Lenovo launches four new phones, one of which doesn't seem horrible

Lenovo launches four new phones, one of which doesn't seem horrible

While the Vibe Z has some promising specs, it won't be available in the US anytime soon.

The Vibe Z boasts a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display at 400 ppi.

The Vibe Z boasts a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display at 400 ppi.

In a flurry of budget also-ran device releases from Lenovo, the just-unveiled Vibe Z stands out. Not only is it the company's first LTE-compatible phone, it also boasts some quality mobile innards to boot.

Most US consumers are probably only scantly aware that Lenovo, the Chinese-based manufacturer best known for laptops, even makes smartphones. And there's a reason: The company's mobile offerings haven't been anything special, and only a handful have actually made their way to the US market.

The company's disappointing line of Android-powered Yoga tablets couldn't even be salvaged by an Ashton Kutcher endorsement.

Lenovo has no stated plans to introduce its latest round of smartphones into the US market, which is unfortunate. From a spec viewpoint, that new Vibe Z is right up there with other marquee handsets.

For example, The Vibe Z boasts a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display at 400 ppi. While not an exact apples-to-apples comparison (excuse the pun), the 4-inch display of the iPhone 5s only measures in at 1136 x 640 with 326 ppi.

Among its fellow Android models, the Z's LCD screen is only slightly less resolute than the 1920 x 1080 displays found on the Nexus 5's 5-inch display (445 ppi) or the HTC One's 4.7-incher (469 ppi).

The Jelly Bean 4.3-fueled Vibe Z is powered by a quad-core Snapdragon 800 2.2Ghz processor, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of internal storage. It also comes with an impressive 13-megapixel rear shooter, and a 5-megapixel front camera.

Overall, while the Vibe Z isn't on the bleeding edge of mobile, it certainly is on the cutting board--at least until the 2014 generations of handsets make their debuts.

To reiterate: the Vibe Z will only be available in a few Asian markets at launch. Of course, even if the Vibe Z were to attempt to compete in the US, its hefty off-contract $549 price tag would have to come down, as top-shelf handsets like the Moto X see their price tag fall under $400 .

And the rest

In addition, Lenovo announced three lower-spec (and lower-cost) non-LTE handsets that the company didn't even bother bestowing with a proper, non-industrial name.

The S930 and S650 will be available off-contract for $319 and $229 respectively. Both the 6-inch 1280 x 720 screen'd S930 and 4.7-inch 960 x 540 display'd S650 are powered by the MediaTek quad-core processor and run on Android 4.2.

Meanwhile, the $219, the A859 has a 5-inch screen with a 1280 x 720 display and is powered by a MediaTek 6582 processor. Like the S-series phones, the A859 offers dual-SIM cards for greater cross-border mobility.

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