Lenovo Vibe Z Smartphone Packs 5.5-inch Screen, LTE and Quad-Core CPU

Lenovo is better known for its laptops than its smartphones, but the Chinese company's latest offering may soon change that. Say hello to the Vibe Z, the most advanced handset Lenovo has ever produced. Designed to take on the likes of the Samsung Galaxy Note 3, the Vibe Z sports a 5.5-inch display, quad-core CPU and, for the first time on a Lenovo smartphone, LTE connectivity. We spent some time with the Vibe Z and were struck by its gorgeous design and beautiful display.

Like any good phablet, the Vibe Z comes packing a stunning 1920 x 1080 resolution screen with a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch. As a result colors viewed on the display popped nicely and text looked impressively sharp. The handset's performance was also top-notch thanks to its Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 CPU and 2GB of RAM. Storage capacity for the Vibe Z, however, is limited to just 16GB, which is relatively low when you consider that it doesn't include a microSD card slot.

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At 0.31 inches thick and weighing 5.2 ounces, the Lenovo Vibe Z is slim and light for a phablet. Samsung’s 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 measures 0.33 inches thick and weighs 5.9 ounces. LG’s 5.2-inch G2, on the other hand, measures 0.35 inches thick but is slightly lighter than the Vibe Z at 5.04 ounces.

The Vibe Z owes its relatively light chassis to its plastic construction. Refreshingly, Lenovo chose to use a laser etching technique that gives the Vibe Z's rear panel a textured feel which should keep fingerprints at bay, while also cutting down on scratches.

Some of the coolest features of the Vibe Z have to do with its cameras. Around back, the phablet gets a 13-megapixel shooter with an f1.8 aperture that captures images in an instant. Up front, you get a 5-megapixel camera with an extra-wide lens that's perfect for taking selfies with groups of friends. Lenovo's camera software was especially fun to use, as it includes a host of filters and editing options. One such option lets you alter your looks including the size of your eyes, skin tone and other features.

Based on our short time with the Vibe Z, we can say it seems like a compelling device. That said, Lenovo has yet to announce whether the handset will be coming to the U.S. The company has said it will eventually bring phones to our shores, but whether that starts with the Vibe Z remains to be seen. Still, we've got our fingers crossed.

Daniel P. Howley
LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.