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Hands on: Lenovo Vibe Z smartphone

updated 04:37 pm EST, Wed January 8, 2014

High-end Android phone for Asian markets

Although Lenovo is known in the US as a computer brand, the company has continued to release smartphones in China and other Asian markets. One of the latest devices, the Vibe Z, continues the company's move into the high-end phone market, with a 5.5-inch display and 13-megapixel camera. Wondering if the company may be closer to considering a US launch, we checked out the Z at CES to see how it stacks up against the global competition.

The quad-core Snapdragon 800 processor has already proven itself in other Android devices, providing a performance boost over the Mediatek processor used in the Vibe X. During our limited tests, the Vibe Z appeared to be fast enough to serve as a viable competitor to Samsung's latest Galaxy hardware and other top Android handsets.

We also liked the Z's overall design, with a laser-etched metal finish on the back housing. The phone isn't a fingerprint-magnet like many of Samsung's devices, and it has a quality feel that reminds us of the HTC One.

With a stronger brand presence at home in China, we understand the reasoning behind Lenovo's hesitance to move into the US market. Nonetheless, recent reports suggest Lenovo has taken the number-two spot in the Android smartphone market behind Samsung. The Vibe Z is the most well-refined Lenovo smartphone that we've tried, and its $549 price tag could make it competitive in the US market, but we are still waiting for the company to announce its foray into Western territory.

by MacNN Staff



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