Lenovo, which had entered the Indian smartphone market in 2012, earlier this week launched its costliest smartphone in the Indian market – the Vibe Z. The smartphone is priced at Rs 35,999. During its launch event in New Delhi yesterday we used the phone for a brief time and here is our first hand experience of Lenovo Vibe Z.
Design and Display
The moment people hear about a 5.5 inch phablet, they get panicked about its size and weight. But the Lenovo Vibe Z is extremely light and weighs just 145 grams, despite having a metallic body.. It is also just 7.9 mm thickness. The handset is easily operable via one hand. Also, Lenovo Vibe Z has certain user interface elements that makes single handed operation easier which we will discuss in the user interface segment. The very thin bezel surrounding the display is also a prime factor in its thin and light weight profile.
The noticeable part of the Lenovo Vibe Z is its gorgeous 5.5 inch display which comes with full high definition resolution that translates to astounding 400 ppi pixel density. This IPS display also promises 180 degree viewing. The display has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 covering that protects it from scratches but it does not prevents finger prints. But the finger-print issue is not that acute though.
Coming back to the design aspect, the Lenovo Vibe Z does not have a unibody design, which used to be the fad of last year. It has infact several parts that are craftily joined together to create a beautiful device. Chief among them is its metallic rear panel but this laser-etched rear cover feels extremely good in hands and does provides a good grip. But since it is a metal panel, all those who have sweaty palms will definitely face some issues.
The laser-etched cover does not cover the whole back panel – there is a aluminium plate just below it which is extremely shiny and holds the speaker grill. A similar but much thinner aluminium plate is also below the display. The front and rear panel is separated by a faded metallic thread which holds all the ports – SIM slot, volume rocker, power button, micro USB port, and the 3.5 mm jack.
As I said earlier, Lenovo has taken time to develop a user interface that suits the Vibe Z which is just huge. Called as Smart UI, it makes one handed operation in Vibe Z quite easier. For instance, in Lenovo Vibe Z you can even use the volume rocker to switch on the phone which comes extremely handy as normally in such big phones reaching out to the power button is quite a tedious task.
Like in the Emotion UI of Huawei, in Lenovo Vibe Z too there is no app drawer; all the apps are on the home screen itself. You could create up to 18 home screens and even create folders. For instance, you could keep all the games in one folder in the home screen to keep the display clutter free.
Also, Lenovo has borrowed the multi window feature from Samsung; the multi-window appears on its right hand side and does not interfere in other tasks as the Samsung version does.
Like a majority of Android smartphones, it has got three capacitive touch buttons just below the display – Menu, Home, Return.
The Lenovo Vibe Z has a 13 megapixel auto focus rear camera. There are two LED flash lights in the back panel as well. In the front, it has a 5 megapixel fixed focus camera. The rear camera has the backing of a BSI sensor and it claims to be capable of capturing full HD videos.
The front camera though is a fixed focus one but it is said to have 84 degree wide lens which will certainly come handy while clicking selfies.
Hardware and Performance
The Lenovo Vibe Z has the 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad core processor. It has also the powerful Adreno 330 graphics processing unit and huge 2 GB RAM. However, a bit of dampener is that the Vibe Z comes with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system and not Android KitKat.
The absence of an expandable storage slot too may pinch the buyers as the phone has only 16 GB internal storage. Also, though it is a 4G compatible smartphone, it is only compatible with FDD-LTE version of 4G on which only Videocon is launching its 4G network in India.
All other telecos in India have opted for the TD-LTE version. Also, it has only a single SIM slot; the importance of dual SIM phones are palpable from the fact that HTC had in the past stopped making single SIM variant of HTC One model and instead offered a dual SIM version of the same.
The Lenovo Vibe Z is definitely a refreshing new model in the Rs 30,000-40,000 price bracket. It has got good design and display. As far as our initial experience is concerned, it also seems to have a good camera and a powerful processor. However, lack of expandable storage slot and a second SIM slot may go against it.
We will explore its other features and shortcomings (if any) in the coming days. So keep checking The Mobile Indian for a thorough review of the Lenovo Vibe Z which we may publish in a couple of days.
Pictures by :Sushil Kumar