If you’re looking for a good-looking Android smartphone that packs a 4.5-inch display, a dual-core processor, and an above average battery life for a sub-Php7k price, then the Lenovo A800 is a good smartphone to consider. Let’s find out why by reading our full review after the break.
Design and Construction
The Lenovo A800 is a neat-looking piece that is gunning for simplicity with a little extra. It actually exudes a little similarity to the HTC One X but instead of a curved glass design, it has a bevelled bezel on the top and bottom of the handset.
Found on the front is the 4.5-inch display. The earpiece is right on top of it while the three capacitive buttons are at the bottom. On the left side is the volume rocker while up top are the headset jack, microUSB port and power/lock button. The right side and bottom are devoid of any buttons. From here everything looks simple, but flip the device over and you’ll see its textured plastic backplate with a criss-cross design. Also found here are the 5 megapixel camera and the speaker grill together with the Lenovo and ‘Smart Music’ labels.
Aside from the display, everything else is made of plastic. It feels solid and the textured back feels good in the hands. However, the backplate makes creaking sounds when held firmly and is a bit hefty at 155g.
The A800 uses a 4.5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 480 x 854 at 218ppi. Pixels are evident especially when viewed closely but not a big issue if you’re viewing it from 10 to 12 inches away. Colors and viewing angles are good but doesn’t pack a lot of brightness. In auto-brightness the display is dimmer than normal and has poor sunlight legibility even when brightness was set on max. Other than that everything else is acceptable.
OS, UI and Apps
Running under the A800’s hood is Lenovo’s version of Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. I’m not really fond of the circular icons that Lenovo uses for its phones but the white theme is a nice touch and goes well with the white version of the A800.
Lenovo took the liberty of having some apps pre-installed like the AVG antivirus, Kingsoft Office, AccuWeather, doubleTwist, SugarSync, UC Browser and a couple of games. Some of these apps are just a waste of space but the good thing is all of them can be uninstalled.
The rest of the apps are the basic Google goodies and some of Lenovo’s own useful apps like the Lenovo Note, Lenovo Power Manager and LeCalendar.
Camera and Multimedia
Lenovo skimped a bit on camera technology on the A800 and equipped it with a 5 megapixel shooter with no LED flash. There’s no front-facing camera here so video chats can be an issue. However, its camera performance is far from inadequate. It locks in and shoots fast and it has a lot of software features such as HDR, Panorama, Multiple-angle shooting, and color effects. It’s not the best camera out there but it can shoot very decent photos especially in bright conditions. However, some appear washed out or dull. You can check more sample photos here.
As for video recording, you can shoot videos up to 720p. Watch the sample video below:
As for its multimedia prowess, its speaker is one of the loudest and clearest we’ve experienced on a smartphone. Even when placed on a soft surface like a bed or a pillow, the sound is still very audible.
Performance, Benchmarks and Battery Life
For a dual-core Android smartphone with half a gig of RAM, we’re pretty much impressed with the A800’s performance. There are slight lags especially when launching an app for the first time or when exiting to the homescreen after playing a game. Speaking of games, we were able to play Temple Run 2 in its highest settings. The game is very playable with occasional lags but not at all a hindrance to game play.
Now for the benchmark scores, AnTuTu gave it a score of 7,875 almost falling at the bottom of the charts just above the Galaxy Nexus. Quadrant Standard gave it a score of 3,129 while NenaMark 2 gauged the PowerVR SGX 531 GPU at 28.2fps.
The A800 has 2000mAh worth of juice in its tank and with our moderate usage of single SIM standby, constant WiFi connectivity, SNS browsing and sending SMS, the A800 was able to last for almost a day and a half. With dual-SIM standby, WiFi, gaming and music playback using the speakers, the battery lasted for almost a day. Overall, battery life is good on the A800.
The Lenovo A800 is an admirable smartphone that packs a decent display, attractive design, loud speaker, and a solid battery life. Not to mention that it has dual-SIM capabilities and is able to perform quite well. The only cons here are the creaky backplate, below average brightness, the lack of LED flash and front-facing camera, and ICS out of the box. But for the price of Php6,999, the pros definitely outweigh the cons.
Lenovo A800 specs:
4.5-inch IPS LCD display @ 480×854 pixels, 218ppi
Mediatek MTK 6577T 1.2GHz dual-core Cortex-A9
4GB internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth 4.0 w/ A2DP
GPS w/ aGPS support
5MP rear camera, 720p video
Android 4.0.4 ICS
Li-Ion 2,000mAh battery
What we liked about it:
* Attractive design
* Good display
* Solid battery life
* Very loud speaker
* Affordable price
What we didn’t like about it:
* Backplate is a bit creaky
* Display needs more brightness
* No LED flash
* No front-facing camera
* Just Android ICS out of the box