Lenovo Vibe X3 review: At Rs 19,999, this is the new mid-segment flagship

Lenovo Vibe X3: If you are looking for a phone that offers you all that you would want for this price, then the Lenovo Vibe X 3 ticks all the right boxes.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | Updated: January 28, 2016 9:12 am
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Lenovo has been pushing the Indian market seriously for the past few quarters and making a serious impact. However, it hasn’t been a serious contender in the mid-range so far. Other Chinese manufacturers have made a killing in the space, or whatever is left of it. Now, the Lenovo Vibe X3 aims to change all that by playing into the OnePlus space by offering a real mid-range flagship.

Watch Lenovo Vibe X3 First Look Video

Lenovo Vibe X3

The Lenovo Vibe X3 has one clear goal: tick all the boxes that matter. So from a high resolution display to a powerful processor and camera, it has everything a smartphone buyer would want to see, at least on paper.

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Specs: 5.5-inch FullHD (1080x1920p, ~401 ppi) IPS panel | Qualcomm MSM8992 Snapdragon 808 (Quad-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A53 & Dual-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A57) | 3GB RAM | 32GB internal storage expandable by up to 128GB | 21MP rear camera + 8MP front | Fingerprint scanner | 3500 mAh battery | Vibe UI based on Android 5.1

Price: Rs 19,999

What is good?

Let’s start with the design. The phone looks and feels as if it is built to last. It has a ceramic finish at the back, and though I am not so sure how the white back will look after a couple of months in Indian conditions, it is a stylish design nonetheless. And this has been a relatively new aspect of Lenovo phones, which have been boring till recently. Plus it is nice to see front facing speaker grills take up space above, and below a display again.

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The Lenovo Vibe X3 has a Full HD display that is crisp and clear. It is also a bit brighter than regular screens which means it can work really well in sunlight, and give you a reasonable headache when used in the dark.

However, the most interesting feature for me is the fact that this smartphone has one of the best audio capabilities I have tested in recent times. It comes with Dolby Atmos like some recent Lenovo devices, but it also has a mix of the best DACs around to deliver excellent sound reproduction on speakers as well as on headphones.

I tested its capabilities with some Dolby Atmos test audios and the directional sound worked really well. Then with 320KBs files the playback was stunning, and up to the standards of Hi-Fi media players. This is the return of the music smartphone.

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Lenovo Vibe X3 also offers a very good camera, one that can shoot 4K video too. I have had issues with Lenovo’s camera app before. However, with this phone the glitches seem to have been fixed, and the experience was really good. The photos were good too, offering detail where needed. In fact, in the Pro Mode this camera might have one of the best Macro shots at in this price bracket.

The overall performance of the smartphone is quite good and that too without heating up at all. The phone handles games pretty well, and multi-tasking is a breeze. Given audio quality and smooth graphics, I am tempted to suggest this phone for people who want to try out some serious gaming. The phone scores pretty well on benchmarks and is ranked near the Sony Xperia Z5.

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The phone has a good battery that should last you the entire day despite the Full HD screen. However, keep the display at medium brightness to stretch this a bit more.

Though I found the Vibe UI a refreshing change when it was initially launched, soon I realised that it meant unlearning a lot of things you would know about Android, especially with the recognition of icons. It seems the engineers at Lenovo are getting an education from their friends at Motorola. So the latest edition of the Vibe UI is as close to pure Android as possible, while giving users the add-ons and customisations otherwise not available.

What is not that great?

There is nothing particularly wrong with this phone. While the design is great, the ceramic-finish back appears to be a bit too slippery. It is a good thing that Lenovo is packing a back case in the box.

Also, stick to the charger in the box. With other chargers this phone takes a bit too long to reach maximum capacity.

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The camera has a slight lag when you are clicking pictures, and you hence need really steady hands. The actual capture happens after a delay, and if you move your hand right after, the images could end up blurred.

Should you buy?

If you are looking for a mid-range smartphone then the Vibe X3 is a good option, given that it is priced so competitively. There is competition within the house in the Moto X Play with similar specs and the Qiku Q Terra, but this Lenovo phone needs to be taken seriously as well.

If you are looking for a phone that offers you all that you would want for this price, then the Lenovo Vibe X 3 ticks all the right boxes. This is one of the best value for money phones in the market at the moment.

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