Lenovo has finally accepted the new trend and is focusing on the camera for its latest smartphone: the Vibe Shot. Although some believe that its bit late for Lenovo with Samsung and Nokia already been experimented with smartphones that look more like dedicated cameras, Lenovo thinks it has its own solutions.
The Vibe Shot is a regular Android phone with a 16-megapixel camera at the rear, encased in an aluminum body that looks like a compact Sony point-and-shoot.
While the Vibe Shot is still very much a smartphone, the design cues Lenovo is employing here to give the phone not just the look of a sophisticated point-and-shoot model, but also its feel can be appreciated. From the extra LED in the phone’s flash to the hardware shutter button, it’s full of little touches that drive home Lenovo’s commitment to making the Vibe Shot come off as more than just a run-of-the-mill smartphone. While a 16-megapixel camera isn’t the high-end of smartphone cameras these days, Lenovo has added optical image stabilization (OIS) and a tricolor flash. At the front there’s also an 8-megapixel camera. It’s all packed into a 5-inch full HD display with 32GB of storage and 3GB of RAM running on Android 5.0 Lolipop. Lenovo is planning to launch the Vibe Shot in June priced at $349 in markets where the company currently ships smartphones, so no US release for now.
Lenovo is aiming to appeal to camera enthusiasts with a physical camera button that includes 2-stage shutter release to activate autofocus when it’s pressed halfway. That’s unusual for an Android-powered device, but a welcome addition for those who like to use a button instead of on-screen controls. There’s also a physical slider to flick between smart mode and pro mode. It’s like activating the mute switch on an iPhone, but it changes the camera app user interface entirely. On smart mode it’s mainly automatic, but pro mode offers up options to change the ISO level, white balance, exposure, and many more settings. The interface on the pro mode is almost identical to Microsoft’s Lumia Camera software, but its bit difficult to access the options without activating the touch to focus features.
However, there are so many unanswered questions like should Lenovo have gone even further, outfitting the Vibe Shot with even more enhanced camera tech – maybe an optical zoom? And how’s the front-facer performance compare to the big rear sensor? Let’s wait till the device comes in market.