Samsung and Lenovo recently launched interesting affordable smartphones in India in a bid to take advantage of the growing popularity of budget premium phones in the market. Lenovo launched the ZUK Z1 on Tuesday, a day after Samsung showed off its 2016 version of the Galaxy J5 in India. Both smartphones are rivals in a similar price range, but there are other alternatives at a cheaper budget.
In this article, we are comparing Lenovo ZUK Z1, Samsung Galaxy J5 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, which although in a lower price range gives tough competition. Before we get started, it is better to understand where these smartphones stand in terms of pricing. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (32GB) is priced Rs. 11,999, the ZUK Z1 is Rs. 13,499 and the Galaxy J5 costs Rs. 13,990.
Lenovo ZUK Z1 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 feature the same displays, measuring 5.5 inches with full HD resolution and 401ppi. The Redmi Note 3 display offers 178-degree viewing angle with Sunlight display tech and night mode. Lenovo ZUK Z1 boasts of anti-fingerprint coating, display polariser coating and GFF whole-bonding process.
Samsung Galaxy J5 (2016) features a 5.2-inch Super AMOLED display, but has lower screen resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels.
There is a stiff competition in this category. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 sports a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with PDAF, dual-tone LED flash, dual ISP and HDR and a 5MP front-snapper with 36 smart beauty profiles for better selfies.
Lenovo ZUK Z1 comes with a 13-megapixel Sony EXMOR RS sensor with 1.2µm, dual LED flash, OIS, 5-physical lens and f/2.2 aperture. On the front side of the device, there is an 8MP snapper with 1.4µm pixel, OV8865 sensor equipped with OMniBSI-1 technology.
Samsung Galaxy J5 also sports an impressive combination of camera sensors. It has a 13MP primary camera and a 5MP front snapper with f/1.9 aperture on both sides, which is the largest in this comparison.
It is hard to pick which smartphone has a better camera unless we do a side-by-side comparison review of all three phones. Spec-wise, all three phones seem to do reasonably well.
Processor, RAM and storage
It appears we have a winner here. Lenovo ZUK Z1 comes is powered by a 2.5GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, paired with 3GB RAM and 64GB storage, which is quite impressive. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 CPU, which is backed by 3GB RAM and mere 16GB of storage. Samsung Galaxy J5, on the other hand, has a 1.2GHz quad-core CPU under the hood with 2GB RAM and 16GB expandable memory.
For those who value performance, the ZUK Z1 is a clear winner.
Battery and software
Lenovo ZUK Z1 appears to have the biggest battery, of 4,100mAh, which the company claims to offer up to 38 hours of 4G talk time. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 also seems to have an almost identical battery unit of 4,050mAh, which according to the company can last up to 14 hours on GPS navigation. Finally, the Galaxy J5 comes with a 3,100mAh battery with nearly 369 hours' standby.
All three phones are based on Google's Android platform, but Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 runs its own MIUI 7 on top of it and Lenovo ZUK Z1 has Cyanogen OS 12.1.
Lenovo ZUK Z1 and Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 come with fingerprint scanners for security, which is missing from the Galaxy J5. All three phones support 4G LTE and dual SIM card. The ZUK Z1 has the latest industry-standard USB Type-C connector, which throws in some extra value.