Lenovo Vibe S1: Brilliant Mid-Range Powerhouse

Lenovo Vibe S1

Lenovo has got it’s handset game right and the company has got one standout device in every segment. They’ve also mastered the art of online flash sales. To add to all this, they are now ensuring that every device launched has a USP that makes it standout in comparison to the competition. The Vibe S1 is the company’s latest entry into the mid-range segment. And as usual, Lenovo is pushing the limits in this segment. Let us take a closer look at this device today.

Lenovo Vibe S1

Let’s get the specifications listed out. The screen is 5.0-inch and has a 1080 x 1920p, ~441 ppi resolution, it is an LCD display. The device runs on an Octa-core 1.69GHz MediaTek MT6752 processor has 3GB RAM and comes with 32GB storage that can be expanded up to another 32GB. It has a 13MP rear camera and a very creatively thought out 8MP + 2MP dual front cameras that are USP of this device. It has  Li-Ion battery with a capacity of 2500 mAh.  Runs on Android Lollipop. The usual array of connectivity and 4G options are there too.

Box and Device

One look at the phone and you will find it very hard to look away. The design is brilliant and totally premium quality. The Front and Back are made of glass and the rear is curved. The curve is very smooth and clean. The usual capacitive buttons in the bottom, the speaker grill at bottom end with the micro-usb charging point. The top has the headset socket. The Left side has the SIM/Micro SD hybrid tray and the right side has the usual volume rocker and the power button.

Rear View

The design team at Lenovo is on overdrive, or is it the amalgamation of the Motorola team? Whatever it is, the design is is brilliant and very catchy! The looks of this device can give many top end flagships a run for their design dollars. Lenovo has understood that the smartphone market is crowded now and standouts are the only ones that will stay and make an impact. And that thought shows in this device very clearly. Everyone that I showed the phone to thought that it was a 30k+ flagship.

The design is not the only thing that stands out in this phone, in fact, the design almost obscures the performance of the impressive hardware under the hood. The specifications above are by no means average, the device performs well. There was absolutely no evidence of stutter, lag or delayed response right through the time that I had it with me.  The combination of 3 GB memory and 32 GB internal storage ensures that multi tasking and carrying around all your music and videos is a breeze.


When I heard that the battery was 2500mAh, I was a bit apprehensive, but when I got the phone, I saw that the seemingly modest battery lasts a full day of average use on a single charge. These are signs that Lenovo is upping it’s game in the software optimization department and the results are brilliant! There is a Super Power mode where the phone becomes almost a feature phone and multiplies battery time a lot!

Coming to the camera and the actual superpower of this phone, the rear camera is a 13 MP shooter which performs excellently. The focus is really very fast and the images come out very brilliant. Some of things that I liked a lot was the fact that the HDR mode is effective when you need a nearly perfect and well rendered picture. The Colors are perfect and the Camera UI has been tweaked to give an intuitive and comfortable experience. The rear camera impressed me!

In Hand

I am not much of a Selfie person, truth be told, I shy away from selfies most of the time. But this phone changed all that! In a Big way! How? Well, there are two front cameras on this one. Yes, I was as dismissive as you are when I heard this. But then I tried it and believe me, this is one full load of fun! The two front cameras basically help the phone to effectively split the foreground and background very well. How does that help? Well, the software has been thoughtfully rigged to help you cut out the foreground and use it against any other background! In simple words, take a selfie and then very easily change the location/background of your selfie. You can be in Bangalore and go to Paris or suddenly become a cartoon character! I had hours of childish fun with this feature. Used in conjunction with good apps, sky is the limit for the creative things you can do with your selfies. So, what started off in my mind as a dismissive gimmick literally got me hooked to the phone! My son can vouch for that! He thought that I was being very childish!

Is it a perfect device? Well there are issues too. The display was not very impressive when it comes to colors. Sunlight conditions also kinda let the display down. Both the front and the back are glass and held together by a metal frame. The glass is so glossy that the rear side doubles up as a fingerprint magnet. Not only that, the rear gets smudged real fast! Thankfully there is a back cover that is shipped with the package and that is indispensable for this device. The power button is a little bit of a problem when the cover is on. And the cover has to be on if you don’t want the device slipping or getting smudged, we have a Catch 22 there. I am also not a big fan of having to choose between another SIM card and additional storage!


Lenovo is now becoming a master at the art of making devices that constantly push the envelope in the segment that they are in. The Vibe S1 impresses on design and does not disappoint on performance or battery. Looks like a dream and works like poetry. In short, the Gabriela Sabatini of mid-range smartphones. At INR 16,000, you will not get a better phone. In my books, it is a winner by a mile!




About Shakthi

I am a Tech Blogger, Disability Activist, Keynote Speaker, Startup Mentor and Digital Branding Consultant. Also a McKinsey Executive Panel Member. Also known as @v_shakthi on twitter. Been around Tech for two decades now.

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