The reality of Lenovo’s Z5 phone fails to live up to marketing hype

If you haven’t paid much attention to Lenovo’s smartphones in the past, that’s about to change. The Lenovo Z5 is coming, and this concept sketch shows just how excited we should be about it. This is no source-less leak either, it was shared by Lenovo’s mobile group product manager Chang Cheng on the Weibo social network, so we can be assured it’s not only genuine, but also representative of what the Z5 will really be like.

lenovo z5 news concept sketch

This isn’t the first time Cheng has mentioned the Lenovo Z5 either, having also shared a teaser image a few days before the concept sketch, hinting at just how much screen the phone will have. He asks followers to guess the screen-to-body ratio, giving four options from which to choose, culminating in a whopping 95 percent. While he doesn’t give an answer, we’re going to assume he’s saying the Z5 will reach the highest number. For reference, the Essential PH-1 leads the current pack with an 84.9 percent screen-to-body ratio.

Sadly, as impressive as Cheng’s designs were, they appear to have been little more than marketing hype. The Z5 was recently revealed in Beijing and, as The Verge reports, it turns out that there is a notch after all, along with a chin at the bottom. Lenovo says that the phone’s bezels and notch are smaller than those found on the iPhone X or Xiaomi Mi 8, but the Z5 is still vastly different than what Cheng showed off last month.

On the positive side, Lenvo says the phone has a screen-to-body ratio of 90 percent, which would make it one of the leaders in that category even with the notch and chin. The phone is also fairly affordable, and is expected to cost between $200 and $280 based on which storage option is chosen. As of right now, the phone has only been announced for China, though other markets may be coming soon.

lenovo z5 news sideDesign issues aside, the Z5 raises plenty of questions. Where is the selfie camera? Where are the sensors for ambient light and proximity? How about the speaker? Cheng writes the Z5 contains 18 patented technologies, which may help answer these points. Other companies have also addressed these problems in different ways, from the pop-out selfie camera on the Vivo Apex, to placing the speaker and associated sensors behind the screen on the Xiaomi Mi Mix.

We’ll keep you updated about the Lenovo Z5 here, so check back for more news soon.

Updated on June 9th: Updated to include information related to the phone’s announcement. 

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