When it was launched a few days ago, we had wondered if the Lenovo Z2 Plus could be to the brand what the Mi 3 was to Xiaomi in India (you can read our rationale here). The reason was simple: the device seemed to deliver a lot in terms of hardware and design for a price tag that was well below anything the competition – which includes the likes of the OnePlus 3, the Xiaomi Mi 5 and the LeEco Le Max 2 – had to offer.
Well, we have got our hands on a review unit of the device yesterday and so far, nothing has made us change our opinion. First off, the Z2 Plus is a handsome and surprisingly compact device, thanks to Lenovo’s decision to opt for a 5.0-inch display rather than a larger one, as most of its rivals have of late. At 141.7 mm in length and a thickness of 8.5 mm, the phone is slightly shorter than the Samsung Galaxy S7, if not quite as slim, and at 149 grammes, relatively lightweight. It will fit most hands with ease, we think.
And most hands will be glad to carry it, we suspect, for the Z2 Plus is a very good looking device, evoking strong memories of the iPhone 4 and 4S, with its blend of curved edges and slightly box-like sides, and of course with its glass front and back. Of course, the glass back also makes it smudge-friendly, which is why Lenovo have bundled a case with the phone. But make no mistake about it, this is a phone you won’t mind showing off. We love the black model in particular, which looks like a smooth block of granite. “We should have called it Jet Black,” a Lenovo executive told me with a wink at the launch. They could have. And it would not have compared unfavorably with the one from Cupertino. This is a premium-looking phone, no doubt. And the fingerprint magnetism is a sin it shares with many worthies – the price you pay for being glassy and classy, we suspect!
In terms of design, the Z2 Plus adds a few tweaks to the routine phone design template. The front has the 5.0-inch display with an earpiece and a 8.0-megapixel camera above it, but the fingerprint scanner below the display doubles up – or should we say triples up – also as a home button and as a touchpad of sorts (Lenovo calls it U-Touch), letting you use it as a back or forward button, letting you circle through open apps, go to the previous used apps and back to the current one. Double tapping on the button (or pressing it) takes you to the home screen. It might sound complex, but so far, it works remarkably smoothly and has some customization options as well. There are no other buttons on the device’s front, although you do have onscreen navigation buttons (the standard Android trio of home, back, and recent apps).
The rest of the design leans towards the very minimalistic. The right side has the power/display button and the volume rocker, while the top and the left have been left totally bare. The base has the USB Type-C port, the 3.5 mm audio jack, and a speaker grille. The back is plain glass with just the 13.0-megapixel camera and LCD flash in the top left corner and the Lenovo logo at the base. Interestingly, the phone is built on a frame made of fiberglass, which Lenovo claims is better than metal. All we can say is that it feels good to hold and handle. And is easy to use with one hand – a blessing in these palm-stretched days.
Of course, it is what lies within this frame that is making news – the Snapdragon 820 processor, full HD display, a stack of sensors, 4 GB RAM, 64 GB storage, et al. And we will be putting them through their paces in the coming days. As of now, all we can say is that the Lenovo Z2 Plus does not just have the specs and the price, it has the looks too.
Next up: performance. Watch this space, folks.