Every week there is some new launch in the affordable smartphone segment. At times, it becomes a daunting task for a reviewer to differentiate the devices as they all look identical, have almost similar features and all claim to be the best. The only way to know a phone is to dissect it thoroughly—on a reviewer’s desk—and that is what we did with the recently launched Zen Cinemax 2. It is considered to be the improved version of Zen Cinemax 1.
Priced at Rs 4,199, Zen Cinemax 2 offers 5.5-inch display, 5-megapixels rear camera, battery capacity of 2900 mAh and look and feel of Microsoft’s Lumia smartphones. Zen Mobile, which is a brand of Teleecare Group, has been a distributor for mobile brands in India since 2009. It makes feature phones, smartphones, phablets and tablets. So far the majority of the devices sold by Zen had been feature phones but for the past few years, it has shifted its focus to smartphones and Cinemax is one of its key series. Will Cinemax 2 be able to impress people, let us look into the device.
Out of the box, the first thing you notice about this phone is its look and feel which highly resembles with Lumia smartphone series from the Microsoft family. But there is no comparison in terms of performance, Microsoft’s Lumia is way ahead of Zen Cinemax 2. When we started reviewing the Cinemax 2, we were quite taken aback, by the unacceptable level of lag, stutter and delay even in using the basic features such as Call or Google Play Store.
The Zen Cinemax 2 has a 5.5-inch screen with 960 x 540 pixels qHD resolution. The display quality is fairly satisfactory. A 3.5 mm headset jack and USB cord are placed on top edge while three capacitive touch keys are placed on the bottom. The power key is on the right edge while left has space for volume rocker keys. The detachable rear panel which is made of plastic is home to Zen branding and speaker grille in the bottom and a rear camera at the top. With thickness of 9.40 mm and weight of 157g, Cinemax 2 is neither too thick nor too heavy.
The Zen Cinemax 2 runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system and its entrails are powered by a 32-bit 1.3GHz quad-core Spreadtrum 7731 processor paired with 1 GB of RAM. The phone has 8 GB internal memory for storage that can be expanded up to 32 GB via a microSD card. While doing multi-tasking between the apps, we had some tough time as apps crashed or many a times reported unbearable lag.
On the camera front, Zen Cinemax 2 comes with a 5-megapixels rear camera with an LED flash for low light photography and 2-megapixels front camera for selfies. Both the cameras offer decent picture in regular lights. However, they failed to deliver even an average quality in low light conditions. Also, when you see pictures with full zoom, they turn out to be blurry with lot of visible noise in the images.
The device is packed with a replaceable 2900mAh battery that offers decent standby time and could last between 5-7 hours with multitasking and regular data usage. The device support 2G, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth but quite strange, it does not support 4G, especially at a time when people are looking for affordable 4G smartphone.
Overall, the Cinemax 2 is an attempt by Zen Mobile to improve upon its previous offering in Cinemax series. However, there is nothing substantial for the users except that it has been attractively priced for the budget segment.