Lenovo Vibe Shot compared with 4 other camera mobiles

The Lenovo Vibe shot is the newest addition in Lenovo India’s product line up. It is a camera centric mobile with a feature list that may not be found even on cameras. It was just announced in India and it will be available soon. The Vibe Shot comes with a 16 MP camera assisted by a tricolor flash. It has a backlit sensor and an IR assisted hybrid focus mechanism. The lens is made of 6 elements and the entire assembly has image stabilization. The front camera is an 8 MP sensor. The Lenovo Vibe shot is powered by a Snapdragon 615 Octa-core processor. It has Adreno 405 GPU and 3GB RAM. Vibe Shot comes with 32 GB of internal memory. It supports 4G LTE in India and it is powered by a 3000 mAh battery. The device has a 5 inch full HD display with a pixel density of 440 ppi.

It is priced at Rs 25499. Many would say that it is slightly overpriced. But actually the Lenovo Vibe Shot has a fantastic camera. It is more of a camera than a mobile. If you are comparing it with the likes of Moto X or OnePlus, it may not be the right thing to do. If you need a great smartphone with a good camera, there many mobiles in the price range of 25k. But if you need a great camera which is also a decent smartphone, then there is practically nothing to compare the Vibe Shot with, on this price range. I still reserve my final thoughts on the mobile and the justification for the pricing for the post where I review it. But until then, here is a sneak peak of the camera capabilities of the Vibe Shot.

I got a chance to play with it briefly and here are the shots from the Lenovo Vibe Shot compared with Lumia 1020, OnePlus 2 and LG G4. All these 3 mobiles have great camera modules.

  • All shots were shot in Auto mode. The Pro modes has much more capabilities. Will try it out and post the results on a different post, later.
  • All the shots were taken under the same light conditions
  • The shots were quickly composed, as this would be close to 90% of your real life situation.

Shot 1: The Wall Piece

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Shot with Lenovo Vibe Shot
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with Lumia 1020
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Shot with LG G4

 

Shot with OnePlus 2
Shot with OnePlus 2

The shot from the Vibe Shot, is more natural and is sharp as well. OnePlus 2, gives the best in terms of sharpness and details, but it is slightly saturated. Vibe Shot image has the right white balance and is more close the reality. Surprisingly, the LG G4 shot here seems washed out and the Lumia 1020 image has a warmer white balance.

Shot 2: The Grill

Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with LG G4
Shot with LG G4
Shot with OnePlus 2
Shot with OnePlus 2

This shot was taken under direct sunlight at around 12 in the noon. You can see that LG G4 has exposed the iron grills perfectly and reduced the highlights effectively. Lumia 1020 fails to expose the shot correctly. But what surprises me is that the Vibe Shot parallels the performance of the LG G4 when it comes to exposure and contrast levels.

Shot 3: By the Table

Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with LG G4
Shot with LG G4
Shot with OnePlus 2
Shot with OnePlus 2

Depth of field is something that almost all mobile cameras these days have mastered. OnePlus 2 has the best depth of focus among all these shots. The background bokeh is smooth and buttery. Lenovo Vibe Shot has caught the details of foreground, but the background is not completely smooth. In terms of color reproduction and detailing, this image from the Lenovo Vibe Shot is on par with Lumia 1020 and LG G4.

Shot 4: The Flower Bunch

Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with LG G4
Shot with LG G4
Shot with OnePlus 2
Shot with OnePlus 2

I just love the vivid colors from the OnePlus 2 shot. OnePlus 2 is a clear winner here. The shot from Vibe Shot is a bit faded similar to G4. Also the depth of focus has not come out well with the Lenovo Vibe shot. Again in terms of details, the Vibe Shot’s shot is close to OnePlus 2. On 100% zoom, there is no pixelation and the details are preserved at corners.

Shot 5: By the Pool

Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Vibe Shot
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with Lumia 1020
Shot with LG G4
Shot with LG G4
Shot with OnePlus 2
Shot with OnePlus 2

The Vibe Shot is equipped with Infra red focusing system. The OnePlus 2 and LG G4 employs the laser focus system, while the Lumia 1020 relies on contrast based focus detection. When it comes to focusing a subject with water or glass, I have found that the Laser focus system is not very effective. Contrast works best for any kind of surface. In this case here, the focusing has gone completely wrong with the Vibe Shot and I never realized it while taking that shot. With a shiny object on the foreground and a transparent background, the IR has totally missed to calculate the right focusing measure.

Here are a few more shots from the Lenovo Vibe Shot

IMG_20150114_021013 IMG_20150114_023010 IMG_20150114_023437

I can say with confidence that the Lenovo Vibe Shots has a camera module that can compete and at time exceed the performance of a high end camera mobile. It can also give a tough competition to some of the leading point and shoot cameras out there. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to try out the camera in multiple light conditions. Hopefully, Ill get a chance to play more with the mobile, so I can share my thoughts with you. But personally, this mobile is really interesting, especially if you want to take mobile photography to the next level.

Lenovo K3 Note – Review

Lenovo is having a huge success in the Indian market. A recent study indicates that Lenovo has the biggest market share for the 4G smartphones in India. Much of this success is attributed to the whooping sales figures from its A series mobiles. The Lenovo A6000, A6000 plus and then the Lenovo A7000. The recently lauched A2010 could become a success for it as well. The A7000 was a beast of a mobile but mildly crippled due to its 720p display and 8 GB internal storage. So Lenovo launched a refreshed version of the A7000. but decided to call it the K3 Note for reasons known only to them.

Design

Weight 150 grams Slighly heavier than the A7000, but still easy to handle
Thickness 8 mm Very thin and svelete profile

The K3 Note is identical to the A7000 visually. It has the same plastic material body construction. Frankly there isn’t any upgrade when compared to the A7000. It would have been great if they had changed the design a bit and moved the speakers from the rear to the top or the bottom. Also the android menu keys are not back-lit. The design is flush and the edges are rounded. The bezels are thin, yet the device feels large in hand. It is quite thin and slightly heavier than A7000. There is a hint of metal used in the buttons. The back is removable and the SIM slots (Dual + LTE) are accessible under the battery. The battery is also removable.

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Display

Size 5.5 inch Large bright screen
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels Full HD display is a welcome upgrade
Ppi 401 ppi Crisp UI rendering

The display in the K3 Note is a noteworthy upgrade from A7000. The K3 has full HD display. The screen has no branded display protection. It comes along with free screen protector like any Lenovo mobile. It is a fingerprint magnet and under my usage conditions, it attracts a lot of grease and I had to keep cleaning the mobile often. Else the proximity sensor went haywire. The display is bright and the contrast levels are perfect. It has good viewing angles, but the sunlight readability isn’t that great. The HD display is pretty sharp and vivid to give you a great entertainment experience.

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Hardware

Processor Mediatek MT6752m Octa-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 Offers good perfromance
GPU Mali-T760MP2 Handles graphics and resouce intensive games with ease
RAM 2 GB For better multitasking and faster process handling
Internal Memory 16 GB (Expandable) A much welcome upgrade

It is a 4G mobile and now with the K3 Note, both the SIM slots supports 4G LTE. When you start up the mobile, the SIM setup wizard pops up and you can decide which SIM to use for data and voice calls individually. The processor and does a good job. It doesn’t heat up excessively on prolonged usage. Under the hood, technically the A7000 and K3 are identical. But the K3 scores better on benchmark tests. The mobile has 16 GB internal memory and it is expandable.

k3-performance

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Camera

Rear Camera MP 13 MP Major upgrade from A7000. Excellent quality images in day light. Average performance under low light
Flash Dual Tone LED Flash Renders a more natural lighting to the subject
Front Camera MP 5 MP Good for selfies and video chats

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K3 Note pleasantly surpised me with its quality of images. The 13 MP upgrade has worked wonders for the K3 note. The level of details in the images is really good. There is a bit of sharpening algorithm applied, but it stays within the natural level. HDR images are good as well. The Camera UI is practically the same, but has received a few upgrades in terms of available options. It doesn’t have any fancy laser focusing system, but the auto focus system is really fast and efficient. Low light images were not great. It was average and had lot of noise. You can reduce the ISO level manually for noise free images, but then you will have to hold the mobile very steadily. It offers some bit of guidance to compose your images better, by overlaying grids or the golden ration spiral. I liked the voice activated shutter option. It worked all the time and great for group shots. The 5 MP front facing camera captures good details for your selfies. I hate the skin smoothenig option and always disable it. The shutter can activated with voice, timer, blink or an eye or hand gesture. Both the camera are capable of 1080p videos. The quality of videos are good and the sound recorded is decent as well.

Software

Like the A7000, the K3 Note also runs on Android 5.0 with Lenovo’s Vibe UI on top. There is no app drawer and like most of the Chinese phones, it has the app laid out on the app desk. The Lenovo K3 has little customization options. There are only 6 themes in the theme store. When the notification bar is pulled down, there is a button to open the notification log. This is a very useful featur. In the system settings, under features, there are a bunch of gesture tricks that the Lenovo K3 Note can do. When enabled, the device can wake up on double tap. Also the volume button can be set to click a picture instantly when clicked twice when the screen is locked. The smart scene lets you change the system profile at preset time. The feature called “Wide Touch pane” put a ring on the screen. The screen opens a bunch of frequently used app and a some recently opened apps. On double tapping the ring, every app can be pushed to the background. The mobile comes preinstalled with a few apps and games and these programs can be uninstalled if needed. The highlight among all the features is the permission control center. It gives you full control of the apps permissions and you can dictate which apps gets which feature and all that without having to root your mobile. Overall the UI is very snappy, responsive and functional.

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Battery

My average usage would mean a few minutes on call everyday, constantly checking social media updates, 4G always on, connected to WiFi 10 hours a day, watching video clips and listening to music for a few hours. With my average usage, the mobile lasted for 19 hours on a single charge. It is powered by a 3000 mAh battery and the battery is removable.

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Verdict

The Lenovo K3 Note is priced at Rs 9999. It is available in black, white and yellow color, but it is available in Flipkart Flash sales exclusively. After a few initial weeks, the flash sales model will be discontinued and will be available on open sales. The fact that it supports 4G SIM on both the slots is a great plus point. It is the only best recommendation I can give, if you are looking for a good smartphone in this price range.

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If you are unsuccessful with the flash sales, you can check gearbest.com. Gearbest.com offers a great range of mobiles and gadgets to be imported at a competitive price. Also the Yellow and white versions of the K3 Note are available with Gearbest for $153 (~10k INR). Gearbest give you free shipping, however Lenovo does not support with warranty and service for imported mobiles.

 

Lenovo’s new budget device is the K3 Note

2015 has been the year of affordable smartphones. Probably around this time last year, nobody would have thought of having an affordable smartphone that is high on specs and performance. This trend was set on fire by Moto G and Xiaomi’s Redmi 1S. Lenovo has decided to concentrate on this segment more than the high end flagship devices. Much like Microsoft, Lenovo has also introduced more mobiles in the budget segment than in the premium segment. Well, that is what works for both the buyers and the manufactures. The sub 10000 rupees segment is a very competitive market. The margins are low and the volume of sales are high. This is exactly where Lenovo had hit the sweet spot with its A6000 model. It was followed by the much successful A6000 plus and then there was the A7000 which was still under Rs 10000, but had Dolby atmos and a large screen to flaunt.

WP_20150501_16_31_09_Raw

 

Now Lenovo has introduced a successor to the A7000 and its called the K3 Note. Ideally A7000 plus would have been a better identifier, because that is exactly what the Lenovo K3 is. The A6000 plus had double memory and RAM compared to the A6000. The K3 note has a bunch of features upgraded from A7000, but among all those features, the HD display stands tall.

That tweet says it all. Apart from the display the internal memory is now 16 GB and the rear camera is 13 MP camera with a dual tone flash. Also there is a marginal upgrade to the battery. The 3000 mAh battery could be the one which has accounted for the 10 gram increase in weight compared to A7000.

Lenovo K3 Note Lenovo A7000
4G LTE Yes on SIM 1 Yes on SIM 1
Dimensions 152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm 152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm
Weight 150 g 140 g
Display size 5.5 inches 5.5 inches
Display resolution (Density) 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi) 720 x 1280 pixels (~267 ppi )
Android Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop) Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
Chipset Mediatek MT6752 Mediatek MT6752m
CPU Octa-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 Octa-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53
GPU Mali-T760MP2 Mali-T760MP2
RAM 2 GB 2 GB
Internal Memory 16 GB (Expandable) 8 GB (Expandable)
Rear Camera 13 MP with Dual Tone LED Flash 8 MP with dual LED flash
Front Camera 5 MP 5 MP
Battery Li-Po 3000 mAh battery Li-Po 2900 mAh battery
Price Rs 9999 Rs 8999

I understand that Lenovo is cutting all corners to get this device at this price. But still, I am a bit bored with their design. Though it is very straight forward and minimalist, it is getting stagnated in the mind. I am not screaming here for metal or glass design. But a little change in the design language will give a fresh outlook for the Lenovo budget devices. I loved the A6000 plus more than the A7000 and you can read my earlier review on it. Now the K3 Note interests me as well. Looking forward to get a review unit and talk about it in detail. Also, Lenovo has not forgotten about the high end market in total. There are quite a few interesting devices lined up and the Vibe shot could be the first one in that line, coming to India.

Register for the K3 sale in Flipkart.

Lenovo S60 launched in India for Rs 12999 with Snapdragon 410 and 13MP camera

Lenovo is not taking any breaks and now its has introduced yet another mobile in India. The Lenovo S60 also called as the Lenovo Sisley (in China) is the newest member to join Lenovo India. The S60 stays away from the flash sale and it is available on amazon, flipkart and Lenovo Do store for a price of Rs 12999. It will also be available in retail outlets soon.

Lenovo S60t Sisley

Here are the key specifications

  • Snapdragon 410 64-Bit 1.2GHz Quad-Core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • Adreno 306 GPU
  • 8 GB internal memory
  • microSD card slot with expansion capability upto 32GB
  • 5 MP camera at the front with fixed focus5 Inch HD display with ~294 ppi
  • 13 MP camera at the rear with auto focus
  • Android 4.4 KitKat (upgradable to 5.0)
  • 4G LTE connectivity

It weights 129 grams and it very thin at just 6.9 mm. The Lenovo S60 has got a polycarbonate body construction, which I believe would be sturdier than the regular plastic material we have been seeing in their A Series mobiles. Though the design looks similar to iPhone 6, the construction quality is a welcome change. With it beefy updrage to the camera and processor, it would have been an added bonus if the Lenovo S60 had come with 16GB ROM.

Links to buy it online – Flipkart | Amazon | Lenovo Do store

 

 

 

 

Lenovo A7000 Unboxing and Review

The Lenovo A7000 has been launched in India a few weeks back. It is available exclusively through flipkart for a price of Rs 8999. The USP (Unique Selling Point) of this device is the Dolby Atmos Sound technology integrated into the chipset for a better audio experience. Lenovo A7000 runs on Android 5.0 out of the box and is powered by a Mediatek chipset with an octa core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz. It has a Mali T760 GPU and a 2GB of RAM. It has an internal memory of 8GB of which only 4 GB is available to the user.

Check out the unboxing video of this device

What I liked in the A7000

  • Simple no-fuss design
  • Price – Rs 8999
  • 2GB RAM
  • Dolby Atmos
  • Loads of useful features out of the box

What I didn’t like

  • Plastic material used in the construction
  • 8GB of internal memory
  • Glare on the display
  • Mediatek octocore processor in the device is not a great performer
  • Average camera performance

Read my full review here

Detailed Video review

Check out the camera samples