Lenovo debuts the Vibe C, a midrange phone bound for Croatia

lenovo midrange vibe c id166173 1 0
High-end handsets may tend to dominate the smartphone news cycle, but nowadays, low-end markets are probably the ones that receive greater attention from smartphone makers. According to research firm Gartner, 85 percent of phone owners in developing Asian and Pacific nations — more than a billion people by some estimates — plan on replacing their current midrange with a comparably middle-of-the-road device.

It makes sense then that firms like Lenovo are trying to fill that demand by rounding out their budget offerings. Case in point? Lenovo’s Vibe C, the newest edition to the China-based company’s price-conscious Vibe brand.

As far as the midrange device category is concerned, the Vibe C fits the bill perfectly. It’s affordable at $105, and doesn’t compromise on much — its rounded, polycarbonate black/white body packs a 5-inch 720p display, a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 processor, 1GB of RAM, and 8GB (16GB in some markets) of storage (up to 32GB via the MicroSD slot). The Vibe C’s cameras are respectable, too — a 5MP rear shooter and 2MP front-facing sensor — and it packs a 2,300mAh battery, which Lenovo says should last up to a “single day” of usage. Somewhat unusually for a phone of its price, the Vibe C sports an LTE radio — a  welcome feature for emerging markets like India, where the deployment of 4G’s accelerating.

The Vibe C just about measures up to the mid-range competition. Acer’s $99 Liquid features 2GB of RAM, but a lower-res screen (854 x 480 pixels) and a smaller battery (2,000mAh). And Huawei’s $92 SnapTo, while nearly identical in terms of hardware, runs a much older version of Android (4.4). That’s not to say there aren’t better buys — the $100 Cubot Z100, for example, sports an 8MP front-facing camera and 13MP rear-facing camera, and the $99 ZTE Zmax 2’s got 2GB of RAM — but it’s definitely not among the worst. (When you’re considering bargain-basement phones like the Vibe C, that’s all that really matters.)

The Vibe C’s software, by contrast, is nothing to write home about. The phone’s running Vibe UI, Lenovo’s nondescript Android skin, somewhat bizarrely on top of the year-old Android 5.1 Lollipop. (Lenovo, unfortunately, gave no indication as to when the Vibe C might be updated to a more recent distribution of Android, or whether it would be at all.) But for $105, beggars can’t really be choosers.

The Vibe C’s launching in very few territories, initially — just Croatia, in fact, beginning on May 18. But if history’s any indication, the coming weeks and months could see Lenovo broaden its availability.

Mobile

Do these Geekbench results accurately represent the Moto G7?

The Moto G6 range is still relatively new to the market, but rumors have already started about the Moto G7, which is expected some time in 2019. Apparently, a G7 Power version will be joining the G7, G7 Play, and G7 Plus.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Mobile

Benchmark scores surface for Google's midrange Pixel 3 XL Lite

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3 Lite and Pixel 3 Lite XL.
Mobile

Learn how to play YouTube in the background on iOS and Android

We show you how to play YouTube in the background with apps such as Opera, Chrome, and Firefox -- along with the premium offerings like YouTube Premium -- whether you have an Android or iOS device.
Mobile

Android vs. iOS: Which smartphone platform is the best?

If you’re trying to choose a new phone and you’re not sure about the merits and pitfalls of the leading smartphone operating systems, then come on in for a detailed breakdown as we pit Android vs. iOS in various categories.
Mobile

5G phones make a lot of promises. Here’s what to really expect

There has been a lot of marketing copy expounding the potential benefits of 5G networks, but a lot less on the practical implications of 5G smartphones. There's a reason for that.
Mobile

Verizon’s deal could get you a free iPhone XR — but there’s some fine print

Verizon launched a new deal for its smartphones aimed at encouraging customers to open a new line. If you're willing and you want two new phones, you could get a free Samsung Galaxy S9, iPhone XR, or Pixel 3.
Mobile

Get $100 discount on the Razer Phone 2 for a limited time

The Razer Phone 2 is finally here, and it's got upgraded specs, that super-smooth 120Hz display, and an updated design. Here's absolutely everything you need to know about the Razer Phone 2.
Business

Google is buying mysterious smartwatch tech from The Fossil Group for $40 million

Google is about to step up its smartwatch game. The company has agreed to buy an unnamed smartwatch technology from The Fossil Group for a hefty $40 million. Considering the acquisition, it's clear Google is serious about smartwatches.
Social Media

Here’s how to save someone’s Instagram Story to your phone

Curious about how to save someone's Instagram Story to your phone? Lucky for you, it can be done -- but it does take a few extra steps. Here's what you need to know to save Instagram Stories on both iOS and Android.
Mobile

Here’s how to download podcasts and listen to them on Android or iOS

Podcasts have become a cultural staple. Here's how to download podcasts and listen to them on your Android or iOS device, and which apps to use if you're looking to get the most out of the format.
Mobile

Razer’s Wireless Charger will turn your desk into gamer heaven

The Razer Wireless Charger adds colorful flair to your desk or bedside table. It works with any phone that supports Qi wireless charging -- with some quirks -- but is it worth the high price tag? We take a look.
Android

Popular Android navigation apps are just Google Maps with ads, researcher says

A malware researcher found that 19 free Android navigation apps on the Google Play Store were nothing more than Google Maps, but with ads. One of the apps asked for a payment to remove the ads, while some of them presented security risks.