Lenovo has been literally ruling the roost in the budget and lower mid range segments very successfully now. They keep making phones that are designed and spec-ed well and price them brilliantly! They have also mastered the online flash sale model. They have now launched the Lenovo Vibe shot in India. Before you think that this is a phone with a camera, let me tell you that this is a camera with a phone. And this device has now redefined upper mid-range phones. Let us take a closer look at this phone today.
Lenovo Vibe Shot runs on a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor with 3GB RAM and 32GB internal storage. The phone is powered by 2,900mAh battery and supports 4G LTE, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 LE options. It has a 16 MP rear camera (5328×2997) with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), triple-LED flash with three different color temperatures and IR blaster for better and faster focus under low-light conditions. The front camera is 8MP with wide angle support for selfies.
The back of the Vibe Shot looks similar to a compact camera. When you hold it in landscape mode, it gives the feel of a point and shoot camera with a faux brushed metal strip placed vertically at the back featuring the camera lens, IR blaster and triple LED flash, gives it a unique camera-smartphone hybrid look.
The Triple LED flash is a very thoughtful feature. It does not blind the subject when you are clicking a snap, also the color depth and saturation come out brilliantly when you take pictures with it.
The strip on the back of the phone is not made of metal , it is actually Gorilla Glass 3. The colored metal frame goes all around the edges and makes the device look and feel premium . The edges also look good as they are chamfered and crafted well. The right edge (just above the metal strip) has four metal keys – the volume rocker, power switch, a camera shutter button and a toggle switch to switch between Smart and Pro camera modes. The Pro mode is amazing and gives you total control over a range of advanced settings on the camera. I did not like the smart mode much. Given the amazing camera, the smart mode does not yield high class pics. The Pro mode is better even if you do not change any of the default settings there.
The phone has a lanyard slot at the other edge completing the whole feel of a handheld compact camera. The 3.5mm headset jack is on the top and the micro-USB port is at the bottom. A dual-sim tray is placed at the left edge towards the top while the microSD card tray is towards the bottom of the same edge. It weighs 145g is 7.3mm in thickness, the phone feels light weight and grips well. Feels good to hold it.
The device has a 5-inch full-HD (1080 x 1920p ) IPS display that comes with Gorilla Glass 3 protection. The display is decently bright and is very impressive with wide viewing angles, sunlight legibility suffers a tad bit due to the reflective nature of the screen. Touch response is very good and I had absolutely no issues in that department.
The 6 piece module lens camera features a 16:9 BSI sensor and tricolor flash along with OIS. The promo material says that the photo luminosity adjusts itself automatically based on ambient light conditions, and optical image stabilization reduces blur or distortion and results in sharp photos even in low-light conditions.
The Camera app has a HUGE set of features and settings that will spoil you for choice, including auto and pro modes with the former offering smart composition that allows users to get optimal distance or level for a better portrait, landscape and food photo. The Pro mode offers granular settings for white balance, focal length, shutter speed, ISO and aperture. Like I said earlier, I found the pro mode with default settings far better than the smart mode.
The camera is a dream come true for someone like me who is nowhere near a brilliant photographer, it made me actually look good in front of friends. The images that I captured actually were brilliant for my standards with other cameras. All I had to do was to set the camera into the pro mode and shoot with default settings. Here are a few shots I took with it
The selfie camera gives very good quality photos and the now customary settings to soften facial features to make yourself look good. The Vibe Shot can record 1080p video and the videos I tried recording came out very good. Overall, all the cameras and the resultant pictures and videos are brilliant on this phone.
The Vibe Shot runs on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Lenovo’s Vibe UI skinning and customization. Lenovo’s own launcher that integrates the home screens, widgets and app shortcuts like MIUI. It also supports themes. The notifications panel has also been customized and is very user-friendly. But I had a nagging issue with the Vibe UI, the cell broadcast messages just did not stop coming. Strangely, this does not happen on other flavors of Android that I use on my other handsets. They stopped the minute I switched phones. On a hunch, I tried this on the K3 Note and the same thing happened. I think Lenovo needs to take a look at this and fix it.
The performance was brilliant. I tried out games like Asphalt8 and a whole load of other graphic intensive games. Tried a whole lot of multi-tasking. There was absolutely no lag or slowing down or stutter. There was a light heating, but then that has become prevalent with almost all mobile phones now, not really Lenovo’s fault, I would much rather look to Qualcomm to stand up and fix this irritating thing soon. It is about time they did that!
If you are someone who loves pictures and the ability to click vivid, clear and brilliant ones, this is the phone for you. This is a nearly perfect device. Very clearly changing the game in the upper mid-range segment. Why nearly-perfect? Two things, one is that the price of Rs 25,499 I believe that it is a tad bit costly, could have been a couple of thousand lower. The other is that the smart mode of the camera is not all that smart, the pro mode does better but rookies like me will not try it that easily. My recommendation is that this is a must buy if you want a phone that looks, performs and clicks brilliant!