Lenovo, a brand that is pretty well-known especially here in Malaysia, released one of the prettiest phone they have ever made. The Lenovo Vibe Shot, a slim smartphone wrapped between two panels of Gorilla Glass 3 and surrounded with a bright-coloured metal frame.
Keeping up with the times
Although this is still your usual flat candybar smartphone, somehow it looks trendy and unique. Lenovo managed to include bright colours into the design without making it look tacky or cheap, especially with its brushed aluminium finishing. The Vibe Shot sports front and back glass panels, and somehow the design looks very much like a compact camera – which is what Lenovo is trying to promote with this model. I would have to say the Lenovo design team did a great job this time.
Since the Vibe Shot is made with its imaging capabilities in mind, let’s look at that first. The Vibe Shot sports a 16MP rear camera while the front features an 8MP camera. Spec-wise it seems pretty decent, so the next step is to test it out. During the testing period, I’ve tried the Auto mode and Pro mode, in all sorts of lighting and found the camera to be quite satisfactory. In normal daylight, and even well-lit areas, photo quality was clear and crisp, and even in low-light, the camera still performed decently. As long as the sensor has a little light, the entire image will still be quite decent. Although the Auto mode shoots photos pretty well, the Pro mode feels a tad gimmicky since controls aren’t all that impressive. I would advise to just stick to Auto mode since the imaging algorithms for this device is already pretty good.
Switch on, switch off
There are two extra buttons that are found on the Vibe Shot unique to smartphones. One of it is a dedicated shutter button, so that when you hold the phone in landscape mode, you use it like how you would a compact camera. On top of that, there is a quick-switch button where you can easily toggle between Auto and Pro camera modes, where Pro mode allows you to manually adjust settings like ISO, white balance, shutter speed and such. These buttons aren’t in the way, and it has been cleverly done to give the phone a premium feel.
This device comes with Android 5.0 Lollipop straight out of the box, with its custom UI on top of that. I’ve had some unnerving experiences with Lenovo’s UI, but this time it feels more fluid. The UI is simple and minimalistic, and so far there have not been any big issues with crashes or the screen freezing up.
Fitted with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615, the Lenovo Vibe Shot generally performs well as it is paired with 3GB of RAM. Since it is imaging-centric, high performance games tend to stutter quite a bit, and the device gets somewhat warm when running on GPS. But for basic things like web browsing, YouTube video watching, and lightweight apps, the Vibe Shot handles it well.
Need More Juice
As for having enough power to last a whole day, or at least half a day, unfortunately the phone isn’t able to do that. Just on basic usage and at about 50% brightness, the phone starting blinking red after about more or less six hours of usage. I was hoping the battery would last longer since it was only a 5-inch IPS LCD display, with a battery capacity of 3,000mAh.
A Good Looker
I have to say that by far, the Vibe Shot is one of the best from Lenovo this year. It looks sexy and trendy, reliable and does a pretty good job when it comes to everyday usage. The camera also takes decent photos, although you really should not expect your photos to come out looking like the ones taken with a camera sporting a dedicated imaging sensor.
Dimensions: 142 x 70 x 7.3 mm
Display: 5.0 inch IPS LCD, 1080 x 1920 pixels
Chipset: Snapdragon 615
CPU: Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU: Adreno 405
Memory: 3GB RAM, 32GB Internal, up to 128GB micro-SD support
Camera: 16-MP rear-facing (OIS, autofocus, triple-LED dual-tone flash), 8-MP front-facing
3DMark Ice Storm: 7782
Verdict: Great everyday phone with a decent camera and good looks.