Lenovo is one of the popular brands lately and not only with its laptops but also with smartphones too.
Currently, we have reviewed the Lenovo Z5, and an improved model has already been released with the S prefix at the end, namely, the name Lenovo Z5s.
In the next review of Z5s, we will look at all the positive and negative aspects of a new generation smartphone and find out what improvements a new colleague has received.
Lenovo Z5s got a big modern screen with water drop notch, which is a popular trend at the end of 2018, as well as the well-known Snapdragon 710 processor, 4/64GB memory version, and most importantly is the triple camera on the back.
So let’s begin our review of Lenovo Z5s, and we will begin as always with the specification.
Lenovo Z5s: Specifications
|Display:||6.3 inches AMOLED with 1080 x 2340 pixels|
|CPU:||Snapdragon 710 Octa Core 2.2GHz|
|Memory extension:||supported up to 256GB|
|Cameras:||16.0MP + 8.0MP + 5.0MP main and 16MP front camera|
|Connectivity:||Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band,3G, 4G, Bluetooth 5.0, and GPS|
|Battery:||3300mAh (Quick Charge 15W)|
|OS:||Android 9.0 Pie|
|Dimensions:||156.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm|
Lenovo Z5s: Design and Appearance
Lenovo Z5s has 156.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm; the new model is almost as tall as the Lenovo Z5, although the display is nominally 0.1 inches larger.
While the front is taken up to 83.5% of the display and thus has little room for optical gadgets, the back is surprisingly not dominated by the triple-camera solution.
Because who decides against black, is rewarded with a veritable play of colors that is possible through the complex production with multiple layers.
Nevertheless, the cameras are noticeable. The arrangement may be reminiscent of the Lenovo Z5s, but should ultimately be based on the technical requirements.
Finally, it is crowded inside; any placement of sensors, lenses and more is therefore not possible.
What would have been possible, however, is visually successful implementation. While two cameras are optically connected, the third acts as added later.
Elsewhere, Lenovo has shown attention to detail. Because manufacturers are lettering and camera details compared to other smartphones rotated by 90°.
If the Lenovo Z5s is held like a camera, the orientation will fit. But also in other places you paid attention to nice details.
Also, it’s the rounded frame, which simulates an almost seamless transition between front and back, works well.
There are also deductions in terms of ergonomics of Lenovo Z5s in the analisis. Because despite the narrow frame around the display, operation with only one hand is not possible.
Only the buttons for volume and standby placed on the right edge are easily accessible.
Although the fingerprint sensor placed on the back works quickly and precisely.
At 172g, the Lenovo Z5s still does not stand out in the pants or jacket pocket.
It looks different in the hand. However, it does not bother the weight, but the little support rear side.
In general, the design of Lenovo Z5s has a good appearance, and it also matters the quality of the assembly. The phone does not have any squeaks and is assembled as if for its price range of $245. Let’s talk about the display now.
Lenovo Z5s: Display
The danger does not exist with the Lenovo Z5s in the test. Because Lenovo sets – like so many other manufacturers too – on narrow edges, whose price is a recess (water drop notch) at the top.
The starting product is a 6.3-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels in the format 19.5: 9.
The pixel density is sufficient 409ppi, the display area at just under 97.4 cm2 cm² including Notch and “round corners.”
The latter does not really bother, possibly cosmetic problems can occur in some apps.
Some people, on the other hand, might find it more annoying to notice the wide margin below the display compared to the three other pages.
On the right, left and top the edge is pleasantly narrow.
Satisfactory to good, the ad cuts the hard facts. At 503cd/m², sufficient brightness is achieved even for outdoor use, as long as the screen is not kept in direct sunlight.
However, the Lenovo Z5s only achieves this value when the brightness is automatically adjusted.
In manual mode is at 394cd/m² conclusion – a too low value in this price range.
On the other hand, there is a contrast that goes to infinity thanks to real black and good color representation.
Here, the Lenovo Z5s in our analisis to adjust the color temperature to the ambient brightness.
The colors are overall strong, but not exaggerated; the color profile used depends, however, if you choose “Normal” and thus a neutral white representation.
Lenovo Z5s: Hardware and Performance
The Lenovo Z5s is similar to the Z5 Pro but not just in terms of features, but also offers similar performance.
This shows how fast the development in the area of SoCs is still. Because while the sister model was one of the fastest mid-range smartphones when it was released, it is only enough for the new device for a place a little further down – but still in the lead group.
For everyday use, the Snapdragon 710 with its Octa-core 2.2GHz offers more than enough power.
This is proven not only by the practical experience over several weeks, during which there was no time for hanging, jerking or other problems.
But also the GPU performance is more than sufficient; there are in the Android camp currently only Samsung with its Exynos 9810 and Qualcomm with the Snapdragon 845 faster but those flagship chipsets.
The 4 or 6GB used in the Lenovo Z5s are not a bottleneck. The same applies to the internal memory with 64 or 128GB and supported micro SD cards up to 256GB.
Lenovo Z5s: Software
Despite its new version, Lenovo leaves it with its own user interface in what customers of the brand have known for years – and at least since the Z5 is regularly criticized.
On the one hand of Lenovo Z5s, this includes the look that looks little modern and fresh.
On the other hand, too many functions are still hidden too deeply in the system settings.
In return, however, anyone who has already used a Lenovo smartphone in the past two or three years can immediately cope.
These include the optional classic Android-style app drawer as an alternative to simply dropping shortcuts on the home screen, but also triggering certain functions via your fingertips.
Also not new is the control of alternative gesture control, in which either a virtual button or the fingerprint sensor takes over all tasks.
This is initially a worse solution integrated into Android 9.0 Pie.
The good sound is now the unlocking of the smartphone by facial recognition.
Here, however, Lenovo sets on a savings solution in which only the front camera is used.
The method works fast and reliable but can be tricked quite easily, as with so many other smartphones. Saving by fingerprint is thus the better choice.
The ZUI 10 version number – 9.0. – suggests that works in the background Android 9.0.
An integral part of the own interface is various applications, which can be uninstalled in many cases.
Lenovo Z5s: Camera
However, not only the water drop notch display but also the triple cameras on the back, whose visual design can be expanded, are not to be overlooked – more on that later.
According to Lenovo, the third camera is needed to bring the telephoto and 2x optical zoom to a higher level.
Whether this is really necessary may already have led to many discussions.
Because even the argument that you need two cameras for certain effects in more than satisfactory quality was defeated more or less quickly
Also remember Google Pixel 2, which can simulate an impressive bokeh with just one camera.
The main camera offers a 16-megapixel sensor, the optics have aperture f/1.8.
The second, purely telephoto working sensor Lenovo sets to 8-megapixels and optics with aperture f/2.4.
In third place follows a 5-megapixel depth sensor with f/2.4 aperture. A very big question mark is behind the stabilization.
Lenovo himself speaks of an optical solution (OIS) only for the third camera.
According to the manufacturer, this is essentially AI-based. Obviously, however, would be that the two unnamed stabilizers do most of the work and the artificial intelligence contributes little to nothing.
For that would also mean that the video stabilization can be used only at low resolutions and refresh rates.
Overall, the quality of the Lenovo Z5s photos is good to very good. In daylight, colors, details and brightness differences are convincingly recorded, and there is nothing to criticize in terms of image sharpness either.
In low light conditions of Lenovo Z5s, pixelization becomes even more noticeable. The noise behavior is largely good, differences in brightness are reliably recorded, only the overall brightness often does not agree with reality.
The shots are then minimally dark. In return, however, even in the fully automatic mode, slightly brighter stars and the like can easily be recorded. On the zoom but you should do without, corresponding recordings disappoint by detail weakness and noise.
For videos basically, the same strengths and weaknesses apply. In addition, however, depend on the resolution and refresh rate dependent additional points.
The maximum of Lenovo Z5s in the test is 2160p30 (4K), the choices include 1080p30 and 1080p60. In the latter setup, there were more problems with the autofocus in the test, in the 4K mode, the stabilization (which also applies to 1080p60) and clips with a length of more than 10 minutes must be waived.
The camera app of Lenovo Z5s in our review is still designed clearly unless you look in the depths of the settings a specific point.
For many options are only listed if the corresponding mode has been activated beforehand.
In Pro mode, beginners are well taken in hand, also in this, the storage of photos in RAW format is possible, which facilitates the subsequent processing.
Lenovo Z5s: Connectivity
Looking at the other equipment suspects that the new display and the revised camera have tied up all available resources.
Because compared to the Lenovo Z5 Pro has hardly done anything, which is primarily due to the SoC.
Also in the Lenovo Z5s, the in-house Snapdragon 710 is used, which houses a fast LTE modem (up to 1.2 GBit/s downstream) and ac-WLAN.
In terms of Bluetooth version 5.0, and it’s the current standard.
The speakers and microphones are convincing, annoying background noises are usually reliably filtered out.
Unusual disconnections or network changes were not observed.
If you use the dual-SIM variant of the Lenovo Z5s, you can use both cards in the LTE network – but of course not at the same time.
Lenovo Z5s: Battery
But even with the battery, the Lenovo Z5s shows little independent.
Not only that one knows the 3350mAh accumulating battery from the Lenovo Z5 Pro, but also with the topic loading there are no deviations.
Thanks to Fast Charge with up to 15W it goes from 0 to 50% within about 40 minutes, until the complete charge takes just over 100 minutes. Lenovo speaks of 90 minutes.
Wireless charging is again unsupported, which makes for the incomprehension of the glass backside.
The maturities are similar – not surprisingly – essentially those of the Lenovo Z5 Pro.
In the video loop with locally deposited Full HD material and display brightness of 200 cd/m², the Lenovo Z5s lasts just under 12 hours, the PCMark battery test goes through almost 8 hours.
In practice, the smartphone did not last two days, more can be achieved thanks to the integrated power saving features.
Lenovo Z5s: Conclusions and Reviews
The Lenovo Z5s is a logical evolution of what started in 2018 with the Z5 in our review.
Even the successor puts the camera in the foreground and attracts buyers. Perhaps the biggest difference compared to the Z5: In other areas, you are breaking new ground.
This ensures that the smartphone could be interesting enough even for those who value a good camera but do not consider it the most important components.
The test shows after several weeks of use of the Lenovo Z5s that it is. In some areas, it represents the new standard for smartphones.
This is partly due to the very sophisticated interaction of the triple cameras on the back, but also on the experience that could be collected in the last two years and the subsequent development of functions.
Above all, however, likes that Lenovo still takes the photo novice by the hand. The camera app as an interface is easy to use, the AI sometimes helps in choosing the right settings, in Pro mode, and the learning curve is pleasantly flat.
The Snapdragon 710, which was only launched in the late summer of 2018, is still one of the fastest representatives.
In general, it is a good Lenovo Z5s smartphone for its mid-range mobile devices, which boasts large lists of advantages.
Lenovo Z5s: Price and Where to buy cheaper?
What about the price, as I mentioned at the beginning of the review, you can already buy a Lenovo Z5s phone in Chinese stores at an interesting and low price for only $ 245.88.
In general, it is difficult to find a competitor for our hero, since it has many modern solutions in design and at an adequate price.