Lenovo launched in the Philippines last week the newest additions to their family: the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note and the Vibe X3. Asian Dragon was able to come up close with the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note but what we were only able to really test out was the AntVR virtual reality headset that comes free with every purchase of the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note and the Vibe X3.
The AntVR gear for Lenovo is one of the first virtual reality head gears launched in the Philippines that harnesses the power of smartphones to deliver a virtual reality experience for light movie and gaming enthusiasts. The AntVR delivers the cinematic experience that is the Lenovo TheaterMax, made possible by the Lenovo virtual reality technology, which is a core feature of the Vibe K4 Note. To understand how Lenovo is able to deliver such technology, here are the key specifications and features of the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note:
Android 5.1 and 10 point multi-touch (upgradable to Android M)
64-bit MediaTek MT6753 Octa-core processor
Mali T720-MP3 (up to 450MHz 3D graphics accelerator)
2×1.5W speakers, 3.5mm lossless combo output jack, Lenovo-configured 3-mic audio input system with Wolfson WM8281 audio codec
RAM: 3GB LP DDR3
Internal storage: 16GB eMMC built-in storage
Expandable memory: Up to 128GB microSD
Embedded Standby time: 3G: 265hrs / 4G: 292hrs
Talk time: 2G: 23hrs / 3G: 22hrs
5.5″ Full HD Wide-view Display
Two front Dolby Atmos stereo speakers
3 mics with Wolfson codec support
13MP rear camera + 5MP front camera
Lenovo TheaterMax promises to deliver a personal cinematic virtual reality experience that is so immersive it is like bringing the self inside the medium. The virtual reality experience is made possible, of course, by the joint technology of the Vibe K4 Note unit and the AntVR.
Visually, the full HD, 178o wide viewing angle is possible with the virtual reality mode already built-in the Vibe K4 Note. You will notice when the virtual reality mode is on, the phone will display two split screens. The secret to creating the widescreen illusion is by generating two split screens and then merging them into one video. Once you plug in the smartphone onto the AntVR, the device merges the two split screens into one video and voila—instant theater-like widescreen viewing. In theory, you can download any HD multimedia video and play it on the device like you’re on your personal cinema. However, for added experience, you can also download 3D videos and watch it on the Vibe K4 Note using the AntVR for a brand-new 3D virtual reality experience.
In terms of sound, the two Dolby Atmos speakers positioned at the face of the device is supposed to give the user a surround sound experience. Without a headset, the surround system is not as dramatic as it should be (disclaimer: this writer does not have the best hearing due to years of plugging in headsets). But Lenovo assures that the Vibe K4 Note is designed to bring a full HD audio when great quality headphones are plugged in the device. So if you want the full experience, get yourself a good pair of Beats, Bose, or V-Moda.
You can also use the AntVR for virtual reality gaming. There are apps already available for download at the app store that lets you experience virtual reality with the AntVR gear. Roller Coaster, VR Jurassic Land, War of Words VR, Herobound First Steps, and Proton Pulse are just a few at the top of our heads. But remember that the AntVR does not come with controllers or joysticks so if you’re looking for more immersive virtual reality gaming, then you might want to invest on a PlayStation VR or Oculus Rift.
These are the promises of the Lenovo virtual reality technology. Personally, for this writer, the AntVR and the Vibe K4 Note are not at the top of the virtual reality game. The AntVR headset is light to the touch and weighs only at 100 grams but it does not sit as well on the face as you would expect it to be. If you wear the AntVR without supporting it with your hands, and if you’re as particular as me (and I am very particular when it comes to graphics, pixels, and sharpness), then you’ll notice the view won’t be as crisp as it is when you’re hands are helping carry the weight of the phone and the AntVR.
In terms of immersiveness, too, the AntVR falls a little short. You will notice that there are two gaping holes at both sides of the AntVR. Because the gear is designed to be folding and portable, they had to sacrifice the full immersiveness of the product, leaving you with no choice but to have your hands cover the holes for you to eliminate the distractions the holes provide.
But then again, we have to step back and remember that for just over P10,000, virtual reality and a personal theater experience could already be right at your fingertips. Other devices at the top of the virtual reality battle field will cost thrice to even five times of the price of this Lenovo set. Take note that you’re only paying for the Vibe K4 Note. The AntVR gear comes free when you purchase the smartphone. That’s quite a deal!
Ultimately, the competitiveness of the product rests in the competitiveness of its price. And if its value for money we’re talking about, we say your money will definitely be worth it.
AntVR is made specifically for Lenovo’s Vibe K4 Note and Vibe X3. However, it is also compatible with other 5.5-inch display phones like Lenovo’s A7000 Plus. Lenovo Vibe K4 Note is already available in all authorized Lenovo dealers nationwide for P10,699, and comes bundled with a free VR headset, screen protector, and back cover. The Vibe K4 Note and AntVR are available in both white and black variants.
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