Last month when I wrote about the Vivo Xplay5, I praised it for pushing specifications in a new, needlessly powerful direction. It combined a top of the range Snapdragon 820 processor with 6GB of superfast RAM and 128GB of internal storage inside a lovely (and familar) body for £460. Those are all good things, but there’s more than enough room for two phones at the front of the great spec race, and so, the ZUK Z2 Pro has joined the fray.

ZUK is a sub-brand of the Chinese smartphone giant Lenovo (much like Motorola) and the Z2 Pro is only their second effort, but judging from its spec sheet, it promises to be a hit.

ZUK Z2 Pro Front

Headlining that sheet is a Snapdragon 820 2.15GHz processor, a Adreno 530 GPU, 128GB of internal memory, 6GB of LPDDR4 RAM, a Type-C port, front facing fingerprint scanner, Cat 6 LTE, dual Nano SIM slots and a large 3,100 mAh battery with Quick Charge 3.0. If that sounds familiar, it’s because those are almost exactly the same specifications of the Xplay5, but it does break out in some meaningful ways.

ZUK are positioning the Z2 Pro as a fitness focussed device, so that 5.2″ 1080P super AMOLED screen is protected by a 2.5D sheet of Gorilla Glass 3, and goes up to a searing 500 nits of brightness for outdoor usage, but can go as low as 1 nit for reading at night. Oh, and the phone won’t just track your steps, it’ll track uphill movements and running cadence too. Impressively, it’s also got a 100% NTSC and sRGB colour gamut and an industry leading 0.05mm thick black border around the screen.

The back of the phone is again coated in Gorilla Glass 3, but you needn’t worry about it shattering at the first drop. ZUK have tapped into their parent companies laptop expertise and borrowed the rollcage design from the famously tough ThinkPad design to dampen shocks that go through the metal mid-frame.

uk price release date specs

Also on the back is an optical heart rate and oxygen saturation sensor alongside a Samsung made 13MP 1.34um sensor with an f/1.8 aperture, PDAF, OIS and a dual-tone flash for more natural looking evening pictures. on the front, you’ll find an 8MP camera with 1.4um pixels and an f/2.0 aperture.

On the software front, the XUK Z2 Pro runs the ZUK 2.0 skin atop Android 6.01, and can even sync with Apple’s iCloud to make migration away from the iPhone easier. Outside of their native market, however, ZUK have a history of partnering with Cyanogen on software, so the European model might well run that.

ZUK Z2 Pro

Now, on to pricing, and this is where the Z2 Pro will really win you over, because the top of the line Elite model (detailed above) costs just £290, a huge amount less than the similarly specced up Xplay5 and makes it the same price as the much less impressively specced Xiaomi Mi 5. There’ll also be a cheaper ‘Flagship’ model which drops RAM down to 4GB and has only 64GB of internal storage, but no price has been announced for that.

The Z2 Pro is up for pre-order now in China and is available in either black or white hues. As always, you’ll be able to find it through one of our trusted resellers.

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Ten fingers, five senses, one man, loads of Chinese smartphones.

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