Any suspicion that Motorola had already begun influencing Lenovo's product lineup has been completely dismissed.
[custom:mwc15]Lenovo has no shortage of new products to show off at Mobile World Congress this year, and it's clear their focus for this generation is split between maintaining their current product lines and exploring new categories. While their Android lineup still includes traditional smartphone and tablet experiences that show a clear evolution of their current hardware lineup, there's a new "pro-level" camera and a Micracast friendly projector that are all about extending the Android experience, which is a cool direction for Lenovo to be heading in.
This yea'rs lineup includes a pair of Android tablets and a smartphone running Lenovo's custom blend of Android. The A7000 is a 5.5" HD smartphone with a 64-bit MediaTek MT6752 processor and a 7.9mm thin casing. This phone claims a world first in delivering Dolby ATMOS, which is an audio suite aimed at delivering a superior experience when wearing headphones. Lenovo plans to launch the A7000 with Android 5.0 in March for $169.
The TAB 2 A8 and TAB 2 A10 fit the small/large tablet choices that are so common today, offering 8" or 10.1" HD IPS displays. These 8.9mm this tablets are MediaTek powered as well, with rear and front facing cameras on each model. The A8 is going to be launching with Android 5.0, while the A10 launches with Android 4.4 and hopes to be updated to 5.0 by June. These Wifi-only devices will be sold for $129 and $199 respectively, and will be available in Pearl White and Midnight Blue.
With its 16MP sensor, 6-piece lens, and 7.3mm design, the Lenovo Vibe Shot neither looks nor feels like the other Lenovo Android devices. The sleek design and 5" 1080p IPS display make it so there's almost nothing to this device but screen and lens, and with Android 5.0 onboard the camera will be able to take advantage of the new RAW APIs. If you aren't already relying on your phone as your primary camera, Lenovo certainly seems interested in getting your attention. The Vibe Shot will be available for $349 in June.
While it's not an Android device, the Lenovo Pocket Projector gets points for new and interesting. At four inches wide, this pocket projector can deliver an 854x480 image up to 110 inches tall, with a battery promising 150 minutes of playback. The device claims support for microSD cards as well as Miracast or DLNA, which would mean users could wirelessly project an Android phone or tablet just about anywhere. Lenovo is planning to make this available in March for $199.
It's going to be an interesting year for Lenovo, especially as people watch to see what happens with Motorola becoming part of the company. This is a strong start to 2015 for Lenovo, and hopefully we see some of these new design decisions grow into the rest of their product line before long.