Lenovo has not been a big presence in the Indian smartphone market, but the PC giant has been selling a few SKUs in select markets. Earlier this week, the company made its big “entry” by launching six smartphones in varying price bands. Top of the pile is the K900, a smartphone that immediately catches the eye thanks to the out-of-the-ordinary design. Turn the phone around and the metal rear panel and Intel logo stare right back. The Clover Trail+ Intel Atom Z2580 dual-core processor is clocked at 2GHz and felt sufficiently fast for all tasks. We were told Intel has spent a lot of time optimising the processor for better power management, but we couldn’t test this in the couple of hours we spent with the K900. Here’s a quick hands-on video with the K900 followed by our initial impressions.
Call it anything, but the Lenovo K900 is certainly no plain Jane. The spun-metal finish on the aluminium back along with the exposed screws had us turning the phone over and over again, despite the stunning display. This is an extremely slim handset with a depth of 6.9 mm and the edges too have the same brushed aluminium finish. The volume and power buttons have also been carved out of some kind of metal and both have a chrome finish that sets them apart from the rest of the body. Handling the large phone takes some getting used to – reaching the corners, for example, was a somewhat awkward task – and the edges too dig in slightly. No doubt, the straight-edged rectangular design makes the K900 look distinguished, but chamfered edges would have been preferable. It just took a few minutes with the phone for us to get excited about Lenovo’s range. Overall, the K900 is a superbly-constructed device and one that makes a great first impression.
Brushed aluminium back
The massive 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display is a beauty to behold. Colours are reproduced more accurately than a Super AMOLED panel, and there’s no lack of punch. The contrast is balanced, without making blacks look grey. We suspect it’s the same panel that’s used in the LG Optimus G Pro and it looks every bit a flagship display. A full HD Transformers clip played flawlessly and looked gorgeous, with no motion blur or banding in the dark areas. This is a display made for watching HD videos.
The display has very good viewing angles
Lenovo’s customised take on the K900’s Android 4.2 Jelly Bean foundation is certainly peppy. But the dramatic animations (we couldn’t find any option to turn them off) and the somewhat cartoonish icons are a bit incongruous to the business-like metal-clad body. There’s more than a little inspiration taken from the MIUI custom ROM, and this is most evident in the notification toggles, Settings page and the menu buttons. Those used to Android won’t have any trouble running through the UI. We just wish it was a little less overbearing, but it’s nothing a custom launcher can’t fix.
Metal body and super slim at just 6.9 mm
Lenovo has packed in a 13 megapixel Sony Exmor BSI sensor and an f/1.8 aperture size. The camera performed decently well in the darkly-lit banquet room (without HDR or exposure changes). The intermittent rain meant we couldn’t venture out for some outdoor shots. Burst mode is fun to use thanks to the fast lens and though we didn’t push it to its limit, the company says you can take up to 100 continuous shots in burst mode. We didn’t get a chance to test the front-facing camera, but the 2 megapixel sensor also has an 88-degree wide-angle lens. Check out this picture sample.
Downsized picture sample
The bottom line
We were very impressed with Lenovo’s flagship, and in a country where phablets are hot-sellers, the K900 seems like a good fit. The only point of concern for us is the lack of a microSD card slot (internal storage is capped at 16GB), but USB-on-the-go is an option. We were told that a higher capacity model is on the cards, but that won’t be available any time soon.
The phone will hit stores with a price tag of Rs 32,999, which we feel is a great deal for the whole package, but Lenovo is not a very well-known name in the Indian market and customers might have a hard time getting convinced about buying the Chinese maker’s phone. Still, a few moments with the K900 could change their minds.[source:tech2]