Lenovo’s Vibe Z2 and X2 smartphones offer great specs at a mid-range price point
By Chris Wood
September 4, 2014
Lenovo’s latest two handsets are undoubtedly premium offerings, and while they can’t quite compete with the company’s flagship Vibe Z2 Pro smartphone, they do offer some compelling specs in thin and light form factors. They’re also very different devices, with the Vibe X2 opting for high-end optics, and the Vibe X2 opting for the higher resolution display.
The Vibe Z2 might not tick every high-end box, but it does have a lot to offer, with a great camera and sleek design.
While Lenovo’s recently announced Vibe Z2 Pro smartphone packs a 2K display, the Vibe Z2 downgrades things a little, offering a 5.5-inch 720p display, giving it 267 pixels per inch (PPI). Fortunately, some of the device's other specs raise the bar.
The Vibe Z2 packs a 13 MP rear camera with a Sony Exmor BSI sensor and optical image stabilisation, as well as an impressive 8 MP front-facing camera. It’s practically impossible to judge the quality of a device’s camera without testing, but Lenovo is promising good low-light performance from the Vibe Z2’s rear camera, and you can activate the front camera with gestures.
Aside from being a great device for the selfie obsessed, the Vibe Z2 also packs a quad core 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Though the upcoming Android L release will be the first version of the operating system to take advantage of 64-bit chips, it’s certainly good to know that your device is set up to benefit from the upgraded (providing Lenovo does update the phone’s software when the time comes).
Elsewhere there’s 2 GB RAM, a 3,000 mAh battery, 32 GB internal storage and a choice of three colors. It’s one of the slimmer handsets we’ve seen at 7.8 mm (0.3 in), and it weighs in at 155 g (0.34 lbs). It starts a US$429.
We got some hands-on time with the Vibe Z2 at IFA. While it's certainly the less exciting of Lenovo's two new handsets, the build feels solid, with comfortable curved edges and a responsive UI.
The Vibe X2 is a notably different device to the Z2, offering a smaller footprint and a more premium build. The handset features a layered side design, split into three stripes of different colors. It's an interesting look, and not something we've seen before. Luckily, the build quality is rock solid, with the device feeling thin and well made in the hand.
The handset's 5-inch screen may be smaller than the Z2’s, but its 1,920 x 1,080 resolution makes for a much sharper 441 PPI. The device runs on Android 4.4 KitKat, augmented with Lenovo’s own Vibe UI. It feels quick and responsive, and the display looked sharp and bright.
At 7.27 mm (0.29 in), the handset is thinner than the Vibe Z2, and packs the same 2 GB RAM with 32 GB internal storage. As with the Vibe Z2, there’s LTE connectivity on board.
The Vibe X2’s rear camera matches the 13 MP of its sibling, but the front-facing shooter packs a slightly less impressive 5 MP. That said, the X2’s front camera offering is, on paper at least, the same as the HTC One (M8)’s impressive offering.
Lenovo has also announced two accessories for the X2. Known as Xtensions, the add-ons clip-on to the outside of the device, adding either a speaker or extra battery life, with the latter increasing running time by up to 75 percent.
The Vibe X2 just undercuts its sibling, with a starting price of $399. Both handsets will launch in China in September, with availability extending to undisclosed select regions in October.