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ZUK Z2 vs Xiaomi Mi5: Cheap Snapdragon 820 Phones Compared!

by Joe 20

Xiaomi didn’t announce the successor to the popular Xiaomi Mi4 last year. This meant that the new flagship smartphone that the company announced in 2016 had to be perfect, satisfying the needs of the millions of Xiaomi fans worldwide. In a way, Mi5 did fulfill the need for a cheap Snapdragon 820 powered flagship, offering pretty good specs for a price tag of just over $305, at least in China. While many manufacturers found it hard to match Xiaomi in terms of its cheap pricing for Snapdragon 820, ZUK came forward and made sure its new ZUK Z2 phone came out as another cheap Snapdragon 820 option. In fact, if we stop and think, the ZUK Z2 is actually meant to be the Xiaomi Mi5 killer. The company already had two ZUK Z2 Pro variants, which were only a few bucks pricier than the Mi5. But it went ahead and released the ZUK Z2, in a separate conference. This does tell us something about the company’s intention with its new device.zuk z2 vs xiaomi mi5

Since they are meant to be direct rivals, with similar specs and pricing, let’s take a look at the ZUK Z2 vs Xiaomi Mi5 comparison. We will see a lot of similarities in the design as well as the specs, but there will be a few differences as well. Let’s look at them in detail in the comparison down below.

ZUK Z2 vs Xiaomi Mi5


Design wise, they are very similar looking smartphones. Both the companies decided to opt for a glass back and a metal frame on their smartphones. While ZUK Z2 features a flatter back, the Mi5 comes with a slightly curved back panel, which should help in the grip. Both have their camera modules placed on the top left corner on the back, and the front features a compact 5-inch (5.15-inch on the Mi5) display with a front home button enabled fingerprint sensor.

ZUK Z2 Measurements: 141.7 x 68.9 x 8.5 mm Weight: 149 grams

Xiaomi Mi5 Measurements: 144.6 x 69.2 x 7.3 mm Weight: 129 grams

As you can see, the measurements are almost the same, except for the thickness. Mi5 comes with a thin 7.3mm body, while the Z2 features an 8.5mm body. But there’s explanation to the increased thickness of the ZUK model, since it features a larger 3500mAh battery. On the other hand, the Mi5 comes with a 3000mAh battery. Since we are on the topic of battery, it’s important to mention that both feature Quick Charge 3.0 fast charging.


ZUK Z2 vs Xiaomi Mi5 Specs:

When it comes to the specs, both have very similar internals. Both the models are powered by Snapdragon 820 quad-core chipset. However, we are talking about the base variants, and the Xiaomi Mi5 standard version is underclocked to 1.8GHz. On the other hand, the ZUK Z2 is clocked at 2.15GHz, which can be overclocked further to 2.3GHz. So, on paper, the performance should be better than the Mi5. Then there’s the RAM on board. The base variant of the Mi5 comes with just 3GB of RAM, while the ZUK Z2 features 4GB RAM as standard. As for storage, you get 32GB on the Mi5 while the ZUK Z2 features 64GB. Both have non-expandable storages, so ZUK definitely gets a plus point in the memory department.

Coming to the display, the Xiaomi Mi5 sports a 5.15-inch 1080 IPS LCD display while the ZUK Z2 has a 5-inch IPS LCD display. But the screen to body ratio on the Mi5 is higher, 73.1 percent as compared to 70.6 percent on the Z2. It is confirmed that the Mi5 has Corning Gorilla glass 4 protection, while we are not sure about the protection on the Z2.

Coming to the camera department, the Xiaomi Mi5 seems to have an edge on paper. The phone features a 16MP rear f/2.0 shooter with 4-axis OIS, PDAF and dual LED flash. The camera has 1/2.8″ sensor size, and 1.12 µm pixel size. Coming to the ZUK Z2, it features a 13MP rear camera with f/2.2, EIS (electronic image stabilization), PDAF and CAF (Contrast Auto Focus) with LED flash. It has 1/2.6″ sensor size, and 1.34 µm pixel size. Both can capture 2K videos and slo-mo videos. Up front, the Mi5 comes with a 4MP f/2.0 camera while Z2 has an 8MP f/2.o sensor.

Other features common on both devices include dual-band Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 4.0, fingerprint sensor embedded into the home button and dual SIM card slots. In the connectivity department, Mi5 has NFC and Infrared but ZUK Z2 doesn’t. The battery is larger on the ZUK Z2 as mentioned above (3500mAh) as compared to Mi5’s 3000mAh. Finally, for software, the Mi5 comes with MIUI 7 based on Android 6, while ZUK Z2 features ZUI 2.0 based on Android 6.0.1.



Pricing & Availability:

When it comes to the pricing of ZUK Z2 vs Xiaomi Mi5, after the recent promotion of the device in China, the prices are almost similar. Xiaomi had announced the Mi5 at around $308 in China at the time of launch, but now, the pricing seems to have gone down. International customers can now purchase the Xiaomi Mi5 base model for just $308 and with shipping included it still is well under $350. Coming to the ZUK Z2, it has an advantage of cheaper pricing as it is priced around $273. So, even after the premium charged by retailers, the pricing should be around $300, which at present is almost the same as the Mi5. Adding express shipping should still limit the price tag to well under $350.

Availability is a different story though. Xiaomi seems to have stabilized the Mi5 stocks, and now, most retailers have the device in stock. As for the ZUK Z2, the phone is yet to go on sale, and the first sale is on June 7. Only after a few days will we know whether the Z2 is readily available for purchase in China as well as via third-party retailers.


So, that was the ZUK Z2 vs Xiaomi Mi5 comparison. It would really be hard to choose between these two devices, but if you were going to buy one, which one would it be?


We have already reviewed the Xiaomi Mi5. You can check it out from here.

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  • manohar basavaraju

    ZUK Z2 is my first preference while it has everything what i deserve.
    5 inch Screen, faster CPU, larger Battery and more RAM and more ROM.
    Added to that all ore custom ROMs to support it.
    I am just waiting for the best price from the reliable Reseller.

    It would be very nice if the Gizmochina share this only news to its readers…

    • Adam Nazifi

      i can see you enjoyed the article

  • AshrafChopan

    Mi5 is still heads and shoulders ahead. Just because of its Camera, Mi5 has killed ZUK Z2 although ZUKZ2 is no slouch. And then there is NFC and InfraRed.

    • VMortens

      You’re right. Only thing going in par with Mi5 here is the SoC and more compact size (a pro for me). Rest is just behind, yet for the same price. Not my cup of tea, too.

      • Karly Johnston

        Bigger battery and band 4 for Tmobile. Last time I checked the Mi5 ran Chrome like a snail so I will be checking the Z2 for this.

      • balcobomber25

        Z2 has much wider network support than Mi5.

        Z2: 1,2,3,4,5,7 and 8 (FDD)
        Mi5: 1,3 and 7.

        From what we have seen Zuk also doesn’t have that hideous on screen border that Mi5 has. A major advantage for it in my opinion. The rest though we need a review first.

      • xploratorul

        Zuk Z2 is more compact than Mi5.

    • balcobomber25

      So you have personally tested the Zuk Z2 camera? Specs don’t tell the whole story, Mi5 has had all sorts of issues with it’s camera.

  • Tommi

    ZUK Z2 Pro, I want more RAM + ROM and bigger screen. Battery is smaller than in ZUK Z2, but still more than in MI5.

    • Hakim Farouk

      tbh, 6gb of ram on a smartphone, for now, is just for gimmicks. our phones system memory and apps altogether will never utilise the 6gb of ram at this moment, no matter what you throw at it. 4gb of ram is more than enough, unless one doesn’t know about the science behind the necessity of it and just wants the bragging rights.

      • Karly Johnston

        It will be useful if you are caching games or dozens of web pages.

        • Hakim Farouk

          Yes, it is but it will never utilise 6gb of ram as of now. Android system, per say, optimises memory management rather well for multitasking, specially, on marshmallow. You’ll be paying for the extra ram that you will never use for another good 2 years. That’s the reason why apple didn’t bother to put in more rams in their iphones cause it was never needed, eventho it’s a different operating software, but the same mechanical principles applies. You should read up on how android manages it’s system memory.

          • Karly Johnston

            Apple doesn’t use more RAM because their apps are optimized by forcing devs to make them that way. Android hogs RAM because OEMs keep giving them no limitations so devs don’t bother optimizing the app.

  • Karly Johnston

    The screen on the Mi5 has a contrast ratio over 1500:1 over 600 nits, the Z2 is only 1000:1 at 400 nits. Z2 at 100% brightness will be fine in most situations but you will really miss deep blacks. It just looks washed out in comparison.

    • VMortens

      It will perform bad in direct sunlight. Mi5 isn’t best in these conditions and Z2 will be even worse.

  • Davide Verrini

    The type of memory / rom does not count? Xiaomi features the new UFS 2.0 technology that they claim to be faster than the emmc inside the Zuk

  • Steven Fox

    In reality it`s always better to pick up the newer phone, but Lenovo are known for making all sorts of compromises with built and camera quality to be price competitive.
    Until actual reviews come in, I would go for the Mi5

  • balcobomber25

    Until the Z2 is released and reviewed it’s pointless to make assumptions on it. All we can do is compare specs. Specs tell you very little about actual usage.

  • zupatami

    if MIUI does not shine for you, try MIUI Tweaks xposed module. works like a charm!

  • Zohaib

    wtf, there is no info in this blog, real cheap indian stuff