The Android device maker that’s commonly associated with Lenovo is Motorola, but that’s not the only manufacturer that Lenovo is involved with.
Chinese startup ZUK, a company that’s backed by Lenovo, has announced their take on the affordable smartphone. The ZUK Z1 will launch in China on August 18 at a price of RMB 1799 ($284 USD), with an international release happening “soon.”
In terms of features, the Z1 has a couple of goodies that ZUK wants you to know about. The first is the U-Touch fingerprint reader, which is built in to the device’s home button, similar to Samsung’s Galaxy S6. ZUK says that the U-Touch offers 0.31s identification speed and can be used for mobile payments. Besides authentication, the U-Touch button combines the home, back, menu, app switching, and multitasking into a single button. This works by letting you touch it to go back, press it to go home, double tap to bring up recent apps, and swipe horizontally for multitasking.
Another notable feature of the Z1 is its USB 3.0 Type-C port. ZUK says that that the Z1 is the world’s first phone that offers USB 3.0 Type-C, which enables transfer speeds of up to 500MB per second, 10 times faster than USB 2.0. Since it’s USB Type-C, that means that the port works with reversible cables, and the Z1’s USB OTG feature allows it to charge other phones as well. ZUK plans to offer USB Type-C headphones that offer noise cancellation that don’t require external power.
The ZUK Z1’s full spec list includes a 5.5-inch 1920x1080 display with an 8-megapixel camera on its face, as well as a 13-megapixel shooter with optical image stabilization on its rear. Inside the Z1’s body lives a 2.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon 801 processor, 3GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, and a 4100mAh battery. It runs Android Lollipop beneath ZUK’s custom ZUI.
The ZUK Z1 looks like a nice smartphone, and while its design is definitely reminiscent of the Galaxy S6 and iPhone 6, its low price will allow buyers to get that good-looking design for less than Samsung and Apple’s offerings. USB 3.0 Type-C is a welcome addition, as is its large 4100mAh battery. The inclusion of a Snapdragon 801 is sure to raise some eyebrows, but ZUK says that it offers more consistent performance than Qualcomm’s newer chips.
Here’s to hoping that the international ZUK Z1 launch isn’t too far off so that those of us outside of China can put its Snapdragon 801 and 13-megapixel camera to the test.