Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look: Finally a Camera-centric Smartphone Without Compromises

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The Lenovo Vibe Shot is the phone we've been waiting for a long time. It's not quite the perfect flagship device, but for those who really care about the camera on their devices, it's definitely worth considering.

The Vibe Shot, which packs a 16MP rear camera, looks like a regular point and shoot digital camera when looking at it from the back. It can produce shots in all light conditions, and easily outclasses the majority of phone, at least, in the camera department.

Lenovo's Vibe Shot is a well designed device, but the handset is still not perfect option in our opinion. Its processor is slightly more powerful than the low-rung Snapdragon 410 CPU (64-bit) - and the stock user interface (UI) is a bit clumsy.

We had spent some time with the Lenovo Vibe Shot at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. Here are our first impressions.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look: Form Factor, Design, Display and Operating System

Lenovo clearly wants to make a style statement with the Vibe Shot. After years of making poorly designed handsets, it has tried to come up something original.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look

The Vibe Shot feels and looks expensive; the phone's sides are metal and the front and back are sandwiched between panels of glass.

Notably, the Vibe Shot's back mimics a traditional point-and-shoot camera. When held horizontally, the phone's back panel has a strip of brushed metal at the top, with a tricolor flash strip and a slightly raised modular lens at the top. However, we felt that the back panel was too shiny and glossy in nature. But it's certainly Lenovo's best looking after its Vibe Z2 Pro

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look

On the right side you'll notice a dedicated camera shutter button and an extra switch for toggling between the camera app's Auto and Pro modes.

With a 5-inch FHD IPS screen, the phone matches many other premium handsets on the market. The screen looks great and has excellent viewing angles.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look

As you would expect, Lenovo has loaded the Vibe Shot with Android 5.0 Lollipop which is the latest version of Google's mobile operating system. The Chinese company uses its own native UI slapped on top of Android. The UI seems slightly sluggish and a bit confusing to operate. During our hands-on time we noticed that Lenovo has done some work speeding up its laggy interface - but the company needs to make its sluggish UI better in order to get recognized in the international handset market.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look: Processor, RAM and Connectivity

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look

Under the hood is a Snapdragon 615 octa-core processor (64-bit) coupled with 3GB of RAM. After a good time of testing, the Vibe Shot definitely runs smoother than the Sony Xperia M4 Aqua, which is a good beginning. It's all because of 3GB RAM. 32 GB of native storage is available, which can be expandable via microSD (up to 128GB). The device is dual-SIM, and yes, you also get LTE connectivity.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look: Camera and Video

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look

Lenovo touts its cameras as the best around and things are no different when it comes to the Vibe Shot. The device has a 16MP rear-facing camera with a 6-piece modular lens, an infra-red auto focus, tricolor flash, Optical image stabilization (OIS), and 16:9 BSI sensor. The firm claims it's great at shooting in low light and for speedy shots. We were at the venue so there wasn't opportunity to take pictures with it outside. Although we took some shots instantly just to check the quality of images. As good as anything we've ever seen. For selfies there's an 8Mp front facing camera. We'll have a detailed opinion in our full review.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look

There's no dedicated camera shutter button which needless to say is a must option if you are into photography. The makers have tweaked the camera UI to enhance the overall experience. The smart mode is similar to an auto mode, allowing you to focus while taking the shot. The Pro mode, on the other hand, is considered as a manual mode. It will let you adjust all the settings including ISO, shutter speed and depth of field. Unfortunately, the Vibe Shot is not capable to record 4K video.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look: Battery and Early Review

The battery is rated at 2,900mAh and is non-removable. With lighter use, the Vibe Shot should last more than a day.

Lenovo Vibe Shot First Look

Overall, it phone feels very comfortable to use. The user interface (UI), on the other hand, is a bit jarring and difficult to digest. We'll have full reviews of the Lenovo Vibe Shot in the coming months.

With inputs from Akansha Srivastava

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