First Impressions: Lenovo Vibe X2: A Phone With Layers

by: - Last updated on: November 6th, 2014

Lenovo seems to be determined to close out 2014 on a high. A few weeks ago, it had surprised us with the well-designed, powerful and amazingly priced Vibe Z2 Pro (read our review here). And today, it took the wraps off the Vibe X2, another device that is interesting, to say the very least.

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For those who know not, the Vibe Z and the Vibe X are two branches of Lenovo’s high-end Vibe series of smartphones. While the Z is more for the power hungry geek crowd, the X is targeted at those looking for not just decent hardware muscle but also funky looks. The fist Vibe X had grabbed attention with its incredibly sleek frame, curvy design, and full HD display but had copped some flak for its less than awesome battery and relatively mediocre camera. That said, it had still been a hit in the younger segment which liked its look and feel.

And well, we reckon the same segment is going to dig the Vibe X2 as well. For, while at 7.3 mm, the X2 is a bit thicker than the 6.9 mm thin X, it is actually more compact, being just 140.2 mm long and 68.6 mm wide as compared to the 144 mm and 74 mm length and width of the X. Mind you, it tips the scales at almost the same weight – 120 grammes (the X was 121 grammes). To give you a sense of perspective, the Nexus 5, which is considered by many to be the most compact device with a full HD display, was 137.9 x 69.2 x 8.6 mm in its dimensions and weighed 130 grammes. In sum, this is thinner, less wide and lighter than the Nexus 5 and only 2.3 mm longer, in spite of having a similar sized display.

But perhaps the most significant change from its predecessor is in terms of design. The Vibe X2 steps away from the curvy looks of the vibe X and goes for a more box-like look as seen in the Xperia series, but ah, there’s a spin there too. Unlike other brands who stick to one or two colours, the sides of the Vibe X2 have layers of colors – the model we received had a gold back panel, but had layers of black, orange and red on the side, smoothly and seamlessly arranged one below the other. Unlike in the Jolla, where the ‘other half’ of the phone could be pulled out, these layers cannot be separated – this is a unibody phone.

Interestingly, the sides stick out very slightly, so the colours are visible even when you are looking at the phone flush from the front. The back has a metallic feel to it, and the volume and display/power buttons on the right are metallic. There is a dual SIM tray on the left, a 3.5 mm audio jack on top and a micro USB port on the base. The back has the 13.0-megapixel camera with a flash, and is plain, except for the Lenovo logo, which has a metallic sheen to it.

All in all, the Vibe X2 is very unlike the other phones in the market. Some might find it too flashy but we really liked its compact and solid build and well, in a world getting increasingly grey, black and white, a dash of colour is always welcome. Oh yes, we can see younger folk gravitating to this phone. The fact that Lenovo is looking to add accessories to it in the form of layers (a battery pack, a speaker and so on), will not hurt its cause at all.

Mind you, there is plenty in here for geeks to like too. Like its predecessor, the X2 packs in a 5.0-inch display and like it, it too is a full HD one. RAM stands at 2 GB but unlike the Vibe X, which had 16 GB and 32 GB variants, the X2 sticks to a 32 GB one. And no, there is no option to expand memory with SD cards. There are dual cameras – a 13.0-megapixel one (improved, we are told) at the back and a 5.0-megapixel camera in the front. The device runs Kit Kat with the innovative Vibe interface overlaying it, complete with tricks like knock to light, which lets you lock and unlock the display by double tapping it. Connectivity options include 4G, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS.

And there is the little matter of the processor – like the Vibe X, the X2 also runs on a MediaTek processor. But unlike that device, the Vibe X2 comes with MediaTek’s much talked about MT6595 true octa-core LTE processor, clocked at 2.0 GHz. We have not used the device extensively but the company claims that it will handle everything you throw at it with elan and will even batter flagships in the benchmark department.

It has the looks. It has the specs. It is extremely well priced at Rs 19,999 (~$325). The X2 is truly a many-layered device. We don’t know how it will perform, but it certainly is sending out all the right Vibes at the moment. Pun intended.

Stay tuned for a detailed review in the coming days.

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    1. Er…neither is a mid-level phone, really, both are pretty top notch in my book. I think the Vibe X2 beats the Nexus 5 on design, sound quality, camera quality and battery life and of course, happens to be about Rs 7,000 less expensive. If you are willing to stretch your budget, however, we could ask you to also consider the Vibe Z2 Pro, which costs Rs 32,999, but is an absolutely phenomenal performer.

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