Lenovo Vibe S1 Review

OS, Apps, and UI

As with other smartphones from Lenovo, it’s using the Vibe UI skin on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop. The proprietary skin is similar in design from most Chinese manufacturers which omits the app drawer thus leaving all the icons on the home screen iOS style.


Vibe UI is not the ugliest skin around but it’s not the most appealing either. We do get a clean and straightforward experience with it and that’s what the most important. Of course, you can download more themes and icon packs to replace them according to your liking.

lenovo-vibe-s1-screenshot1 lenovo-vibe-s1-screenshot2

There are preloaded apps including Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and WeChat. You also get Guvera Music for streaming audio content ala Spotify, UC Browser as an option for Chrome, LateRoom.com for hotel booking, WPS Office for document editing, and Navigate for maps and navigation. Seems like Lenovo is aiming to give a lifestyle kick-off for its users.


With a 13-megapixel phase detection autofocus (PDAF) rear camera plus an 8-megapixel and 2-megapixel dual front camera setup, Lenovo has given the Vibe S1 some serious imaging weapon, especially when it comes to the selfie game.

On the main 13-megapixel rear camera, Lenovo has put in phase detection autofocus and we’re happy that they did because it works. Focusing on the rear camera is fast and accurate. Captured stills show a good amount of details and natural tones. Here are some samples:

The tricks of the dual camera are alike to other similar setups in the market wherein the smaller sensor acts as a helping hand to the big one to produce brighter images and add depth-of-field on edit. Indeed, the shots of the front camera are great and definitely better than most Android counterparts. The bokeh and cut-out effect are spot on if you’ll take a perfect selfie.

As for the video, it’s maxed out at 1080p only as UHD recording is still not common in this range. The Full HD recording of the Vibe P1 has the same result like those of the a stills with a good amount of details. The camera is quick to refocus as well as with exposure compensation. Check out the sample below and tick the 1080p option:

The Vibe S1 has good optics for stills and video thanks to PDAF and some software enhancements. The dual camera selfie cameras might be a trick to lure consumers to the effect it can do but at least, the quality speaks for itself.

Performance and Benchmarks

Equipped with a 1.7GHz 64-bit MT6752 octa-core processor from MediaTek with Mali-T760MP2 as its GPU, the Vibe S1 is positioned to give mid-range prowess. It also has 3GB of RAM paired with 32GB of internal storage plus expansion via microSD for up to 128GB.


In numbers, it’s not as beastly compared to the flagships but in everyday usage, the Vibe S1 can deliver smooth navigation and adept multitasking. Gaming is also not a problem as intensive apps like Asphalt 8, Dead Trigger 2, and Mortal Kombat are playable at high graphic settings.

Here are the results from benchmark tests:

  • 3DMark SlighShot — 320 (ES 3.1), 481 (ES 3.0)
  • Antutu Benchmark 6.0.4 — 46874
  • Nenamark 2 — 59.5 fps
  • PCMark Performance — 4733
  • Quadrant Standard — 21202
  • Vellamo — 3363 (Chrome), 2508 (UC Browser), 1365 (Metal), 2010 (Multicore)

Next Page: Call Quality and Connectivity / Battery Life / Conclusion

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This article was contributed by Daniel Morial, a film school graduate and technology enthusiast. He's the geeky encyclopedia and salesman among his friends for anything tech.

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