Lenovo Vibe S1 hands-on

Selfie cameras have become such a hit amongst the younger demographics, so it’s should be no surprise to anyone that companies will keep on focusing on them. Case in point, the Lenovo VIBE S1, which caters to those who just can’t get enough of themselves. What separates this one from the crop is the fact that it not only features one front-facing camera, but two for some serious bokeh effects.


Wow! It’s too bad that we rarely see Lenovo’s smartphones come stateside. That’s because the Lenovo VIBE S1 showcases the kind of attention and meticulous crafting that the company can achieve with its products. For starters, we’re most astounded by its compact size and premium feel. Combining a metal trim bezel that holds together the front glass and curved-glass rear surfaces, it’s unbelievable how this phone exudes so many premium qualities. The curved-glass casing in particular, help to not only offer an ergonomic grip, but also helps to give it a pleasant amount of glossiness at certain angles.


Going with a 5-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display, it’s more than detailed enough to make out every nook and cranny on its surface. Add to that, there’s a potent amount of luminance produced by the display to make it extremely visible. Colors, for the most part, exhibit a very natural color in our time checking it out. Even though it’s certainly not one for breaking records in the specs department, the display here on the Lenovo VIBE S1 has some astounding qualities that attract our eyes from afar.


For this phone, Lenovo has followed in tradition by eliminating the apps panel, which is a common thing they’ve been doing with their custom interface. Running on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop, the skin favors bright and bold colors to help accentuate its fluid design. While we didn’t get the chance to get in depth with the platform, it at the very least offers us all of the base functions that come with Android.

Processor and Memory

Luckily, the VIBE S1 runs pretty smoothly in our quick look, which gets its processing power from a 64-bit based octa-core 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6752 processor accompanied with 3GB of RAM. Every action is accompanied with the same snappy response we get from high-end, more notable phones in the space. Obviously, the simple stuff are all handled effortlessly by this, but we’re crossing our fingers that it’ll do justice with its graphics processing as well.

In addition to the generous 32GB of internal storage on board, that capacity can be supplemented using the available microSD card slot on its back side.


The main standout of the VIBE S1 isn’t found with its rear camera, but rather, what we’re given around the front. Sure, the 13-megapixel rear auto-focus camera sounds juicy enough, but the two cameras around the front are far more intriguing. Essentially, what we have here is a main 8-megapixel front camera with BSI, and a secondary 2-megapixel one. Although it’s not something new in the smartphone space, the dual-camera set up is rarely employed with the front-facing camera.

Much like all the other dual-camera wielding phones we’ve dealt with, this combination allows us to take selfies and then produce a bokeh effect post shot. Using the slider, we can adjust how much softness we want to add to the background of our selfies, so that our face will no doubt retain much of the attention in the entire shot.


What’s really juicy about the Lenovo Vibe S1 is how it’s attached with a $299 price point when it begins to go on sale starting in November. As much as we’d like to be optimistic about its arrival here stateside, that’s wishful thinking because it’s unlikely going to come here through the usual direct routes. Therefore, if you’re seriously interested in taking better selfies, it might be worth it for you to import this one. At least you won’t be dishing out a fortune on picking it up, so that’s a comforting idea.

Related phones

Vibe S1
  • Display 5.0" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 8 MP front
  • Processor MediaTek, Octa-core, 1700 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 2500 mAh(12h 3G talk time)


1 Comment

1. slavytodorov

Posts: 48; Member since: Jun 23, 2012

I feel like they come up with a new UI every few days... So inconsistent. If I didn't know this is a Lenovo product, I probably wouldn't be able to tell the difference between it and one of Huawei's endless new products.

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