Lenovo is a smartphone maker that has gone from strength to strength in the last one year. They have been very focused on delivering good experiences and niche devices that often go on to break or define the segment they are in. There is a streak of innovation with a tinge of originality that runs across all their devices. The Vibe X3 has gone on to be a benchmark in the smartphone experience that will define 2016. Let us look at this device
Keeping with the spirit of the device, I will attempt a review that does not speak about the specifications and focus purely on the whole experience that the Vibe X3 stands for. Given that there are many other portals where you will get the specs from, this shouldn’t be a problem to the reader.
First, just holding the device in your hands feels good. It does not have a metal or a glass back, but the plastic has been given a premium feel. The back also houses the usual suspects – the camera, the fingerprint scanner et al. There isn’t a pronounced camera bump, but a slight one does exist. Lenovo has fixed that with the back cover that they have added to the package. The device does not weigh too much, just about right to hold in the hand. It is not slippery and more importantly, it does not attract fingerprints. So you don’t miss metal or glass. The front has also been designed very well. Generous real estate on the front has been allocated to the screen. The design has very clear shades of the recent Moto devices and that is a good thing. The navigation buttons have also been placed well, hence they take nothing away from the screen and the overall viewing experience
The Display makes you feel like Kajol did in DDLJ when Amrish Puri let her go and said ” Jaa Simran, Jee le apni Zindagi!” Pure Joy! Every pixel on it is brilliant. There are no distortions. All colors come out very very close to the real thing. There are no jaded or washed out colors. Under the sunlight, it looks very good. Not excessive sunlight, but then we are not taking it to the desert region anytime soon.
While on the display, we must stress on one thing. The video playback on this one is simply superlative. Like carrying a well made HD TV in your pocket all the time. The entertainment experience is the USP of this device and the video department takes the cake first! Absolutely brilliant and it is able to run marathons of my favorite series without a hitch or stutter. The video loop test went smooth. The way the display handles even static images is good. All colors are nearly perfect. The usual settings for adjusting tone and temperature of the colors are all present and are very handy.
In the entertainment experience, right next to video comes the audio and that takes this device one more notch higher. The audio experience begins with the front speakers that have been designed and equipped to churn out crystal clear audio. There are no noises when the audio hits highs or lows. There is a clever little trick in the audio that enables the phone to switch output quality based on whether a call is being taken or music is being played. And the fact that Dolby Atmos is something that is almost a resident feature in every Lenovo device helps. Plug in good headsets and in a flash the whole audio experience becomes immersive and blissful. Classic, R&B, Hip Hop whatever your poison, there is an amazing experience with it on the Lenovo Vibe X3. I tried it with Skull Candy headsets and a Bose headset. As the headset hardware improves, the capability of the Vibe X3 to match it also improves with it. I fell in love with my music library all over again with the Vibe X3. The design and tech team have come together to give you poetry in motion.
The camera on this phone is no slouch either. The Rear camera more powerful than most other devices in this segment. It has enough resolution, clarity and focus to replace your point and shoot camera. Not a DSLR, but the point and shoot for sure. The camera interface is intuitive and easy. Wide coverage helps to get more objects into your frame and get good pictures. I tried it in Sunlight, Indoors, Night and Low light. No major complaints anywhere. The low light photos were ok but not stuff that you want to write home about. The front camera is a replica of the one we saw in the Vibe S1. Selfies came out very good. There are the usual effects and touches you can give the images. All in all, the front and rear cameras are good. The Rear one is the show stopper though.
I know what you are going to ask me next, what if you are not a big media consumer? Will the device perform well and be a productivity assistant for me? Absolutely! While media consumption is the USP of this phone, there is absolutely no slack in any other aspect too. The processor is powerful enough to handle multi tasking easily without stutter. There is adequate RAM for you to never feel the device slowing down and dragging. The internal storage is ample and should be enough for you to carry around all your files and media. If you need more storage you can expand it with the slot that doubles as a SIM slot. In the time that I spent with the device, I faced absolutely no performance hitch, lag or any such issue. There weren’t any major heating issues either. Benchmarks were above average, very high if you ask me.
It runs lollipop with the Vibe UI on it. The UI has a refreshing new look and I like the whole smooth and light avatar. The phone is able to handle heavy graphics and games very well. The battery lasted 15 hours on a single charge on average use for me and the video loop ran for about 6 hours. The ability to quickly charge the device to 60% is very useful when you need to move and need juice fast. The phone also has the ability to control your TV and set top box using Infra Red rays. With something like Peel app installed, it adds some more fun to the whole experience.
Lenovo has priced this one at 19,999/- and that is the best part. In this segment it is very rare to get such a package at that price. If you have an ANT VR headset that you can connect to this one, it quite literally transforms your phone into a full blown cinema hall. So hours of enjoyment await when you buy this one.
This phone is a contender for the phone of the year already! I would call this the Akshay Kumar of smartphones, can handle a broad spectrum of things like audio, video, graphic, clicking pictures, productivity etc without any issue whatsoever. Given that it is priced at 19,999/- just go and buy it! If you have any questions, leave a comment and I will get back.