Dec 30, 2013 Abbas Jaffar Ali
The Lenovo Vibe X S960 arrived in out office a couple of day back. I picked it up, out from its box and the very first thought that went through my mind was to search for the battery in the packaging as it was incredibly light. But there was no battery in the box and for a moment, it seemed as though Lenovo has done the impossible. Weighing just 121 grams, the Vibe X is surely the lightest 5-inch phone I have played with.
The Lenovo Vibe X comes in a brick sized box with usual set of assortments. You have a quick start guide in English and Arabic as well as warranty information. A headset is also included with flat cables and so is a USB cable with a power plug- all in white. The following unboxing video shows all of these.
Lenovo has built a beautiful handset with a very premium feel. Measuring 144 x 74 x 6.9 mm and weighing 121g, the Vibe X has an instant wow factor. It takes you a couple of seconds to digest how thin and light this phone is and that you’re actually holding a working phone in your handstand not a dummy. Other than making it super thin, Lenovo has also made the Vibe X a very solid device with no loose parts or creaking sides.
The curved edges and the tapered back on the Vibe X give it a much thinner look than it actually is – a page borrowed from the design cues of the older iPod Touch. On the front, you have a large 5-inch display with three capitative buttons below it for Menu, Home and Back. Volume keys sit on the right side while a power button is on the left. The top has a 3.5mm jack and the bottom houses the USB connector. On the back you have the main 13MP camera while the front has an impressive 5MP camera.
Here is now the Lenovo Vibe X compares to some of the recent phones we have tested such as the LG G2 and the HTC One Max.
From the specs above, you can see than the Lenovo Vibe X has a quad core 1.7GHz processor based on the Mediatek MT6589T chipset along with PowerVR SGX544MP2. You might think that is a high-end configuration but sadly the benchmarks prove otherwise. For example, the Vibe X scored 2,866 in 3DMark (Ice Storm Unlimited) where the LG G2 scored 15,039. Vellamo posted results of 573 on Metal and 1554 in HTML5 which are again considerably lower than the LG G2 at 1,192 and 2,901 respectively. It’s unfortunate that Lenovo did not use an SoC by a vendor such as Qualcomm which could have made the Vibe X noticeably faster.
The 5.0-inch full HD IPS display on the Vibe X looks nothing short of stunning- though keep in mind that I prefer an IPS panel over an AMOLED. The color reproduction is rich and vibrant and the viewing angles are impressive although auto-brightness can be over-enthusiastic at times and turn the brightness down lower than usual. Where you will find an issue is when it comes to responsiveness- the sub-par processor gives the phone a very laggy feel. Moving through screens, lists or adding widgets to the home screen show a noticeable lag.
As far as the UI is concerned, Lenovo uses a custom interface that somewhat looks like the MiUi interface. There is no App Drawer so all your applications reside on one of the home pages- very much like iOS. In fact, the influence of iOS is certainly visible- just check out the video below:
The sound produced by the Lenovo Vibe X is surprisingly loud for such a super skinny phone. It’s also a bit on the shallow end which is expected for thin speakers. Unlike other devices that usually have speakers placed towards the bottom of the phone, Lenovo has chosen to put the speaker inside the ear piece. I’m not sure if that is a good idea as it could be a hurtful experience if the speaker turns on while the phone is on your ear.
[Tweet “The 5MP front camera on the Vibe X will please people that like to take Selfies.”]
The Lenovo Vibe X has a 13MP camera on the back and a 5MP camera on the front which is extra-ordinarily high for a front camera and sure to please people who love taking selfies. While the camera takes decent shots in day light, the flash can be a strong at night. Without the flash, pictures came out really dark even with the ISO levels were manually set to high. The following is a sample of pictures taken from the Vibe X camera
Equipped with a 2000mAh battery and considering the 5-inch screen size, you’d think that you’ll be running out of power soon on the Vibe X. But that is the price Lenovo probably had to pay for keeping the Vibe X so thin. The good news is that even with a somewhat average battery, the Vibe X manages to perform well as far as battery life is concerned. There was not a single day of my using the phone where it died before the end of the day.
The Lenovo Vibe X is a beautifully phone that is superbly constructed and is incredibly light. Sadly Lenovo’s choice of SoC makes this phone underwhelming as far as performance is concerned.
Founder of tbreak.com, Abbas has been living and breathing technology before phones became smart or clouds started storing data. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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