Budget and mid-range phones have improved a lot over the last few years. A lot of budget smartphones now have the configuration of a mid-range phone, while some mid-range phones have the looks and features one usually associates with premium flagship devices. And that has given rise to something known as ‘flagship killer’ smartphones.
One such feature is Qualcomm’s top of the line Snapdragon 820 chip which powers several flagships including LG G5 (Rs 42,790) and HTC 10 (Rs 40,900).
Interestingly the same family of chips is being used in a number of mid-range smartphones such as OnePlus 3 and the Xiaomi Mi5.
The latest to join the bandwagon is the Lenovo Z2 Plus which has a slight edge over the two phones on account of its lower pierce tag. The phone will be available in two variants. The 32GB variant which has 3GB RAM will cost Rs 17,999 while the 64GB version with 4GB RAM will retail at Rs 19,999 from 26 September onwards on Amazon.in.
The OnePlus 3, launched in June 2016, is currently selling at Rs 27,999 while the Mi5 is, released in April 2016, selling at Rs 22,999 after the recent price cut.
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The Z2 Plus has all the features that users expect from a mid-range smartphone these days. The finger print sensor is placed at the front panel within the Home button, just like the Mi5 and the OnePlus 3. The device also has a USB Type-C port, which means you won’t have to worry about the orientation of the USB connector any more before charging a phone or for transferring files with a PC. It also means, the phone may support fast charging or faster data transfer. The Mi5 and the OnePlus 3 also have a USB Type-C slot. In terms of connectivity it looks at par with the two phones and supports 4G networks along with VoLTE.
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Small screen vs big screen
The Z2 Plus’ 5-inch screen size is likely to feel a bit restrictive for gaming, but it is not lacking in other aspects. It packs in a resolution of 1,920x1080p and pixel density of 441ppi. The Mi5 is small screen phone too with a 5.1-inch display which has a resolution of 1,920x1080p and pixel density of 428ppi. The OnePlus 3’s big 5.5-inch display gives it an edge over the two, if you prefer big screen phones. However, it has a screen resolution of 1920x1080p and pixel density of 401ppi. Better pixel numbers results in sharper text and picture but that doesn’t always mean the display with lower pixel density or resolution will look visually inferior.
The Z2 Plus is powered by Qualcomm’s 2.15GHz Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor. It has been paired with 4GB RAM in the 64GB version and 3GB RAM in the 32GB version. While the One Plus 3 runs a 2.1 GHz Snapdragon 820 with a whopping 6GB RAM, the Mi5 is powered by a 1.8GHz version of Snapdragon 820 with 3GB RAM. The OnePlus has only a single 64GB variant and the Mi5 has a single 32GB variant. The battery is another area where the Z2 Plus is superior to the two, at least on paper. It has a 3,500mAh battery while the Mi5 and OnePlus 3 have a 3,000mAh battery.
Flavour of Android
With the Z2 Plus, Lenovo hasn’t used its proprietary Vibe UI. Instead it has a plain Android interface on top of Android 6.0 (Marshmallow). The One Plus 3 has a lot in common as it runs Android 6.0 with Oxygen OS which is also a clutter-free version of plain Android interface. The Mi5 runs Android 6.0 but is the odd one out due to its proprietary MIUI, which is resource intensive as well as a feels overwhelming to use.
We cannot really comment on the performance and the user experience of the Lenovo Z2 Plus, till we get to test the phone in detail. But at least on the spec sheet, Lenovo seems to have ticked off all the boxes that one would expect from a powerful flagship killer smartphone.