After a successful launch of its K4 Note, its Chinese manufacturer is all set to unveil its upper-mid-range offering, the Lenovo Vibe X3, at a price of around Rs 25,000 by
next week on Wednesday, Jan 27.
The phone, which looks remarkably like its just-released cousin, is however ulikely to see the same kind of enthusiasm due to its price. The indicated range, according to industry sources, is between Rs 24,000 and Rs 25,000.
In terms of looks, it is more or less identical to the K4, except for the fact that the flash is located below the camera (and not beside it as in case of the Note).
The biggest drawback for the model will be its full-HD display, something that is increasingly giving way to Quad-HD panels in the Rs 25,000-and-above segment.
The difference can be seen by comparing the X3 with Yu Yutopia, priced at Rs 24,999.
While the Chinese model offers only a 5.5-inch full-HD display, the Yutopia comes with a 5.2-inch Quad-HD panel.
What that means is that the Yu model offers a “retina proof” experience even when held as close as 9.5 inches from the eye. (Retina proof means you cannot see the individual dots on the screen.)
For the Vibe model to achieve retina quality, you have to hold it at least 13 inches away from the eye. (For more on these calculations, see our guide to buying displays.)
In addition, Yutopia offers 4 GB of RAM, and that too of the faster DDR4 variety, while the Lenovo model comes with just 3 GB of older DDR3 RAM.
A similar discrepancy can be seen in the processor as well, with Yu offering Snapdragon 810 while the Chinese brand is offering the six-core Snapdragon 808.
In terms of camera too, the Yu model is substantially ahead of the X3 with features like optical image stabilization, and a 1.4 micrometer pixel size for the front camera. In terms of resolutions, both are comparable at 21 MP + 8 MP.
One of the few areas where the Lenovo model has an upper hand is in raw battery capacity, with its 3.6 Ah unit vs the 3 Ah unit on Yutopia and 3.3 on K4 Note.
Inevitably, the model will also be compared against the OnePlus Two, which is priced Rs 25,000 in India.
Even if the X3 carries a final tag of Rs 24,000 (the lower-end of the range indicated by sources), the OnePlus model manages to still win some value points.
UPDATE: HTC is all set to launch the HTC One X9, priced at Rs 26,000, in India later this month. The phone has almost the same specs as the X3. Read more.
Like Yutopia, OnePlus Two also comes with Snapdragon 810 and 4 GB of DDR4 RAM, but offers double the storage at 64 GB.
The only major area of weakness for the OnePlus 2 is in photography, as it has a 13 MP camera supplemented by a 5 MP front unit.
Another contender in this price range is the Samsung Galaxy A8, available for Rs 28,000 in India. The phone offers a 5.7-inch full-HD Super AMOLED display instead of the LCD panels found on all the other models we’ve discussed.
In short, the X3 — which was released only last month — feels slightly aged beside competitors like Yutopia and OP2. However, there is one thing going in favor of the Lenovo model — easier availability. Lenovo has a much bigger manufacturing base than either OnePlus or Yu, and will flood the market with enough stock to meet demand.
In comparison, Yutopia waiting lists are likely to be months-long already. In addition, the sweetspot for 4G phones has shifted, or is shifting, to the 5.5-inch formfactor and away from the 5-inch size.