Lenovo S860 Review – Big Screen, with Android Jellybean

Lenovo, as we discussed in our previous post, has adopted a policy of manufacturing economical, yet amazing smartphones. But what accompanies is the high-specifications smartphones, which are meant for people who cannot compromise on anything. Keeping users demand in mind, Lenovo came up with Lenovo S860. The S860, is meant for people with deeper pockets as it comes with a price tag of Rs. 19,000 – 19,800. If you are really willing for a good buy, which implies good looks, build quality and specifications (of course), so this should be one of your choices! Lenovo S860, is a tough competition to existing smartphones at a similar price, like the Samsung Galaxy Grand 2. If you would like to know about this smartphone, following is our review on it.

Display

A fan of big screen, with bright displays? Then this phone is definitely made for you. The Lenovo S860 comes with a 5.3-inch IPS display with HD resolution, that is capable of providing a pixel density of 277ppi and supports multi-touch for upto 5 fingers. Lenovo has done a commendable job with the screen, as it is very soothing to the eyes, with no extra colors which generally kill the display. The screen sharpness also deserves an applause, but to be honest, the display is not worth the price tag. Users really want something extraordinary to be done when they’re spending Rs. 19,000 on a smartphone. The viewing angles too, are quite decent – but there is a drop of color to the darkest shade when viewed from the maximum angle.

Design

The Lenovo S860 looks great and feels great when held in the hand. Yes again, Lenovo has made this smartphone with quite decent looks and have not added anything extraordinary, but that is not even expected of a smartphone with this price tag. The S860 comes with a unibody design, with metal all around. The back panel of the phone is non-removable and gives a brushed metal look, which gives the phone a premium look and feel. The button placement is quite a lot similar to what we noticed in the Lenovo S860, with the power button and the volume rocker keys on the right edge of the phone. The 3.5mm jack sits on the top edge of the smartphone, with charging slot right in the center of the bottom edge.

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The Lenovo S860, seems to have done a great job with the speakers as they are located on the bottom edge of the phone. The speakers placement is perfect, which was a bit odd (back side) in the Lenovo S660. To insert the two micro-SIMs you’ll need to take out the tray from the left edge. Button placement on this phone is perfect, but the huge screen prevents me from using the button very often. The buttons are not the only thing which I am unable to access, but a large area of the screen goes uncovered. So unless the huge 5.3-inch screen impresses you with its size, this phone will not serve the purpose of quick-working, as you’ll have to operate the phone with both your hands. This is the only design factor which brings the value of the phone down, being a person who loves working on phones with screen size as 4.5-inchs.

Camera

To be honest, I am not at all impressed with the camera quality of this smartphone. Lenovo S860, on paper, packs a 8MP rear camera, but the quality of the photos shot from it are not upto the mark. The default camera application, comes with features like HDR Mode, Face Detection, Best Shot, Smile Detection, Face Beauty Mode, Panorama Mode and EV Bracket Shot Mode. The camera just manages to do an average job, with its good color reproduction and great focus. The shots taken are a little grainy and blurred (even when focused at the proper area). If you need a phone, with not much use of the camera (or minimum usage), then you should definitely go with this one. Battery (listed in the last section) will definitely make up for the not-so-good camera. Please Note: The phone’s camera application comes with 6MP and 720p (High) as defaults for images and videos, respectively. Make sure you change them to 8MP and 1080p (Fine) to get a better quality.

Here are a few camera samples taken with the Lenovo S860: bit.ly/S860-1bit.ly/S860-2bit.ly/S860-3bit.ly/S860-4

Performance

The Lenovo S680 comes with a Mediatek MT6582M SoC and runs on 1.3GHz quad-core processor, coupled with a 2GB RAM. Having Mali-400 MP2 GPU to suffice your gaming needs, the phone does pretty well with a lot of games we tested it with. The S860 comes with exactly identical specification as that of the S660, but packed in a bigger case and with a bigger screen. S860 comes with a 16GB built-in memory, which you cannot be expanded. If you’re a person who likes to carry lots of multimedia data, you might get disappointed – just like I am.

Read More: Do you miss Expandable Storage on your Smartphone?

The Lenovo’s score might be lower than the Samsung Galaxy S3, but the experience and the lag-free performance deserves a thumbs up. The other phones that manage to score close to S860’s score of 16,865 are Micromax Canvas Turbo Mini (16,942) and the Oppo R1 (17,529). The quad-core processor enables us to multitask and use the phone to its best potential. The multitasking while watching HD videos and switching to games or applications was smooth, but there are a lot more better options which you can buy at this price, like the OnePlus One, which manages to score 35,605.

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Operating System and Features

There are a lot of features that are packed in this smartphone, which might compel you to purchase this smartphone. Since features and operating system matters the more these days, Lenovo have not ignored this segment. The Lenovo S860, comes with Android Jellybean out of the box, but as soon as I booted the device, I received the Android KitKat update. Lenovo also provides its users with some extra applications, which comes pre-installed in the device – such as SECUREit (Antivirus), SYNCit (Cloud service to back up your necessary information) and SHAREit (Wireless media transmission). But these are the Lenovo’s default applications, other interesting features are as follows:

1. Pocket Mode: Automatically increases ringing tone volume when the pocket is inside the pocket.

2. Smart Call: In the contact details or messafe conversation inteface, bringing the phone close to the ear automatically calls the contact.

3. Smart Dialer: The size ratio of the keypad will change based in the angle of the phone to facilitate single-handed use.

4. Shake to lock: Quickly shaking the phone in one direction will make the phone to lock.

5. Smart Standby: The screen will light up when the user looks at it.

6. Decrease tone volume: Automatically decreases ringing tone volume when the phone is being picked up.

Battery

This is one of the best plus points of this smartphone. The Lenovo S860 comes with a non-removable 4000mAh battery which promises a standby time of 960 hours, and this is true. I was able to use the smartphone for over two heavy days and still ended up with around 12% battery. The phone is a must buy for people with heavy usage, and those who travel often to ensure that the phone’s battery last all day long.

Verdict

The Lenovo S860 is a good-looking and decent smartphone, which packs a lot of features. Though it comes with a big-screen size which is not easy to use single-handed, but the features will definitely make up for this. It is a must buy for all those people who are looking forward to an amazing Android experience with a huge battery, which is able to last for more than two heavy days of work.

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