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Product Listing

Lenovo Vibe Shot: The smartphone that wants to be a compact camera

By Cookie Monster - 29 Dec 2015
Launch SRP: S$479

Overview, Design & Features

The Lenovo Vibe Shot looks like any other 5-inch Android smartphone, but when you turn to the back, it is a different beast altogether.

Overview

As one of the top five smartphone brands in the world, Lenovo is by no means a small player. Unfortunately, most of its phones were not available in Singapore until recently. One of its more recent developments, the brand secured an exclusive partnership with Lazada Singapore to bring its camera-centric smartphone, the Vibe Shot, to the local market. With Android flagship smartphones stepping up their game in the mobile photography arena, can Lenovo carve out a space for its Vibe Shot, which can easily be mistaken for an old Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX series compact camera? That's what we intend to find out from this review. Here's a quick overview of its specs:

  Lenovo Vibe Shot
  Lenovo Vibe Shot
Operating system
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop with VIBE UI
Processor
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core (Quad-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53 & Quad-core 1.1 GHz Cortex-A53)
Built-in Memory
  • 3GB RAM
Display
  • 5-inch / 1,920 x 1,080 pixels (441ppi) / IPS
Camera
  • Rear: 16-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture, tri-color LED flash, optical image stabilization
  • Front: 8-megapixel
Connectivity
  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, dual-band, WiFi Direct, hotspot,
Storage Type
  • 32GB internal storage
  • microSD support up to 128GB
Battery
  • 3,000 mAh
Dimensions
  • 142 x 70 x 7.6mm
Weight
  • 145g

 

Design & Handling 

(Note: We've done a hands-on article with the Vibe Shot, so we'll summarize the key points here instead of going into great length again.) 

While some of you might find the Vibe Shot very iPhone-ish from the front face, it take on a different perspective from the rear where it looks more like a conventional Sony point-and-shoot camera design from a few years back. The in-hand feel is strikingly familiar to the Sony Xperia Z series, except that the Vibe Shot has an aluminum frame that gives it a premium feel.

The rear of the Lenovo Vibe Shot looks very similar to that of a point-and-shoot  Sony camera.

The rear of the Vibe Shot consists of a sheet of Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which means you shouldn't be overly concerned about scratches even without a case. However, based on Apple's experience with the iPhone 4/4S and Samsung's recent use of glass backs for the Galaxy S and Note series, you have to be careful not to drop it as glass shatters easily upon impact. You also have to deal with the frequent fingerprints and smudges on the glass rear.

You will find the dual-SIM card slot (both micro-SIM) and the microSD memory card slot (supports cards of up to 128GB in capacity) on the left side of the Lenovo Vibe Shot.

Overall, the Vibe Shot is a well-built device although its design is uninspiring. Handling is expectedly good for a 5-inch screen smartphone. On a lighter note, Lenovo also included a lanyard loop at the bottom left, an aspect that's usually absent in most modern smartphones.

 

The Vibe UI with Android 5.1 Lollipop

Vibe UI is considered lean compared to other Android vendors' customized UIs. It occupies 6.62GB of the internal storage.

Similar to Huawei's EMUI 3.1 and Xiaomi's MIUI interfaces, the Vibe Shot has Vibe UI that resembles Apple's iOS where the conventional app drawer seen in most Android phones is removed. What you get is several home screens displaying all the apps on the Vibe Shot. 

Themes are popular among Android users and Lenovo has included a Theme Center on the Vibe Shot. The Theme Center is quite limited though; it comes preloaded with 6 themes, 15 wallpapers, 15 call alert tones, 10 alarm tones, 14 message alert tones, 6 lock screen themes, and 2 recent task list options.

Lenovo adds a degree of customization for the Vibe Shot via its Theme Center.

 

As mentioned, there are two recent task list options for you to choose on the Vibe Shot. The first one is by Lenovo, which looks like a blatant copy of Apple's previous multitasking interface. The second one mimics Android Lollipop by having a stacked card interface. Both options come with an option to clear all background apps with one touch.

Another aspect where Lenovo took inspiration from Apple's iOS is the inclusion of wide touch. Wide Touch works like Apple's AssistiveTouch button which is essentially a floating button you can place anywhere on the screen. Enabled via Settings > Feature > Wide Touch, you can customize it to carry out predetermined actions. For example, a double tap or long press on the Wide Touch can bring you back to the home screen, menu, lock screen or simply go back to the previous menu. 

This is the setting page for the Wide touch feature on the Lenovo Vibe Shot. If you tap on Wide touch, it presents a series of app shortcuts which you can add or remove according to your preferences. To remove the shortcut, simply press and hold on the icon.
7.0
  • Design 8
  • Features 7.5
  • User-Friendliness 8
  • Performance 7.5
  • Value 6
The Good
Thin design with aluminum frame
MicroSD memory card slot
Good battery life
The Bad
Low light photography disappointing
No unique software features
Fingerprint magnet
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