Lenovo Vibe Shot takes on its competitors

Lenovo Vibe Shot takes on its competitors
The quality of Lenovo Vibe Shot’s camera is outstanding for its price.
PHOTO: Lenovo

This is not the first smartphone Lenovo has released here, but it is easy to miss the PC giant's previous models because they were being sold mainly online.

Earlier releases, such as the A7000, were entry-level attempts to compete with low-priced smartphones from China. However, Lenovo has been changing tack with its recent releases.

The Vibe Shot touts itself as a proper camera with its 16-megapixel shooter. It has a 5-inch screen, Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 chip, and runs on Android 5.1 - all for just $479.

If you are looking for something bigger, nothing is bigger than the 6.8-inch Lenovo Phab Plus ($499), which went on sale over the weekend at Comex.

Lenovo cannot seem to escape the basic rectangle box design that it has been using for its other phones, and the Vibe Shot is not much to look at.

The power and volume controls are on the right edge of the phone. There are two other buttons next to them - one is a selector that allows users to set the camera on "auto" or "pro" mode, without having to access the phone's menu.

The other is a dedicated shutter button. Pressing it turns on the camera immediately. The "auto" mode offers basic camera controls, such as flash and resolution settings. In this mode, settings such as exposure, white balance and ISO are controlled by the device.

Surprising, the "high dynamic range" (HDR) function is missing from the "auto" mode. HDR is available in "pro" mode though.

There is a lag when HDR is activated, which likely means that this feature is hardware-based.

As HDR is only available in "pro" mode, be prepared to tweak the settings to get that balanced image right.

While the results are not spectacular, the quality of the camera is outstanding for the price.

The shutter is responsive, and shots in low-light mode have some details to them.

Also impressive is the use of laser autofocus, which was first introduced in last year's LG G3. This technology uses a reflected infrared beam to determine the distance between the camera and the subject, which allows for better focusing in low light conditions.

I have only two minor complaints with the camera.

First, the well-lit portions in some of my shots looked over blown. Second, the reds have a slightly pinkish hue.

With its slim design, high quality finishing and impressive hardware, the Vibe Shot is a good reminder that Lenovo is fully prepared to take on its competitors.



This article was first published on Sept 9, 2015.
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