Lenovo Lemon 3 to hit India as Vibe K5 Plus in early March; to challenge LeTV Le 1s at price Rs 7,999

Lenovo Lemon 3
Lenovo Lemon 3

Lenovo Lemon 3, the successor to the ultra successful Lenovo A6000 Plus, will be launched in India early March and may carry the model number A6020, according to informed sources.

At an expected price of Rs 7,999, the phone will be the cheapest device in India with a full-HD display, and will help the company put up more of a fight with its rival LeTV.

PLUS VERSION?

There are also rumors that the company will upgrade the hardware specifications of the model before introducing it other markets, making it the Lemon 3 Plus.

UPDATE: The Lemon 3 and its plus version will be launched in India as the Vibe K5 and K5 Plus. The K5 Plus is expected to be priced at Rs 10,990 and the K5 at Rs 9,499 or so. The appearance of the two models are identical to the Lemon, but the internals are very different.

The Lenovo Vibe K5 and its plus cousin both come with only 2 GB of RAM and have Snadragon chipsets. The cheaper model comes with SD 410 while the more expensive one flaunts the Snapdragon 616, which comes with VoLTE, but not not LTE Advanced features.

The Chinese smartphone major has a track-record of improving the specs of its phones halfway through the production cycle to help them compete better.

For example, the Lenovo A6000 — the predecessor of Lemon 3 — was initially brought out with 1 GB RAM and 8 GB storage memory. However, after about 4 months, the company doubled both the RAM and the storage memory, terming the new phone ‘A6000 Plus’. Similarly, the X3 Lite, which came with 2 GB of RAM, was given an extra 1 GB and launched as K4 Note in India.

It is, therefore, possible that the latest phone too could be launched in India under the moniker Lemon 3 Plus with 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of storage, though this would increase the price to around Rs 9,999.

There are reports the company will increase the display size to 5.5 inch. However, Lenovo doesn’t change the appearance, size, design or any external features when moving a model to its ‘Plus’ version. As such, we expect the Plus version, if any, to remain at 5 inches.

LETV CHALLENGE

Lenovo has found itself pushed to a corner after LeTV launched its Le 1s high-end phone at a jaw-dropping Rs 10,990 in India. The phone offers a highly-rated full-HD display, 3 GB of RAM, 32 GB of storage, a fingerprint sensor and a rather powerful Helio X10 chipset.

In comparison, Lenovo’s competitor model — the K4 Note, has 16 GB of memory and a mid-range processor that is only around 60% as powerful as the X10. Not surprisingly, therefore, the company has been forced to put the model on open sale after doing four flash sales in India due to slackening demand.

The Lemon 3 will again propel the company back into reckoning despite the fact that it will also come with a chipset that is only 60% as powerful as the Helio X10.

Pricing has been the weakest aspect of the K4, which, despite being inferior to the Le 1s, costs Rs 1,000 more.

1S vs LEMON

The Lemon 3’s price for India will be around Rs 7,999 for the 2 GB version — a discount of 27%, or Rs 3,000 compared to the LeEco model.

For the Rs 3,000 that you save, you lose 1 GB of RAM, the fingerprint scanner and also end up with a weaker processor, a smaller battery, half the storage and a smaller display of 5 inches across compared to 5.5 inches for the 1s.

If it is the 3 GB Plus model, the price difference will be only only around Rs 1,000.

In addition, there are some things that the Lemon offers which cannot be found on the 1s. The model, for example, is built on the octa-core Snapdragon 616 platform and comes with native support for 4G voice or VoLTE.

In fact, the VoLTE factor is going to play a crucial role in determining the sales of this phone as Reliance Jio will also be launching its 4G service in early March, within days of the phone hitting the market.

Jio requires a VoLTE-enabled phone for a full and seamless experience.

In addition, the cheaper phone also offers a shiny all-metal design and has a full-HD display just like its more expensive competitor.

However, the phone will also face competition from LYF — the handset brand of Reliance Digital.

LYF has announced four models on the Snapdragon 615 platform, which is ‘version 1’ of Snapdragon 616 found inside the Lenovo model.

Reliance’s LYF Water 1 has almost exactly the same specifications as the Lemon 3, except for the fact that it comes with Snapdragon 615 instead of 616. However, LYF Water 1 is priced at a whopping Rs 14,999 — almost double that of the other model.

However, LYF is expected to give free data and talktime worth an estimated Rs 10,000 along with the phone.

Another competitor in this range is the Xiaomi Redmi 3, which has more or less the same specifications except for possessing a mammoth 4.1 Ah battery instead of the 2.75 Ah unit on the Lenovo model.

However, the Redmi 3 comes with a hybrid second SIM slot, which means that you can either have two SIMs operating, or one SIM and an external memory card. In addition, there is no news on when the Redmi 3 will come to India. Going by past experience, it should be some time in March, if at all.
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