Lenovo’s ultra slim Vibe X is surprisingly good but it pays a price for its slender size.

The Lenovo Vibe X is a high-end smartphone without the price tag. Krisztian Bocsi / Bloomberg News
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Products made in China usually carry the stigma of being cheap, tacky or just no good, especially when compared to Japanese, German, or US-made goods.

So it was with this rather politically incorrect and somewhat unfair mindset that I picked up the Lenovo Vibe X, the Chinese firm’s flagship smartphone.

I needn’t have lowered my expectations, however, because the Vibe X is a great phone. I would have been impressed even if my expectations had been sky-high.

Slim, slender and lightweight, the phone is sleek enough to hold its own against some of the higher-end models currently on the market. It weights just 121 grams and is 6.9mm thick, something that is quite remarkable for a high-end smartphone. With a 5-inch full high-definition screen, picture clarity is brilliant and the 13-megapixel rear camera takes some pretty decent shots.

The Vibe X runs Google’s Android Jelly Bean 4.2.

It is easy to get lost and confused among the barrage of Android smartphones. It has become difficult to differentiate between different handsets so manufacturers are increasingly under pressure to offer some standout features, not just for the hardware, but also the software.

The standout feature for the Vibe X is the SECUREit feature, not as glamorous as HTC’s Zoe application or Sony’s entertainment offerings, but a crucial and highly important feature nonetheless. SECUREit provides one of the most comprehensive anti-virus and privacy controls for Android. It lets you control what information applications can access, something that has become vital for anyone with an Android phone.

The user interface is unlike other Androids and more akin to Apple’s iOS. All the apps appear on the home screen rather than the “home folder”. This can result in a rather cluttered smartphone, but will appeal to those who like to keep things simple.

Despite a quad-core processor it is a little slow. Phones that are particularly slim end up having to make some sacrifices and in the case of the Vibe X it is the speed and battery life. Despite that it is still a decent phone, perfect for someone that wants a high-end smartphone without the high-end price tag.