Skip to content
July 31, 2013

Lenovo K900 Review

Lenovo pumped their newest flagship smartphone, the K900, with an Intel Atom processor instead of the more popular chips like Mediatek or Qualcomm Snapdragon. This drew both praises and criticisms especially from those who used to number of cores. Check out our full review of the Lenovo K900 if it did make the cut.

The Lenovo K900 is one of several flagship phones that touts a full HD 1080p display. However, the engine that powers it is made by Intel, a fairly new player in the smartphone market.

Design and Construction.

Compared to a lot of flagship smartphones in the market, Lenovo went out with a different approach with the K900 — a full metal construction in a unibody design, an fairly new processor from Intel, all in a very thin 6.9mm profile.

The result is like a combination of the Xperia Z and the HTC One but with a more industrial look.

At 6.9mm, the Lenovo K900 is the thinnest flagship smartphone in the local market today. It’s also one of the most affordable of the the lot (based on SRP). Intel obviously had a hand in this — a huge Intel logo actually appears during boot-up, even ahead of the Lenovo logo.

Even the packaging has a huge “Powered by Intel” label in it and the back side of the device also has an “Intel Inside” logo.

With a 5.5-inch display, the K900 is huge and a bit unwieldy with one-handed operation. With its size, it’s already in the league of the Galaxy Note series and the Optimus G Pro. The silver, metallic chassis with brushed metal finish gives it a raw appeal.

The power button is situated on the right side of the handset along with the micro-SIM card slot (comes with a pin to po-up the slot) while the volume controls are on the left side.

At the bottom end, the micro-USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack are both found along with the microphone. A secondary noise-canceling mic is found on the back side, near the LED flash.

Since there’s no microSD card slot for storage expansion, the K900 supports USB On-the-go. The polished finish of the back panel also makes the device a little slippery on the hands, especially when you have sweaty or oily palm.

The front panel is completely covered with Gorilla Glass but allows enough space at the bottom corner for the soft keys (Menu, Home and Back).

The only downside of the metal body is that it gets easily warmed up when the device is running on full power or when connected to mobile internet. At the same time, it cools down pretty quickly as well because of the highly conductive material.

Display.

The K900 uses a full HD IPS LCD display, giving it one of the best displays around. The screen pixel density is at 401ppi, similar to that of the Optimus G Pro. The large, bright display is equally sharp and clear with really good viewing angles.

The screen brightness is a few notches higher compared to the Xperia Z and gives it better outdoor visibility and not much glare or reflection. The 5.5-inch display is more than ideal for watching movies, browsing the web and playing games.

The display has a narrow bezel but there’s a wider gap at the top and bottom corner to make room for the front-facing camera and sensors as well as the soft buttons for Android navigation.

OS, Apps and UI.

Lenovo has been using the Lotus UI for some time now in their smartphone and tablet line-up but the customizations they’ve done on the user interface in the K900 has somewhat actually matured (Lenovo calls it the Le Phone theme which separates it from other Lenovo handsets). You will really notice the efforts they made in putting an identity to the software layer of the device.

The lock-screen represents a lutos formation, the native icons are rounded, and the transitions are 3D-animated as if it was borrowed from one of the popular launchers in the Play Store.

The gray, shadowy theme of the UI also adds to that industrial design feel as if it smoothly extends from the polished metal finish of the materials right into the UI of the device.

The virtual keyboard and the keypad dialer are both basic, simple and laid out evenly with large, fat individual keys. There’s also the TouchPal keyboard that’s ready to be activated if you wish to do so.

Lenovo pre-installed a number of native apps of its own on the K900. There’s Lenovo Power which is a feature-rich power management app, a UC Browser and Kingsoft Office for productivity, and a SuperCamera app and SuperGallery app that reminded us of the HTC Zoe.

Of course, since you have access to Google Play, you can customize all these and download hundreds of thousands of apps, themes, widgets and games on the Play Store. Lenovo made sure it had the latest major version of Android (v4.2) running on the K900.

Camera and Multimedia.

The K900 is a beast in the multimedia department — the large full HD display is really great for watching 1080p videos, the speakers at the back does a really good job at providing enough volume for the audio (although it sounds a bit flat and lacks even a hint of bass).

There’s a built-in stereo FM tuner but you will still need the earphones to serve as antenna in order for it to work.

The K900’s 13-megapixel camera does a great job at snapping hi-resolution photos. The camera sensor is actually quite fast, captures enough light and does not tend to over-saturate the colors of the subject.

Low-light performance is also good as you will see in the sample photos below:

The camera will sometimes get a hit or miss in the white balance of the subject, especially under artificial light, but once it does it right the results are actually impressive.

Here’s a sample clip we recently took while playing around with the Parrot AR Drone 2.0:

We had some issues with focusing when recording videos (there were instances when the camera would just would not focus on our moving subject) but it was nothing too serious.

Performance and Benchmarks.

Despite the dual-core processor, the K900 is no slouch in terms of performance. Intel’s Atom Clovertrail processor has multi-threaded capabilities making it look like there are 4 cores running instead of just two. This has resulted in much higher scores on our test benchmarks.

The K900 scored 6,051 in Quadrant and 21,205 in Antutu Benchmark. These numbers are actually way higher compared to the Mediatek MTK6589 1.2GHz quad-core processor we’ve been seeing in a number of local phone brands.

The dual-core Clovertrail chip performs in our benchmark with scores as high as a Qualcomm APQ8064 Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core.

As for the PowerVR SGX544 graphics chip, our NenaMark 2 gave it a score of 59.9fps which is pretty good considering the display is full HD.

Over-all, the handset is very snappy and fluid, thanks to the 2GB RAM. There were instances that transitions and animations would seem to lag but its actually just the normal behavior of the UI.

Call Quality, Connectivity and Battery Life.

Call quality of the K900 is decent although in several occasion that we made calls, the voice on the other line is not as loud as we wanted them to be. It’s possible this was an isolated issue or a network-related behavior but everything else seems fine. SMS messages are sent and received on time and 3G/HSPA+ connections are decent, though not the best we’ve seen around.

The K900 lacked two of the newest connectivity features that are becoming very common in flagship handsets nowadays — NFC and LTE. We were willing to forgive the absence of NFC but LTE is something we think is more important to have.

Unfortunately, Intel’s Atom chip doesn’t come with LTE modem yet so Lenovo will need to source it from another supplier and that could have also added between Php2k to Php3k to the price of the device.

In our standard battery test, running a full HD 1080p movie in a loop at 50% brightness and 0% volume, the K900 lasted a little over 8.5 hours on a single full charge. This is already a pretty good time considering the large full HD display of the handset and the very thin profile that only allowed for 2500mAh of battery.

Conclusion.

There’s no doubt the Lenovo K900 is one of the very few sexy Android smartphones out there, tucked somewhere between the HTC One and the Sony Xperia Z. Lenovo has successfully imbued their own design signature with the K900, and positioned the device just at the right spot so the differentiation is more evident.

A combination of a good hardware, great design, capable OS and impressive camera makes the K900 an easy pick among the dozens of selection in the market. The lack of LTE connectivity and expandable storage are its only Achilles’ heel (and we know there’s a variant that comes with a microSD card slot, though not the one released in the Philippines) but its a weakness that many might not reconsider or simply overlook.

Lenovo K900 specs:
5.5-inch IPS LCD display @ 1080 x 1920 pixels, 401 ppi
Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Intel Atom Z2580 2.0GHz dual-core CPU
PowerVR SGX544
2GB RAM
16GB internal storage
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, dual-band
Bluetooth 3.0 w/ A2DP
13 MP camera w/ dual LED flash
1080p video capture
2MP front-facing camera
GPS w/ aGPS support
FM Radio tuner
Android 4.2 Jellybean
Li-Po 2,500mAh battery
157 x 78 x 6.9 mm (dimensions)
162 grams (weight)

The Lenovo K900 has a suggested retail price of Php22,990 and is available in Lenovo stores and dealers nationwide.

What we liked about it:
* Large full HD display
* Very good camera performance
* Premium build and materials
* Affordable than most flagship handsets

What we did not like:
* No LTE connectivity
* No expandable memory card slot

Lenovo K900 Hands-On: Intel Inside
Lenovo K900’s local pricing leaked
Lenovo K900 hits the local stores

43 Responses to “Lenovo K900 Review”

  1. Dg says:

    this could have been a runaway winner if it had LTE and expandable memory. Still looks good though.

  2. PinkyHeart6 says:

    A Stock Android version of the K900 would be nice.

  3. Raya says:

    Great Phone But No SD Card Slot and LTE ruined it.

    Maybe if the price is 19k , I will consider it.

    Just my opinion.

    • abuzalzal says:

      Agree.Spending Php23k on a device without the option to expand its storage capacity ? No freaking way

      I’ve read sonewhere that expansion slots only cost somewhere between $5-$10 kung pagbabasehan yung bulk pricing ng OEM….

      Mukhang tatanga-tanga ang lenovo, they indeed left out a deal-breaker of a feature. S-A-Y-A-N-G

    • Sharingan_yeah says:

      Wow ha? Consider talaga? Nahiya naman sa’yo tong phone na ‘to. Hiyang hiya sa’yo! Pasensya na at hindi na satisfy ng Lenovo K900 ang satisfaction mo sa isang phone. Hala, sige at ‘don kana sa Cherry Mobile mo hampaslupa!

    • Raya says:

      I don’t understand why on the American and Other Reviews they have the SD Slot and when it was officially released in the market there is none.

      Just like Huawei Ascend Mate, the specs are different which was released here.

      But no doubt the performance of this phone is snappy as well as the looks when I borrowed it from a friend.

      I hope they will release another flagship phone with SD Slot and LTE.

    • nonono says:

      @ abuzalzal its true that the lack of microsd slot pero d naman un isang dealbreaker na tipong wala nang bibili…ang iphone nga nabebenta kahit wlang sd card eh

    • abuzalzal says:

      @RAYA

      Paki-provide nga ng link yung sinasabi mong MYTHICAL K900 w/ SD slot? yung hands – on VIDEO / PHOTO hands -on review ha? hindi yung spec sheet blah blah blah …

      As far as I know the HASN’T been such….maybe I’m wrong…I’d love to be proven wrong though…

    • Abe Olandres says:

      Here’s the photo with the micro-SD card and the micro-SIM card slot.

      Here’s the video, check at 1:01 time: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTItCLj7UFA

    • abuzalzal says:

      iskwa-kwa comments na naman? tingin mo tatalab sakin yan? hahahahahahahahah

      sana babae ka…eto kiss na lang kita mwwwaaahhhhh

    • Raya says:

      @Abuzalzal

      Do you have a problem?

      I said I “don’t understand” and when it is “not yet officially” launched in the market.

      Wala kong balak magbigay ng link sa isang stupid na katulad mo na who is very uneducated.

      Do you know the word “KUPAL?” hindi ka ganun kasi “KUPAL na ULUPONG” ka!

      Me Marketing Strategy na tinatawag and that’s one possible reason they changed the specs when it was launched in the market.

      Me video sa youtube na binuksan ung sd slot, hanapin mo kung gusto mo.

      TITI MO MAY ASIN! HUGAS HUGAS DIN!

    • abuzalzal says:

      @ABE

      the video is quite OLD…possibly a beta-built K900…PRODUCTION unit po ang hinahanap ko…yung mass-produced

      They probably made this bogus model to ignite interest

    • niceoneyuga says:

      OI @ABUZALZAL di ko talaga alam kung TANGA ka talaga o NAGTATANGATANGAHAN hahaha ilang beses na kami nakapagbigay ng link ng lenovo k900 na may sd slot tignan mo pati c sir abe nagpost na rin oh ano haha asan na ung sinabi mo na ibaban mo sarili mo dito pag napatunayan na mali ka hahaha

    • abuzalzal says:

      Hahahaha ISKWATER rage na naman yung mga bagito dito LOL

      Boss Abe posted a Jan. 2013 CES video, common sense naman, ito ba yung binebenta sa market ngayon? Paano kung 10 lang ang na -manufacture na ganitong klase?

      What I wanted to know is the ACTUAL REVIEW of a PRODUCTION UNIT na may SD slot….simple lang naman eh, hindi ba kayo nakaka-intindi?

      O talagang mahina mga kukote ninyo????

    • niceoneyuga says:

      OI TANGA(ABUZALZAL) try mo kaya balikan lahat ng articles dito na may nagpost ng link about the sd slot depensahan mo nga un kung walang nageexsit na ganun hahaha OH ETO LAST NAKONG MAGPOPOST NG ABOUT DITO http://www.tipehandphone.com/2013/06/lenovo-k900-resmi-indonesia-harga-4-juta.html TIGNAN MO AGAD TO DALII PARA MAKAPAGISIP KA NA NG PALUSOT HAHA #BOBOAMP #TALINOSANAEH,KASOHINDI

    • niceoneyuga says:

      @ABU OH ETO PA OH http://www.indiatimes.com/technology/mobile/lenovo-k900-%E2%80%93-complete-features-and-specifications-81817.html ANU KA NGAUN HAHA #IYAKKANAGAGO #SUPALPALKANANAMANSAKIN

    • abuzalzal says:

      Eh Bobito ka naman…puro specsheet lang naman pinapakita mo!!!! sa GSM Arena ganun din, expandable daw..pero basahin mo mga comment ng users…WALANG SD CARD!!!!

      Any Photo/Video evidence of a PRODUCTION UNIT tapos yung kinaroroonan ng slot? Puro fronyt/back lang? Specsheet lang to boy…tulad ng panloloko ng LENOVO Phil….

      WALA? Wala kang maipakita? hahahahahaha

    • abuzalzal says:

      @niceoneyuga

      Why don’t you just admit it na wala talaga?

      Kung makapagbibigay ka ng link na may solid evidence, video or photo (example, binubulatlat yung SD card slot) …yung PRODUCTION unit ha? hindi yung CES January 2013 video…padadalhan kita ng pera sa bank account mo as a reward xd

      meron? meron?

    • Name: says:

      eh mas bobo ka pala @abuzalzal eh syempre may mga nagcocomment sa gsmarena na walang sd slot ung kanila kasi sikat na technology website un ibig sabihin marami silang readers mula sa ibat-ibang bansa at isa nako dun…kahit specsheet lang yan sapat na yan makita mo lang ung credibility ng nagpost example indiatimes isa yan sa largest newspaper sa india kaya kung sakaling may mali jan sa post nila marami na sana ang nagreklamo

    • niceoneyuga says:

      eh mas bobo ka pala @abuzalzal eh syempre may mga nagcocomment sa gsmarena na walang sd slot ung kanila kasi sikat na technology website un ibig sabihin marami silang readers mula sa ibat-ibang bansa at isa nako dun…kahit specsheet lang yan sapat na yan makita mo lang ung credibility ng nagpost example indiatimes isa yan sa largest newspaper sa india kaya kung sakaling may mali jan sa post nila marami na sana ang nagreklamo tska uulitin ko,TANGA KA BA TALAG O NAGTATANGATANGAHAN andami nang naglink sau ng may microsd slot sadyang di mo lng cguro tinitignan kasi alm mong mali ka hahaha

    • abuzalzal says:

      Hahaha…so WALA na naman? WALA kang maipapakita? Credibility? FYI, The INDIAN release has been widely known to have without an SD Slot…kahit panoorin mo pa yung mga sandamakmak na Bumbay sa YouTube na gumawa ng review…India Times? TALAGA? hahahahahahahahaha

      ngayon… punta ka sa GSMArena, basahin mo mga comments at balik ka dito

      Haaaayyyyyysssss…So wala ka talagang link at video? Wala? wala?

    • abuzalzal says:

      Pag wala kang SOLID EVIDENCE eh mabuti pang huwag ka na mag comment lmao napapahiya ka lang…kung nag-dedepende ka sa credibility pero wala namang mai-pakitang PROOF (example ulit, pinapasakan ng sd card, binubutingting, binubuksan..hindi yung pre-production unit sa CES January 2013 ha? xd)

      eh useless talaga makipag debate sa isang katulad mo na mapurol ang pang-unawa HOHOHOHO!

      Credibility daw hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    • garz says:

      Majority of phones/gadgets shown at electronics shows, such as CES, get their specs changed due to competition. Sometimes, it depends on the market, and sometimes, on demand.

      The K900 shown at CES surely was a pre-production unit. Yes, it did have a micro SD card but it probably only had a smaller ROM. THen Lenovo made changed its mind and ditched the card slot but it doubled the storage capacity instead. It could also be another K900 model, but according to GSM Arena only one K900 models exists.

  4. Tocino says:

    Ankaki ng “lenovo”. Subtle subtle din pag may time…

  5. abuzalzal says:

    Mukhang dead-end na ang iNtel SoC kasi Lenovo is prepping for a qualcomm sd800 in their next flagship iteration.

    Sayonara quad core iNtel Hahaha….pwede na silang sumama sa Nvidia sa hukay lol

  6. intelcompatible says:

    Sir,

    Did you even try to install apps? There have been rumors that intel does not support most apps on the market. Is that a non-issue? that’s why you did not mention it here?

    Thanks!

    • Abe Olandres says:

      We did, 4 benchmark apps, 3 social apps, and 3 games. All worked well.

    • Intel and Google made sure that the port of Android to the Atom would be transparent in the sense that apps wouldn’t “know” that it’s an Atom and not an ARM processor. I haven’t looked at the Android SDK lately, but I don’t think Google would allow for low-level calls direct to the hardware. That would be a catastrophe for compatibility.

      Now, I guess each manufacturer is free to write apps specific to their phones using direct-to-hardware routines, say, for the sake of speed, but those in the app store should use the standard Android system calls.

  7. chinitoguy30 says:

    The pricetag considering the lack of LTE and external storage is pretty disappointing. I think they should lower this one to 18k.

  8. lalalass says:

    hello yuga! Le means The. saying the le Phone theme means the the phone theme. haha little bit awkward :)

  9. Raul says:

    Hi Abe,

    Does the usb otg support on the k900 include usb mass storage support?

    (In case may magrereact na hindi ako nagbabasa, they did not explicitly write that the k900 does support mass storage… and usb on the go does not always come with mass storage support, like the nexus 4 and 7. They can connect to usb peripherals but not to flash drives unless you install an app or root)

    Can you also try if it can power portable hard drives? The S4 can read and write on my WD 1tb hdd and my buffalo 500gb in exfat. It’s not essential for me, just good to know that I’d have the option.

    Thanks

  10. minion b0b says:

    23k :(

  11. lawrence says:

    “At 6.9mm, the Lenovo K900 is the thinnest flagship smartphone in the local market today. It’s also one of the most affordable of the the lot…”

    How about the Huawei Ascend P6?

    “Huawei Ascend P6 is also selling in stores nationwide with a suggested retail price of Php18,990…the Ascend P6 is the thinnest smartphone to be released in the Philippines with a body of only 6.18mm thin.”

    http://www.yugatech.com/mobile/huawei-ascend-p6-out-in-stores-for-php18990/

    • someone says:

      Maybe at the time of writing this article, it was the thinnest smartphone. With all these manufacturers releasing phones on a monthly basis, I wouldn’t be surprised if some of the details here aren’t true anymore.

  12. duck says:

    Came here for the abuzalzal comments. Got what I was looking for.

  13. May says:

    Hello po. Is it true na magkakaroon po ng price drop ang model na to? :P

  14. al sen says:

    no need sd card slot… meron naman po siyang USB OTG, i htink it is better than sd cards…

  15. totoy pitoy says:

    Bakit gus2 nyo pa ang sd slot huh? Hndi nyo ba narinig ang cloud storage? Dami nyo arte boy

    • wew says:

      baki sa tingin mo ba lahat ng tao eh nagcecellphone lng kung san may wifi?o laging gumagamit ng data prepaid man o postpaid?isip isip din noh

  16. It might take a bit of setting creation. Now
    consider what kind of technique to use in order to open a major film festival.
    Aside louver shutters from this, there are many window treatment options.
    I was deeply moved by the stories shared with the woman accused of his murder.
    By taking a look at what his sources are telling him regarding the ABC Daytime’s
    chief’s attitude.

Leave a Reply

*
*