Lenovo’s Z1 Features Full-Speed USB

Lenovo is the newest Chinese manufacturer to include USB-C on its smartphones: this time in the form of the ZUK (unfortunate branding – TA) Z1. Unlike rivals with USB-C, such as the OnePlus 2, however, Lenovo’s phone features USB 3.0 speeds, rather than USB 2.0 – a first for smartphones. USB data rate is up to 500Mbps.

The phone aims to compete with affordable models from Xiaomi, Huawei and other domestic manufacturers. Although it is only available in China at launch (for CNY1,715 ($270)), Shanghai Daily reports that the Z1 will be available overseas through Motorola channels.

A highlight of the phone is its battery: a massive 4,100mAh unit (despite the Z1 only being 8.9mm thick), with fast charging. Once fully charged, if still plugged in, the external power will bypass the battery and go directly to the phone. This should raise the battery’s lifetime.

A fingerprint reader (Lenovo’s ‘U-Touch’ button) is hidden in the home button. Like the iPhone’s single button, this control has multiple functions: a touch takes you back, a press takes you home; double-tap to toggle the list of open apps and swipe horizontally to switch between apps.

The display is a 5.5″ unit with an IPS panel (1920 x 1080), covering 100% of the NTSC gamut. Android runs on a quad-core Snapdragon 801 CPU – a not-so-subtle criticism of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 810, which has been blamed for overheating issues in several phones. According to Engadget, which was present at the phone’s launch, Lenovo showed a slide showing that the Snapdragon 810’s performance degrades faster than the 801. Ouch.

3GB of RAM is installed, and the phone features dual nano SIM slots.