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Lenovo's cheap smartphone can do quality selfies

All you need is a 'V' gesture.
Richard Lai, @richardlai
January 4, 2016
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This time last year, Lenovo unveiled the Vibe Xtension Selfie Flash attachment and then managed to avoid launching a smartphone with front LED flash for the rest of 2015. (Well, if you exclude the Motorola bunch, that is.) At long last, this year the company's back with an affordable model that not only has an integrated front light, but also uses good components to produce quality selfies. Meet the Vibe S1 Lite, which is a $199 device that manages to offer a Sony-powered 8-megapixel front-facing camera with a five-piece lens for "zero distortion," as well as a front LED flash. The main camera isn't bad, either, as it comes with Samsung's 13-megapixel ISOCELL sensor with phase-detection auto focus plus a dual-tone flash.

Gallery: Lenovo Vibe S1 Lite hands-on | 8 Photos

As you may have guessed from the name, the Vibe S1 Lite is essentially a slightly dumbed down version of the earlier Vibe S1: Gone is the depth-sensing secondary camera on the front, and you'll also have to make do with a slower 1.3GHz octa-core processor from MediaTek (MT6753), 2GB of RAM instead of 3GB, 16GB of internal storage instead of 32GB, and microSD expansion of up to just 32GB instead of 128GB. On the other hand, though, the battery's been bumped up from 2,420 mAh to 2,700 mAh. The rest remains unchanged: you still get a 5-inch 1080p IPS display, dual Nano SIM slots, and LTE radio. Software-wise you get Android 5.1, and the camera app still comes with "V" gesture recognition. It is an Asian phone, after all.

Alas, this is yet another phone that won't make it to the US, but you're not missing much, as our very own Dana Wollman found this device to be a case of "you get what you pay for": Despite the ergonomic curved back and metallic frame, it didn't feel particularly premium. But as always, you can keep an eye on the usual phone importers if you fancy giving this $199 phone a spin.

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