Lenovo-backed Zuk isn’t messing around, launches the Cyanogen-powered Z1 in Europe

You may not have heard of smartphone startup Zuk, but you’ll almost certainly heard of one of the company’s that’s backing it — Lenovo. Publicly revealed at the end of June, Zuk’s first phone — named the Z1 — was teased with talk of cool specs, a sleek design, and a low price. On August 11, the phone was officially revealed at a launch event in Beijing, where it was confirmed there will be two versions of the Z1, and the good news is, one will be sold internationally.

Updated on 10-13-2015 by Andy Boxall: Added in news the Z1 is on sale through Amazon

On sale in Europe with Cyanogen installed

Unlike many of its Chinese competitors, Zuk is quickly making a play to grab a share of international smartphone sales, and just a month after its release in China, it has gone on sale in Europe through both eBay and Amazon. On the outside, the phones are identical, but there’s a big difference between the two when it comes to the software.

Zuk has chosen Android 5.1.1 with its own ZUI skin for the edition sold in China, where it retails for 1800 yuan, which is around $280. However, the good news is Zuk has promised its operating system will be updated to Android 6.0 Marshmallow before March 2016. The phone is sold through an Apple Store-like online store, which you can visit here.

The global version uses Cyanogen OS 12.1 — the Android-based, Google-free operating system initially preferred by OnePlus — onboard, and it’s now for sale through Amazon in Europe. In the UK, the phone costs £280 (about $340), or 300 euros in Spain, Italy, Germany, and France. While Google’s not directly involved with Cyanogen, the international Z1 phone comes with Google Play and other Google services installed.

Metal chassis, and strong specs

The Zuk Z1 may not be the most visually exciting phone on sale, but we like its minimalist simplicity, and applaud the decision to use an aircraft-grade aluminum for the chassis. The rear cover is made from plastic though. It’s sold unlocked, ready for use with any GSM network, and is compatible with a range of 4G bands. A dual-SIM card tray is hidden in the side of the phone.

What about the other specs? The Z1 has a 5.5-inch IPS display with a 1080p resolution, and is powered by a Qualcomm 2.5GHz Snapdragon 801 processor with 3GB of RAM. It’s not the most recent chip from the company, but Zuk says it’s more power efficient, and of course, there will be no concerns over the Z1 getting a little hot and bothered under strain. Zuk’s not messing around with a feeble amount of internal storage space either, and has squeezed in 64GB for you to fill.

If this is all sounding similar to the OnePlus 2 (aside from the choice of processor), then that feeling of deja-vu will continue. The Z1 has a fingerprint sensor built into the home button below the screen, which can be used to unlock the phone, as a back button, or even activate the shutter when taking selfies. A big 4100mAh battery sounds almost too good to be true, and Zuk has opted for the latest USB Type-C connector to recharge it. Finally, there’s a Sony 13-megapixel camera with optical image stabilization on the rear, and an 8-megapixel camera above the screen.

We’ll keep you updated with all the Z1 news right here, so check back often.

Next page: Read the rumors leading up to the Zuk Z1’s official announcement


OnePlus 7 to use latest body design to get rid of the notch, leak suggests

The OnePlus 6T may still be new, but we're already looking ahead to the upcoming OnePlus 7. It will use the Snapdragon 855, and may have a new slider body design. Here's everything we know about the OnePlus 7.

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.

Here's everything we know about the upcoming Nokia 8.1 Plus phone

Nokia will be looking to kick off 2019 will a cracker of a phone, and the Nokia 8.1 Plus could be that phone. From the rumored pinhole display to the Zeiss cameras, here's everything we know about the Nokia 8.1 Plus.

The Sony Xperia XZ4 shines in case renders from accessory maker Olixar

Sony may have released the Xperia XZ3 in the past few months, but already it's preparing to release a follow-up, the Xperia XZ4. We're learning plenty about the phone now some details have started to leak out, and it's getting exciting.

Benchmark scores surface for Google's midrange Pixel 3 XL Lite

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.

Rumors say Apple's AirPower wireless charger may finally be in production

At its September event in 2018, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 

The LG G8 ThinQ may arrive at MWC 2019 with an on-screen speaker

LG is expected to release a successor to the LG G7 ThinQ, possibly called the LG G8 ThinQ, this year and rumors about it are already spreading. Here's everything we know about it so far.

Oppo could reveal a new smartphone with a 10x optical zoom

Cracking a solid zoom on smartphones has been a riddle many years in the solving. One company may have finally cracked it though: Oppo may be about to show off a phone with a 10x optical zoom.

Nike’s Adapt BB shoes let you tighten your laces with an iPhone

The new Nike Adapt BB shoe comes with smartphone connectivity that allows the user to tighten the laces using a smartphone while providing the ability to adjust tension throughout the game.

How to switch TicHealth to Google Fit on the Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro

The Mobvoi TicWatch C2 and TicWatch Pro are both much-loved and feature-packed watches, and they offer excellent fitness tracking. Recently, Mobvoi has switched out Google Fit for TicHealth, but you can switch them back. Here's how.

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.

Benchmark results show Snapdragon 855 destroys previous-generation chip

Almost exactly a year after the launch of the Snapdragon 845, Qualcomm took the wraps off of its next-generation mobile platform, the new Snapdragon 855. The new chip puts an emphasis on A.I. performance.
1 of 2