Amid the lack of exciting innovations by the smartphone manufacturers, I was asked, here in the AndroidPIT newsroom, what brand consumers – and journalists – should look out for in the coming years. And the funny thing is, I didn't need to give it much thought. It's Lenovo.
Lenovo rounds off the midrange
During a sluggish global economy, many people are reluctant to spend a lot of money on a smartphone. So if manufacturers want to stand out and increase their market share, they need to invest more in devices that provide good value for money, devices we would call midrange.
And in this category Lenovo has been doing a good job. Whether it’s the Moto G line (G4, G4 Plus and G4 Play) or their own line of Vibe devices (A7010 and K5). They all share rounded hardware, good performance, a design that is easy on the eyes, and all for a reasonable price.
And if you want an entry-level device, you can opt for a Moto E3 or Vibe C2. In other words, Lenovo has been covering its bases well.
Lenovo didn't do it first, but it did it better
At MWC 2016, the LG G5 and its modular concept was a highlight. Much has been said about the innovation this type of device brings and what LG could come to provide in terms of modular accessories.
However, we soon saw that the selection modules was not that big, they were somewhat expensive and whenever you need to attach one of them, you had to turn off your smartphone. Overall, they were not very practical. And to cap it all off, LG also sells a more limited version of the G5 in some markets, at a price that is not exactly inviting, which has undermined consumers’ interests.
Meanwhile, Lenovo was laying low, only promoting its Lenovo Tech World, which it held last June. But the company made the most of the event, presenting its Moto Mods, modules that can be attached to the Moto Z line of devices.
The great thing about Moto Mods is that the module and the smartphone connect via a simple magnetic grid that does not require the phone to be turned off. Just attach the module and it’s ready to go.
In addition, the Lenovo modules are more practical than those of LG. I find myself using a projector, speaker and an extra battery in my daily life thanks to the Moto Mods.
Lenovo even went as far as to introduce Moto Mods developer kit, which allows both large companies and small developers to create new modules that will soon join the Moto Mods family.
All of this is to say that Lenovo intends to segment the modular category in a sustainable way because it has also confirmed that its next smartphone lines will be compatible with the Moto Snaps, be they top of the line or midrange handsets.
Many manufacturers develop smartphones with innovative features. But either these devices are restricted to few markets and never leave them (such as the Arrows NX F-04G, from Fujitsu, which was the first to carry an iris scanner but never left Japan) or simply are born and die as prototypes that never make it to market, generating buzz, but ultimately leaving people disappointed and thirsty for news.
And showing a keen sense of timing, Lenovo’s Tech World also saw the unveiling of the Phab 2 Pro, the first Project Tango device for consumers, bringing Google’s augmented reality vision to market.
The phablet bears a metal unibody and has a 6.4-inch QHD display. It has four cameras, three of which are on the back. The first is 16 MP (standard RGB), the second brings 8 MP, and the third is a depth-sensing infrared unit that tracks movement.
Lenovo also said that Phab 2 Pro will initially have 25 applications available that make use of its augmented reality features a figure it expects to grow to 100 by the end of the year.
And yes, the Phab 2 Pro will not be restricted only to the Asian market but will be sold worldwide.
Do you agree that it is time to start paying more attention to Lenovo?