The Lenovo Vibe Shot was officially launched in the Philippines earlier this week as a Lazada-exclusive, if only until mid-August. During this exclusivity period, the Vibe Shot will be available at a special introductory price of just Php16,999. Once it starts rolling out to Lenovo Mobile Exclusive Stores and authorized retailers nationwide mid-August, the camera-centric smartphone will be priced at Php17,999.
I was able to get some hands on time with this exciting new smartphone from Lenovo. The extra attention they paid to the Vibe Shot’s imaging capabilities is much-appreciated, especially in a sea of Android phones that can basically do everything the other can.
Although its price would make it a mid-range smartphone among its peers, the Lenovo Vibe Shot puts many higher end phones to shame. The outer frame is full aluminum while the front and back are protected by Gorilla Glass. It might not be the thinnest phone, but you won’t notice its thickness more than most other phones.
The color variant I was able to get my hands on was the Graphite Grey model, although there’s also a much more eye-catching Carmine Red. If you’d rather go for the Lenovo Vibe Shot in white, the Pearl White version is slated to come out some time in Q4 of this year.
The Lenovo Vibe Shot boasts a mix of mid-to-high end specs, sporting a 5 inch Full HD display, Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor, a whopping 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of internal storage. If for some reason, 32GB isn’t enough for you, you can expand it even further up to 128GB via microSD.
The real reason you’d buy the Vibe Shot though is its imaging capabilities, It sports a 16mp camera with an infrared autofocus that’s twice as fast as conventional AF cameras on smartphones, as well as a tri-color flash to ensure more accurate skin tones. Other phones have featured dual-tone flashes to achieve the same effect, but Lenovo is eager to point out that this is the first time a tri-tone flash has been used to this effect on mobile devices. There’s also a quick hardware toggle that lets you switch between the camera’s Auto and Pro modes, which I’ll get into later in the Software section. As if the camera couldn’t get any better, it also has optical image stabilization (OIS) technology that eliminates the blurring that can occur from vibration and shaky hands.
The Lenovo Vibe Shot runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with their custom Vibe UI running on top. It’s one of those UIs that skips on the App Drawer, meaning all your apps and widgets will be organized through the homescreens. Most folks will find the need to manage their apps more effectively through folders, so I’m not a big fan. Thankfully, you can just install a third party launcher like Apex or Nova if you really want your App Drawer back that badly.
Where the software really shines though is again focused on the camera. As mentioned, there’s a small hardware switch to toggle between the camera’s Auto and Pro modes, depending on your proficiency. The highlight of Auto mode is its Smart Composition feature that guides you onscreen to take the best shots in any scene. Pro mode on the other hand unleashes manual controls over the camera, letting you tweak individual settings to get that perfect shot.
There are many smartphones out there that give you a good mix of performance and features while featuring a perfectly good camera. However, the Lenovo Vibe Shot is that and more. Whether you’re a budding camera enthusiast or a seasoned pro who wants more control over their smartphone’s camera, the Vibe Shot is able to adapt to any skill level. And while its Snapdragon 615 SoC might not win any benchmark wars anymore, it can still take on any app or game you throw at it and multitask like crazy with its 3GB of RAM.
For a brand like Lenovo, it’s nice to see a premium smartphone like this come in at significantly less than Php20k. The Lenovo Vibe Shot isn’t just a smartphone with a camera as an afterthought – it’s a true convergence of smartphone and camera where you’re not left feeling short-changed when you’re using it as one or the other.
Lenovo Vibe Shot Specs
- 5″ Full HD IPS display (1080 x 1920 resolution, 441ppi)
- 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor
- Adreno 405 GPU
- Android 5.0 Lollipop
- 3GB RAM
- 32GB internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
- 16mp primary camera with infrared autofocus, tri-color LED flash, and OIS
- 8mp front camera
- GPS with A-GPS
- 3,000mAh battery
- Price: Php17,999 (Php16,999 via Lazada)