Dubai: Vibe Z is the first 4G LTE (long term evolution) smartphone from Lenovo. It is very thin and encased in a polycarbonate body with laser-engraved 3D tactile finish.
It weighs just 147 grams and measures 7.9mm, but slightly heavier and bulkier than its brother – Vibe X.
The 5.5-inch (1920 x 1080) IPS touch screen is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 quad-core 2.2GHz processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. There is no option to increase storage capacity as it does not have a microSD slot.
Out of 16GB, only 14.34GB is available for users.
The IPS panel with 440 pixels per inch density is same as Vibe X and offers very good viewing angles. Don’t worry about scratches as it has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 screen bevelled at the edges.
The best part is that the screen does not get smudgy. Colours appear vibrant and bright on the screen and the text and images are clear even under sunlight. It runs on Android 4.3 Jelly Bean operating system out-of-the-box and 4.4 version (KitKat) will be updated when available.
Lenovo has tweaked the user interface very heavily and has a new notification panel, extra widgets and new lock screen. Users can personalise their handset with the added theme centre.
The disadvantage, may be for some users, is that Lenovo has removed the app tray and all the apps are floating on the home screens. Only Google, Tools and games are in a folder. But users can create folders by dragging one app over the other.
It is good for those who download less apps but those with many apps will find it difficult to search and there is no way to make it in alphabetical order. The good thing is users can create 18 home screens.
The volume rocker is on the left side of the device and the power on/off button is on the top. The device can be unlocked by pressing the volume rocker instead of reaching the power on/off button. The Smart dialer feature shifts the numeric pad buttons for one-handed dialing in the direction users tilt the handset while the SmartCall feature allows users to answer the phone by holding it to the ear when the phone rings.
Lenovo is adding new features to its device to make it easier for the users. The main feature of this device is the 5MP front-facing wide-angle 84 degree lens. Most smartphones in the market have a standard 2.1MP. It is good for taking self-portraits and video chatting.
The 13MP auto-focus back-illuminated sensor with dual LED flash and f1.8 lens takes very good photos with rich details in daylight. In pitch dark conditions, it looks washed out and grainy despite LED flash. There is an option to take decent pictures by turning the super night feature on. There are 24 effects apart from the custom settings and filters found on most high-end smartphones. The device can take picture–in-picture and can take 10 burst shots in one click. It also has panorama, HDR, beauty, smile, macro and speech extensions. Photos can be easily edited and shared immediately.
The beautify tool feature in the edit mode can tweak the photo automatically or manually for best results such as making the skin smooth.
Some of the preloaded apps like UC Browser, Evernote, CamCard/CamScanner, KingSoft Office, AccuWeather and Route 66 Navi+Maps are good and useful.
The Shareit app allows data transfer from phone to phone; Syncit allows contacts to be backed up; Secureit anti-virus software and some smart features like the phone will ring louder when it is in your pocket; decreases tone volume when the device is picked up.
Watching videos on the device is superb due to Full HD IPS display with bright colours and rich details.
It has three preloaded games – Asphalt 7, Green Farm 3 and Real Football 2014.
The Snapdragon processor is very apt for playing graphic-rich games with no lag or buffering.
Regarding connectivity, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 and 4G LTE with download speed of up to 150Mbps and upload speeds of up to 50Mbps. No near-field communications (NFC).
The non-removable 3000mAh battery is strong and gives more than one full day of use in 3G mode but in 4G mode it gives around eight hours of life. For moderate users it can stand two full days with power saving features. In a nutshell, the slim device is worth the money with beautiful design and specs. It is priced at Dh1,999.
• Neat design
• Strong built quality
• Camera specs and features
• Full HD display
• Some useful preloaded apps
• No microSD slot
• Doesn’t have gyroscope
• No NFC
• Heavily tweaked user interface
• No app tray