User Review A Smartphone for the geeks, Lenovo Z2 plus @8k rs


First off, full disclosure I am not affiliated with Lenovo/Zuk or Amazon or the Seller yaantra, your experience might be completely different from mine, however I think the possibility of it being bad is very low, and if you do what I've done, you'll likely end up with a very similar experience.

I've been using the Z2 Plus for the last 3 weeks, got it as a refurb unit on Amazon for 7999rs. Yep, a steal for that price, especially since new phones like the redmis of the world come with much lower specs at that price range. Quick spec sheet rundown;

4GB RAM, 64GB storage, Snapdragon 820, 3500mah battery, 13mp camera.

For all that hardware, the price is beyond fantastic. Another huge attraction for me is compactness. This is a 5" device, 68.6mm wide, perfect for one handed use unlike every single 5.5" device out there, and the overall package is incredible. Build is a classic glass sandwich design which helps give it a premium feel, the sides are very reminiscent of iPhone SE and older devices which had that solid grippable candybar feel, love it.

Display is fantastic at 1080p, the guys at notebook check did a cool indepth analysis of the LCD and found it to be very good, I'd agree. The specs also mean it's better than any 10,000rs mid ranger today (820 slightly edges over the 636 and 660 in CPU and a huge upgrade in GPU) and the price to performance was insane at 7999, especially considering this device launched at 19,990.

The Refrub unit came in a day from Delhi seller yaantra mobiles, good amazon packaging but the actual phone box was messeddddd up, really dirty and smashed, looked like it sat in dust for a while. Opened it up worried that I got a bad device, thankfully it was absolutely unscratched, as good as new, and came with the charger and Type-C cable. Lenovo originally included a thin TPU case with the device which was missing, but that's fine.

Now onto the device itself, the stock software IMO was horrendous. Heating up like a bee-sting, laggy, weird custom interface over stock android that felt off. Immediately proceeded to ZUK's unlocking page, put in the handset serial number (added a zero because it was only 7 digits weird), got the unlocked boot img, flashed, twrp'd, the whole thing all under 30 minutes. Installed 8.1.0 based custom rom (I chose the AEX rom but there's plenty of great ones out there), and got all my apps back on.

Now it felt great, but the device was still heating up a little bit, so I decided to install Kernel Aduitor and enable Thermal throttling. Poof, heating gone completely, the 14nm cpu is now super efficient, and stock android breezes through daily use with smoothness, and performance is still top notch. Ran some benchmarks, Antutu 7 did 152k with throttling ON, and 172k with throttling off (but it did get very very hot). I think that slight performance hit is ok if the device can stay cool. PUBG Mobile played nicely over 30fps on medium settings with throttling on, but obviously that sucks up battery a lot, so one 30 min round took away 25% battery. Expected for a beastly processor like this I believe.

Last thing was the camera, which was mediocre on the stock rom. Thankfully the Google HDR cam app is ported over to SD820 devices with custom roms, so installed the apk (I used Arnova's Pixel2Mod_v6) and wow... The cam is now mind blowing. It has portrait mode, is capable of 60fps video at 1080p, or 30fps video at 4k, or even 120fps SloMo at 1080p. The images are solid when the HDR+ Enhanced profile kicks in, of course its no Galaxy S9, but in reality for the price I'd say they're Fantastic and better than most other cameras. No other 8k phone can do what this thing is doing!

Granted it has only been a few weeks, but so far my experience has been phenomenal. If you use custom roms on devices, and are looking for a new device, I would recommend this device so much, especially if you can get it for under 10k refurb, yaantra mobile had some more discounts on their site bringing the price down to 6400 but I didn't risk it, got it via Amazon just in case. Careful though as there are two models, 3GB/32GB and 4GB/64GB, make sure you get the latter for lots of storage and RAM.

Will update my post over the next few weeks with pics and any other experiences, so far loving it!
 

pratzgh1

Pratzgh1
Adept
Try not to drop it, the glass repairs are almost the same price you paid for the entire phone. Enjoy your phone mate. I love the design of this phone and custom ROMs + custom kernel + Google camera HDR = Amazing Android experience. I've revived all my old phones with the same combo.
 

mh09ad5578

the aRchiTect!
Adept
Lovely review mate. Now I would be interested in buying a device with this updated improved software. No time to improvise it. Is it a dual sim phone?
 

arunkc

Member
Disciple
Try not to drop it, the glass repairs are almost the same price you paid for the entire phone. Enjoy your phone mate. I love the design of this phone and custom ROMs + custom kernel + Google camera HDR = Amazing Android experience. I've revived all my old phones with the same combo.
Yeaa it's not exactly durable, no gorilla glass but I've got a skin and screen protector so all good.
Lovely review mate. Now I would be interested in buying a device with this updated improved software. No time to improvise it. Is it a dual sim phone?
Yup dual sim, no micro sd but 64gb config should be sufficient for most I think.
 

Doremon

Well-Known Member
Adept
Nice review @arunkc
I'm looking for a compact , handy, one handed operative, powerful and premium device to replace realme XT bought recently ...

I'll certainly check this phone...
 

6pack

Well-Known Member
ex-Mod
Nice review @arunkc
I'm looking for a compact , handy, one handed operative, powerful and premium device to replace realme XT bought recently ...

I'll certainly check this phone...

This is a 2 year old review. I doubt the phone is even sold now. There are probably 4-5 phones better than this available now.
 

PradUp

Member
Disciple
I tried playing pubg on 60fps low graphics and it was fine for a few minutes but became a stuttery mess after a few minutes. So, I tried the only cpu trolling benchmark on playstore, and it throttles to about 55-60% performance in 10 min test. Also I compared it to a MI Note 7s with Snapdragon 660 ( which also dropped to about 70% ) and to my surprise the average performance in 10min test was better than the Z2's SD 820.
I still think its a good phone for the price I paid but a midrange processor would have better suited it then a flagship one since it doesn't have the thermal capacity to handle that.
Ever since then I always check a phones thermal throttling test because performance between the same processors can differ a lot in different phones.
 

PradUp

Member
Disciple
I couldn't find any videos of Z2 plus cpu test on youtube but here's a video of poco f1 ( a phone I was considered buying but changed my mind after seeing its performance) which exhibits similar performance pattern as Lenovo Z2.
As you can see in the video that the 730 easily out performs the poco f1's 845 after a minute or so.
I think its better to buy a good midrange device than a cheap flagship.
 

retro_gk

Member
Recruit
Well, yes, the Z2 is not meant for gaming. I play NBA2k on mine with no apparent throttling, but I can see it struggling with more demanding games. If you are not on the stock rom, you could always try a custom kernel and tweak the governor to minimise throttling.

A mid-range processor from 2020 will absolutely wipe the floor with a flagship from 2016, but I would not expect the SD845 to perform worse than an SD665. That is probably due to a less than ideal hardware configuration on the part of the manufacturer. If you want to game, get something like a Rog or BlackShark or Red magic; SD845 and no throttling.
 

rehankum

Member
Disciple
Played with it for quite some time, custom rom etc.
Nowadays I don't do much on my phone, just basic things. Just want a phone that works
 

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PradUp

Member
Disciple
Well, yes, the Z2 is not meant for gaming.
How so?
If you are not on the stock rom, you could always try a custom kernel and tweak the governor to minimise throttling.
Tried a lot of ROMs and kernels, even opened the phone and put some thermal paste between the processor and the frame of the phone but could not fix thermal throttling.
A mid-range processor from 2020 will absolutely wipe the floor with a flagship from 2016, but I would not expect the SD845 to perform worse than an SD665.
I assume this is in response to me comparing 660 with 820, but the thing is 660 is not a 2020 processor, it was launched in 2017 just one year after 820. At 100% performance 820 is faster than a 660 in just about everything but since the Z2 throttles so badly it becomes slower than the 660. I'm sure even a snapdragon 652 from 2016 would be faster than an 820 operating at 50-60% of its peak performance. Just to be clear I'm not criticizing the processor, I'm criticizing its implementation.
The point I was trying to make was that the phone should have come with a processor that it could have utilized to its fullest. I think the only truly remarkable think about this phone was that it came with a Snapdragon 820 and that's why I bought it but I never got to use a phone with a snapdragon 820 cause it performed like it had a 650/660 which are perfectly fine processors for day to day use but not good enough for cpu intensive tasks.
If you want to game, get something like a Rog or BlackShark or Red magic; SD845 and no throttling.
There are plenty to phones that are not marketed towards gaming and don't throttle. Also all these phones are bulky and ugly.

I think they should have put a 652 in it and put the saved money toward improving thermal dissipation.
 

retro_gk

Member
Recruit
The screen is too small, imo, and a glass back does not help with grip (or thermal management).

I assume this is in response to me comparing 660 with 820, but the thing is 660 is not a 2020 processor, it was launched in 2017 just one year after 820. At 100% performance 820 is faster than a 660 in just about everything but since the Z2 throttles so badly it becomes slower than the 660. I'm sure even a snapdragon 652 from 2016 would be faster than an 820 operating at 50-60% of its peak performance. Just to be clear I'm not criticizing the processor, I'm criticizing its implementation.

I meant the 730, but you were comparing the 730 to the 845, so it was a misunderstanding on my part.
The point I was trying to make was that the phone should have come with a processor that it could have utilized to its fullest. I think the only truly remarkable think about this phone was that it came with a Snapdragon 820 and that's why I bought it but I never got to use a phone with a snapdragon 820 cause it performed like it had a 650/660 which are perfectly fine processors for day to day use but not good enough for cpu intensive tasks.
The best things about the phone, for me, were the price, size, notification LED and battery capacity. The SD820 was a bonus. The fact that this phone had an SD820 at half the price of other phones should have warned you that corners were likely cut in some places.

There are plenty to phones that are not marketed towards gaming and don't throttle. Also all these phones are bulky and ugly.
As with many other things, you usually have to choose two out of price, performance, appearance.
 

PradUp

Member
Disciple
In what world is 30k = 10k?
What are you talking about? Either use the launch price for both phones ( 28k vs 18k) or use the lowest available price for both phones (10k vs 21k). You can't use the launch price of one phone and use the lowest price for other phone. Also price of smartphones have gone up since the launch of Z2, for example Oneplus 3 (a comparable device) was launched around Z2 for about 27-30k range where as Oneplus 6t was launched for around 38-40k.
Also I paid 15k for a user k20 pro which I think is a great deal.
 

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