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Lenovo Vibe X3 Review: An Audiophile’s Dream?

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We review the Vibe X3!

Today we’ll be reviewing Lenovo’s Vibe X3. While Lenovo didn’t confirm it, the Vibe X3’s sleeker, more elegant look is probably the result of the Motorola’s designers who are now taking lead in designing phones for the Chinese manufacturer. Aside from the revamped design, the Vibe X3 also pack some serious hardware inside its aluminum body, as well as Hi-Fi audio for discerning audiophiles.

Does the Vibe X3 deserve your hard earned money? As always, let’s take a look at the specs before we begin the review:

Lenovo Vibe X3 specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor
  • 3GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD display with Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 21-megapixel rear camera with Sony IMX230 sensor, PDAF, 4K recording, LED flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner
  • 3500mAh battery
  • Android 5.1

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Premium materials, premium design

Both the Vibe X3 and the K4 Note have the same design language, but since the Vibe X3 is more expensive, it uses more premium materials in its build. That means a full metal body, chamfered sides and liberal use of Gorilla Glass 3.

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The phone has a subtle curve on the back, similar to the one present in LG’s G4 and the ASUS Zenfone 2. Because of this, you don’t really feel the phone’s thickness, despite its girth of 9.3mm.

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The front of the phone is dominated by the two prominent white strips of plastic that house the front facing speakers. The 5.5-inch full HD display protected by Gorilla Glass 3 is rather hard to ignore as well. The Vibe X3 is a little tall though, at 154mm, partly due to the physical capacitive Android navigation keys on the bottom.

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Quickly going through the physical ports and keys of the device – you’ll see the power button and volume rocker on the right, the 3.5mm jack and the IR port on top, USB port on the bottom and the hybrid SIM card/microSD slot on the left. The IR Blaster allows you to control appliances via remote control.

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Going back to the display – it’s bright, has good color reproduction and is noticeably sharp. Lenovo claims that the display can reproduce 100 percent of the NTSC color gamut, and after testing the phone, we agree.

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Not the latest Snapdragon processor, but still speedy nonetheless

While the Vibe X3 isn’t running the latest silicon, the hardware chugging under the hood is still impressive – Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa-core processor, 3GB of RAM along with 32GB of expandable storage. The Snapdragon 808 processor is far from being a dated release, and it’s still as fast as we remember it to be. Going through apps and games is absolutely no problem with this processor.

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We’ve given Lenovo grief over their Vibe UI overlay in the past, so we’re rather happy that they’ve modified it to look more like default Android. The implementation of Lenovo’s UI is something that other companies need to emulate (we’re looking at you, Huawei).

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The fingerprint scanner is fast, accurate and easy to setup, unlocking the phone in under a second. Your fingers naturally fall near the fingerprint scanner when you’re holding the phone one handed, which makes the motion needed for unlocking the phone feel natural.

The Vibe X3 is also armed with a high-end audio DAC, along with Dolby Atmos sound tech. There’s really a noticeable difference when you plug in your headphones, plus you have better control over the audio via the Dolby Atmos sound app installed in the phone.

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The phone ships with an Ant VR headset. There’s a dedicated mode in the phone for exactly that, which splits the display into two halves.

How about the rest of the phone? The front facing speakers are awesome, as they belt out loud audio considering their size. Call connectivity and quality is excellent, and LTE speeds are good, though that depends on your carrier and your distance to the tower.

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Impressive camera, but sometimes falters due to the software

With a 21-megapixel rear camera. phase detection AF and a f/2.0 lens, the camera on the Vibe X3 looks good on paper. Does it deliver? Short answer is yes. Photos came out pretty good, though we did see a little bit of oversharpening in some images, probably due to the less than stellar image processing in the software.

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There’s a manual mode thrown in the mix as well if you’re looking to take greater control over the snapper.

Low light performance is pretty stellar as well, as you can see in the photos. The camera can also shoot in 4K resolution, which we’ve linked down below so you can see it in its raw form.

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A battery that’s good enough to take you through the day

The 3500mAh battery inside the vibe X3 isn’t partcularly large, but it’s good enough for around a day of use with a little left over. PCMark’s battery benchmark put the phone at 7 hours and 32 minutes.

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A solid flagship from Lenovo

Our time with the Vibe X3 was pretty awesome. While it doesn’t pack the same punch as other higher-end devices from other brands, it has enough performance to stand on its own. While its pricing is a little weird (it’s too much for a mid-range phone) it’s still rather solid if you pit it against phones sold by other brands in the same price range. The Lenovo Vibe X3 retails for Php 22,099 and comes with an Ant VR headset with every purchase.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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3 Comments

  1. Misleading title was expecting a detailed insight/review with regard to the sound quality, but it was only 1 paragraph stating only the spec technology used.

  2. Where’s the audio quality review? I thought when I clicked the link I would see a thorough review about the phone’s audio capabilities but it’s just a rundown of the device’s specs.

  3. I have this phone and its a very good phone for me.. Bought it last Dec 12 on Lazada sale for 7k and super worth it.. From battery to sound and camera… I’m very satisfied.. Only cons that most people say is the older android version out of the box. It runs only on Android 5.1 Lollipop w/c is not a major issue for me..

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