Lenovo’s debutant entry into the wearable segments was showcased here at the CES, 2015 in Las Vegas. Dubbed as Lenovo Vibe Band VB 10, it treads on the tried-and-trusted formula of smartwatch-meet-fitness band and is a cross-platform gadget. It has an e-ink display that stays always-on and showcases smartphone notifications, fitness stats and time. It has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity to connect to your Android phone (running 4.3 or higher) or iPhone.
The Lenovo VB 10 looks classier than its Sony counterpart, SmartBand and is wrapped in metal. Though, Sony’s SmartBand takes call while Lenovo’s band does not. The latter also feels chunkier because of its metallic body. Yet it is the metal that gives it a beautiful and premium feel. The finish of metal and plastic straps need some work and could have been improved for a smooth feel. It will be available in three colors, white, gold and black. The prototypes showed at CES 2015 were white and black while the gold Vibe Band was displayed in the official press release. Weighing in at just 30 grams, this is incredibly light on your wrist.
The side buttons and curved display look classy. To view information, you need to press the buttons in a cycle. It is water-resistant up to 30 minutes in meter-deep water. Since it has a rubberized strap, it is durable too. The 1.43 inch e-ink display is 230 pixel and can show up to 150 text characters, which is pretty decent given its price range.
Since the band has an e-ink display, the battery life is quite remarkable and lasts about 7-day long on a single charge even if you are using it constantly for monitoring fitness activities and to receive smartphone notifications. The e-ink display also means that you won’t have to scrunch your eyes and can read text on the screen without feeling any glare even in the bright sunlight. There have been no details on third-party apps supported by Lenovo Vibe VB 10 and this could be a deal breaker as most of its competitors in the segment are compatible with third-party apps.
As far as notifications are concerned, you get alerts for Facebook, Twitter, WeChat, SMS and calls. The fitness tracking is limited to basic steps covered and activity level. It does not measure heart rate, which is another blip. How accurate the fitness metrics are and how well it receives the notification off the smartphone, it is too early to tell. With its looks and severely ‘done to death’ features, it comes across as just another entry, which sure is not a promising sign for the debutante entry of such an esteemed company.
Price and Availability of Lenovo Vibe Band VB 10
The Vibe VB 10 is going to be in the budget category and will be available for just $89 or AUS $110. It will be shipped around April but won’t be available in the U.S. for purchase. There is a huge probability that we will be finally getting plenty of options in this category by then. But if you want to try your hands on it, $89 won’t hurt your pocket much.
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