It took a while for Lenovo to sort out things but with the recent acquisition of Motorola and launch of Vibe Z they are indeed streamlining their Android device division. Courtesy Lenovo India I had the Vibe Z at my disposal for almost a month. Let’s quickly jump in to the Vibe Z review and see what the device has to offer.
Lenovo Vibe Z offers a certain degree of sophistication in its design way better than Samsung Galaxy devices. Although the devices comes with a plastic back but the textured finish make sure that it doesn’t feel flimsy or cheap. Moreover the chrome accent at the bottom is a subtle addition to overall design.
As far as button placement is concerned everything is usual. At the top of the device there’s the power button and 3.5mm audio jack; Volume control buttons and SIM tray are located on the left and right sides of the device respectively. Around the back there’s the 13 MP camera accompanied with LED flash (dual) and at the front you’ll find a 5 MP secondary camera.
Coming to the display, the Vibe Z sports a stunning 5.5″ inch screen with a resolution of 1080 x 1920. The brightness is very good indeed and using it under sunlight isn’t a difficult proposition (only a minute dip). One thing worth mentioning is that in order to utilize the screen real estate Lenovo has included a multi-app feature which lets you run two applications side by side, something of a Multi-Window feature seen on Samsung Note 3. A good inclusion but it is somewhat buggy and tends to break down at times.
I’ll start with some of the important specifications of Vibe Z. It is powered by a Quad-Core 2.2 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 processor supported by 2 GB RAM and 16 GB of internal storage. It comes loaded with Android 4.3 Jelly Bean and is touted to get the Android 4.4 upgrade soon (Lenove Updates Vibe Z). On to the actual real life performance, I never had to face any lag or even wait for any application to launch. Every single app I use ran on the phone seamlessly. Vibe Z comes with a solid hardware and such a performance was expected out of it.
On part which I’d like to emphasis on is the customization of underlying Android OS. Lenovo has literally tweaked almost every portion of Android OS to make it their own. Initially I had to check which OS was it running! The whole concept of app drawer has been left out; the widgets and apps are basically on the same screen; concept of theming (although most of them are cartoon’ish) and what not. I fail to understand the need for this degree of skinning. Had they kept the things simple the phone would have been even faster (and less bloated).
Apart from theming you also get bunch of Lenovo’s own applications and utilities pre-installed. SECUREit, Office suite, Evernote, CamCard, Pocket Mode, Smart Call, Smart Dialer, etc. Some of these applications are useful, some aren’t. Some of them work and some don’t. SECUREit as an example which for me is an unnecessary application sitting in the background scanning other apps when Google has multiple security layers to protect users against spammy apps.
I’d save you from reading the next few lines by saying that the camera on the Vibe Z is great. Except some great quality images both from the primary camera as well as secondary camera! The rear camera is capable for capturing image with a resolution of 4160 x 3120 and capturing full HD (1080p) videos at 30 fps. The front camera on the other hand lets you capture better than average selfies and make great quality video calls. The camera app adds its own set of usefulness by providing a set of interesting filters and effects.
It seems Lenovo has put in some thought and included a mammoth 3,000 mAh battery to support the device. In order to ensure that the large 5.5″ inch screen delivers as much as it can, the Lenovo Vibe Z’s 3,000 mAh pack does the job pretty well. A fully charged Vibe Z easily makes it through the day (with heavy usage) without the need of carrying either a portable battery or charging cable! A more judicious use would yield a couple of days usage easily.
Available for Rs. 33,999 the Vibe Z is a capable Android device with great hardware specifications. The downside is the extreme skinning of Android which at times takes the fun out of using the device. Although you can always use a 3rd party applications to try and make the device look like you but not everyone prefers that route. Moreover with Nexus 5 falling in the same price range the choice becomes rather tough.