Features that used to be exclusive to high-end smartphones have a habit of making their way to mid-range and budget devices pretty quickly these days.

Case in point: About four months after Oppo launched the first smartphone with front cameras that slide out from behind the screen, Lenovo is bringing a similar feature to a phone that sells for less than half the price.

The Oppo Find X sells for about $755 and up in China. The Lenovo Z5 Pro has a starting price of $290. You probably won’t find it outside of China anytime soon though.

That’s particularly impressive when you look at the rest of the phone’s specs — it’s not just the slider that makes this handset seem like a bargain.

It features a 6.39 inch, 2340 x 1080 pixel AMOLED display, 6GB of RAM, and at least 128GB of storage. The Z5 Pro features a 3,350 mAh battery dual rear cameras (16MP + 24MP), a 16MP front camera and 8MP infrared camera for facial recognition, and an in-display fingerprint reader.

If there’s one feature that makes it clear that this phone isn’t in the same class as higher-priced sliders like the Oppo Find X, Honor Magic 2, and Xiaomi Mi Mix 3, it’s probably the processor: the Lenovo Z5 Pro has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 processor instead of a more powerful chip like the Snapdragon 845.

Engadget noticed at least one other strange thing about the phone: the earpiece speaker is between the selfie camera and infrared camera. That means the earpiece is tucked away behind the screen unless you slide out the cameras — so every time you make or take a call, you’ll need to slide down the screen to reveal the earpiece.

via Engadget

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12 replies on “Lenovo’s Z5 Pro is brings slide-out cameras to sub $300 smartphones”

  1. I guess the speaker is a reflection that people don’t actually put a phone to their ears anymore – they either listen on earphones, or use the speaker communally in speaker-phone mode.

    – otherwise you’ll probably get lots of people accidentally taking photographs of their ears!!

  2. I bought a Lenovo smartphone last year. There have NEVER been any Android updates available for it. I’ll be stuck at Android 5.0 forever. It seems like Lenovo abandoned my device. Other brands like Apple and Samsung have frequent updates and are more likely to support their older devices. My next smartphone probably won’t be a Lenovo.

  3. Anybody remember if problems with the slide out mechanisms were common with the old Nokia slider phones? My htc touch pro 2 never had any issues. Funny thing is I remember an old Nokia (I think it was them) did this for the rear camera.

  4. 1. If I’m not mistaken, both the Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 and the Honor Magic 2 have the earpiece on the lower part of the phone and there is no need to slide the phone when speaking as the sound is good enough.
    2. Personally I don’t mind that this phone comes with SD710 as it should be good enough for just about any normal use.
    3. The real drawback this phone might suffer from, is the lack of global ROM (I really hope I’m wrong about that).

    1. Agreed 100%.

      I want to also say the slide-out feature is a big structural weakness because these phones are so thin. It wasn’t so bad during the days of Nokia because phones were thicker and smaller/blockier, so they could resist dings and drops much better.

      For that reason, I think the Vivo NexS has the better solution. I tried one of these hands-on, and its much sturdier than I thought, since the slide out mechanism is sandwiched-between and its relatively small. If there’s any improvements that can be done, its to sidegrade that electronically moving piece into a simple spring-loaded mechanism. These are far less likely to get clogged, broken, or be affected by software…. we even use it in space!

      But even better is the simple solution by the Honor 7i.
      Though personally I prefer a phone with 2 fixed cameras sitting-flush on the rear corners, and 2 fixed cameras on the front flush-under the glass…. together recording a 360′ video! And not having to deal with any moving parts on a relatively large and thin object.

  5. If you used a BT earpiece the speaker part wouldn’t matter, but otherwise, I’d be concerned about longevity.

    1. Yeah, but if you used one of those Bluetooth sets you’d look like a early-2000’s douche bag.

  6. Seriously impressive at that price and beautiful as well…the american phone market is primitive in comparioson with two choices Samsung & Apple both overpriced!

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