heat development is very restrained.
The thermal throttling, which occurred at the predecessor, has disappeared in Z5 Pro.
There are innovations for the memory. Lenovo has deleted the 64GB model and now equips the Z5 Pro with 128GB memory.
There is only 6GB available for RAM. The memory is based as usual on LPDDR4X dual channel technology. There is no way to expand the memory of the Lenovo Z5 Pro.
In terms of sensor technology, the Lenovo Z5 Pro offers the usual full equipment.
In the direct test of the sensors, we noticed with one exception (more on the point telephony) no dropouts.
Encouraging additions such as an air pressure sensor and a pedometer. Compass and gyroscope work perfectly.
Face Unlock is also available, but without infrared technology. However, unlocking at night still works.
All you have to do is reduce the distance slightly so that the display can illuminate the face. In everyday life, however, we mainly used the fingerprint sensor, because you have to press the slider for Face Unlock.
Who fears that this time you have to do without a status LED, we can give the all-clear. The Lenovo Z5 Pro has a white LED located at the bottom next to USB port. The LED is bright enough to be visible even in direct sunlight.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Software
The Lenovo Z5 Pro comes with Android 8.1 Oreo. However, the user will not immediately notice this, because of course the system also comes in the form of the Lenovo Custom ROM “ZUI”. ZUI 10 is used.
The interface is exactly what you already know from Android 8.1 based MIUI 10 devices. The security patch was up to date in the September 2018 test. During the trial period, the smartphone received two updates.
At the moment there is no Global Version of Lenovo Z5 Pro. Thus, there is only one China firmware.
However, installing the Google Play Store has become much easier. Lenovo now also provides the Google Play services in the China versions of ZUI 10.
So you just have to install the Play Store via APK and you’re ready to go. Nice side effect: Also a Google certification exists.
However, there is one limitation. Unfortunately, syncing to the Google Account is very limited. Our test device syncs the following Google services: Google Chrome, Gmail, Fit, Play Games Cloud Save, and People Details.
What is not synchronized are Google Calendar and Google Contacts, even if you have the appropriate Google Apps installed. If you save your contacts on Google, you have an empty contact list on Lenovo Z5 Pro in our test.
However, with the release of the ZUI Global ROM for Lenovo Z5 Pro, the problem should be a thing of the past.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Connectivity
Depending on your requirements, you should look very carefully when buying a Lenovo Z5 Pro. Fortunately, the model does not support the important 20 LTE band in this country and can be used without restriction, depending on the model, there is no global frequency support.
Global frequency support means that the smartphone can be used in all countries and mobile networks. If these are missing, there may be problems using mobile data connections in some countries – e.g. in the US and Asia.
If you travel a lot, you should inform yourself about the used frequencies in the destination country and compare them with the above table.
As for the reception, there is nothing to complain about. The Lenovo Z5 Pro in the analisis has never failed in the test and also performs well in chronically underserved areas.
Even at the office, a stable 3G data connection was maintained at all points, which is far from the case for all smartphones.
In front of the house is in some places even the 4G network of a neighboring town to receive, which so far only managed a handful of smartphones.
The reception performance can, therefore, be described in good conscience as excellent.
In the test of the wireless connection on Lenovo Z5 Pro, there were no negative results. Directly next to the router, the WLAN module achieves a throughput of approx. 500Mbit/s. One floor below it is still very good 173Mbit/s.
It is noteworthy that there is no fallback to the 2.4 GHz band here.
Lenovo did a good job with the antennas. Bluetooth 5.0 and NFC are available and also work properly.
There are also Dual Band GPS, Galileo, and QZS as well as single band GLONASS and BDS for positioning.
Here, too, the Lenovo Z5 Pro scores points with its excellent reception performance and high accuracy in tracking and navigation.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Sound
The smartphone is equipped with stereo speakers, and you can enjoy music in the Lenovo Z5 Pro.
As you know, the first speaker is located at the bottom, and the other is in the box when you fold the slider near the front camera, this is the earpiece.
Granted, the speaker sounds very good, but once you get used to stereo speakers in your smartphone, you do not want to miss them anymore.
If you want to use 3.5mm headphones on the Lenovo Z5 Pro, rely on the included Type-C to 3.5mm adapter. A 3.5mm connection is not available.
The quality of the adapter is convincing and delivers above all a very high volume. If you do not want to use an adapter, you can buy native Type-C headphones or use the corresponding Bluetooth accessories.
For the adjustment of the sound, the experience is like all Lenovo smartphones, a system-wide equalizer available, which also provides presets for some headphone models.
When talking on the phone, the Z5 Pro delivers a pure sound on both sides. Lenovo even installed two telephone receivers: one in the display slider and one below.
Thus one can phone without difficulties, no matter whether the slider is closed or opened. Your own voice will be minimally attenuated when the slider is open, as the voice microphone will then be under the display.
This is only a small nuance and does not bother us. Annoying is there, that the display does not turn off reliably when telephoning. Now and then it also happens that it goes out and reactivated during the conversation.
In the test of Lenovo Z5 Pro, it came thereby again and again to unintentional inputs. Another shortcoming becomes clear when calling with the slider closed. Here, when running, people like to catch hair in the gap between the display and the smartphone. This then causes it to occasionally “pull”.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Camera
The phone has 16MP and 24MP sensors. Right, the main camera has not changed in the Lenovo Z5 Pro. Lenovo installed exactly the same set-up here. So nothing has changed on the camera? Yes, and a lot. Lenovo has screwed on the software and promises significantly better photos.
So what does the reality look like? Well, the term “clear” can be argued. However, the fact is that there are indeed changes and these are predominantly positive in nature.
First of all, it should be said that the very good quality that we already appreciated in our predecessor still exists. You get crisp images with the short shutter release and fast focus.
Especially the richness of detail of the photos stands out on Lenovo Z5 Pro, that’s exactly the point, with which Lenovo is so terribly hard on many devices. What has improved significantly in our eyes, is the color reproduction. The pictures are more balanced and a touch more lively. The dynamics have improved a bit.
Unfortunately, the HDR mode has become worse, which is especially true when trying to take photos when the sun is setting or going down. Here it comes to clear blurring effects and image noise.
The photos look great at first, but when viewed on a large screen, they are lacking in sharpness because of the lack of details.
The bokeh mode of Lenovo Z5 Pro in the test still shows the same weaknesses. Although the effect is in many cases quite accurate, but ensure a significant loss of sharpness and details of the object in the foreground.
Really pretty, the results are not without the additional post. Portraits of people are still the best. Here the handset scores with a nice gimmick.
What’s really annoying about bokeh mode is the loss of the wide-angle lens. If you activate the bokeh or portrait mode, the camera will focus heavily and the field of view will be severely cropped. This also leads to an increased susceptibility to wobbles.
The second camera module in the Z5 Pro has a 2x optical zoom. This provides good services and delivers sharp shots. In terms of color, however, these differ significantly from the photos in normal mode.
Incidentally, one should have a steady hand, because the second sensor, unlike the main sensor, does not have an optical image stabilizer.
Night shots in regular mode are surprisingly not approaching the mid-range phone. Again, less light is captured, the dynamics are worse and you can see much more image noise and blur caused by noise reduction.
As for the front camera in the Lenovo Z5 Pro, then you can see it when the slider expands, this is a dual sensor with 16MP and 8MP. As for the quality of photos, it is good, and you can also use the second sensor to blur the background.
Let’s talk about the quality of the video, the Lenovo Z5 Pro phone skims in 4K resolution, but there’s no optical and electronic stabilization. Therefore, the quality of the video will have jumps and will not be smooth.
I also noticed that autofocus does not work stably, so the focus and the picture all the time jumps.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Battery
Lenovo Z5 Pro has 3.350mAh battery and offset by the AMOLED display, which may be more economical.
There are also various based power saving mechanisms from ZUI 10 and Android Oreo. Now there are some testers who claim that the battery life should be significantly better than its predecessor.
That one should consider such statements with skepticism, is obvious, because purely technically maximum of the same battery life is in it. And that is exactly the case.
Thus, here again, one to two days runtime (depending on the intensity of use) in it.
Charging supports Quick Charge 15W. After all, the recharge is also quite fast from equip. The charge needs from 20% to 100% for just under an hour and 30 minutes.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Conclusions and Reviews
The Lenovo Z5 Pro has once again become an interesting smartphone by Lenovo, but in our eyes does not quite reach the level of perfection of its competitors.
This is simply because Lenovo has in some places closed his mouth or made things worse. An example is a slider.
Lenovo promises the highest quality and delivers the only average. This, of course, causes a devaluation, even if the feature was implemented well.
But even with the camera, Lenovo has opened his mouth too far. The Bokeh mode is for the high-priced Lenovo smartphones for too long “bad” and nothing is changed. The same applies to the front camera.
In addition, there is a significant deterioration in night photography.
We can certainly give a buy recommendation for anyone who likes to have a special smartphone that stands out from the crowd.
Also on the subject of reception and general price performance scores the Lenovo Z5 Pro quite. But especially on the subject of the camera, you should take a closer look.
Lenovo Z5 Pro: Price and Where to buy cheaper?
Now I would like to talk about prices. The official price of the phone is about $250, but it’s rare in Chinese stores to put this smartphone on sale. I found only on Aliexpress with the lowest price of $338.88 and you can already buy a phone at a good price right now.
This phone offers good features and features, such as a slider design, a fingerprint reader built into the screen and a modern Snapdragon processor, and get a phone with great potential for little money.