*This is a review of a sponsored product unit from Lenovo Malaysia*
Having spent over a month with the Lenovo VIBE X2, I got to test the smartphone in its day-to-day usage. In my last post here, I talked about the hardware and build quality of the VIBE X2. I liked it. The 4 coloured multi-layer sides of the phone was a really nice touch, and a clear differentiator to other phones in the market.
I have friends who have asked me about it. Some even commented that it looks like “kuih lapis” (aka layer cake). Haha.
Every time I picked up the phone, I paused a second to admire this design choice. Really nicely done, Lenovo.
Now that we’ve established that the VIBE X2 is a looker, and at an affordable <RM 1,200 price tag, check the rest of my review to see how the phone stack up, performance wise.
The VIBE X2 is powered by Android 4.4 “Kit Kat” OS, with the Lenovo VIBE UI 2.0 interface on top.
If you’re not up to watching the video above, the vibrant coloured wallpaper on the Lenovo VIBE UI matches the tone of the smartphone itself. It’s a rather simplified UI, where you have 4 shortcut icons at the bottom with multiple homescreens to house widgets and apps. There are no App Drawer per se. You swipe across the different homescreen to access the installed apps.
As with Android UI, you swipe down to reveal the Notification Shade, which houses shortcut toggles (ie, WiFi, Mobile Data connection, Sound profiles etc) as well as any alerts and notification.
You can customise these shortcut toggles notification icons to your hearts content. One of the handy features I like.
As you’d expect some
bloatware pre-installed apps on any smartphones these days, there are a number of those here on the VIBE X2. Apps like UC Browser (I wish everyone should just stick to trusty Chrome), Navigate, Guvera, SCOOP and a bunch of performance management tools like Security, One Key Lock and Clean up. While some apps are handy security and performance tools you might like, me not so much. This is not including some Lenovo apps like SHAREit and SYNCit which I’ve honestly, not touched. 😦
Performance wise, the phone did well. It moves between screens and apps rather well, even on an (allegedly) low-cost MediaTek processor. It handles regular multi-tasking with a few apps open rather well. Of course, it’s not on par with the Samsung Galaxy S6 or HTC One M9 out there. But as a mid range device, it handles well. For the average user, this phone performs perfectly well.
In my previous post, I pointed out that I really like that the VIBE X2 Dual SIM support. I especially like that the SIM slot allows the support for both micro SIM and nano SIM.
Other than that, there are a few cool features in this mid-range Android smartphone…
Navigate to the Settings menu, and you’ll come across a number of these cool features. Some of the features I find really handy includes:-
- Smart Answer – no need to swipe or press anything to answer calls, simply bring the phone to your ear to answer the call
- Flip To Mute – Don’t wanna answer a call? Just flip the phone over to mute it
- Power Saving tools – like screen timeout during a call to conserve battery, Power Manager tool to manage battery usage (more on this later) and Daydream mode to manage what happens on your screen when the phone is charging at night when you sleep
…and many more.
The beauty of Android is the ability to customise your phone’s UI, skin, theme, wallpaper etc, any way you want. If you’re like me, you’d appreciate the Theme Center included. You can choose different themes, complete with wallpapers and icon packs, as well as customise your Boot Animation, sounds and more.
Overall though, I can’t quite pin point that one USP (Unique Selling Point) that sets the VIBE X2 from its competition. There are increasingly more and more funky, mid-range, solid build, mid-range (price and specs) Android devices out there in the market today. This includes some strong devices from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, Oppo, Huawei (Honor) and more. In my opinion, it’s gonna take Lenovo a lot more to make the VIBE X2 a strong contender.
See Also : Samsung Galaxy Grand 2 User Review
Camera & Image Quality
The lens at the back of the VIBE X2 is a 13 megapixel camera that shoots 1080p video; and the front camera is a 5 megapixel camera. Lenovo’s literature talks about the front camera that allows you to capture great selfies, with cool features included like “Blink to Capture” feature.
The VIBE X2 lets you snap brilliant 13MP photos and 5MP selfies with a new simplified interface. Multiple shooting modes give you creative flexibility, beautification features keep you looking young, gesture & voice controls let you steady your hand, and anti-distortion components balance selfies perfectly.
Here are some sample pics taken with the Lenovo VIBE X2. Images are not edited or resized, so click to view enlarged version, or click HERE to view the full album on Google+.
[pe2-gallery album=”http://picasaweb.google.com/data/feed/base/user/109532722643475070188/albumid/6146138113437998273?alt=rss&hl=en_US&kind=photo” pe2_single_video_size=”w200-c” pe2_large_limit=”false” ]
View full album and images on Google+ HERE
In my review, images are clear and crisp from both front and rear camera in broad daylight and great lighting conditions.Check the front cam picture of me and my dog, clear and nice, right? Landscape shot was also good, as with the Line crying doll on my bookcase.
However, when you’re indoor, lighting is not great, or worst, at night time, both front and rear camera struggles to focus and capture a decent image, unfortunately. Check the foodporn image. I was quite proud of my grilled lamb dinner, but the camera didn’t do my dinner justice (or make it drool worthy as it is in real life) due to the romantic candlelight dinner setting.
The other disappointment, is the macro (close up) shots. I was hoping for quick focus and great details, but the camera did struggle to focus when I got too close to the subject. And ultimately, didn’t do a good job at the macro shot. 😦
The 2,300 mAH non-removable battery claims up to 22 hours of talktime.
In my test, as a moderate to heavy user, I came out impressed with the battery life of the VIBE X2.
I easily managed a full work day use with the VIBE X2, until I got home at the end of the day to charge it. Which averages between 13 – 15 hours.
It took some getting used to, but I got attached to the way the Battery Life is displayed on the VIBE X2. As you can see in the screenshot above, it shows you how long your phone was on standby for the day (aka no active usage on my part, but still with push notifications and alerts happening) as well as how long the phone was on active use (ie, phone calls, emails, browsing, social media updates etc). Add both up to show you the total battery life since last charge. You like? Well, I do.
See Also : OnePlus One User Review
Here’s a quick summary of my review time with the Lenovo VIBE X2.
What I Like
- Multi-layer design & build quality
- Dual SIM support – both micro and nano SIM
- Visually beautiful UI + Theme Centre for more customisation
What I Dislike
- Bloatware – No one likes them, and Lenovo packed some in here
- Average image quality in low light conditions
- No real “killer feature” over competition
In my opinion, while good hardware, decent software and features are crucial, I feel the VIBE X2 needs more to make this a strong contender in the market of so many mid-range devices. With Samsung’s plethora of mid-range Android smartphones, HTC has their Desire range of mid-range Androids, you also have a sea of affordable Android phones from the Chinese players to compete with.
If you’re in the lookout for a mid-range device, with Dual SIM support, you would be swarmed with choices, unfortunately. And this Lenovo VIBE X2 will be one in the midst of oh-so-many choices.
The Lenovo VIBE X2 is a decent phone, I have recommended this to friends who wants an inexpensive phone, or students looking for a decent priced phone, but it’s hard to ignore the competition.
For more information and specifications, check out the Lenovo VIBE X2 Malaysian product page at http://shopap.lenovo.com/my/en/smartphones/vibe/vibe-x2/
For more info on latest products, promotions and announcements, visit Lenovo Malaysia website at http://www.lenovo.com/my/en/ and *LIKE* the Lenovo Malaysia Facebook Page at https://www.facebook.com/LenovoMobileMalaysia