Lenovo might be known as the company behind the Thinkpad in the United States, but it actually sells more phones and tablets than it does laptops, nearly 16 million smartphones in the second quarter this year alone. A lot of those sales are coming from Lenovo’s home country of China, which explains some of the choices made on the Vibe X2 and Vibe Z2, two new smartphones announced on Thursday.
Both handsets are dual-SIM mid-rangers that won’t keep up with the latest premium handsets like the Galaxy Note. The Vibe X2 comes with a eight-core MediaTek processor and a 1080p screen. Those aren’t bad specs, and they keep the Vibe X2 competitive with other Chinese phones in the same price range. But the coolest part of the X2 is what Lenovo is calling “multi-layer design.” Looking at the phone in profile, you can see definite striations and layers — three, in total — which give the phone a unique look.
The other phone Lenovo announced is the Vibe Z2, which isn’t to be confused with the decidedly high-end Vibe Z2 Pro. Instead of a MediaTek processor behind its 5.5-inch 720p screen, the Z2 is using a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC, which we’ve seen before in other mid-range devices. Although it’s not the fastest chip, it is using 64-bit cores, which means when Android officially releases a 64-bit compatible version, the Z2 should be able to take advantage.
Although Lenovo listed prices for both the Vibe X2 ($400) and Vibe Z2 ($430) in dollars, it’s unclear whether either device will make it to American shores. Both phones will be widely available in Asia, Eastern Europe and the Middle East starting in October.
There are a lot of quality options for the Chinese consumer looking for a $300 smartphone: Xiaomi’s Mi4 has a more desirable processor than either Lenovo device, and it’s less expensive. The Meizu MX4 has the same MediaTek processor as the X2, but comes with a better camera. Huwaei and ZTE also have alluring options in that price range. Lenovo is about to find out whether its brand still carries a premium in the competitive Chinese smartphone market.