Lenovo-Vibe-Shot-COVER-REVIEW

Lenovo has been on the smartphone market for quite some time, but the last two years the company is clearly making some effort in taking a larger cut of the mobile segment and knows how to make an impression. Almost all of the smartphones offered by Lenovo feature big batteries and the high-end handsets emphasize on the camera quality.

Nevertheless, the model we are about to review was announced during MWC 2015 and tries to bring the best of both worlds. We are talking about Lenovo Vibe Shot – a smartphone that should excel in battery life and camera performance, well at least it seems like it just by looking at the tech specs. The device offers 16MP sensor with triple-LED flash on the back with three different color temperatures of the diodes. It’s also back up by OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) for less noise at nighttime and less “shaky” images. Furthermore, the phone has a 2900 mAh battery that should be more than enough for a full day without charging. Also, we are really eager to see what’s the technology used for the making of the display since it looks like an AMOLED panel, but according to Lenovo it’s LCD IPS. Colors appear to be vibrant, it has high contrast ratio and the color gamut coverage is pretty high too. So let’s take a closer look at this gorgeous smartphone.

Check the current price of Lenovo Vibe Shot here:
http://amzn.to/1IWn74E

Contents


Video review

Retail package

We were able to snatch an engineering sample so we can’t be really sure about all the accessories that accompany the Vibe Shot. However, the usual user manuals, AC charger, USB cable, and headphones should be in place.

Design and construction

The Lenovo Vibe Shot offers stylish and premium design and high build quality. Anodized aluminum frame around the edges and glass is used for the back and front panel. It kind of reminds us of the Xperia Z series smartphones, but also has its own distinguished and unique look.

Lenovo VS face
Lenovo VS Back

First things first, though. Let’s begin with the back panel which we already said it’s covered in glass that’s backed up by Gorilla Glass 3 protection and under it, you will see a strip line that looks like a brushed aluminum. The whole idea is for the smartphone to look like an old school professional camera when you are holding it horizontally. You will also easily notice Lenovo Vibe’s logo and the 16MP camera along with the triple-LED flash. Speaking of which, right beneath that setup you can see an IR blaster that should help the camera focus more easily even under low-light conditions – the very same feature we saw in the LG G3 and this year’s G4.

Lenovo VS face2
Lenovo VS back2

The front panel is also made of glass with Gorilla Glass 3 protection and it’s a little protruded. We saw something similar with the Vibe X2 (the layered phone, remember?). The front panel was a bit protruding and looked like it was glued to the main body. The concept here is just about the same. Nonetheless, the front panel accommodates the proximity sensor, light sensor, and the front shooter at the top along with the three navigational hardware buttons at the bottom.

Lenovo VS side3

Lenovo VS side4

Continuing with the sides which feature anodized aluminum frame – it looks stylish and clean, but it feels a bit uncomfortable in hand. The edges are sharper than they should be and give the impression of a bigger phone than it is. For the record, the screen is just 5.0″. So what’s with all the extra buttons on the sides? Well, on the left you will only find the dual-SIM slot and the external SD card slot. Interestingly, all other buttons are on the right side of the phone. There are the usual volume rocker, the power button and two dedicated buttons for the camera. One of which is used for taking photos (or you can press it to launch the camera from sleep mode) and the other one is more like a switch used for toggling “Professional mode” or “Auto mode”. The bottom side of the phone has the USB port, loudspeaker while the top frame accommodates the 3.5 mm jack and secondary microphone.

Lenovo VS face3
Lenovo VS Side1
Lenovo VS side2
Lenovo VS back3

Our overall opinion on the design is more than positive. We’ve got premium materials used for the chassis along with the proper protection form Gorilla Glass 3 on both sides. Also, the device feels sturdy, looks gorgeous, and it’s very thin – 7.3 mm (0.28″). Unfortunately, though, the design isn’t very functional and here are our little complaints about the device: the power button and volume rocker should switch places (the thumb instinctively aligns with the volume keys) and the sharp edges and thin profile mostly get in the way when working with one hand (it’s uncomfortable to hold at times).

Display and sound

Lenovo Vibe Shot uses Full HD (1080 x 1920 pixels) multi-capacitive touch display with IPS panel. The diagonal is 5.0″ and screen ratio of 16:9. Space between each pixel is 0.0577 mm x 0.0577 mm, thus the pixel density of the screen is 441 PPI. The screen becomes “Retina” when viewed from 20 cm or more.

You can see the subpixels on the microscope image below.

Micr-LenovoVIBE

Viewing angles are perfect – just what we’ve expect from a high-quality IPS panel.

Lenovo VS Angles Final2

The average value of the recorded maximum brightness is 644 cd/m2 with a contrast of 1600:1. You can also see the results from other screen modes below. We are obligated to note that this is one of the best results we’ve recorded so far and easily challenges the iPhone 6 in terms of maximum brightness as well as OLED panels when it comes to 644 cd/m2.

Brightness-LenovoVIBE

Color gamut coverage (CIE)

Vibe Shot’s display covers the whooping 100% of the sRGB and 94% of the Adobe RGB color gamut. We haven’t recorded such values on any other LCD panel.

CIE-Lenovo Vibe Shot

The gamma curve is a bit out of line – 2.70. This means that medium dark images will appear darker than they should.

Gamma-LenovoVIBE

Color reproduction

The color reproduction of the unit is quite good with average DeltaE 2000 deviation of 3.86.

DeltaE-LenovoVIBE

You can see the color reproduction on the color map below.

DisplayColor-Lenovo Vibe Shot

Pulse-width modulation (PWM, Screen flickering)

We haven’t noticed any aggressive light pulsation, thus making the display harmless to your eyes across all brightness levels.

PWM-LenovoVIBE

Gaming capabilities (Response time)

We recorded the refresh time of the pixels from black to white and white to black for 10 to 90%. So we were able to measure Fall Time + Rise Time = 21 ms, which is good enough for you to not notice any screen tearing or lag.

ResponceTime-LenovoVIBE

Conclusion

The given display is just flawless offering high contrast, 100% of the sRGB color gamut coverage, no PWM, and excellent viewing angles. The color accuracy will suit just about every average user and the untrained eye will not spot any irregularities. The deviation of the tone response curve is also neglectable, so we can rate this display as absolutely flawless.

Display comparison

If we assume a distance of 38cm (~15 in) between the human eye and the smartphone’s display to be optimal, then normal (20/20) vision would require a pixel density of at least 230ppi in order to interpret an image as perfectly detailed.

Smartphones Results (ppi) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 440.58 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorrila Glass 3 400.53 – 9.09 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, 540 x 960 pixels, Gorilla Glass 4 244.77 – 44.44 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 441 0.1 % Check price

Higher panel brightness is of key importance for visual comfort when working outside or in a brightly lit room.

Smartphones Results (cd/m2) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 558 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorrila Glass 3 500 – 10.39 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, 540 x 960 pixels, Gorilla Glass 4 0 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 315 – 43.55 % Check price

Delta E (CIE 2000) is a CIE measurement unit of color difference. Higher values indicate that the display produces less accurate colors. (lower results are desirable).

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 3.86 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorrila Glass 3 3.15 18.39 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, 540 x 960 pixels, Gorilla Glass 4 0 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 1.77 54.15 % Check price

The coverage of the sRGB color gamut, introduced as a standard for the Web, shows the percentage of colors used on the Web that can be displayed on the screen of the device being tested (higher values are better).

Smartphones Results (%) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 100 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorrila Glass 3 92 – 8 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, 540 x 960 pixels, Gorilla Glass 4 0 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 5-inch, IPS, 1080 x 1920 pixels, Gorilla Glass 3 94 – 6 % Check price

Sound

The sound quality of the device is somehow mediocre with recorded frequencies of 500 Hz to 10 kHz within +/- 6 dB.

Sound-Lenovo Vibe Shot

Battery life

The Vibe Shot offers a relatively big battery with a capacity of 2900 mAh which is pretty impressive given the thin profile of just 7.3 mm. This should be more than enough to power the 5.0-inch Full HD display and not so power-hungry SoC. We expect some pretty good results and our expectations were met. All tests were performed under the same conditions – Wi-Fi turned on (except for the 3G browsing test), Bluetooth is off, GPS is off, and screen brightness set to 120 cd/m2.

In this test the screen doesn’t affect the battery life, since the proximity sensor turns it off during phone calls.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 2900 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 1053 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 893 – 15.19 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 1900 mAh, 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 877 – 16.71 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 2300 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 565 – 46.34 % Check price

We run our Web surfing test with a custom-made script, which browses through 70 popular web pages.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 2900 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 627 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 630 0.48 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 1900 mAh, 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 606 – 3.35 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 2300 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 447 – 28.71 % Check price

This test uses the same custom-made script, but we use 3G connection instead of Wi-Fi.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 2900 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 434 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 556 28.11 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 1900 mAh, 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 0 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 2300 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 281 – 35.25 % Check price

For this test we use a looping 720p movie.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 2900 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 647 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 631 – 2.47 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 1900 mAh, 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 535 – 17.31 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 2300 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 414 – 36.01 % Check price

In order to simulate 3D gaming, we use Epic Citadel cycles at High Quality setting.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot 2900 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 214 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 300 40.19 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 1900 mAh, 4.5-inch, Super AMOLED, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 288 34.58 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX 2300 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) 143 – 33.18 % Check price

Battery saving features

Just like every other modern smartphone, this one features a handful of features to help you boost your battery life or at least save some until you get to the charger. In the settings menu under “Power manager” section you will find several useful options for reducing power consumption and saving some juice. You are presented with the usual power saver which you can customize (things like turning off the Wi-Fi, mobile network, Bluetooth and etc.). There’s also a nifty feature which will let you restrict some of the apps running in the background. Another interesting feature is the screen and GPU power saver which reduces power consumption of the display from 5 to 20% and the GPU from 10 to 20%, but there’s no word of how this is done.

Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-12-52-997
Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-13-08-109

The best part, however, is the Ultimate Power Saver. This may sound familiar as Samsung and HTC have presented such an option from their previous flagship devices – HTC One (M8) and Samsung Glaxy S5 and you are not wrong. All phone functions are limited and only basic apps like call the phone book, phone app, SMS and clock are available. The Ultimate Power Saver can be even turned on automatically at custom hours each day. And finally the phone also offers detailed statistics of what app or hardware has drained your battery the most. This is an easy way to to keep track of any unwanted power drain.

Specs sheet

Lenovo-Vibe-Shot-531
Operating system Android 5.0 (Lollipop) + Vibe UI
CPU Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615 (8-core, 4x 1.70GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x 1.0GHz Cortex-A53, 64-bit)
RAM 3GB RAM
Storage 32GB flash memory + microSD card up to 128GB
GPU Adreno 405
Display 5.0-inch IPS LCD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, FHD resolution (1080×1920)
Connectivity Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, LE, Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, GPS, A-GPS, dual SIM (Nano-SIM , dual stand-by)
Cameras 16MP (OIS) with autofocus and IR focus, triple-tone LED flash + 8MP front-facing camera
Features Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, e-compass
Battery 2900 mAh
Dimensions (W/H/D) 142 x 70 x 7.3 mm
Weight 145 g (5.11 oz)

Software

Lenovo Vibe Shot comes with pre-installed Android 5.1 Lollipop and Vibe UI on top of it. To be honest, this time Lenovo brought their UI closer to simplicity and usability. The software developers did a pretty good job here, although the icons still don’t look that good. However, in-app menus, context menus, notification area – all of them are well designed and bring the so-called Material Design closer to the user experience.

As usual, you have tons of cool customizations and features at your disposal. The notification area is a bit tweaked so it’s easier for you to access only the notifications or the quick settings menu. We liked it way better than the stock one in Lollipop. The “Desktop” (as Lenovo likes to call it) can be customized with various themes, wallpapers, swipe animations, icon packs, screen lock styles, and etc. All effects and animations are well handled by the GPU so no complaint about optimization is in order. It runes quite smoothly and snappy.

Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-06-08-616Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-06-04-334Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-05-54-983Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-05-59-641Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-05-51-645Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-04-56-877Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-06-34-747Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-06-13-364Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-07-14-529Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-06-21-169

The settings menu looks just like the one in the new TouchWiz – white background with minimalistic, colorful, circular icons for each section. The display section lets you customize the screen mode with color temperature, tone, saturation and there are also a few other stock presets. You can also enable or disable the so-called tap-to-wake function or turn ambient display notification feature. This one lights up the screen when a notification is received but only in black and white. The same thing happens when you pick up the phone and you’ve got a new message or missed call. This way you will not turn on the display so often.

Under the “Feature” menu can be found something called Wide touch. It’s practically a floating button giving you access to some of the apps or options and its appearance can be tweaked – transparency, position and size. There’s also a thing called “Smart Scene”. Simply put, this is a good old profile manager like the old cell phones had. However, this one offers 5 different modes like sleep, home, lunch, office and school. You can choose when each profile turns on and what sound settings should be enabled. Adding custom profiles is an option too.

Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-06-44-846
Screenshot_2015-05-15-16-06-51-854

Lenovo has also added an additional security feature called Secure Zone. The Secure Zone disables some apps and functions that you’d wish and it can be password protected. A floating button can also be added so you will have a quick access to the mode.

To sum things up, the Lenovo Vibe Shot bring some interesting and most of them useful software features to the table. We’ve also seen a good implementation of the Lollipop’s Material Design signature and more OEM’s should do the same. Sony is another manufacturer taking the same steps in the right direction with their Xperia UI. The only thing that left us wanting more are the icons. They should be more flat and minimalistic in order to blend into the Android environment.

Performance

It’s interesting decision from Lenovo. The camera specs and overall design screams “premium” at your face, but the SoC is mostly suitable for mid-range devices. This may be due to keeping low-cost production as the phone isn’t a flagship material. But don’t get us wrong. This handset can be easily compared to this year’s and last year’s flagships (especially considering the appealing price tag), but we all know that Lenovo’s top smartphone for this year will bring a lot more to the table. However, you will not notice any significant hangs or lags. Games, applications and the navigation through the menu perform great and snappy. That’s at least from user’s standpoint. But what about the numbers?

The Vibe Shot is equipped with octa-core Qualcomm MSM8939, also called Snapdragon 615. Four Cortex-A53 cores run at 1.7GHz and the other four Cortex-A53 run at 1.0GHz.

luster runs when no excessive performance is needed in order to preserve power. The SoC is paired with more than enough RAM for multitasking – 3GB and the GPU used here is the usual Adreno 405 ticking at 550MHz. Its performance can be compared to the Adreno 320 and PowerVR G6200. Let’s not waste more time and compare its performance to the competitors with similar price.

CPU

Geekbench 3.0 is Primate Labs cross-platform processor benchmark which simulates real-world scenarios and gives a combined score, based on the results of integer, floating point and memory performance.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 3GB RAM 2357 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 3142 33.31 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM 1417 – 39.88 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 2249 – 4.58 % Check price

Metal 3 is the latest version of Vellamo’s CPU benchmark.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 3GB RAM 1121 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 1041 – 7.14 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM 875 – 21.94 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 984 – 12.22 % Check price

Vellamo 2 Metal measures the CPU subsystem performance of mobile processors.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 3GB RAM 853 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 862 1.06 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM 692 – 18.87 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 813 – 4.69 % Check price

GPU

The T-Rex 2.7 test is based on ES 2.0/GL 3.0 and includes highly detailed textures, materials, complex geometry, particles with animated textures and a post-process motion blur effect. The graphics pipeline also features planar reflections, specular highlights and soft-shadows.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939); GPU: Adreno 405, 0.55 GHz ; 3GB RAM 15 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 16 6.67 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM 5.3 – 64.67 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939); GPU: Adreno 405, 0.55 GHz ; 2GB RAM 15 0 % Check price

The Manhattan 3.0 test is based on ES 3.0 / GL 4.1 and uses deferred rendering and multi-render target (MRT) for the geometry pass, diffuse and specular lightning. It also features complex effects such as depth shadow map, cloaking effect, post-process effects (bloom, depth of field), occlusion query and animated volumetric light shafts.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939); GPU: Adreno 405, 0.55 GHz ; 3GB RAM 5.9 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 5.8 – 1.69 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM 1.5 – 74.58 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939); GPU: Adreno 405, 0.55 GHz ; 2GB RAM 5.6 – 5.08 % Check price

In this test, 3DMark’s Unlimited engine uses a fixed frame interval and renders exactly the same frames in every run on every device. The frames are rendered in 720p “offscreen” while the display is updated with small frame thumbnails every 100 frames to indicate progress.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo Vibe Shot Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939); GPU: Adreno 405, 0.55 GHz ; 3GB RAM 7747 0 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 10633 37.25 % Check price
Samsung Galaxy A3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM 2639 – 65.94 % Check price
GSmart Guru GX Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 (MSM8939); GPU: Adreno 405, 0.55 GHz ; 2GB RAM 7405 – 4.41 % Check price

Camera

Lenovo VS camera detail

The main camera of the handset uses 16MP sensor (5328×2997) with OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), triple-LED flash with three different color temperatures and IR laser for better and faster focus under low-light conditions.

Resolution

We measure the resolution of the camera with lph (lines per high) thanks to the ISO 12233 table. The result can be seen below.

The maximum resolution of the camera is 2380 lph in the center of the image.

Using our test composition, we can gain a subjective but fairly accurate view of the resolution, sharpness, color noise and chromatic aberrations.

Test-LenovoVIBE

The text can be read easily and the JPG compression is quite low. The low-light parts of the image are well-managed.

TEXT-LenovoVIBE

No trace of chromatic aberrations.

Aber-LenovoVIBE

Color reproduction

ColorRendChart

Blue very good
Green very good
Red very good
Yellow very good
Magenta excellent
Cyan very good
White very good
Gray good

Our rating is 7.8/10.

You can easily see the difference between the sample and the output color on the color map below.

CameraColor-Lenovo Vibe Shot

Menu

If you are a fan of photography, you will be pleasantly surprised with a lot of customization options like ISO, white balance, exposure, shutter speed, manual focus and more.

Menu-LenovoVIBE

Conclusion

Lenovo Vibe Shot’s camera has high resolution, IR blaster aiding the autofocus, triple-tone LED flash for better portraits in the dark, and optical image stabilization for better quality photos even under low-light conditions. It can also reproduce the colors of the scene pretty accurate. However, you can see that the camera can’t perform very good under low-light conditions despite the OIS, but this can be easily averted thanks to the rich selection of manual options.

There are also a few other neat features which other competitors don’t have. For instance, the Quick Snap function takes a photo even when the screen isn’t on just by double pressing one of the volume keys or the dedicated camera button. Speaking of which, you will find that it’s quite useful – photos are more easily taken and you can launch the camera when you press it for a few seconds when the screen is off. However, we would have been happier if it was double-torque for better autofocus.

Sample photos

IMG_20150515_174502IMG_20150515_174243IMG_20150429_160052IMG_20150429_155717IMG_20150429_155420IMG_20150429_155350IMG_20150429_012718IMG_20150429_012213IMG_20150515_174544IMG_20150515_174334
Bukeh
Bokeh
HDR
HDR
HDR
HDR

Temperatures and comfort

This is an important test that should be considered when buying a smartphone, especially if you are considering the usage of demanding apps and games. The SoC and the display can get really hot and it will be interesting to see how each phone handles the temperature and how it affects user experience.

First, we took into account the usual everyday tasks like web browsing, video playback, writing, and photo editing. The graph below shows how the CPU manages each task, its temperatures, and workload.

Screenshot_2015-05-15-14-34-34-400

For the next test we used Epic Citadel benchmark again running on loop in order to simulate real-life gaming. After 30 minutes we checked the temperature of the outer surface of the smartphone. You can see the results below.

vibe shot temps

Video recording

Verdict

We are expecting the phone to arrive at an appealing price – around €300 or a bit more. For that price you’ve got everything you’d wish for a flagship, besides the fact that Lenovo isn’t advertising the handset as top tier. You’ve got a good camera and great battery life at your disposal, but that’s not the picture. Flawless screen quality, premium design, cool software features, and great performance are also on the menu.

The chassis features metallic frame with two glass sides (front and back) with our only complaint about the sharp edges making the phone uncomfortable to hold with one hand. The display, on the other hand, leaves us breathless. It can be easily mistaken for an OLED panel just by looking at it and the numbers are here to back it up. It has high contrast ratio, 100% of the sRGB and 94% of the Adobe RGB and maximum brightness suited for reading under direct sunlight – absolutely no problems there. The battery life also proved to be worthy of paying the extra bucks over a normal mid-range device and will most certainly get you through at least two days of normal to moderate usage. On the software side, Lenovo has finally done a great job here – good integration of Android’s Material Design signature, flatter and better design (unlike recent Lenovo devices), tons of useful features and customization to suit your individual taste and the only thing we can’t go along with is the Vibe UI icons – they just don’t fit into the environment.

Funny thing though, the camera should be the feature that defines this device, but yet it fails to deliver the ultimate experience. In all other areas the Lenovo Vibe Shot excels, but the camera performance (especially under low-light conditions) left us wanting more. The sensor seems to be fine (16MP + OIS, triple-LED flash IR laser for autofocus), but maybe it lacks the important software optimization. However, if you are a fan of photography, the smartphone offers a lot of options for you to take advantage of and the photos will surely be better than the ones taken in “Auto” mode. This may be the first time we recommend an upper-mid-range device over last year’s flagships, because the Lenovo Vibe Shot can easily take on even 2015’s flagships in more than one aspect.

Check the current price of Lenovo Vibe Shot here:
http://amzn.to/1IWn74E

Pros

  • Excellent build quality
  • Good battery life
  • Perfect display
  • Cool software features and improved Vibe UI
  • Good overall performance
  • Tons of camera options and features

Cons

  • Average camera performance

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