Smartphones are ever on the rise and it’s a never ending race. From flagship devices to budget phones, we have a lot in our platter these days. Keeping up with the trend, India-based smartphone maker Lava International has released their new flagship in the market — Lava Z25.
Touted as one of the highest priced Lava devices in the market at INR 16,990, let’s see if the Z25 lives up to its price tag.
The Z25 packs in a 5.5-inch HD display with a 2.5D curved display and is available in Champagne Gold and Grey. The front includes an 8MP camera with a spotlight flash and a light sensor. The fingerprint sensor is located at the rear and it’s the rear that gives the phone a premier look.
The volume rockers are present on the left while the power button and the hybrid SIM slot (Nano + Nano or MicroSD) are on the right. Given the phone size, both the keys can be handled quite well with a single hand. On top, we have the 3.5mm headphone jack and while the micro USB port and speaker grills complete the look at the bottom.
There’s a small bump in the place where the 13 MP camera is housed, thankfully, it’s not inconvenient and goes well with the rest of the design.
If you ask me, the sensor, flashlight and the camera make up a balanced look.
The only thing missing are the hardware navigation buttons. If you ask me, I am not a big fan of onscreen ones, as they take up a significant space in the display.
The phone weighs around 163 gms and can be a tad on the heavier side. The curved back with matt finish assures you against a slippery fall. All in all, the Z25 packs in a good design, however, at a first glance, you might mistake it for a Xiaomi Redmi smartphone as both sport similar looks.
The Lava Z25 is powered by MediaTek’s Octa-core MT6750 SoC which clocks at 1.5GHz, supported by Mali-T860 GPU. Adding to it is a 4GB RAM and 32GB of storage which is expandable up to 128 GB by a microSD card, which is quite satisfactory given the industry standards.
The HD IPS display gives a resolution of 1280 x 720 at around 267 pixels per inch. The device is powered by a nonremovable 3020 mAh battery unit.
The AnTuTu benchmarking tool clocked a score around 40832, which is pretty decent for a device priced at INR 16,990.
The fingerprint sensor is sleek and can record up to 5 fingerprints and the turnaround time is simply awesome. Seems, Lava is living up to its word of unlocking the device at 0.16 secs. What’s more, it also doubles up as a shutter button for selfies.
Aforementioned, the Z25 bundles in a 720 x 1280 resolution at around 267 PPI. The less PPI doesn’t kill the color vibrancy as much, though. In fact, with the built-in themes and wallpapers, you’d not be able to notice much. It’s with the third party wallpapers that you’ll have to be a bit cautious.
The viewing angles are satisfactory, you might face a bit of an issue under harsh sunlight, though. The display is smooth (too smooth, actually) to touch and the responsiveness is also great. Plus, it works wonderfully in low light if the screen brightness is set to medium.
Now comes the showstopper of the Z25 — the camera. Quoted as a photographer’s delight by Lava, it surely holds true to its promise. The 13 MP rear camera with an F2.0 aperture make use of Sony Exmor RS sensor, coupled with LED flash.
Similar to the other phones in this price segment, it includes a bevy of options to choose from — Night Pro, GIF, HDR mode, Intelligent mode (automatic selfie detector), the much popular Bokeh effect and beauty mode among others. We could capture some really great vibrant photos with the Z25. The Bokeh mode needs a tad more polish, though.
In the front, we have an 8 MP camera with a selfie spotlight and the same aperture level as the rear camera. This one ought to make the selfie lovers smile as the LED spotlight does a good job in low lighting conditions.
Aforementioned, the Z25 is powered by a non-removable 3020mAh battery unit and it was able to last a typical day without charging. The good thing about this device is that it comes with a built-in power saver mode and a super power saver mode.
On really bad days (low battery and no charger days), one can opt for the super power saver mode which will only give the option for dialer, messages, contacts and clock.
What it lacks in terms of battery is that charging on the go. Unlike most of the devices in this segment which comes with quick-charge, Z25 could at least have come packed with fast-charge if not quick-charge.
Also, the power adapter supports a 5V 1.5 Amps, so you might have to bite the bullet if you’re looking for charging on the go.
The phone runs on Android Marshmallow 6.0 and based on Star OS V3.3. It comes with many pre-installed apps keeping the Indian community in mind. But thankfully, they can be removed if you wish.
The Star OS skin is a decent performer which resembles all the Chinese ROMs we have seen in the recent past, like the MIUI, EUI, Cool UI, etc which means that they are feature packed but a bit heavier on the RAM. By feature packed, I mean the features like launching different apps with different fingerprints, scheduled power options, etc.
The quick settings menu is an absolute delight, with all the icons packed in neatly. In a nutshell, you have everything at your fingertips without the icons spilling over to another page.
A slight deviation from the other OS’s menu is that the Star OS has the notification clear button on it.
Another thing that came to my attention — there is no app search option, you’ll have to do that manually. Quite a bummer, if you have tons of apps on your device.
The Z25 runs most of the popular games without any lag. The games used to test this device included both fast and slow paced games. It handled the slow paced games quite well with no lag or crashes in between. Though, the Asphalt 8 did heat up the device a bit after around 20 minutes of gameplay. If you ask me, it’s not that much of a dealbreaker.
All in all, I found the Lava Z25 to be quite an apt device with a good display and great camera quality. It handled casual gaming sessions with a great ease, plus the battery life isn’t too bad.
With the influx of new flagships, I wish the design could have been a tad unique. Overall, at INR 16,990 it’s a bit steeply priced, comparable to paying for a full pizza when you just got a slice. But then, you get one free screen replacement in case of accidental damage. Win-Win, right?
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