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::>Smartphones > 2014 > 09 > Lenovo Vibe Z

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20-09-2014


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Lenovo Vibe Z smartphone: review and testing

Chinese industrial giant Lenovo is a well-known player in the global IT-market. The company's capitalization reached 34 billion dollars and number of employees is 54 000 people, who work in 60 countries around the world. Lenovo products is more than in 160 countries worldwide. At present the company is a world leader in the production of personal computers. However, it does not stop its direction and very actively and quite successfully storms the other market segments. This is proved by the report for the second quarter 2014 made by analysts of IDC Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, under which Lenovo managed to take fourth place in the global smartphone market, having surpassed the Korean company LG and comes closer to Huawei. In total there are five lines of smartphone swith own index: «A» - affordable solutions; «P» - professional modes; «S» - stylish smartphones for entertainment; «K» - premium and ultra-thin devices; «Vibe» - powerful and refined smartphones. This diversity allows the user to select the optimal model for own needs and wallet.

Lenovo Vibe Z

This time we are going to test flagship smartphone Lenovo Vibe Z equipped with a 5.5-inch Full HD IPS-screen, high-performance processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, main camera 13 MP and a number of other equally interesting features that we consider in details below. We suggest to start with a review of the technical characteristics:

Producer

Lenovo

Model

Vibe Z (K910L)

Type, form-factor

Smartphone, monoblock

Communication standard

2G (GSM)

850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz

3G (UMTS)

850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 MHz

4G (LTE)

Broadband data transfer

GPRS (32-48 Кb/s), EDGE (236 Кb/s), HSDPA+ (up to 21,6 Мb/s), HSUPA (up to 5,76 Мb/s)

SIM-card

Micro-SIM

CPU

Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974): 4 cores Krait 400, up to 2,2 GHz, L2 cache - 2 МB, technology process 28-nm HPm

GPU

Adreno 330, up to 450 MHz 

Display

IPS, 5,5", 1920 x 1080 тp (400 ppi), multi-touch up to 10 touches, protective Corning Gorilla Glass 3

RAM

2 GB LPDDR3

Read-only memory

16 GB

Card-reader

-

Interfaces

1 x micro-USB

1 x Micro-SIM

1 x audio mini-jack 3,5 mm

Multimedia

Speaker system

Mono

Microphone

Stereo

FM-radio

+

Camera

Main

13 MP (Sony Exmor RS), BSI-sensor of format 1/3", aperture f/1.8, image electronic regulation, autofocus, double LED-flash, video recording in format 1080p 30 fps

Front

5 MP, fixed focus, viewing angle 84°, video recording in format 1080p 30 fps

Communication

Wi-Fi

Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n (2,4 / 5 GHz)

(Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi Hotspot)

Bluetooth

4.0 HS

GPS/GLONASS

+/+

NFC

IrLED

DLNA

+

Sensors

Proximity sensor, light sensor, LED-indicator, accelerometer, digital compass, gyroscope

Battery

lithium-pol cell, non-detachable: 3000 mАh

Charger

Input: 100~240 V AC at 50/60 Hz

Output: 5 V DC 1,5 А

Dimensions

149 x 77 x 7,9 mm

Weigh

147 g

Color

Silver

OS

Android 4.4.2 KitKat

User’s interface

Lenovo Launcher 5.0.804

Warranty

12 month

Producer website

Lenovo 

Packaging and content

Lenovo Vibe Z

Like its predecessor Lenovo K900 the novelty is shipped in a strong box with a minimalist design. The only difference is that on the front side there is the name “Vibe Z” instead of “K900”. After removing it we have a traditional cardboard packing which has a faint abstract texture. In addition, the attention is attracted by another name for smartphone Lenovo K910L which emphasizes the relation with last year's flagship. Also there is short technical information.

Lenovo Vibe Z

In the kit you can find everything you need to work with the smartphone:

  • User's Guide;
  • warranty card;
  • charger (5 V, 1.5 A);
  • cable micro-USB↔USB;
  • clip for SIM-card tray;
  • headset of vacuum design and removable ear pads.

Design and elements layout

Lenovo Vibe Z

Despite the fact that Lenovo Vibe Z refers to the new line of Lenovo Vibe, it is a direct descendant of Lenovo K900 as evidenced by another model name Lenovo K910L. But due to such perturbations the product is quite different from its predecessor. Therefore, instead of a metal housing with strict direct forms and sharp angles, we have a classic monoblock with a slightly rounded corners and beveled edges. In addition, the body is completely plastic without any metal inserts. Despite this, the new product looks quite interesting and beautiful. The effect is further enhanced by a pleasant tactile feel of the work with the smartphone. In addition, Lenovo Vibe Z is more compact than Lenovo K900 and a little thicker: 149 x 77 x 7,9 mm vs 157 x 78 x 6,9 mm, respectively. And the weight is slightly less (147 g vs 162 g). Note that the reduction in the height of the smartphone nearly 1 cm has a positive effect on the ease of use.

A positive feature of new item, as well as the entire lineup of Lenovo Vibe of first generation (announced new models in the lineup which were presented at the IFA 2014) is its design. It black faceplate with a relatively small frames (on the sides - 3 mm, from the top - 9.5 mm, bottom - 12.5 mm excluding edging) is covered with a strong red-hot glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3 which are combined with the faces of "under the metal" (lateral faces have polished pattern, and areas of bottom of the front and back side are chrome) and the back side of the gray plastic, which has a relief texture. Along the contour of the screen there is a small plastic edging, which further protects the glass against damage.

Lenovo Vibe Z Lenovo Vibe Z

Above the display there is: grill of speaker, proximity/light sensors, front camera and a company logo. LED indicator is located under the grill of speaker which is quite a practical solution. If there are calls or notifications it blinks green and during charging it is red, and when the battery is completely charged it is green. At the bottom below the screen is the main microphone and three touch-sensitive buttons, which are made in the corporate style of Lenovo: «Menu» (holding the "Manager of running applications"), "Home" (holding Google Now) and "Back" (holding for multi-mode). They are displayed only when the screen is active, and have not the uniform white backlighting. Its duration can be adjusted in the settings. But at the same time it is impossible to turn it off or change the brightness.

Lenovo Vibe Z Lenovo Vibe Z

At the top there is a button "Power/lock" and the universal audio jack (mini-jack 3,5 mm). Note not a very good location of the button "Power/lock" because of the size of a smartphone it is necessary to stretch or use other hand. But the manufacturer has simplified this task by providing the opportunity to enable new item using the "Volume" button. To lock of the product is possible by a simple shake-off in the same plane (the function "Shake-lock") or by double-touching in a free zone of the screen (see "Gesture adjustment"), which greatly simplifies the user's life. The bottom end has a connector micro-USB.

Lenovo Vibe Z Lenovo Vibe Z

The right side contains a tray for SIM-card of format Micro-SIM. Note that there is a version of the smartphone with two SIM-cards. On the left side is double volume rocker.

 Lenovo Vibe Z Lenovo Vibe Z

Rear one-piece side of Lenovo Vibe Z is made of non-staining, although a bit slippery plastic. On top there are: the eye of the main camera framed in chrome edging, which barely rises above the body; two-section LED-flash (flashlight is present) and the opening of the second microphone. Below is logo of Lenovo. Only at the bottom is slightly sloped perforated area of multimedia speaker which has chrome covering. During operation it actively collects fingerprints and abrasions. It should be noted that the new product is available in two colors: silver and black (Silver and Titanium in the terminology of the manufacturer).

Smartphone is built very well and is monolithic: without any gaps and backlash. Body is characterized by excellent rigidity: it is not bent and does not change its geometry with moderate torsion. Stains can appear on the screen, but for that you need to press hard enough on the glass.

In general, Lenovo Vibe Z quite comfortable in the hand and looks nice, although the dimensions have an effect. Therefore, it is more convenient to hold smartphone in the left hand. In this case the volume rocker is under the thumb that allows you to quickly unlock the device.

Display 

Lenovo Vibe Z 

Smartphone Lenovo Vibe Z is equipped with touch IPS-matrix (made Japan Display Inc.), made according the technology OGS (no air gap between the components) that has a positive effect on the brightness of the image and the maximum viewing angles. Display is protected by tempered glass Corning Gorilla Glass 3, which has a relatively good anti-glare filter and excellent oleophobic (grease repellent) coating. Thanks to the latter there is a fairly good and easy sliding of the fingers and the lack of fingerprints collection.

Lenovo Vibe Z 

Resolution of 5.5-inch screen is 1920 × 1080 (Full HD). At the same time pixel density is 400 ppi, which is more than enough to get fairly detailed pictures and display very smooth fonts.

Display Lenovo Vibe Z is bright, colorful, contrast and color reproduction is pretty nice, though with little color temperature shift toward cool colors (the default settings). Thus, the level of green is significantly higher than red and blue colors. But thanks to the present settings you can adjust the level of color saturation and sharpness. For example, selecting "Warm" item, you can remove this defect. Due to this each user can adjust the display according own taste.

Lenovo Vibe Z Lenovo Vibe Z

Screen brightness can be changed manually or use automatic adjustment. The maximum brightness is not a record, but it should be enough to view the information on a sunny day. But the minimum level is quite comfortable to work in the dark. Proximity sensor locks the screen of the smartphone during carrying to ear. Multi-touch technology can handle up to 10 simultaneous touches. Its work does not cause any complaints. Only the sensitivity seems a bit overstated. For example, scrolling of desktops in the wrong direction in case of a light random movement of a finger.

Sound
As mentioned above, smartphone Lenovo Vibe Z is equipped with one loudspeaker, which is situated on a slightly sloped part of the bottom rear side. Due to this placement sound is not muted when the gadget is on a firm horizontal surface.

Lenovo Vibe Z 

Multimedia speaker is pretty decent and very loud, but reproducible range includes only the middle and high frequencies (the last are even a little oversaturated), but there is no low frequencies. Only rarely there is a hint on bass. Despite this, its capacity is sufficient for gaming, watching videos, calls and alerts.

The headphones sound is very nice (tested on gaming Kingston HyperX Cloud with an impedance of 60 Ohms and monitor Technics RP-F600 with an impedance of 56 Ohms). In both cases, the volume is more than enough even at the level of 40-50%. Detailing of sound is good, but the high frequencies clearly dominate over the other, that is leveled by using the EQ. The last is present in the standard application "Music".

The smartphone has built-in radio that allows you to listen and record FM-broadcasting radio stations operating in the frequency range from 87.5 to 108 MHz. Traditionally, turn on the radio it is imperative to connect a headset, which is used as an antenna. The recorder is useful not only for creating the audio notes, but also can to record telephone conversations from the line.

Lenovo Vibe Z 

Complete set of vacuum type has a flat wire (like "noodles"). It is equipped with soft silicone ear cushions. If we talk about sound quality, it is fairly good: there is a wide frequency range with considerable volume reserve. Although, again the same, with a predominance of high frequencies that are most likely associated with a particular audio codec.

During testing the earpiece no defects were found: a clear voice quality, moderately loud (depending on the operator and the number of the interlocutor) and quite pleasant sound detail.

Camera

Lenovo Vibe Z is equipped with two digital cameras. Unlike last year's flagship which had a front-facing camera of 2 MP, the novelty was the sensor on the 5 MP lens and the aperture f/2.0, fixed focus and a viewing angle of 84°. The camera is able to capture photos and videos with a resolution of 2592 × 1944 and Full HD, respectively. When shooting movies, you can create pictures.


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