I liked the Vibe P1m immediately I set my eyes on it and took it out of the box. A quick look at the specifications and features also assured me that my initial crush was not likely to disappear somewhere down the road. So, I set to using the phone for a week. What did I find out? In summary: the Lenovo Vibe P1m is a classy-looking, well built mid-range smartphone with a 4,000 mAh battery that ensures you don’t run out of juice before the work day is up.
The Vibe series is Lenovo’s premium class. All devices here are tastefully designed and built. While the P1m has mid-range specs, it holds true to the Vibe design language. I happen to belong to the school of thought that says design and build reflects on the class of a device.
You can take the Vibe P1m into a board meeting or some other classy setting and it won’t look out of place. It looks good and is made of high quality polycarbonate with a metal trim around the edges. Or at least, it looks and feels like a metal trim. It has a nice feel in the hand, and I will mention why later.
There are two loudspeaker grilles at the bottom end of the phone. Don’t let the dual grille fool you though; the loudspeaker itself is mono, not stereo. There is a physical button for activating power saving mode on the left side. The power and volume buttons are on the right. All of them nicely finished. People who appreciate taste will appreciate the finishing of the P1m.
On the software end, Lenovo’s custom UI is light and breezy. There isn’t any heavy customisations to stock Android Lollipop, so there isn’t anything here that requires a textbook to grasp. Anyone familiar with Android OS should be able to use this without any problems.
Lenovo has a suite of homegrown apps pre-installed – SHAREit, a file sharing app that works like Xender; CLONEit lets you setup a new phone with the apps and settings on your existing phone; while SYNCit lets you backup or restore your contacts, SMS and call logs to Lenovo cloud storage. Very nifty tools if you switch phones often – or whenever you do.
The Vibe P1m’s Strengths
1. Dual SIM with 4G LTE support. Even better, it supports the 4G network that I currently use – Smile. Of course, Smile is data only. But that’s cool. One sim slot took my regular GSM line and the other took my 4G data line.
2. The physical power saving button is a convenience that isn’t seen in most phones. Flip the button to switch the P1m to a low energy mode where only basic functions are available. The battery life of the phone is thus extended by hours. Move the button the other way to switch back to normal mode. Nifty!
3. The phone has a splash-proof, nano-coating that protects it from everyday splashes, spills and some level of wear and tear. Remember that I mentioned how good the phone feels in the hand? I suspect that this nano-coating adds to that nice texture.
4. When you have a large battery to fill up, there better be quick charging or else the phone will spend hours plugged in before its battery gets full. The P1m has that covered. Fast charge lets you go for hours on a 15-minute charge.
5. Long battery life. And the 4,000 mAh battery is something else. I had it fully charged at 7.00am and stepped out of the house with both SIMs active and 4G internet permanently on. I made calls, handled mails, managed multiple blogs, social media and had the WiFi hotspot on for 3 hours. I finally got a low battery alert at 6.21pm. The battery was reading 15% at that time. Not bad at all.
6. Charge other gadgets. The P1m serves as a power bank too so you can charge your other devices. What’s the point of a huge battery capacity if you cannot share?
The P1m’s weak spots
Even Superman has a weak spot. How much more a smartphone?
1. Don’t expect superb performance. While the 2GB of RAM is adequate, the 1GHz quad-core processor is a little below what the competition sport. But then, if you’re buying the P1m, it isn’t for top performance. You’re buying it for the battery life and the solid, tasteful build.
The phone isn’t sluggish in most usage scenarios, but one place in which I noticed some sluggishness was the camera. It is sluggish at focusing and capturing images. Bummer. That hurt me personally.
Here are the results from the usual benchmark tests:
– AnTuTu: 24,788
– Quadrant: 10,417
– Geekbench: 481 (single-core), 1,343 (multi-core)
I don’t play games on my phones for the most part, but I am very sure that gaming performance on the P1m will be below what most phones in its class produce.
2. While the P1m has beautiful loudspeaker grilles, the loudspeaker volume is rather low, whether you are playing out music or using it during voice calls.
The P1m is good thinking by Lenovo. I really like it. I almost didn’t return it after the review. Lenovo’s focus with the P1m is clear: the upwardly mobile, business-oriented young person who wants long battery life without looking cheap. At around N32,000, I think that the phone fulfills that purpose well. Lenovo has made a believer out of me.