The Lenovo VIBE Shot is one of the few smartphones out in the market with a 16MP rear shooter. More than just clearer resolution, the VIBE Shot comes with a Pro Mode, or essentially a manual mode that gives users control over the usual photography settings like aperture, shutter speed, and ISO light sensitivity. It has just been announced by Lenovo Philippines that it will launch this Friday, July 31 at 12nn exclusively through Lazada.
We’ve had some time with the VIBE Shot. Here are our initial impressions:
Lenovo wasn’t kidding when they said that the VIBE Shot is half-camera, half-smartphone. Its front side sports Lenovo’s smartphone vibe: minimalist, blocky, functional. But turn it over and you have a whole new device. The rear exudes point-and-shoot camera vibes from a mile away.
Both sides are protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The sides feel sturdier being covered with metal rather than plastic. Both front and rear frames are elevated ever so slightly to prevent scratches from putting the phone on surfaces.
The power button and volume rocker are where you usually expect it to be. However, below these buttons are two new elements that correspond to the phone’s camera function: a switch and another button.
The switch toggles the camera between Pro Mode and Auto Mode. The button is a dedicated shutter speed which directly controls the camera. Their placements are just plain ergonomic when it comes to replicating the point-and-shoot vibe.
The inside of the phone is stunning with a 5-inch display and 1080p resolution. The VIBE Shot comes installed with Lenovo’s VIBE UI running on Lollipop.
It operates on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 1.7GHz octa-core processor. It has 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage, which is expandable up to 128GB through microUSB. It is powered by a 3,000mAh nonremovable Li-Po battery.
In the short time I’ve had the VIBE Shot, I wasn’t able to filly test its processing capabilities. However, it handled a quick game of Hearthstone. However, while it was able to perform, performance wasn’t flawless as there were lags in framerate. The device also heated up, though not uncomfortably while playing.
Onwards to the camera! The settings of the app’s UI are segregated according to how most camera apps have them. However, I found Lenovo’s UI to be unobtrusive to the shot. The settings are minute but its yellow color makes it easy to see and manipulate.
The camera’s Pro mode has settings for ISO, shutter speed, focus, and white balance. Adjusting these settings is through an elongated slider on the right side near the screen’s shutter button.
Auto mode is the basic point-and-shoot setting enhanced with Smart Composition which automatically detects the scene and adjusts settings accordingly. Furthermore, the camera provides you with the most optimal focus, position, and zoom for the subject.
Since LG’s G4 camera is one of the VIBE Shot’s rivals at least in terms of camera, we did a quick comparison between the two’s photo capabilities.
Above are sample shots taken in clear daylight. The left is from a G4 and the right is from the VIBE Shot. Both are perfectly clear in terms of resolution. However, they differ in color. The G4’s photo has a more natural look to it while the VIBE Shot’s photo has richer, but a bit darker color. Zooming in 100%, the VIBE Shot lost some detail because of contrast.
Next, we sampled shots in a dark room. Both did very well in low light conditions. Without flash, both were still able to capture the scene, with the G4 being brighter by a tad bit. With flash, I got to see the VIBE Shot’s tricolor flash in action. The flash and its deeper colors were able to realistically capture the scene. The G4’s flash made the photo look more artificial.
There were no noteworthy differences between the G4 and the VIBE Shot under fluorescent light. Both handled the scene perfectly.
All in all, the Lenovo VIBE Shot seems to exceed bang for buck. While this isn’t a full on test yet, the VIBE Shot was able to handle everything thrown at it. With its unique form factor and top-notch camera (which stood toe to toe with the LG G4), I’d say its P16,999 price tag is well justified. It’s available starting July 31, 12nn exclusively through Lazada. It comes in Carmine Red and Graphite Grey with a Pearl White version in the works.