2015 is the year of affordability it seems. Not only have we seen some killer budget devices like the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3 and the Asus ZenFone 2, we’ve also been greeted with several flagship-level devices that still manage to undercut the likes of LG and Samsung, such as the OnePlus 2, ZTE Axon, and the Motorola Moto X Pure (aka Style). And now the Lenovo-owned ‘startup’ ZUK has arrived to give users yet another affordable option with the ZUK Z1, which will be priced at just 1,799 yuan (roughly $280).
At first glance, the Z1 looks like a rather generic smartphone that takes inspiration from Samsung devices like the older Note 2, but there are a few features under the hood that make it stand out on its own. First and foremost, the Z1 has a Type-C USB port. While we’ve already seen this with the OP2, the big difference here is that the Z1 is actually a USB 3.1 port, meaning ultra-fast speeds in addition to the new cord standard. The phone also offers a rather massive 4,100 mAh battery, which should hopefully provide fairly solid battery life.
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In many ways, the Z1 is a near-flagship device, but one curious difference can be found in the processing package. Instead of giving us a Snapdragon 810 or 808, we see a much more modest Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor. The reason, according to ZUK, is that the chip provides much more constant reliability and stability over newer-gen Snapdragons. Given all the drama that Qualcomm has seen this year, that’s not entirely untrue either.
As for the rest of the specs, we’re looking at a 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display, 3GB RAM, 64GB storage, a 13MP main cam, 8MP front cam, dual nano-SIM slots, a fingerprint scanner, and a 4100 mAh battery. On the software front, you’ll find a customized ZUI ROM based on Android Lollipop.
Overall, the phone doesn’t look half bad. At the moment it is unclear if the phone will ever make its way outside of China (and perhaps its neighboring Asian countries), but if it did — would you be at all interested in considering one?