Display: 8 / 10
In an age of being surrounded by 5.5-inch devices, it is pleasant when you get a flagship level phone with a 5-inch display. The Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a 5-inch Full HD glossy display giving it a pixel density of 441ppi.
The display is sharp as one would expect at such high pixel density. Viewing angles are good. Colours are natural although there is a slight blush tinge to the display. It comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass to protect the display.
The display looked good both indoors as well as outdoors. While shooting in bright sunlight there are issues such as dark areas not being properly visible. Watching YouTube videos is a pleasant affair thanks to a decent contrast.
Software: 7.5 / 1 0
For all practical purposes, the Lenovo Z2 Plus comes with a stock Android 6.0 Marshmallow OS. It is not skinned like the Lenovo Vibe series phones. But just like the Moto phones, the OS does have some custom apps and some bloatware in the form of 9Apps, Hasoffer, Hotoday and so on.
It comes with a U Health app which monitors your daily steps and shows you daily, weekly, monthly charts, just like Google Fit. There are slight variations with accessing the quick menu. You will need to swipe from bottom upwards and you see a floating quick options menu. This is a stupid attempt at trying to ape Apple, and I didn’t like it much. Half the time you end up the home soft key or have to swipe up multiple times to bring up the quick options. Notifications can be accessed by swiping from top downwards as usual. Lenovo could have just gone and added another tab beside the notifications which is the most sensible thing to do. You get a 2×4 grid of quick options which can be swiped to reveal more options.
But the most interesting addition is the home button / finger print scanner customisations. Called the U touch fingerprint sensor, it supports certain gestures on the button. For instance, pressing on the button once takes you to the home page, pressing the button twice brings up recent apps, swiping left and right on the button opens previous apps and so on. It is a nice implementation
You can switch off the onscreen buttons thereby getting more screen real estate. Long pressing home button or long touch on the home button can also trigger further actions, such as going to sleep, apps history, notification centre or even triggering an app to open. This is one of the most fun implementation of the button I have seen and really does cut down thumb travel.
Performance: 8 / 10
Call quality is quite good and the earpiece speaker is loud enough even in traffic situations. The audio speaker on the base sounds muffled though. There were many instances where I could barely hear audio while playing some videos, despite being on maximum volume level. It is best to get a good pair of earphones.
Benchmark scores are in line with what one gets with the Xiaomi Mi 5, and slightly lower than that of the OnePlus 3, LG G5, HTC 10 among the Snapdragon 820 chipset sporting phones. Barring the multi-core score on the Geekbench 4 score, there weren’t any discrepancies in other scores.
Gaming performance was quite good with no frame drops observed while playing Asphalt 8: Airborne, Dead Trigger 2, Modern Combat 5. The maximum temperatures as recorded by the Fluke IR thermometer on the back of the Z2 Plus after a heavy gaming session were around 35 degrees Celcius. While shooting for longer periods does heat up the phone, but again the temperatures aren’t unbearably hot. The heat management is good overall.
Fingerprint scanner is good, though not the fastest around. But the major U touch feature which lets you program your home button to perform tasks such as swiping left and right, long press and long hold, works quite well. Yes, there is a slight learning curve involved. But once you have set it up, you are good to go.
Publish date: October 14, 2016 1:22 pm| Modified date: October 14, 2016 1:47 pm
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