Introduction

When talking high-end smartphones in the west, Lenovo is hardly the first company that pops in your head. The Chinese maker's first two attempts at a super premium handset have been hard to find outside of its homeland, but it appears to have enough confidence in the Vibe Z2 Pro to make it a truly global phone. Perhaps claiming to the number 3 spot in China has given the Lenovo the confidence boost it needed to storm the international smartphone market.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro official photos

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro certainly seems fit for the job. It features a 6" QHD IPS LCD display, a Snapdragon 801 chipset with 3GB of RAM all packed in neat-looking metal body with very little bezels around the screen.

As a result the even though the Vibe Z2 Pro sports a massive 6" display, the _phone_ is quite compact - it's 2.1mm shorter than the 5.5" Apple iPhone 6 Plus and that's impressive whichever way you look at it. Here's the rest of the key specs of the smartphone.

Key features

  • 6.0" 16M-color QHD IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with Gorilla Glass 3
  • Android OS v4.4.2 KitKat with custom Lenovo UI
  • LTE Cat 4 support
  • Quad-core 2.5GHz Krait 400 CPU, Adreno 330 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 16MP OIS camera with 2160p video recording @ 30fps, 1080p @ 60fps, 720p @ 120fps
  • 5MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 32GB of built-in storage
  • microUSB 2.0 port with USB host and MHL 2.0
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 4,000mAh Li-Po battery

Main disadvantages

  • No expandable storage
  • Snapdragon 805 would have been a better fit for the QHD resolution
  • Battery isn't user-replaceable
  • No Infrared port

There are virtually no deal-breakers that we can spot right off the bat. The lack of microSD card slot can turn off quite a few users, but the 32GB base storage option should still be enough for the majority. And while the battery isn't user replaceable, its capacity promises to make you forget about it.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro live shots

With a thin waistline of 7.7mm, the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro makes a great first impression and the metal body and QHD screen will aim to keep you happy in the longer run. We'll see if the Vibe Z2 Pro delivers on its promises when we are done with the review.

Let's dive right in and start exploring what Lenovo's smartphone fleet commanding admiral has to offer.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 360-degree view

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is one of the largest smartphones to pay our office a visit lately, but that was always to be expected from a handset with a 6" screen. In fact, Lenovo has done a great job of trimming the bezels and making the _phone_ as compact as it can be.

It measures 156 x 81.3 x 7.7mm, which is slightly shorter and slimmer than the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 - the phone that claims to offer the best screen to body ratio currently in the market. The Vibe Z2 Pro is slightly lighter too, although at 179g we wouldn't say it's a device you can slip in your pocket and forget about.

The Vibe Z2 Pro is just 3 mm taller and wider than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which features a 5.7" display and has roughly the same footprint as the iPhone 6 Plus.

Design and build quality

Lenovo has gone for a metal body for the Vibe Z2 Pro to further underline its premium positioning. The single plate of aluminum at the back extends to the sides and sports a very cool brushed look. We have to admit that we preferred it to be in any other color rather than the gold that our review unit came in.

There's some plastic too - the top and bottom are made from it, but it's of the high-quality matte type so it goes along well with the metal back.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Handling the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

What we are not particularly fond of is the piano black patch at the top of the back panel that houses the phone's 16MP camera lens. There's also a red accent in there, but the whole thing looks a bit out of place here. Still, that's not taking too many points away and the Vibe Z2 Pro is still a looker of a phone.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The piano black finish at the back

The phone also does pretty well as far as handling is concerned - the slim bezels make the huge screen manageable although just as on the other devices in the 5.5"+ niche single-handed usage is out of the question more often than not. We are also no fans of the sharp edges on the four sides. While they certainly look cool, they make holding the phone for prolonged periods of time somewhat uncomfortable - there's no comfortable spot to rest your fingers or palm against.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro stacked up against the competition

The build quality is impeccable, though. There are no squeaks and the phone doesn't bend under pressure. It's fair to note that the back of the phone isn't as tough as it looks. Our test unit had some little dents suggesting that the slim metal plate doesn't particularly enjoy rough handling.

Controls

The front of the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is housing the big 6" QHD display in addition to the three capacitive keys below it: Menu, Home and Back. The side bezels are very thin as we already mentioned. Above the display, there's an earpiece, a 5MP selfie snapper on its right and proximity and light sensors. There's a LED notification light on the top right.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

A look at the Vibe Z2 Pro's front

On the right side, there's the dual-SIM card tray. It requires a SIM ejection pin to pop open. Sorry, there's no microSD card slot here. Below it, there's the unlock key, which is conveniently placed near the center of the phone so it's easier to reach.

The left side is almost bare, with only the volume rocker sitting near the top left corner.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The sides of the phone

Lenovo has placed the single loudspeaker at the bottom to the left of the microUSB port. Next to it, there's the main microphone. The 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The top houses the 3.5mm jack • The main speaker is at the bottom

Near the top of the back panel there's the 16MP camera with optical image stabilization and dual LED flash. The Sony-made BSI 16:9 sensor can record 4K video as well as 720p video at 120fps, making it one of the most impressive sounding packages in the market. We'll see if it also performs as well in real life in a while.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The camera module is a love-it-or-hate-it affair

Below the camera section, there's a not-too-big Lenovo logo, leaving the rest of the back free to showcase the cross-brushed aluminum pattern.

Display

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro sports a 6" IPS LCD screen with a 2560 x 1440 pixel resolution. The pixel density meter stops at the eye-popping 490 ppi.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The 6" QHD display is fantastic

The company has given you a lot of control over its image quality by including a special menu to adjust the display modes. There's the standard configuration, comfort, super bright and the option to manually adjust saturation, tone and contrast.

Finally, you can switch on the Smart brightness option if you want the phone to detect any hard lights hitting the display and adjusting its brightness automatically. The display is covered with a protective layer of Gorilla Glass 3, making it more resistant to breaking and scratches.

The matrix is a standard RGB type with an equally sized red, green and blue pixels. Here's the display matrix of the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro shot with our digital microscope.

The black levels of the Vibe Z2 Pro display are good and the brightness is adequate at both 50% and 100%. However, the contrast is only average and the colors are a bit too saturated for our taste. Viewing angles are very good with very little shift in color and contrast.

You'll have no problems viewing the display of the phone in direct sunlight, too.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 0.23 196 846 0.64 562 876
Huawei Ascend Mate7 0.11 149 1428 0.37 530 1428
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 291 399
LG G3 0.14 109 763 0.72 570 789
Nokia Lumia 1520 0.22 263 1174 0.43 522 1207
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.17 208 1197 0.52 705 1361
Sony Xperia Z3 - - - 0.65 866 1333
HTC One (M8) 0.2 245 1219 0.46 577 1256


Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Battery life

Since the Vibe Z2 Pro has a lot of space inside it, Lenovo has managed to fit a whopping 4,000mAh battery. And while that number is certainly impressive, it's worth pointing out that it's not the largest in the segment - the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 sport a 4,100mAh battery.

Still, we are very pleased with what the power autonomy of the Vibe Z2 Pro. We ran our usual set of battery tests: 3G talk time, video playback, web browsing and stand-by. While the huge pixel-dense screen meant scores in the video and web browser department were good, but not quite record-breaking, the excellent stand-by endurance gave the Vibe Z2 Pro a solid score of 76h.

You can find more about our battery testing procedure here.

On top of that, the company has baked in a handy power manager app. It gives you a clear reading of what battery power you have left and an estimation of how much usage it will give you. There are also three modes you can pick from: normal, power saving and emergency. Power saving mode will block apps running in the background and also downclock the CPU a bit to make the phone more economical, while still retaining most of its functionality.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The Power Management app

Emergency mode goes a bit extreme by enabling only calling and messaging. Anything else on the phone is disabled, allowing it to spread that remaining charge over several hours or even days.

Another cool feature of the Power manager app is the Power saving engine, which optimizes the phone's brightness by using "sine wave power-saving technology". Lenovo estimates it can reduce power consumption by 5-30%. There's a similar option for the GPU and its power reduction goes as far as 25%. If you want to get even more juice out of the battery, the app allows you to schedule a timed shut down of the phone.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Freezing apps from drawing power

You can freeze apps and see a detailed graph of the power consumption. The latter is separated into software and hardware. The software part is akin to the stock Android battery graph, while the hardware shows you how much power the CPU, screen, radio, Wi-Fi and other hardware components draw out.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Turning the phone automatically on and off is a cool feat

Finally, there's the option to optimize power consumption. The button is located at the bottom and upon pressing it the app detects what draws the most power and offers you advice on how to fix it. It's clear that Lenovo has turned special attention to getting the most out of the Vibe Z2 Pro battery.

Connectivity

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro comes with truly global quad-band 2G/GPRS/EDGE and penta-band 3G with HSPA (up to 42Mbps downlink and 5.7Mbps uplink). The six-band Category 6 LTE support (50Mbps of uploads and 300Mbps downloads) is not the best around, but it still covers plenty of big names in the 4G business.

The phone is available in single SIM a Dual SIM configurations. The latter has a dedicated SIM management section in its settings menu. It allows you to choose which SIM card is active and the default SIM to place voice calls, use data connection or send messages.

Local connectivity is covered by dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n with DLNA, so you can easily play media (photos, videos, music) from DLNA-enabled storage devices or push content from your phone to a DLNA-compatible TV or music player. There's also a Wi-Fi display app to connect the phone to an external display using Micracast.

Bluetooth 4.0 is also on board with A2DP, EDR, and LE. The microUSB 2.0 port supports USB host so you can attach USB flash drives or connect peripherals.

GPS and GLONASS support is enabled. There's an FM radio and NFC on board, leaving infrared blaster as the only connectivity feature missing.

User interface

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat out of the box complete with Lenovo's thoroughly skinned Vibe 2.0 user interface layer. As is often the case with Chinese phone makers, we can't help but notice a lot of similarities between the UI skin and Apple's iOS as far as general organization is concerned.

Nevertheless, Lenovo's approach is clean and unobtrusive. It features a lot of additions to the stock Android functionality, without making everything too cluttered.

Check out our quick walkthrough of Lenovo's custom Android work in the video below.

Starting with the lockscreen, it's the standard Android affair displaying a date widget and, depending on the theme you've chosen, up to four shortcuts for the phone dialer, camera and messaging apps. Lenovo has ditched the lockscreen widgets that come stock with Android, though.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The lockscreen doesn't offer much customization

Beyond the lockscreen we find a fairly standard Android homescreen with up to 18 homescreen panes available at your disposal. That's a lot of space, but then again, Lenovo doesn't have a dedicated app drawer, so you might need more of it than you expect. With no app drawer, anything you install pops up on the homescreen, akin to a Xiaomi smartphone, where it coexists with your widgets.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The homescreen doubles as an app drawer

You can group the app in folders, which look a lot like the folders on iOS 8. Anyway, a pinch gesture on the homescreen gets you to the management screen - from there, you can rearrange, delete and add panes. That's where you also choose the default homescreen that you go to when you press the home button.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Managing the homescreen panes

Tapping the Menu button on the homescreen gives you quick access to themes, wallpapers, desktop settings and screen manager. From here, you can also add and remove widgets.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Tapping the menu button gives you more options

Theme center allows you to change the look and feel of the user interface. There are several built-in themes, which change the wallpaper, the boot animation, ringtones, user interface elements and app icons. You can also change boot animations and lockscreen styles separately.

The notification area features a row of five user-selectable shortcuts and can be expanded by a swipe down to unveil ten more. You can specify their order from the notification bar settings menu.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The notification area and its settings

We can't help but notice that Lenovo hasn't added a dedicated Do Not Disturb mode. Still, there are four customizable audio presets so you can quickly change your ringtone and notification settings.

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is literally a handful and as such often requires two-handed operation. To get around it, you get Micro screen, which allows you to make the UI more suitable for one handed use by shrinking its size. To enable it, draw the letter C from the top right corner down..

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The Wide Touch feature

The Features tab of the Settings menu contains the interestingly sounding 3D gestures, which let you perform gestures to control the Vibe Z2 Pro. You can answer or decline calls by swiping up or down the screen and also control video playback.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

All gesture features

However it didn't quite work for us and proved to be quite buggy. Here's hoping Lenovo polishes those in upcoming firmware updates.

A long tap on the Menu capacitive key reveals the app switcher. Swiping an app up removes the app from memory and closes it. A slide to the right shows you the available RAM and a button to clean all open apps from it.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The app switcher

The custom Lenovo launcher sports a number of features such as wallpaper scrolling and replacing the wallpaper at will. The latter enables you to change the wallpaper from the homescreen by sliding from the top right corner diagonally. Other settings include desktop transition animation as well as backup and restore.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The advanced custom launcher settings

Adding a widget is straightforward. You have to long press on an empty spot on the homescreen and the widget bar surfaces. Then, it's simply a matter of tapping the widget you want to appear after selecting a homescreen with enough free space on it.

Finally, Google Now integrates with your Google account and can access your daily routine, internet searches, email, etc. and give you information relevant to your interests and daily needs.

It provides traffic information to your work or home, knows the scores of sports teams you follow and gives you the weather forecast for your location. It's great for at-a-glance info, but can handle voice input as well. It also has a dedicated homescreen/lockscreen widget.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Google Now

Performance

Under the hood of the Vibe Z2 Pro ticks a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 chipset (MSM8974AC) with a 2.5GHz quad-core Krait 400 CPU and an Adreno 330 GPU clocked at 500MHz. There's also 3GB of RAM, which is plenty even if you are running multiple heavy apps simultaneously.

The Krait 400 CPU architecture has proven to be fast in almost every use case. However, the QHD resolution of the 6" IPS display is going to make the Adreno 330 GPU sweat a bit in the GPU-based benchmarks.

So, our first test inspects the raw CPU performance. In the multi-OS GeekBench the Vibe Z2 Pro slid just under the iPhone 6 Plus, the Galaxy Note 4 and some way behind the Huawei Ascend Mate7, which employs the Kirin 925 chipset with four 1.8GHz Cortex-A15 cores.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    3165
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2925
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    2884
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2709
  • OnePlus One
    2663
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2563

The compound Antutu 5 saw the Vibe Z2 Pro place behind the Snapdragon 805-powered Galaxy Note 4, but ahead of the Ascend Mate7.

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    46824
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    42460
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    41510
  • LG G3 - EU version
    39905

Basemark OS saw the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro slide lower down the ranks as its QHD screen takes its toll on the chipset.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    1222
  • OnePlus One
    1196
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    1181
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1126
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    1120
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1116
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    830

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    4031
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2588
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2334
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2216
  • LG G3 - EU version
    2213
  • OnePlus One
    2213

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    15012
  • OnePlus One
    10234
  • LG G3 - EU version
    9611
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    9604
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    9446
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    9332

The Adreno 330 GPU inside the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro managed average 1080p offscreen results in GFXBench's 2.7 T-Rex and 3.0 Manhattan tests. As expected it's on par with the LG G3, which also features a QHD display and the same GPU.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    44.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    41.7
  • OnePlus One
    28.3
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    27.2
  • LG G3 - EU version
    27.2
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    16.4

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus One
    30
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    26.4
  • LG G3 - EU version
    20.5
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    19.5
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    17.4

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    18.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    18.5
  • OnePlus One
    12.1
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11.4
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    11.3
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    8

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • OnePlus One
    12.9
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    11.2
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    8.5
  • LG G3 - EU version
    7.2
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    6.9

Gaming benchmark Basemark X gives the Vibe Z2 Pro a score some way off the leaders, showing that a high-res screen like that could have done with a more potent GPU.

Basemark X

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    18684
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    18297
  • OnePlus One
    13129
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    11875
  • LG G3 - EU version
    11552
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    6501

In terms of web browsing, the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro did a great job at Kraken 1.1 where it beat the iPhone 6 Plus and the Galaxy Note 4. However, its HTML performance wasn't up to scratch and in BrowserMark 2.1, the Lenovo flagship came behind the LG G3.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    4650
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    5351
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    5567
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    6072
  • LG G3 - EU version
    6987
  • OnePlus One
    7008

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3389
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    2208
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    1543
  • LG G3 - EU version
    1474
  • OnePlus One
    1339
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    795

Standard phonebook

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro comes with a very streamlined phonebook . It is laid out across four tabs: dialer, contacts, messaging and favorites. You can view either single contacts or groups as well as blacklist entries. Tapping on a contact brings up a popup with access to a contact's scrollable info.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The phonebook

As on most Android launchers, you can assign a plethora of contact information including custom ringtones and images. You can link contacts too, if you've added the same person on multiple services.

You can also search for contacts or filter them by their first letter.

Great telephony

We didn't experience any issues with the quality of the calls we placed with the Vibe Z2 Pro. The voices sounded crisp and clear on both ends. The proximity sensor makes sure the screen stays off when you hold the phone to your face.

Flipping the phone on its face while it's ringing would mute the call ringing. As we already mentioned in the user interface portion of the review, you can also place a 3D gesture to pick up a call, but it didn't work at all during our testing.

The secondary noise cancelling microphone ensures a quieter background for your voice while in call.

The dialer and the call log share the same screen. The dialer offers smart dialing and it works both with names and numbers.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The Smart Dial works like a charm

We put the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro through our traditional loudspeaker test and it scored an Average mark which means you'll have to keep the phone near you if you don't want to miss any calls. Here's how it stacks up to the competition.

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 67.3 65.7 66.5 Below Average
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 66.7 66.6 72.7 Average
Huawei Ascend Mate7 66.7 65.7 75.7 Good
Nokia Lumia 1520 73.7 67.7 74.7 Good
LG G3 70.2 66.6 80.2 Good
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 74.7 73.5 81.6 Excellent


Messaging

The messaging section is business as usual with all SMS/MMS communication is organized into threads. Attaching a photo, video, audio recording or the like automatically turns your message into an MMS.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The messaging app supports MMS

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro also comes with Hangouts, which is another way to handle texts. The latest update lets Hangouts integrate your SMS and MMS messages in addition to Gtalk and Google+ conversations.

For email, the Gmail app includes the four inbox options (Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates) that Google recently introduced in their online interface. The default Email app is similar to Gmail, except that it can handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes, which is useful for when you want to keep track of multiple accounts from one place.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Full-blown email experience

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro employs the stock Android keyboard, which many users like. It stretches nicely on the 6" display and allows for a really quick typing. You can enhance it even further by turning on the Gesture typing. A cool little feature is that you can use the volume rocker to move the cursor left or right when you're in a text box.

Gallery

The gallery of the Vibe Z2 Pro has been heavily customized from the stock Android experience. It can either show all of your photos organized by date or a list of your albums. Tapping on a photo shows it in full screen. Sadly, you can't resize thumbnails using the pinch zoom gesture.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The gallery is a bit limited

Another missing feature is any form of gallery sorting. Whereas many rivals allow you to sort by folders, favorites, people faces or location, that's no possible on the Vibe Z2 Pro.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

You can edit photos on the fly

You can also go into a more capable editor with options for light and exposure adjustments (so you can bring out the shadows or the highlights), filters and beauty enhancements (which detects faces automatically).

Video player

The Vibe Z2 Pro packs a very capable video player that didn't mind most of the video codecs we threw at it. The solitary exceptions were videos with AC3 audio.

The interface is marginally better than the gallery as it offers a few ways to sort the videos. There's also an editor, which allows you to stitch together a couple of videos. However, there's no subtitle support, which is a pity.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The video player interface

The video player comes with a neat trick allowing you to play the video in a floating window. You can resize it by a pinch zoom gesture, too.

Google Play Music spins up the party

Believe it or not, Lenovo hasn't bothered making its own Music app and is using the stock Google Play Music one. Not that this is a bad thing. It features Listen Now feature, which tries to determine what you like and the sequence of your track-changing so that it can start offering you music you might like to play next.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Google Play Music

Google Play Music also gives you the option to upload music onto the Google-branded cloud and stream it on your device via Wi-Fi or mobile data. There's also the nifty option of downloading the content onto the device if you want to have there for connection-less times.

From the Settings key you can get into the equalizer. It can be turned on and off and features several equalizer presets along with a custom user defined one. If you plug in a headset, you can also play around with the Bass boost and 3D effect sliders.

Flagship-grade audio quality

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro aced the first part of our test, where it had to show how it works with an active external amplifier. The phablet achieved excellent scores top to bottom and garnished them with nicely high volume levels - not HTC high, but good enough to keep pace with the rest.

Plug in a pair of headphones and a minor amount of stereo crosstalk creeps in - it's still better tha most of the competition, making up for a very solid overall performance.

And here go the results so you can see for yourselves.

Test Frequency response Noise level Dynamic range THD IMD + Noise Stereo crosstalk
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro +0.04, -0.05 -94.3 93.3 0.0012 0.012 -93.3
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro (headphones attached) +0.03, -0.06 -94.2 91.2 0.011 0.041 -78.1
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 +0.01, -0.04 -96.6 93.4 0.0015 0.0086 -94.2
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 (headphones attached) +0.03, -0.02 -96.8 93.5 0.011 0.035 -55.2
Apple iPhone 6 Plus +0.04, -0.04 -94.0 94.0 0.0013 0.0064 -72.0
Apple iPhone 6 Plus (headphones attached) +0.10, -0.04 -94.0 93.9 0.0016 0.087 -64.1
HTC One Max +0.14, -0.14 -93.8 93.8 0.0009 0.015 -94.1
HTC One Max (headphones attached) +0.26, -0.02 -93.6 93.6 0.026 0.080 -80.4
LG G Pro 2 +0.02, -0.23 -93.8 94.2 0.0040 0.029 -93.3
LG G Pro 2 (headphones attached) +0.07, -0.02 -93.7 93.4 0.050 0.039 -73.5

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro frequency response

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro frequency response

You can learn more about the tested parameters and the whole testing process here.

Great 16MP camera with OIS

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro features a 16MP camera with 16:9 ratio sensor and optical image stabilization. It churns out a maximum image resolution of 5296 x 2960 in 16:9 aspect ratio and 4000 x 3000 in 4:3.

The user interface of the Vibe Z2 Pro camera is friendly and logically laid out. It is separated into two: smart and professional camera. It's a bit hard to find at first, since Lenovo hasn't made it prominent enough. It's located underneath the camera modes options.

In addition, switching between smart and professional modes is annoyingly slow as there's always a long animation to tell you of the switch and you can't turn it off.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The camera interface

Nevertheless, in smart camera mode, everything is straightforward and simple. Tapping on the cog icon on the bottom left corner pops up a well-made half-circle menu. From there you can quickly set up video quality, flash, aspect ratio, location and shoot trigger.

In smart camera, the only shooting modes you can choose are normal, panorama and effects. Things get more interesting in the professional camera.

There, once you're past the slow animation, you are greeted by a more comprehensive reading of the currently selected settings. Swiping the shutter icon to the left (in landscape mode) reveals a series of settings ring similar to the Nokia Lumia camera app that made its debut on the Lumia 1020. You can adjust white balance, focus, shutter speed, ISO and exposure.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The professional camera UI

The main settings menu offers even more choice such as metering method, two-finger AE/AF separation and triaxial leveling. You can also quickly toggle settings on and off from the top settings bar that only appears when in professional camera is on.

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro captures images with nice colors, although their per-pixel detail level is rather mediocre and the dynamic range is limited. The high resolution offsets the first of those shortcomings, the second one remains.

White balance was a little on the bluish side but not overly so. The Vibe Z2 Pro was fast to lock onto focus and took images fast with great shot to shot times.

Add the good contrast and you get pleasing overall results, if not quite chart-topping.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro camera samples

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro managed to get close to subjects and offer detailed macro images. There is a decent separation between object and background creating a slight blur effect.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro macro sample

Each manufacturer has a certain way of dealing with HDR photography. The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro aids plenty of extra detail in both shadows and highlights, and while the processing is nicely mature trying to fit in so much dynamic range is bound to result in a loss of contrast. If you are a fan of the overexaggerated HDR effect, you'll like these shots, otherwise, you might be less than impressed by their surrealistic look.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

HDR Off • On

Naturally, we ran the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro through our pic compare testing procedure and compared it with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and the Huawei Ascend Mate7.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro in our photo compare tool

UHD video

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro offers 2160p videos at 30 frames per second along with 1080p videos at 60fps and slow motion 720p videos.

During video recording the optical image stabilization is constantly working to steady your shot. You can easily see it in effect. Every movement gets smoothened in the viewfinder and videos turn out very steady, even hand-held.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The video shooting interface

UHD videos taken with the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro look great. There's plenty of resolution and detail and the framerate stays steady at 29-30fps. The video is sharp throughout the frame. Colors are nicely punchy even if a bit oversaturated.

As is to be expected FullHD videos at 30fps don't quite as good as the 4K ones. The per-pixel detail is about the same, so it seems there's no pixel binning here, but with far less pixels available the overall result isn't quite as impressive. Still, on their own, the 1080p clips aren't too bad and might become your preferred option if you often run out of storage.

If you want untouched videos here go a 1080p@30fps and 2160p@30fps video files.

And finally you can check out our video comparison tool to see how the 2160p and 1080p videos differ in resolution, color rendition and more. You can also compare the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro with any of the numerous phones and tablets we've tested.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro in our video compare tool

Chrome

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro comes with Google Chrome as the default web browser out of box instead of the generic Android browser. Chrome received a major update recently, which brought a new UI on board. It is now even more pleasant to look at.

Of course, one of Chrome's strengths is its ability to seamlessly sync with the desktop version, using nothing but your Google account. This allows you to open an article on your PC and finish reading it on your mobile phone. It also syncs your bookmarks and favorite sites.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Chrome

Google Chrome is generous with the available settings as well. You can control almost every aspect of your web browsing from choosing what content you want to allow to load like JavaScript, imag.es, cookies and pop-ups. Reduce data usage does what it says - Google servers compress the webpage (using Google-developed tech like SPDY and WebP) and send them to the phone.

Opening the tabs area reveals a list of tabs that can be closed, again with a left or right swipe. Incognito tabs let you browse without saving history or cookies.

Other apps

Lenovo has put a lot of effort to add extra value to its custom UI. One of the cool apps is Security, which performs a check if you have malicious software on your phone or an app has too much access to private information. You can deny it from accessing calls, messages, location and videotaping.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The Security app

On top of that, you can define parental control access and set up an anti-theft password, in case you lose your phone.

There's also a cool looking File manager. It lets you access internal memory and sorts your files into neat categories. You can perform cut, copy and paste operations, too.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The file manager

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro comes with the usual set of flashlight, calendar, clock, calculator, recorder, compass and radio apps. Sadly, the Radio app doesn't support RDS, but balances with beautiful UI.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The Radio app

Finally, there's Google Maps to let you navigate around. The app offers much of the same functionality as its web-based counterpart, although you will need a data connection to take full advantage of the navigation features. Street view mode with digital compass enabled is an especially cool trick.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Google Maps

The best part of owning a smartphone is getting new apps, and when it comes to Android, Google Play Store is the best source for getting your fill. From recommendations to top apps, it features a plethora of ways you can find new apps, and installing an app usually only takes a couple of taps.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is as classy just as it is big. Lenovo has done a great job at putting together a marvelous piece of hardware. The metal build not only looks good, but also gives you that premium feel that's a must for a handset in this price range.

In spite of its massive display, the Vibe Z2 Pro isn't any larger than its competitors. Much like Huawei did with the Ascend Mate 7, Lenovo trimmed the bezels to make the phone manageable, which will certainly broaden its appeal.

The company says the Vibe Z2 Pro is a result of its engineers having no budget to try and stick to and it shows. The 6" display of QHD resolution is excellent, the camera does very well and the materials used for the body are great. We just wished the company went for the latest Snapdragon 805 chip as it would have add the final touch to a perfectly rounded package.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro key test findings:

  • Fantastic and solid aluminum build with very thin bezels
  • The 6" IPS QHD display is sharp, vibrant, but lacks contrast.
  • Great battery life thanks to the 4,000mAh battery, which can be further enhanced using the Power Management app
  • All-round connectivity with LTE Cat.4, dual-SIM option available
  • Overall great performance and great CPU score, but fails at GPU benchmarks
  • Relatively quiet loudspeaker, lacks stereo setup
  • Still images offer a lot of detail and saturation, but not much in terms of dynamic range
  • Great looking 4K videos with a lot of detail
  • Video player handles all video and audio codecs, but not AC3 sound and subtitles
  • Vibe UI v.2 is great, fast and with tons of customizations and added value with custom apps

Mind you, the phone's chipset is the only component that isn't the last word in mobile technology. Everywhere else, the Vibe Z2 Pro can easily trade blows with its rivals - even the ones from the top manufacturers.

As for the software, while we aren't fans of Chinese companies trying to emulate the iOS experience under Android, we have to admit Lenovo has done a good job with its launcher. For the most part it's perfectly intuitive and offers heaps of functionality.

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro isn't without its flaws, though. With a phone so big, we don't see why Lenovo couldn't fit a microSD card slot. We do appreciate the dual-SIM slots, but a cheap memory expansion option would be ideal.

The phablet universe is expanding rapidly and the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is bound to face some very stiff competition. All three major camps (Android, iOS and Windows Phone) offer alternatives to the Vibe Z2 Pro that are worth considering.

The most notable of them is the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. It features a slightly smaller 5.7" Super AMOLED display but of the same QHD resolution. This means a tip in the pixel density scale in Samsung's favor, but also more vibrant colors and excellent contrast. The Galaxy Note 4 doesn't have all metal body, but it's the first from the series with a metal frame and the improved faux leather back is more durable than the metal body of the Lenovo flagship.

Samsung has also worked on a lot of improvements on its TouchWiz UI and it feels more polished than ever. Combined with the mighty S Pen, the phone is a productivity powerhouse. Then again the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is €100 cheaper than its Samsung competitor so the value for money offered is on par.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The newly launched Motorola Nexus 6 offers pure Android experience on a similar 6" QHD display. However, it's a Super AMOLED panel just like the Galaxy Note 4's. Under the hood, there's the more powerful Snapdragon 805 chipset, while at the back the 16MP OIS camera is in control. We don't know how it performs just yet, so we can't make conclusions.

The Nexus 6 is a stretched out second generation Moto X and as a result doesn't have a removable battery or a microSD card slot. If you're an Android purist you should definitely keep an eye on this one.

Motorola Nexus 6

Motorola Nexus 6

Last in the Android camp comes one of the biggest Vibe Z2 Pro competitors, the Huawei Ascend Mate 7. Its compact size, metal build and Kirin 925 chipset arguably come the closest to matching the Lenovo flagship. You will have to settle for a 1080p screen and video recoding that maxes at the same resolution though.

Huawei Ascend Mate7

Huawei Ascend Mate7

In the iOS corner we have the Apple iPhone 6 Plus - the Cupertino giant first try at a phablet. Unfortunately despite only packing a 5.5" 1080p display the Apple smartphone has a footprint almost identical to that of the Vibe Z2 Pro and its aging camera doesn't go a long way to justifying that ridiculous asking price.

However, there's no denying the iOS has its impressive arsenal of weapons so if money's no object the iPhone 6 Plus can certainly be worth a look.

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

Apple iPhone 6 Plus

And if you are on a budget, may we suggest you turn your heads to the Windows phone land and check out the Lumia 1520. It's an year old now and features the dated Snapdragon 800 chipset and 1080p resolution on the similarly sized 6" IPS screen. It's not quite as good a package as the Vibe Z2 Pro overall yet, it's far cheaper and has a very strong weapon in its 20MP PureView camera.

Nokia Lumia 1520

Nokia Lumia 1520

Overall, the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is a great phablet, even if not quite the best out there. Its one layer interface may not be everyone's cup of tea and the lack of expandable storage may turn a few people off, but those looking to get a fresh new interface while saving a few bucks certainly won't regret going the Lenovo way.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 360-degree view

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is one of the largest smartphones to pay our office a visit lately, but that was always to be expected from a handset with a 6" screen. In fact, Lenovo has done a great job of trimming the bezels and making the phone as compact as it can be.

It measures 156 x 81.3 x 7.7mm, which is slightly shorter and slimmer than the Huawei Ascend Mate 7 - the phone that claims to offer the best screen to body ratio currently in the market. The Vibe Z2 Pro is slightly lighter too, although at 179g we wouldn't say it's a device you can slip in your pocket and forget about.

The Vibe Z2 Pro is just 3 mm taller and wider than the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, which features a 5.7" display and has roughly the same footprint as the iPhone 6 Plus.

Design and build quality

Lenovo has gone for a metal body for the Vibe Z2 Pro to further underline its premium positioning. The single plate of aluminum at the back extends to the sides and sports a very cool brushed look. We have to admit that we preferred it to be in any other color rather than the gold that our review unit came in.

There's some plastic too - the top and bottom are made from it, but it's of the high-quality matte type so it goes along well with the metal back.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

Handling the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

What we are not particularly fond of is the piano black patch at the top of the back panel that houses the phone's 16MP camera lens. There's also a red accent in there, but the whole thing looks a bit out of place here. Still, that's not taking too many points away and the Vibe Z2 Pro is still a looker of a phone.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The piano black finish at the back

The phone also does pretty well as far as handling is concerned - the slim bezels make the huge screen manageable although just as on the other devices in the 5.5"+ niche single-handed usage is out of the question more often than not. We are also no fans of the sharp edges on the four sides. While they certainly look cool, they make holding the phone for prolonged periods of time somewhat uncomfortable - there's no comfortable spot to rest your fingers or palm against.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro stacked up against the competition

The build quality is impeccable, though. There are no squeaks and the phone doesn't bend under pressure. It's fair to note that the back of the phone isn't as tough as it looks. Our test unit had some little dents suggesting that the slim metal plate doesn't particularly enjoy rough handling.

Controls

The front of the Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro is housing the big 6" QHD display in addition to the three capacitive keys below it: Menu, Home and Back. The side bezels are very thin as we already mentioned. Above the display, there's an earpiece, a 5MP selfie snapper on its right and proximity and light sensors. There's a LED notification light on the top right.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

A look at the Vibe Z2 Pro's front

On the right side, there's the dual-SIM card tray. It requires a SIM ejection pin to pop open. Sorry, there's no microSD card slot here. Below it, there's the unlock key, which is conveniently placed near the center of the phone so it's easier to reach.

The left side is almost bare, with only the volume rocker sitting near the top left corner.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The sides of the phone

Lenovo has placed the single loudspeaker at the bottom to the left of the microUSB port. Next to it, there's the main microphone. The 3.5mm headphone jack is at the top.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The top houses the 3.5mm jack • The main speaker is at the bottom

Near the top of the back panel there's the 16MP camera with optical image stabilization and dual LED flash. The Sony-made BSI 16:9 sensor can record 4K video as well as 720p video at 120fps, making it one of the most impressive sounding packages in the market. We'll see if it also performs as well in real life in a while.

Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro

The camera module is a love-it-or-hate-it affair

Below the camera section, there's a not-too-big Lenovo logo, leaving the rest of the back free to showcase the cross-brushed aluminum pattern.