Lenovo Z5 Pro Review: Beats Both Magic 2 and Mi MIX 3

First, Xiaomi announced the Mi MIX 3 and said it was the first to apply for the patent of the sliding smartphone. Later, the Honor Magic 2 was uncovered, coming with an identical design, but with 6 cameras. Yesterday, the much-anticipated Lenovo Z5 Pro was unleashed. Today, Lenovo Group Vice President released a comparison chart of the Z5 Pro with the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 and the Honor Magic 2 through his official Weibo channel. Seems it’s the winner. At first sight, the Z5 Pro is the cheapest model and it should take this title. But everything is not as clear as you think. At the same time, Lenovo announced it had applied for the patent 500 days before Xiaomi did. We have a feeling this competition will become very cruel and dangerous. But it is still unpredictable whether the sliding screen design will go viral. We mean there is another approach, brought by the Nubia X. Maybe it’s the beginning of a new era. Anyway, we just have to take a closer look at Lenovo’s epoch-making smartphone.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Lenovo Z5 Pro Appearance

Of course, in this review, we should start with the most eye-catching appearance and break down one by one to solve all your doubts and curiosity about the Z5 Pro.

Compared with the Lenovo Z5, the Z5 Pro, which uses the sliding structure design, completely eliminates the troubles of the front camera module and the handset and makes the screen ratio even higher. Lenovo claims to have reached 95.06%. This is the highest screen ratio in the smartphone market. The Z5 Pro sports a 6.39-inch Super AMOLED display with a 19.5:9 aspect ratio and a 2340×1080 pixels resolution. The chin’s width is 4.98mm due to the COP packaging technology, while the rest three borders are at 2.07mm only. At the same time, it supports an HDR10 enhanced picture quality, with a DCI-P3 wide color gamut. Due to them, the phone can achieve digital film-level color performance standards.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Moreover, compared with the motor lifting structure and magnetic sliding screen design that appeared in the market before, the design of the mechanical sliding screen is undoubtedly more concise and reliable. According to the official introduction, the Lenovo Z5 Pro features a six-position sliding structure with parallel dual-axis and seamless connection. Lenovo said it pioneered the dual-coil power system with kinetic energy feedback, offset deflection and horizontal stability. As for the latter, it has a life of 300,000 times. As you remember, at the Mi MIX 3 launch conference, Xiaomi announced they were the first to apply for a sliding phone patent. But today, Lenovo issued a statement, according to which, they have applied for similar patents 500 days earlier.

Lenovo Z5 Pro’s back also uses the Corning Gorilla Glass as well as a ceramic light-sensitive coating technology, with the streamlined G3 quad-curved design. Plus, according to Lenovo, the scratch resistance of the fuselage has increased by 40%. On the other hand, although the Z5 Pro is not too thin, it is similar to the Sony XZ2 and HTC U11. The large curved back design makes the whole machine look quite attractive.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

 Wait, where is the fingerprint? Lenovo launched a smartphone with a full screen + screen fingerprint on the price of two thousand yuan. Actually, this phone is equipped with the fifth generation of the radio screen fingerprint recognition module, which is the thinnest reader with a thickness of 0.98mm, which is 25%-40% thinner than the industry average. At the same time, the fingerprint slide rail space is shared, which reduces the thickness by 1.1mm. At the same time, the recognition rate is as high as 99.92%, and it can unlock the phone in 0.2 seconds. Its cost is 50%-60% higher than the ordinary module.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

The new screen fingerprint technology provides a clearer fingerprint image generation, which also works quite fast and accurate. In our actual experience, the Z5 Pro’s screen experience is not bad, and the wet hands do not affect the unlocking.

Lenovo Z5 Pro Performance

In addition to the stunning design of the Lenovo Z5 Pro, under the hood, our protagonist sports a pseudo-flagship chip. But it’s been improved a lot. The phone is packed with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710AIE Turbo chip, with six-dimensional hardware acceleration, including epoch-making AI RF tuning, quad tuning system, chip-level payment security, night-time extreme power saving, original App Turbo ejection start, a new generation of NFC chips and so on. The SoC is also paired with a 6GB of RAM.

Due to this hardware, the Lenovo Z5 Pro scores over 120,000 in AnTuTu. Of course, it is too far from the performance provided by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 of the Mi MIX 3 and the Kirin 980 of the Magic 2. But this chip is considered to be a quasi-flagship chip. In other words, it provides a Snapdragon 8xx series-like performance at a lower price.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

This is the case when we recommend to ignore the benchmark scores and take into account only the actual experience. To showcase the smooth and stable performance of the Lenovo Z5 Pro and Snapdragon 710, we played the Honor of Kings and PUBG. As you can see, the phone faces no problem when running this games and the frames are at the highest level.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Honestly, the half of the gratitude should be given to Atom Engine. It is a new addition to ZUI 10. It can accelerate game performance and add hardware control to it.

In addition, this generation of the Z5 Pro has added surround sound effects, and the combination of sound and picture has brought the gaming experience to the next level.

On the system, the Lenovo Z5 Pro runs on ZUI 10 based on Android 8.1. The overall UI design is simple and elegant. The addition of small functions such as full-screen gesture operation 4D U-Touch, negative screen, and application avatar is also acceptable.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Thanks to the comprehensive screen design, the Lenovo Z5 Pro abandoned the operating logic of Android’s three capacitive buttons, and instead used the gesture sliding operations – slide from the bottom of the screen to trigger the return operation, slide from the bottom of the screen and pause to return to the home page, and slide from the bottom inward to call out multitasking.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

In actual experience, the Lenovo Z5 Pro’s gesture operation only requires a few times to be trained. The learning cost/time is very low, that is, it has gained a humanized operation experience, and it can enlarge the screen ratio, which can be described as two birds with one stone.

Lenovo Z5 Pro Camera

In addition to the design and performance, the Lenovo Z5 Pro is also one of the best camera products of the company. It equipped with a 24MP + 16MP Sony AI dual-camera (SONY IMX576 + SONY IMX519). The main camera uses a 1/2.6-inch large-size photosensitive module, a 1.8?m equivalent large pixel, and supports backlight AI super-picture quality, night scene AI super picture quality, AI video super picture quality functions. On the front, there is a 16MP + 8MP camera, supporting 80 degrees zero light face unlock.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

The new hardware is equipped with a new upgraded software algorithm, which makes the Z5 Pro have more perfect color reproduction, exposure control, and noise reduction processing. As a result, the details are more delicate and the background blur is more real and natural. The SONY IMX519 is equipped with F/1.8 large aperture and the hardware 8-frame synthesis algorithm can display the back-light AI super-picture quality, while the IMX576’s 1.8-micron equivalent pixel area and the 7-large de-noising algorithm can achieve the night scene AI super picture quality, with the exclusive ISP-level PIPE Line.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Let’s take a look at the samples of the Lenovo Z5 Pro:

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

From the daytime samples, we can find that the color reproduction of the Lenovo Z5 Pro is good. Even in the strong light, we can express the color of the flower itself. In the dark environment, the photos are very transparent. There is no obvious noise, and the exposure of the highlights is taken into account. There is no overexposure.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Nowadays, consumers pay more attention to the selfie-taking capabilities of smartphones. The Lenovo Z5 Pro gives a good beauty effect and light effect gameplay through powerful hardware parameters and AI software optimization. Moreover, with the help of the front infrared camera, the Z5 Pro can also achieve zero-light face unlocking, which is very convenient when using phones at night.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Lenovo Z5 Pro Battery

Because of the slide structure design, the battery capacity of the Lenovo Z5 Pro is slightly affected. It is 3300mAh. Of course, in addition to the battery size, system optimization and processor power consumption are equally important. We conducted a five-hour heavy battery life test. The test results are as follows:

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

After five hours of heavy testing, the Lenovo Z5 Pro still has 28% of its power. Under heavy operation, it can basically meet our daily use.

Lenovo Z5 Pro XiaomiToday Review

Also, the Z5 Pro supports QC3.0 flash charging technology, which can achieve up to 18W output power. After half an hour of testing, the phone is charged to 49%.

The Bottom Line

All the aforementioned features are quite outstanding and can make a tough competition to any of its rivals. But what makes the Lenovo Z5 Pro really inapproachable is its pricing of 1998 yuan. Plus, this handset comes with a slider technology design, screen fingerprints, Dolby panoramic sound, and other high-end flagship-level black technology. Those who complain on the processors should know many of its components are taken from the Snapdragon 8xx series.

In a few days of use, the Lenovo Z5 Pro proves it is a worthy competitor to any top-branded high-end phone. It is not only attractive in terms of the innovative design and ultra-low pricing, but also in terms of many other features such as camera, fast charging, AI-powered UI, etc.

In general, the Z5 Pro is a bucket smartphone with an excellent performance. It is also a bright and sincere work in terms of screen ratio and hardware parameters.


Argam Artashyan

Back in 2010, he was dismissed from his position as a lecturer at the university. This made him get another job at his friend’s digital marketing company as a blog writer. After a few years, when he was thinking the article writing is his mission, Google pushed the Panda update and affected the company and websites he was working at. (Un)fortunately and surprisingly, he got an offer to head a large knitting factory. In 2016, he got his Ph.D. and resumed teaching at the University … and writing tech-related articles following his passion.

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