Lenovo seems to want to be the next Samsung, in a way, with the announcement of four shiny new Android smartphones. Starting with the 5.5-inch Vibe Z, Lenovo's flagship handset marks a first for the Chinese laptop maker: 4G LTE.
The first LTE-capable smartphone from Lenovo hops on yet another cutting-edge wireless standard in 802.11ac support. (Lenovo packed Bluetooth 4.0 in there as well.) Equipped with Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon 800 CPU clocked at 22.GHz, Vibe Z is capable of upload speeds up to 50Mbps and up to 150Mbps downloads, Lenovo promises.
Rounding out the phone's superb specs are 2GB of RAM,16GB of storage and a hefty 3000mAh battery behind a 5.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 IPS touch panel displaying Android 4.3. That screen resolution makes for a pixel density of 400 pixels per inch, which Lenovo coins a 20/20 Vision display.
What's better is the Vibe Z's 13MP shooter with a speedy f1.8 aperture lens for better low-light snaps, plus a 5MP camera up front with a 84-degree angle lens for those tougher selfies, all in a 7.9mm thin titanium body. What's worse is that the phone will not hit the US, UK or Australia in time for launch.
All considered, this is quite an upgrade from the Vibe X, which Lenovo announced just this past September during IFA 2013 in Berlin, Germany. The Vibe Z will land this February in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and the Philippines for $549 (about £334, AU$611) unlocked.
Smartphones big, cheap and small
While the Vibe Z will undoubtedly cast a large shadow, let's not forget that Lenovo will show off three other Android smartphones during CES 2014. Lenovo's S Series of phones, the S930 and S650 (both running Android 4.2), are aimed at media junkies on a budget.
Both handsets come packing 1.3GHz, quad-core MediaTek chips with more middling specs, like 1GB of RAM, 8GB of storage (up to 32GB more via microSD for the S650), 8MP shooters on their backs and more.
The major differences here are the S930's 6-inch, 1280 x 720 panel - making it Lenovo's very own "phablet", to use a non-word - and the S650's 4.7-inch, 960 x 450 display.
What is hoped to set the S930 phone apart is its HTC One-like, front-facing speakers with Dolby Digital Plus sound. The S930 is available now in all of Lenovo's usual markets for $319 (about £194, AU$355) off-contract, while the S650 goes for $229 (about £139, AU$255).
Finally is Lenovo's ultra-affordable - $219 (about £133, AU$244) unlocked - so-so-specced A859, housing a 5-inch, 1280 x 720 IPS panel. This phone comes with the same MediaTek brains inside along with the matching 1GB of RAM and 8GB of storage (expandable by up to 32GB with microSD). The phone comes with the same 8MP snapper on its back.
What makes this phone stand out is its dual SIM card capability, not to mention its impressive price given its size and spec sheet. But here's a major bummer: None of these three phones will hit the US, UK, or Australia at launch either.
Alas, there's still hope, as Lenovo is said to be working on entering these markets. Regardless, we'll be on the CES 2014 show floor to tell you what's what with Lenovo's latest smartphones.
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