Two Weeks with Lenovo Vibe P1m and I Stopped Worrying About BatteryDecember 22, 2015
Ask any Android user what they want most from their phones and most would say battery in no time. It’s been very recently, like a year, that Android makers have started focusing on the battery. Many flagships nowadays ship with minimum 3,000 mAh batteries.
Now if you thought budget phones were unlucky in this regard, then that’s not the case. Lenovo’s P series has always been focused on the battery. All it lacked was the attention. But it’s only now that Lenovo itself taking some efforts to tell everyone about it. Now there are two distinct models for different budgets and needs. Let’s see what the little one, Vibe P1m, has to show off.
If you put together few smartphones in this price range including Vibe P1m, none of them is going to win awards for their looks. That’s true for Lenovo’s offering as well. It’s a generic monoblock smartphone. In other words, the design is yawn inspiring. It just looks very simple and minimal. The metallic, oval ring around the camera makes it look a little better. Other than that there are no bells and whistles in design. The back panel is removable but battery is not.
The Vibe P1m has one thing that you would not find in other phones in this price segment. It has splash proof nano coating. This means, it can repel little splashes of water and moisture. Facial sweat and moisture have been the reasons behind many phones getting damaged due to ‘water’ element. Vibe P1m doesn’t have to worry about it.
The big 4,000 mAh battery has to add few bits to its thickness as well as weight. Yet, it’s totally comfortable to hold and use in day to day life. Vibe P1m already has a sturdy construction, but you can still put on the plastic case on it. I did it, but I couldn’t live with the added thickness. So, I just started using without it. The case also makes using ‘power saver’ slider a tough deal.
Thankfully, Lenovo has put the light underneath the navigation keys on Vibe P1m. There are couple of speakers grills on the bottom but the speaker is under only
I feel it’s worth talking about its battery in details. The 4,000 mAh battery didn’t just lived up to my expectations but sometimes even exceeded them. I could get Screen-on-Time of like 8 hours. Holy cow! That was of course with my moderate usage. Overall, it would last for around 1.5 to 2 days.
Coincidentally, a couple of my friends bought the same phone. I asked them about their experience as ‘real’ users. One of them used his phone with both the SIMs and rigorously. On one day he managed to drain the battery from 100 to 0 in just 17 hours with heavy usage but with 8.5 hours of SoT, which is nothing but impressive. With his moderate usage he too could get two days of it.
The takeaway here is the massive battery may not always translate to 3-4 days. But generally with our usual activities such as checking out social networks, making calls and everything in between battery should reliably last for a couple of days. At least, it won’t die on you in the middle of the day. The 720p display also plays in favor of the battery life as there are lesser pixels to move around. It also goes from 0 to 100 in under 2 hours, which is relatively quick for such a big battery.
Then there’s a power saver mode, and Vibe P1m has a dedicated button to activate it quickly. It cuts all the unnecessary crap like WiFi, mobile data and also takes away multi-tasking. You get only basic functions like calls, SMS. Surprisingly, it would also let me add Chrome or Facebook to the list of apps allowed to run. While the power saver mode does increase the standby time significantly, you get only marginally more usage time (calls). It doesn’t switch to 2G network which would actually show improvement in talk time.
In case your friend’s phone’s battery is dying, you can help by charging his phone with P1m. You’ll need to buy a special accessory for this, though.
When I first read the specs of the Lenovo Vibe P1m when it was first launched, I was a bit skeptical about its real world performance. But its smooth performance broke all my false assumptions in just few days of usage. The Vibe P1m is powered by the MediaTek MT6735 1 GHz quad-core processor and has 2GB RAM. I know that 1GHz mark sounds too low but never in my review period that affected the performance or user experience. Lenovo has surely worked on the software side, too.
If you’ve come here expecting to read about a great camera, you better look for some other phone. The Vibe P1m has an 8MP camera with an LED flash. Well, two phones can have 8MP cameras and yet both give totally different outputs. In the case of Vibe P1m, its camera is not exciting. While the details it captures are just good enough, it loses on the things like color reproduction. In well-lit conditions or outdoors, it can take pretty good photos.
To put it in the context, the phone that focuses on the battery life doesn’t make too many compromises on the camera quality. Yet, if you’re looking to store better version of your ‘memories’, make sure you, at least, carry your point-to-shoot. Otherwise, to capture the fun on just another day in the office, its camera should suffice.
Vibe P1m also ticks all the right boxes in regards to connectivity. There’s dual SIM, there’s 4G LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth to keep you connected. The network coverage, as well as actual call quality, was decent. The earpiece was loud enough and clear, too.
The Vibe P1m is essentially a powerbank that also has all the features of a smartphone (pun). But yes, the Vibe P1m is an excellent buy for anyone looking for a phone for a long haul. Whether you’re a first-time buyer or buying a secondary phone, keep one thing in mind, it’s all about the battery, battery and battery. It’s not disappointing in other aspects but keep your expectations within limits. What I personally like about this phone is it does what it claims and does it perfectly.
If you’ve got priorities set right, this phone is worth every penny.