We were able to get a hold of the Vibe Z, also known as the Lenovo K910L, their first LTE-enabled smartphone. The unit came in a matte black and red box with a big “VIBE Z” on it. It reminded me so much of the ever reliable ThinkPad with the red joystick that I use for work.
The accessories were far from the usual Lenovo accessories that I know of – they were white. The smartphone came with a wall charger, micro USB charging cable, in-ear headphones (with different-sized ear buds) and a user manual. Lenovo also provided a SIM card pin (not in photo) so hooray cause I didn’t have to use the back of my earring to insert my SIM card!
The Vibe Z has a black face and its back is a plastic shell with a metallic finish. I like the texture of the back cover, it adds grip and it doesn’t make me feel that I have to be picky in selecting surfaces on where to put it down. Careful though, you can’t remove the back. The camera and the flash are slightly protruding. The bottom part and the sides are chrome-looking but are also made of plastic. It’s comfortable to hold and I feel that the size is just right. Surprisingly, it’s almost the size of a Samsung Galaxy Note 3 but it’s thinner at 7.9mm thick and only weighs 147g.
On top of the smartphone are the power/lock button and the audio jack. The left side has the volume keys and the right side has the sim card slot. The bottom part has the micro USB slot.
The Vibe Z features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 2.2GHz processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of (unfortunately) non-expandable storage. It has a 5.5inch full HD 1080p screen – such a large, rich screen great for browsing, sharing photos and watching videos. The Vibe Z has LTE, WiFi, NFC, and Bluetooth 4.0. It has a 3000mAh battery and also has a 13MP f1.8 rear camera/a 5MP wide angle front camera. Check out my photos:
The camera is good but I feel that it lacks a pop of color. There were times that I needed to keep tapping the screen to focus on the subject. Overall, I wasn’t too impressed by the camera but it could just be a matter of preference. Anyway, the camera app has a lot of post processing options if you’re into that sort of thing.
As for software, Lenovo had custom tweaks on top of the Android 4.3. The interface looked like a mix of iOS and Android:
It wasn’t that hard to navigate, even for a non-Android user like me. It was really easy sliding through the screens or tapping in and out of apps and widgets. I could even set the behavior when I do gestures (swipe up, down, double tap)
I did like the themes that came with the phone – I felt like I should change them every day because they were all so nice. The phone was preloaded with a lot of really useful apps but what I liked the most are the utilities. I’m a sucker for apps to show my usage or help me with productivity and it’s nice to see them all preloaded. I especially liked SECUREit (for antivirus and privacy), SYNCit (backs up your precious contacts, messages) and SHAREit (file-sharing).
Aside from these, there are a bunch of other useful features like the power manager, call and message features, screen features and shortcut features. Just check out my screenshots:
If you’re not a packrat and can limit your apps and files to 16gb, the Lenovo Vibe Z is a good smartphone for its value. It’s a real epitome of a “smart phone” with all the useful preloaded software and means to customizing it to my liking. It was easy to navigate through the screens and although the camera didn’t impress me that much, overall, it’s a pretty good phone. Consumers may turn to Lenovo for laptops and PCs but maybe in the future, they can start turning to them for smartphones too.
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