Lenovo Vibe P1m Review


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It seems like Lenovo has woken up from its hibernation. Just a couple of quarters ago the brand wasn’t that popular in the smartphone space in the Indian market. However, times have changed very quickly for the Chinese manufacturer.

Ever since the introduction of A6000 for the mid-range market, the firm has been very active and has been bringing all its new models to the sub-continent without much of a delay after its global announcement.

Lenovo’s newest war-horse in the much affordable price segment, which is very competitive with the likes of Xiaomi, Motorola and others – is the P1m. We had a chance to spend some quality time with the Lenovo Vibe P1m and here’s our take on the device.

Unboxing

Lenovo’s latest mid-range offering comes in a standard retail box with vibe branding around it. Inside the box, you find the smartphone itself, In-ear headphones with microphone, A/C adapter, microUSB cable and some paper work.

We had already unboxed the Lenovo Vibe P1m and you can check out the video above. Lenovo has also bundled a screen guard and an additional back cover along with the usual accessories in its Vibe P1m package.

Video Review

Design

The Lenovo Vibe P1m carries a simplistic design, which has a combination of brushed metal and plastic. The overall design of the smartphone is not a trend setter and it is not going to grab attention or eye-balls, but it is very sensible.

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The back panel of the Vibe P1m is made out of plastic and it fits in tightly without any squeaks. We would like to mention that during our testing that we figured out that the panel is durable even though it is made up of plastic and it is not prone to fingerprints.

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Lenovo Vibe P1m measures 141 x 71.8 x 9.3mm and weights only about 148 grams, which is quite surprising considering that the smartphone packs a high-capacity battery. The weight is well-distributed and the device feels quite solid in the hands.

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On the front, the 5-inch display occupies most of the real estate. The screen to body ratio is about 68%. Above the screen, there’s an earpiece, usual set of sensors and a 5 megapixel pixel front facing shooter.

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Just like the other smartphones from the company, the Vibe P1m also has capacitive touch buttons. There are three keys – menu, home and back in the bottom.

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The right side of the device houses the volume rockers and the power button. The lift side has a switch, which can be used to turn on/off the ultimate power saving mode.

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On the top of the smartphone is where we locate the microUSB port in the centre and the 3.5mm audio jack towards the left corner.

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The bottom features the primary microphone pinhole and the speaker grille. Apart from that it’s completely flat.

Moving on to the back, we find the 8 megapixel rear camera with LED flash, which is slightly protruding. Just below the camera assembly, there’s a secondary microphone pinhole. The vibe branding is prominent and there’s a Lenovo branding at the bottom.

The back panel is swappable and underneath it lies the non-removable 4,000mAh battery. There are three card slots – two for SIM cards and one for the microSD card.

Display

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The Lenovo Vibe P1m sports a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. This accounts to a pixel density of 294ppi, so you will have a hard time telling individual pixels apart. Lenovo is not providing any protective layer for the display, so we would like to warn you that you will have to take great care of it to secure it from minor scratches and sniffs.

The colors on the display are quite accurate and the contrast is good as well. The overall brightness could have been better – even at 100% the display is not as bright as we would expect it to be.

The panel is not that reflective and the sunlight legibility is quite good, so you don’t have to go running to find a cover while using your smartphone outdoors.

Interface

Lenovo Vibe P1m comes with Android 5.1 Lollipop with a layer of Vibe UI on top of it. The quad-core processor along with 2GB of RAM keeps things smooth most of the times, but we must admit that there’s occasional lag.

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As we already know, the Vibe UI does not have an app drawer and all the installed applications appear on the home screen.

Lenovo Vibe P1m brings a set of pre-installed third-party applications along with the customary Google applications. The company’s home baked apps like SHAREit and Lenovo Companion are also on-board.

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The Vibe P1m has the latest version of the company’s theme centre. The application offers a wide range of themes, but it no longer allows the users to customize system UI, boot animation or notification UI.

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The Guvera music application is also available on the Vibe P1m. The app allows you to access the most popular local and international music for free.

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Lenovo Vibe P1m comes with 16GB of inbuilt storage out of which 11GB is available for the user. You can further expand the memory via a microSD card.

Performance

Lenovo Vibe P1m is powered by a 64-bit MediaTek MT6735P chipset with quad-core 1GHz CPU, Mali-T720 GPU and 2GB of RAM. On boot-up 1.2GB of RAM is available for usage.

The performance of the Lenovo Vibe P1m is quite good. The device can easily handle all the day-to-day applications without any hassle. The multi-tasking performance ability of the Vibe P1m is something that you could live with- especially after considering its price tag. The P1m is capable of running 10 applications simultaneously. However, the moment you try to push it beyond that the smartphone starts to struggle.

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On the gaming front, the Vibe P1m offers good gaming experience while playing mid-range games. Again, the performance of the device falls when handling graphic rich games like FIFA or Asphalt.

The performance of the Lenovo Vibe P1m is quite moderate, but considering the target audience of the device and also its price tag – we will not be surprised if it actually gain a few fans.

Camera

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Lenovo Vibe P1m has an 8 megapixel primary camera and a LED flash. The camera offers all the basic features and quite understandably misses on the options that the company’s flagship brings to table.

To start with, the camera interface is very simple and navigation is also quite easy. The settings like flash, HDR and camera modes are all available within the camera UI home screen. All the advanced options are available in the settings menu and are categorized under camera, video and others.

The front facing camera is a 5 megapixel unit and the image quality it offers is par for the course.

We took some samples from the 8 megapixel shooter to show it to you all and you can check them below –

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(Full Resolution- Sample1, Sample2, Sample3, Sample4)

Levono P1m’s camera offers accurate colors and the white balance is good. It resolved a decent amount of detail, but the noise levels are a bit on the higher end for our liking. The images captured in HDR mode offer both the highlights and the shadows without losing on the contrast.

You can shoot 720p videos using the Vibe P1m and the quality of these videos are not the best and they are good only for viewing on a small screen.

Connectivity

Lenovo Vibe P1m supports 4G LTE network in India. The smartphone works on TDD Band 1/3/5/7/8/20 and FDD Band 40. The device manages LTE Cat 4 speeds of 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up. The device has dual-SIM and both the slots take a micro SIM.

We were able to test the LTE capability of the Vibe P1m across various parts of Bangalore and we constantly got a download speed of 20Mbps.

The Vibe P1m has a wide range of connectivity options like Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.1 LE and A-GPS. It also has FM Radio.

Battery

The 4,000mAh battery is the unique selling point of the device. Also, the device is capable of charging another smartphone. With this kind of battery capacity, one can expect long hours of usage and our battery test confirms that.

Lenovo Vibe P1m FA One Charge Rating

Lenovo Vibe P1m will last for about 15 hours and 38 minutes before you need to find a power source to charge the smartphone. You can check out our detailed battery test story on our blog to find out the individual break down of the Vibe P1m’s battery test results.

Conclusion

The Lenovo Vibe P1m is already available in the Indian market with a price tag of INR 7,999 and is available exclusively from Flipkart.

The 4,000mAh battery is definitely the stand out feature of the device. The ability of the smartphone to support 4G LTE networks adds more value to the device.

However, the performance is only moderate and if you are a hard-core gamer or a power user, then the device might not deliver as per your expectations. The camera has enough character for a mid-ranger.

All things considered, we think the Lenovo Vibe P1m will be a good pick for an entry-level Android user.


Author: Sunil Jamboor Nagesh

He has been reporting tech and reviewing gadgets for quite some time now. SJN in the past has been a part of couple of globally reputed tech publications like GSMArena and AndriodAuthority. He bleeds tech and is always seen with a review unit in hand. Feel free to reach him on twitter - @SunilJamboor or on Google+.