Lenovo Vibe X3, ‘Lite A7010’ to hit India next month; price to remain key

Lenovo will launch two new smartphones in India — the ‘affordable flagship’ Vibe X3 and the a ‘Lite’ version that will probably be a rebranded A7010.

Globally, there are three models that the company is expected to launch in the coming days — the X3, the Lite and the A7010.

Two of these models will be launched in China today, while two will be hitting Indian next month.

Lenovo A7010
Lenovo A7010

X3 – AFFORDABLE FLAGSHIP

The first one will be the X3, which is estimated to be priced around Rs 19,999. We must clarify that this is just an estimate largely based on the launch-price of its predecessor, the X2, also Rs 19,999.

Those who have been following Lenovo phones in India would remember that the Vibe X2 was one of the earliest phones in India to come with 4G LTE and still not cross the Rs 20,000 price barrier.

The way it managed to do this was by incorporating the cheap MT6595M 4G chipset from MediaTek. Unfortunately, the MT6595M met with a quick demise as the chipset was found only in a handful of devices globally, and probably only in the X2 in India.

The X2 did not do too well, as it was hit by the launch of Xiaomi Mi3 soon after it was introduced in India by Flipkart. In response, Lenovo slashed its price, though that too did not help much in reviving its sales.

The X3, on the other hand, is likely to see decent sales as there is no Xiaomi threat. However, take-up would hinge again on pricing.

The phone has superior specifications compared to the cheaper model and comes with Snapdragon 808 six-core processor, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal memory and 21 + 8 MP cameras.

The specs make the phone vulnerable to competition from models like Sony Xperia C4 (Rs 18,600 on Paytm). The Xperia C4 too has a 5.5-inch, full-HD display and a similar processor, though RAM is lower at 2 GB.

In addition, Micromax has launched its Canvas 5 at Rs 11,999.

Of course, the Canvas 5 is not a direct competitor to this phone. For example, the Micromax model has a 5.2 inch display, while the Lenovo phone has a 5.5-inch one. The Canvas 5 also has a 13 MP camera, while the Lenovo handset comes with 21 MP.

In other words, if the X3 is priced above Rs 22,000, its sales will be very limited. On the other hand, if priced below Rs 20,000 the X3 could attract buyers away from pricier models like the Xperia M5 (Rs 30,300) and OnePlus Two (Rs 22,999.)

LITE WILL BE KEY

It is the second, and cheaper, model that has led to all the confusion, at least as far as India is concerned.

Globally, there are two cheaper versions being talked about — a Vibe X3 Lite and Lenovo A7010. Both models look exactly alike, have the same processor, RAM etc..

In fact, the A7010 has already been launched in Romania, and it does indeed have the same reported looks and specs as the X3 Lite.

However, the Romanina model has just 8 GB of internal memory, which is incredibly low for a 2015 launch. You can see the Romanian A7010 here.

All other specifications are the same as those that are reported for the Lite — including 13 + 5 MP cameras, Dolby Atmos dual-front-speaker audio and a 5.5-inch full-HD display (compared to the 720p screen on the A7000).

Lenovo Vibe X3 Lite photo from Chinese regulator website
Lenovo Vibe X3 Lite photo from Chinese regulator website

Since all the leaked pictures of X3 Lite also look exactly the same as the A7010 (see on the right), it is likely that both phones are perhaps the same.

Whether branded under the X category or simply called the A7010, this phone could be emerge as the successor to the wildly successful K3 Note, A6000 and A7000.

However, unlike the earlier value-for-money 4G phones from Lenovo, this model does not suffer from a boxy and boring appearance.

The Chinese smartphone maker seems to have listened to feedback that faulted it for making its value-for-money phones rather plain, and decided to spare some attention to the way the phone looked, in addition to how it worked.

Another improvement is the 3.3 Ah battery in place of the 3 Ah unit on the K3 Note.

The dual-front-speaker set up and the curved top and bottom edges lend a premium air hitherto unseen in any Lenovo 4G phone priced below the Rs 10,000 mark.

The MediaTek 6753T processor, the turbo-charged version of the 6753, promises decent performance.

However, the phone is likely to survive or perish by the pricing. Though there are reports that it will be priced at just 900 Yuan, or about Rs 9,200 in China, we do not expect the India price to be any lower than Rs 9,999. There is a possibility that the phone could actually be priced higher too, though we’ll get an indication by end of day today when the device is launched in China.



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