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Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro Review: Best Phablet Lenovo’s Ever Made

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 07

We review the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro!

For the last two weeks we’ve been playing with Lenovo’s Vibe Z2 Pro, the company’s latest flagship smartphone and their biggest phablet to date. The Vibe Z2 Pro signals a new direction for the company, moving away from the plastic fantastic, gentle curvy design of the Vibe Z and settling in with with the more industrial metal one with the Vibe Z2. We’ve really enjoyed our time with the device, and today we’ll tell you why it might just be your next phablet.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 specs

  • 2.5GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC processor
  • Adreno 330 GPU
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 6-inch QHD IPS display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3, 2560×1440 resolution
  • 32GB of internal storage, non-expandable
  • 16-megapixel rear camera with AF, OIS
  • 5-megapixel camera
  • Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, A-GPS
  • 3G, LTE
  • Android 4.4 KitKat
  • 4000mAh battery

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 01

Really solidly built, aluminum smartphone but is pretty dang slippery

Lenovo has ditched the faux metal plastic finish that they used with the Vibe Z and just went ahead and used the real thing for the Vibe Z2 Pro. The Vibe Z2 Pro’s aluminum body is big, hefty and looks absolutely beautiful, especially with the finish that they applied on the body.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 03

Unlike the Vibe Z that had shapely curves, the Vibe Z2 Pro uses shart, angular designs and industrial design cues in its construction. It looks big, brawny and a little bit menacing to be honest, which is probably what Lenovo went for with their design. The camera module protrudes quite a bit on the back of the device.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 01 (2)

The volume rocker on the Vibe Z2 Pro is located on the left side, while the power button is located on the right, along with the SIM tray. The 3.5mm headphone jack is on top while the USB port is on the bottom. Like the Huawei Ascend Mate 7, the Z2 Pro is slightly smaller than the iPhone 6 Plus while having a big 6-inch, QHD display. Lenovo has achieved this by reducing the size of the bezels of the device, though don’t expect to be able to use the Z2 Pro one handed.

As nice as the aluminum body of the Z2 Pro is, there are certain drawbacks. Using that much aluminum on that big of a phone means that the actual device is pretty heavy. Another much serious issue with the Z2 Pro is that the aluminum back is so slippery, and the non-existent contours of the device will mean that you will struggle with trying to hold it in your hands. Smooth surface + heavy weight = accidental drops. A lot of it, in fact. As nice as the aluminum body is, it’s not impervious to dents and scratches (which our demo unit has a lot of). We highly recommend putting in a bumper or some kind of silicon protection if you like your gadgets pristine. Also, when you lie down and read websites with the Z2 Pro, make sure you’re holding it real tight, or else you’re going to get a nasty welt when it inevitably slips your hand and hits you in the face.

Like we mentioned during our first hands-on, the display of the Z2 Pro looks great, and is very sharp and detailed thanks to the QHD resolution.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 05 Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 04

Good hardware that keeps you running all day

The Z2 Pro is equipped with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 801 processor running at 2.5GHz paired with 3GB of RAM and an Adreno 330 GPU. We were actually a bit concerned that the processor wouldn’t be able to power the smartphone adequately (at least not with the QHD display) but we were pleasantly surprised to see that all the games and apps we ran on the Z2 Pro did so with a lot of gusto, and did not show any kind of hiccups or stuttering.

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Because this is running on Qualcomm’s new-ish silicon, the benchmark scores were pretty much the same lines as your typical flagship running the same hardware.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 04 (2)

Kick ass camera that has a small flaw

IMG_20141216_121558 IMG_20141212_164342 IMG_20141216_125511 IMG_20141216_125202 IMG_20141216_115926 IMG_20141212_152612 IMG_20141212_150857

We really liked the 16-megapixel camera on the Z2 Pro. It managed to capture a lot of detail during daylight, and performed decently during low light. The HDR feature of the camera also allowed us to take decent photos of objects that were being backlit.Probably the biggest issue we have with the camera? Slow focusing. It takes a while for the camera to focus. Some blurred videos was the result of this little shortcoming, though once the camera focuses everything becomes okay.

Good battery life but we were expecting more

The Z2 Pro has a 4000mAh battery, only a few mAh less than the one in the Huawei Ascend Mate7. On paper, that would mean that the Z2 Pro would have the same 2 day battery life with moderate use, right?

Actually, no. The 6-inch QHD display of the Z2 Pro drains a lot of juice, and we only managed around a day and a half under moderate use. It’s not entirely unexpected, although we did expect more from the device.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 08

Verdict: the best phablet Lenovo has made

In the end, the Vibe Z2 Pro is one of the better smartphones to come out this year, and the best phablet that Lenovo has made. It used to be that buying a high-end Android phablet before Christmas meant getting the latest version of the Galaxy Note. No longer. The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro deserves some serious attention for people upgrading to a high-end device this Christmas.

The Lenovo Z2 Pro retails for  Php 29,999.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

3 Comments

  1. ANG GANDA NA SANA MASYADO LANG MAHAL……GANDA NG KANYANG DESIGN… VERY THIN BEZELS BOTH FROM THE 4 sides… sana nga ma gets na ng mga local brands ang ganyang klaseng design di yung poro ang lalaki ng BEZELS at masyadong oblong pa ang smartphone….tapos ang liliit pa ng battery capacity..

    Just suggesting…
    peace….

  2. Actually you get it at online shops for 23k, not bad. To think I almost bought this over the G3! and that’s a compliment by the way. Anyway, that’s beside the point. Lenovo’s got a great phone here to start, give them a year more I think and their gonna make an even greater smartphone. They got the ingrdients right, i.e. aluminum build, QHD, 4000mah battery and a crisp shooting camera. They just need a little more fine tuning especially in power management. Who knows, we might be seeing the next big one domestically. I’m holding my breath for the Vibe Z3.

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