As expected, Lenovo has priced the Vibe X3 at Rs 19,999, higher than what the market was hoping for.
The Chinese company, the king of Indian smartphone market, is under tremendous pressure from its biggest fellow-Chinese competitor, LeEco whose latest launch, the Le 1s, is threatening to finish off its newly launched K4 Note.
The launch of the Vibe X3 was its second chance at offering a strong competitor to the 1s. Unlike the K4, the X3 suffers from none of the weak specifications of the first model.
The K4 is slightly underpowered due to the use of MediaTek MT6753 processor. In contrast, the Vibe X3 comes with Helio X10 processor, the same one found in the LeTV 1s (price Rs 10,990). The chipset is about 50% more powerful than the MT6753.
With today’s launch, the LeEco 1s has again proven itself to be unbeatable in terms of value in the mid-range market. The Le 1s — which is cheaper than the K4 by Rs 1,000 — is reported to have garnered around 4 lakh registrations already — which is equivalent to about two months of sales.
However, this is not to say that the 1s will be the most powerful phone in the mid range.
For example, the upcoming Redmi Note 3, which is powered by Cortex A72 processor technology, offers about 50% more power for single-threaded applications, which would make a substantial difference in actual usage.
Still, the big issue here is not of the incremental power offered by SD 650 over X10 — but that of pricing, and now all eyes will be on Xiaomi to see how it prices the Redmi Note 3, which comes with a better camera, battery and processor. To be competitive against the 1s, it will have to price the Note at or below Rs 15,000 for the 32 GB version.
The pricing for the Redmi Note 3 was seen at Rs 17,000 or so for the 32 GB version, and the company can now be expected to bring it down a couple of notches to compete.
Of course, there is the chance that LeTV will not be able to bring enough stocks in India to meet the demand and people may simply go for other models instead of waiting for months. This was seen when Mi3 was launched a couple of years ago.
One advantages of the X3 — besides its 21 MP camera — is the presence of a MicroSD card slot — something that is absent in both the other models, and may be a deal breaker for some people.
VIBE X3 SPECS
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, and available on demand from Amazon.
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.