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UMIDIGI Z2 Review: A Flagship Device with New Gen Features

UMIDIGI may not be a pioneer in the realm of tech innovations but the Shenzhen-based mobile manufacturer has certainly carved a niche for itself as one of the market leaders in adopting the latest trends and incorporating them in its range of mid to low budget Android smartphones.

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer, formerly known as UMI, that first forayed into the market with its Umi X1 in July 2012 within six months of setting up operations has repeated this feat with its flagship offering, the UMIDIGI Z2, along with the UMIDIGI Z2 Pro.

Sporting shiny gradient bodies, the UMIDIGI Z2 and Z2 Pro, bear a striking resemblance to the Huawei H20 Pro, which happens to be a high-end device loaded with top of the line hardware. Now, since UMIDIGI is best known for its affordably priced devices, it is a no-brainer that the Z2 and its twin variant are a budget spin on the very popular and well received H20 Pro, available at a fraction of the price of this flagship Huawei device.

To create the gradient Twilight effect, UMIDIGI has gone the natural spectrum way in terms of choice of color and then blended the Nordic Aurora seamlessly with a dual side glass fuselage. Thus, in terms of actual perception, the Z2 focuses on enhanced transparency of its glass material that has been designed to bring different color effects to life under varying light conditions.

An Overview of the UMIDIGI Z2

umidigi z2 review The UMIDIGI Z2 is an advanced version of the Z2 flagship smartphone that has been in the public domain for some time now. The Z2 boasts of being the world’s first-ever smartphone with a 6.2-inch FHD+ elite display, a feature has been replicated in the Z2 Pro variant as well. In terms of similarity, both the UMIDIGI Z2 and Z2 Pro series smartphones sport a 6.2-inch display with full HD+ resolution of 2246 x 1080p, an aspect ratio of 19:9, and notched displays that at a first look seem like a spitting image of the Apple iPhone X.

There is a Mediatek Helio P23 chip, along with Mali-G71, in both these smartphones that have been built-in to support the AI capabilities of these flagship devices. You also get what UMIDIGI claims is the “fastest 15W wireless charging” capability ever. In addition to these stellar specs, the Z2 series is also equipped with dual cameras both in the front and on the rear, NFC, support for global bands and Android 8.1 Oreo pre-installed.

You also get 6GB RAM and internal eMMC storage of 64 GB, which is expandable up to 256 GB with a microSD card. The dual cameras on the front and back have a 16+8 MP configuration with an aperture of f/2.0 Aperture. The UMIDIGI Z2 promises new gen features and delivers on that promise with specs like Face ID, curved glass back for wireless charging and the latest version of the Android OS, the Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.

UMIDIGI has been able to create this impressive smartphone and yet fit it in the mid-budget range through tweaks such as awakening the Helio P23 processor for the Z2 and then triggering the Helio P60 by using the 12nm FinFET process technologies. It is inevitable that these specs come at a price, and in UMIDIGI Z2’s case, the battery capacity is the fall guy. Even though the makers have tried to neutralize the lack of a lasting battery with fast charging capabilities that can get a fully drained battery up to a full charge in about 80 minutes, it may not play out to be the most practical compensation for all users.  

The 6.2-inch screen on this smartphone may feel like a bit of a stretch for even sworn large screen fans, but you have to take a look up close at the stunning visuals brought on by the 2246 x 1080 pixel resolution and a thickness of 403 pixels per inch to believe why the 6.2-inch screen is more than ideal. That’s not all, the display comes with color temperature modifications, Reading manner, and the ability to stretch around up to 85 percent to suit the display-to-human ratio.

One of the most amazing aspects of this absolutely spectacular smartphone is its lucrative price tag. The Umidigi Z2 is currently selling on Gearbest for just $249.99, as part of an ongoing flash sale.

Huawei Inspired

It has become a trend of sorts in the tech industry that every piece of innovation is followed by a strong line-up of copies or ‘inspired devices’. That’s exactly how the UMIDIGI Z2 too is being defined – as a copy of the Huawei flagship devices P20, P2o Pro and the Honor 10, which were first in the market to launch gradient colors in smartphones. The fact that UMIDIGI’s new flagship phones, the Z2 and Z2 Pro, not only borrow the concept of gradient colors but also sport the exact same hues – Twilight seen in Huawei P20 and P20 Pro and Phantom seen in Honor 10 – leaves little room for conjecture.

The similarities are not just limited to the color gamut. The Z2 and Z2 Pro have a lot in common with some of the latest flagship devices from Huawei in terms of specs and features too, for instance, the Notch sitting on the top of the display. In fact, the Z2 and Z2 Pro could have well looked like perfect clones of the Huawei devices they are ‘inspired’ by had it not been for the difference in the rear camera and fingerprint reader position. Curiously, these two are reminiscent of the placement followed by Huawei in Mate 10 and 10 Pro handsets.

The dual camera has been placed in the center with the circular fingerprint sensor right under it and the LED flash to its side. If imitation is the best form of flattery, Huawei has good reason to feel very, very flattered with the release of UMIDIGI Z2. Irrespective of these similarities, both these UMIDIGI offerings are extremely attractive devices and have been well-received by the public.

UMIDIGI Z2’s Design

umidigi z2 design reviewThe Z2 boasts of an overall aluminum allow body covered in exquisite glass. The addition of a glass casing over an aluminum body adds a premium look to the device and brings out its beauty in the truest sense. The inclusion of the Gradient Twilight color, along with the Notch, makes this UMIDIGI offering quite a stunner in terms of looks. The device reflects light differently under different lighting conditions, but each time just as beautifully. As has been said about the UMIDIGI Z2 a lot, the smartphone has an unmistakable Huawei P20 vibe to it, in terms of its look and feel, which serves well as a compliment given how popular the Huawei flagship phone has been since its release.

On the back side of the handset, you see a strong of rear features arranged pretty neatly. The rear dual camera and the fingerprint scanner are aligned in a vertical position whereas the LED flash has been placed right beside the camera. The Z2 weighs all of 165 grams and is 8.3 mm thick, making it one of the lightest smartphones in the market today. Apart from the Gradient Twilight model, it is also available in Phantom and Black color variants.

The Z2 Pro sports identical specs and design elements, right from the all-aluminum alloy top with a glass cover to gradient colors, amazing light reflection properties as well as the light and sleek body frame.

Display

After the stunning Gradient Twilight design, one of the most stellar and captivating features of the UMIDIGI Z2 is its display. The ‘top-notch’ display (pun intended) introduced in the second half of 2017 with the unveiling of the Apple iPhone X is here to stay. The Z2 is yet another in a long line-up of smartphones released since to have incorporated this element. The notch here is a slightly bigger than the de facto standard specification seen so far.

The size of the Notch, however, does not hamper its attractiveness in any manner. In fact, when coupled with the sleek bottom bezel, it works well to enhance the overall display quality on this phone. As mentioned already, the Z2 sports a 6.2-inch FHD+ IPS LCD display. The capacitive touchscreen is ideal for those who love an over-blown display. With its 2246 x 1080 pixel resolution and a thickness of 403 pixels per inch, this large screen does the job of bringing to life stunning, breathtaking visuals to perfection.

The vitality of the display is further enhanced by features such as Color temperature adjustment, Reading mode and stretchability of 85 up to percent stretches to suit the screen to body ratio.

The same notched screen, 6.2-inch screen size, and stunning display qualities, among other display features, have been replicated in the Z2 Pro as well. The Notch remains prominently visible even this variant. UMIDIGI has certainly gone the iPhone X in terms of designing and placing the Notch, probably because it didn’t have the scope to reduce it to a super minimal size since this is where the front dual camera is placed.

UMIDIGI Z2’s Hardware and Software

Under the hood, the Z2 has an Helio P23 chip from MediaTek that fires up the device in tandem with an Octa-core processor as well as 64-bit CPU architecture. The eight cores of the processor with 16nm process technology are capable of smoothly clocking a processing speed of 2.0GHz. The graphics are powered by ARM Mali G71 MP2 processor that can clock a frequency of 700MHz. The Z2 has a sizeable 6GB RAM that is designed to support myriad multi-tasking requirements, besides 64 GB of internal storage capacity that can be upgraded to 256 GB with a microSD card.

One of the key differences between the Z2 and Z2 Pro is the internal storage capacity. The Z2 Pro has a bigger 128 GB storage option, which means there is enough to room on the device to accommodate all your personal data and files. Here too, the storage capacity can be upgraded to 256 GB with an external memory card. Both the UMIDIGI Z2 and Z2 Pro run the latest Android 8.1 Oreo straight out of the box with stock Android user interface. The Helio chip on the Z2 and Z2 Pro also comes imbued with

AI learning capabilities that come in handy while operating its stellar cameras.

Camera

The Z2 sports a dual 16MP + 8MP primary camera on the rear. UMIDIGI has used Samsung cameras here with f/2.0 aperture, 5-elements lens and features such as panorama, low light enhancements, face recognition, burst mode, dual-LED flash and real-time filters, among others. On the front too, you get a dual camera structure with the same 16MP + 8MP combination. umidigi z2 camera review

The front camera too comes with f/2.0 aperture. Apart from being used for selfies which is supported with a selfie countdown feature, the front camera also comes into play for facial recognition for the Face ID. Both the set of cameras can be used to record videos in 4K resolution. The camera specifications of Z2 Pro are identical.

UMIDIGI Z2’s Battery Life

The Z2 is powered by a robust 4,050 mAh non-removable Li-Po battery that comes with built-in support for fast charging technology. The fast charging feature offered by UMIDIGI is pretty fast and can get the phone’s battery from 0 to 100% in less than two hours. The fast-charging time is precisely 80 minutes if you go by UMIDIGI’s claim but there are bound to be variations to this number in real-life scenarios. The UMIDIGI Z2 Pro, on the other hand, comes with a 3,650 mAh battery. It also comes with fast charging capabilities. umidigi z2 battery review

UMIDIGI Z2 Full Specs

Here is a quick glance at the detailed technical specifications of the UMIDIGI Z2:

General

  • Device Type: Smartphone
  • Model: UMIDIGI Z2
  • Announced: May 2018
  • Released: May 2018
  • Status: Available on Shopping stores

Network

  • 2G Network: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz
  • 3G Network: WCDMA: B1 2100MHz / B8 900 MHz
  • 4G Network: TDD-LTE: 34 /38 /39 /40 /41
  • FDD-LTE 1 /2 /3 /4 /5 /7 /8 /12 /13 /17 /18 /19 /20 /25 /26 /28A /28B
  • SIM Type: Nano + Nano
  • SIM Count: Dual SIM

Design

  • Type: Aluminum Alloy
  • Dimensions: 153.4 x 74.4 x 8.3 mm
  • Weight: 165g
  • Protection: Yes
  • Colors: Twilight, Phantom, Black

Display

  • Display Type: FHD+ IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen
  • Size: 6.2-inch
  • Resolution: 2246 x 1080 pixels
  • Colors: 16M colors
  • Pixel Density: 403 PPI
  • Screen-To-Body Ratio: 85%
  • Touch Screen: Yes
  • Protection: Yes
  • Features: Multi-touch, Scratch Resistant
  • Secondary Display: No

Camera

  • Primary: 16MP + 8MP
  • Image: Yes
  • Video: Yes
  • Features: Autofocus
  • Continuous shooting
  • Digital zoom
  • Exposure compensation
  • Face detection
  • Geo-tagging
  • HDR
  • ISO settings
  • Panorama
  • Scene mode
  • Self-timer
  • Touch focus
  • White balance settings
  • Flash: Yes, dual-LED
  • Secondary: 16MP + 8MP

Software

  • Operating System: Android 8.1 Oreo
  • User Interface (UI): Stock
  • Java Support: Yes
  • Skype: Yes
  • Whatsapp: Yes
  • Facebook: Yes
  • YouTube: Yes

Hardware

  • Chipset (SoC): MediaTek Helio P23
  • CPU: Octa-Core 2.0GHz
  • GPU: ARM Mali G71 MP2
  • RAM (Memory): 6GB
  • Internal Storage: 64GB
  • Card Slot: 256GB
  • Sensors:
  • Fingerprint (Rear)
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity
  • Ambient Light
  • Gyroscope, Geomagnetic
  • Controls: Touchscreen, Lock Button, and Volume Key

Connectivity

  • Bluetooth: Yes
  • Infrared: No
  • Wi-Fi: Yes
  • Wi-fi Hotspot: Yes
  • USB Type: Yes, micro USB
  • GPS: Yes, with A-GPS
  • Facial Identification: Yes
  • Wireless Charging: No

Battery

  • Battery Type: Li-Po Battery
  • Capacity: 4050mAh
  • Placement: Non-Removable
  • Fast Charging: Yes

Media

  • Audio Playback: Yes, MP3, AAC, AAC+, eAAC+, WMA, MIDI, WAV, AC3, FLAC
  • Video Playback: Yes, 3GP, Mp4, MPEG4, H.263, H.264 player
  • Alert Types: Vibration, Ringtones
  • Ring Tones: MP3, WAV
  • Loudspeaker: Yes
  • Handsfree: Yes

Other Features

  • MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FlAC player
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • DivX/Xvid/MP4/H.265 player
  • Photo/video editor
  • Document viewer

Five Reasons Why the UMIDIGI Z2 Should Be Your Next Phone

UMIDIGI gets a lot of things right with its Z2 flagship smartphone. The affordable price point, of course, is one of the biggest lures but there is a lot more that makes this a desirable smartphone. Here is a roundup of the top five reasons why you should consider the UMIDIGI Z2 as your next smartphone:

  1. Display: UMIDIGI has been gushing about the display of the Z2 and it’s not hard to see why. The device comes with a display screen that is designed to be as larger than life as possible. Consider the overall mammoth 6.2 inch display, the 2246 x 1080 pixel resolution, aspect ratio of 19:9, 90 percent screen to body ratio, a rich color gamut and a stylish looking Notch rounding off the look, and you have a display screen that is a visual treat by every measure.
  2. Attractive Looks: The fact that a manufacturer has not only decided to include the Gradient Color as a suffix for the name of the device but also pegged it one of the clear USPs of its flagship device speaks volumes about the eye-catching, attractive looks of this phone that can be a deal-sealer on its own. The inclusion of Gradient Twilight Color, besides the Phantom and Black color variants, has added an extra oomph to the Z2. It is definitely going to feel like a premium device in your hand.
  3. Dual Camera Setup: The UMIDIGI Z2 comes with a dual camera setup on the rear with a 16 MP + 8 MP combination. The manufacturers claim the camera configuration has been improved significantly with the inclusion of various optimizations that come together to offer a ‘more than 200 percent’ improvement in the camera performance, as compared to the preceding UMIDIGI devices. If these improvements were not enough, UMIDIGI has further enhanced the camera experience by adding a dual camera setup in the front too.
  4. Fast Charging: The fast charging capabilities of the Z2, as well as the Z2 Pro, is another huge drawcard for buyers. The two devices had received a thumbs-down for their battery size, however, UMIDIGI pre-empted this criticism with fast charging support that gets the battery up to a full charge in nearly 80 minutes.
  5. Global Band Support: One of the biggest drawbacks of Chinese smartphones is their limited band support. UMIDIGI seeks to correct that by incorporating 36 supported global bands, besides 4G VoLTE support, for the Z2.

Verdict

The UMIDIGI Z2 is an impressive smartphone that delivers on parameters of good looks, advanced features, impressive performance, and affordability. That’s enough right boxes to check for a phone to emerge as a best-seller in its category. The cherry on this very enticing cake, of course, is the attractive price point. The Z2 arrived in the market priced at just $299.99. It is currently selling on Gearbest at $249.99, as part of a special flash sale. That’s certainly a lucrative price that adds to the desirability of the Z2 and Z2 Pro handsets. If you are looking for killer specs in a budget smartphone, UMIDIGI’s newest offering fits the bill perfectly.

About The Author
Noah
Noah is a technology enthusiast at heart. He writes about tech, various topics trending on digital media and offers solutions to everyday gadget issues