Lenovo has upped it’s game to a major level in 2015 and that is an understatement. The company has been literally going from strength to strength on the range of phones that it has been releasing regularly and covering various segments this year. They have taken Xiaomi, Micromax and the rest of their competitors head on and come out with winners in every segment. The P1m is aimed at the budget user who needs a value for money phone and cannot go beyond the 10k limit on price. Let us look at this device today
The Vibe P1M feels and looks different from the other budget phones. There are a lot of things that Lenovo has done to achieve this effect. Around the phone, there is a plastic fame, it has been very cleverly given a coating of faux aluminium finish. In the rear, the camera is surrounded by a plate that is made of metal. When one holds the device in hand, it does not feel cheap or plasticky. Given the price, this is a good thing.
The build of the phone is tough and durable, I get the feeling that it would take a few hits and falls without much damage. The device looks pretty durable and one gets the feeling that the design plays a major role in this. What I liked the most was the fact that Lenovo bundles a cover for the phone in the box. The cover is ok. The volume rocker and the power button don’t have clear cutouts in the cover and it is extremely difficult to use the buttons with the cover on. But again, given the build of the phone, the cover is not mandatory. So no complaints at all there!
The speaker is on the bottom of the device and not on the rear side. So absolutely no muffling or distortion of sounds when you hold it or cover it. Music played when the phone is lying on a surface is also clear and crisp. This is a nice touch. Adds to the overall experience!
The Vibe P1M has the customary buttons. The three usual suspects are backlit. There is an inspired stroke of design on the left side. Lenovo has given a very thoughtful and extremely useful slider that switches between normal and power saving modes for the battery. This is the first time that I am seeing this on a smartphone at this price. Very well done Lenovo! This is very good! There is also a layer of coating that saves the phone from splashes and rain etc. It is worth noting that the phone is NOT waterproof and one would do well to remember that. Lenovo has given a water resistant coating.
The back cover of the Vibe P1M is removable and there are slots to fit in the dual SIM cards and microSD card (up to 32 GB) there. But battery is fixed and non-removable.
The device sports a 5-inch display with a resolution of 720p. This resolution is now almost the default or a norm of sorts in the budget segment. The screen is pretty decent. Text is crisp and colors are vibrant. The viewing angles are also good the reflective surface affects the readability a little bit and a lot under direct sunlight. When the auto brightness setting is turned off , legibility increases drastically. The display smudges a bit easily. Again, Lenovo has been thoughtful here and has given screen protectors as part of the package and they do come in handy more often than not.
The Vibe P1M comes with Android 5.1 . And as is the standing custom now, the UI is Lenovo’s. There is no app drawer on the device. Everything is on the home screens, this is now a trend and Lenovo sticks to it. The Lenovo icons are very different from the other app icons. This sometimes causes a slightly jarring effect when you see them together.
The Vibe P1M offers a lot custom features and I found some of them thoughtful. Just shake the phone to arrange the icons, this is one of those useful bits where gestures are used. There are themes and we also get the ability to create own shortcuts.
Some of Pre-loaded apps like Twitter and Facebook are useful. Even others such as ShareIt add a lot of value. But I don’t get why Lenovo insists on bundling apps like Tap The Frog which are classic examples of bloatware. I am yet to use the bloatware in any Lenovo phone even once. But full credit to Lenovo, even with all this loaded, the performance is outstanding. Not a whiff of a lag or stutter anywhere. Hence no complaints at all.
The phone has an 8-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front camera. The camera performance is mostly good although you will have to keep your expectations low, especially while shooting in dim light. But then, this device is no touted as a camera focused device. And given that fact, it does fairly well. I encountered slight issues when the subject was moving. Otherwise, it is a decent snapper.
The phone is powered by MediaTek’s MT6735P processor with ARM 53 cores. There are four cores in the MT6735P and they run at a speed of up to 1GHz. The phone uses Mali T720 graphics processor and has 2GB RAM. The performance was amazing. When I saw the specs, I was expecting a slightly slower side performance, but I must say, Lenovo has aced this one on the performance side, big time!
Voice calling and call quality were good and I did not notice any issues in that department. But the big USP of this device is the 3900 mAH battery. The battery just blows the rest of the competition clean out in this price point. I was able to run the phone on a single charge for an average of 16 hours on moderate and 13 hours on heavy use. This is amazing given the price of the device. Very good for people who move around a lot with their phone.
Given the features, performance and the brilliant battery, when you get a package like this at INR 7999/- there is no need to even think twice! If you are looking for a budget phone performing smooth and lasting long, this is the one! Go for it!