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September 15, 2012

Lenovo S880 Review

We’ve already given you an intro to the Lenovo S880 towards the end of last month. After spending a week with the 5-inch, dual-SIM handset, it’s time to share our thoughts about it. Check out the full review after the jump.

Very few mid-range smartphones have dared go beyond the 4.3-inch screen. Lenovo Mobile pushes the barrier by introducing a 5-inch, dual-SIM handset priced at under Php15,000.

Design and Construction

The Lenovo S880 isn’t the best in class in terms of construction mainly due to its plastic make. In fact, there isn’t even a slightest hint of metal on its exterior, making the phone feel cheap in the hands. If anything, the only reassuring feature of the phone’s construction that would convince you that you’re not holding a toy phone is its hefty 200g weight.

Design-wise, this dual-SIM smartphone bears striking resemblance to the Samsung Galaxy Note 5.3”, a little too much actually. This similarity even goes beyond design as the dimensions of both phones are also almost identical (Lenovo S880 – 142 x 78 x 9.9 mm / Samsung GN 5.3 – 146.9 x 83 x 9.7 mm).

The difference between the two lies in the placement of the ports and buttons and the absence of physical buttons on the front on the S880.

Multimedia

It’s quite baffling why Lenovo decided to outfit the S880’s 5-inch display with a poor 480 x 800 resolution. I mean, even for an affordable phone the least thing they could have done, in our opinion, was to utilize the processor’s maximum supported resolution, which is qHD (960×540). Our takeaway from this — the WVGA resolution on a 5-inch display is a bad combination.

One of the perks of having a smartphone with big screen is the pleasure of watching your favorite series or film with it, but it’s not the case for the Lenovo S880. It’s bad enough that the display has a poor resolution, to make things worse the 1GHz processor performed badly in movie playback. We first tried playing an HD movie on it and there’s an intolerable half-a-second lag all throughout the film. We also tried playing non-HD clips and even at that the lags are still present though not as worst as the ones we noticed while watching the film.

For a change, the audio quality from the phone is fairly decent thanks to its two speakers found at the back and at the bottom of the handset. It isn’t the best sounding phone, but it does have clear and well-balanced sound output with only very minimal distortion even at high volumes. Voice quality while on a call was also pleasing. Our voice was clear according to the people we’ve called and so does theirs.

OS and Performance

The Lenovo S880 comes with a skinned version of Ice Cream Sandwich out of the box, which can be considered as a treat for a change. However, the UI, which is similar to that of Cherry Mobile W900‘s, is rather disappointing. I’m really not a fan of overly customized UI so I don’t find the colorful and framed icons of S880’s a pleasing sight. This shouldn’t worry you too much though because you can always opt to install third party app to refresh the UI.

Another benefit of having a huge screen is comfortable typing and with the Lenovo S880’s 5-inch display, you’ll find no trouble composing your SMS or Tweeting with it. The phone makes use of the stock Android keyboard so familiarity shouldn’t also be an issue.

Another thing that we find rather disappointing with this phone is that it traded the use of a physical/touch-sensitive buttons for four omnipresent soft keys which takes up a portion of the 5-inch screen, thus making the screen look smaller. What they could’ve done instead is make use of the blank space between the display and the speaker at the bottom to house these keys.

Although the processor didn’t perform quite well on video playback, it does its job quite nicely in other operations. Although anyone wouldn’t expect any ground-breaking performance out of a 1GHz and 512MB RAM setup, it did handle our basic smartphone needs pretty decently. Apps run smoothly for the most part and we didn’t experience any “Force Closes” with the short time we had it. We performed our usual synthetic benchmarks on this phone and it got a slightly better score as compared to the LG L7 which has the same configuration.

Camera

The Lenovo S880 is outfitted with a 5MP snapper at the back and a secondary VGA camera at the front. Images produced by these cameras are what you’d typically expect from other smartphones with the same configuration.

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The images taken with this phone are actually usable for the most part, but the camera doesn’t perform well under low-light conditions and the lack of built-in flash didn’t help the phone either. Here are some sample images taken with the Lenovo S880.

Much like the images, recording videos with this phone isn’t something you’d write home about, but it’s still usable. Here’s a sample video taken with this 5-inch smartphone.

Battery

Besides having a big screen, another thing that the S880 can be proud of is its 2250mAh battery. It is a pretty good number, but considering that the battery needs to power a humongous display on top of the dual-SIM functionality, we expected the battery pack to be better, if not at least be at par with that found on the P700 (2500mAh). Why Lenovo outfitted this phone with a battery that has a slightly lower capacity? Your guess is as good as ours.

The battery accompanied us for two days and half with moderate to slightly heavy usage and we were able to squeeze in almost 3 days and half with minimal use.

Lenovo LePhone S880 specs:
5.0-inch LCD display @ 480×800 pixels
1.0GHz MediaTek MT6575 processor
PowerVR SGX531 graphics
512MB RAM
4Gb internal storage
up to 32GB via microSD
3G/HSDPA, dual-SIM, dual-standby
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 2.1
5MP autofocus rear camera
720p video recording
VGA front-facing camera
GPS with aGPS support
2250mAh Li-Ion battery
Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich

Conclusion

As you might’ve noticed in the review, the Lenovo LePhone S880 has a number of shortcomings that would probably make any potential buyers to think twice before getting the handset. In our opinion, Lenovo has cut some corners to bring the price down to an acceptable margin. However, we think that they’ve sacrificed far too many features to the point that the Php14,999 price tag is no longer justifiable.

With that, we’ll leave it for you to decide if the bigger screen of the Lenovo LePhone S880 is worthy of that extra Php4,000 or you’d rather get the similarly spec’ed but smaller-screened Lenovo P700.

5-inch Lenovo S880 dual-SIM lands, priced at Php14,999

27 Responses to “Lenovo S880 Review”

  1. Bayani says:

    Something Samsung does very well – keeping phones in budget while giving users amazing value (aside from some quirks :p)

    Lenovo is still taking baby steps but I feel it may take a couple of phones before it can be on par with LG or Samsung.

    Any Lenovo users here? How’s your experience?

  2. Mister Big Panda says:

    I used the Lenovo A60, LG Optimus Net Dual & Samsung Galaxy Y Duos (as well as the Alcatel dual sims & ViewPHone & Bu Studio). Among the 3, I was most satisfied with the Lenovo A60. Samsung prices are just too high IMO for the specs that they put into the phones. I had a more pleasant time with the LG Optimus Net dual than the Galaxy Y Duos. But the Lenovo phone was the best among the ones I had. No quirks, had enough phone storage for apps. I would probably migrate to a P700 or the LePhone.

  3. ceegii63
    Twitter: ceegii63
    says:

    the XIAOMI Mi2 puts that Chinaphone to shame

  4. JKisaragi says:

    Was initially planning on buying this one. But when I tried the P700, I thought that the screen size was just right, so I bought it right away.

    Judging from your review, I made the right choice. So, thanks! :)

    IMO, there are two things that Lenovo needs for their phones to gain market traction:

    1.) Marketing
    2.) ACCESSORIES (and lots of it).

    There are people out there who don’t even know that Lenovo has entered the mobile phone biz. Also, there are some who prefer having their accessories (cases, screen protectors, etc.) bought before or at the same time as they buy the phone.

  5. Arkita says:

    I was considering the P700 kaya lang walang flash kaya I settled for the Sapphire.

    Bakit kaya di rin nila nilagyan ng flash ito? Parang bitin kasi ang features ng camera. Aside from basic call/text, light internet browsing and camera ang most useful feature ng mobile phone for me. For 5mp na camphone sayang pag walang flash.

  6. iNtrud3r says:

    just bought the Lenovo S880 for me as a secondary phone, with dual sim it will satisfy my needs. Minsan kc ganda ng specs nagagamit ba lahat? Nagpapataas lang ng price ang mga specs na d naman minsan nagagamit. :) PEACE….

  7. iNtrud3r says:

    just bought the Lenovo S880, for me as a secondary phone, with dual sim it will satisfy my needs. Minsan kc ganda ng specs nagagamit ba lahat? Nagpapataas lang ng price ang mga specs na d naman minsan nagagamit. :) PEACE….

  8. iNtrud3r says:

    jus simple txt and call oks na… d siguro naman kailangan ang mga dual core-quad core sa txt and call…not that im with Lenovo pero as a secondary phone solve na… :)

    • redmd says:

      I settled for Lenovo A60+ for just simple calls and texts. So far Samsung at LG ang may pinaka polished na OS for entry level Android phones. So many don’t complain problems at OS level. As for Lenovo S880 the asking price is so high for that specs that doesn’t perform to better the competition. Agree ako kay ral, add 1k more you can buy the galaxy tab 2 7.0. Suggestko decrease the price to 12,000 then decrease the price of P700 to 9,000. Sana mag reprice si Lenovo.

    • noti says:

      kung simple text and call lang then nag cherry mobile q70 nalang sana. apat pa sim kasya

    • noti says:

      kung simple text and call lang then nag cherry mobile q70 nalang sana. apat pa sim kasya. mura pa @ 1/6 the price of the s880. txt and call pfft any phone can do that.

  9. iNtrud3r says:

    jus a simple txt and call oks na… d siguro naman kailangan ang mga dual core-quad core sa txt and call…not that im with Lenovo pero as a secondary phone solve na… :)

  10. ghendoquicoy says:

    Oops! I think Lenovo messed up so much with their attempt to compete with galaxy note 2. This nothing looks more like a bigger version of an android myphone.

  11. japause says:

    I’ll just wait for new phone of My|Phone lolz…and this one will shut down ^_^

  12. pol says:

    Ang mahal naman ng lephone jan sa pinas. I bought my s880 for php 8500(peso eq) d2 sa jakarta. At wala akong reklamo sa performance. Ok n ok.

  13. P700 user says:

    So contented with my P700 performance-wise and price-wise. Sulit na.

  14. xsaix5 says:

    san kaya makahanap ng stock ics?

  15. faye says:

    kung ayaw nyo nyang phone nyo, akin na lang :3 i’ve never had a touch screen phone in my life because we can’t afford :( swerte nyo u can. i hope someone sponsors me :( Haha

    • Joe says:

      no comment ako sa message gusto yung taong totoo, kung ok lang sayo maging kaibigan …. baka later makamit mo ang wish mo…..

      regards… GOD BLESS

  16. ems says:

    just bought s880, i’m getting 6hours for heavy use like android games, downloading. Screen at 70% brightness. Is this good?

  17. kalyan says:

    i have ordered for the phone not because i was impressed by its specs but because lenovo is throwing in a dual sim five incher, which is a critical factor for me instead of all the resolution business. i already own s2 and 4s. galaxy s duos is being reported for technical glitches and that is why i decided to go for this phone. i will follow up once i start using this phone.

  18. ann says:

    hi.. im using lenovo s880.. i just bought this one and not yet familiar on how to manage this phone.. can somebody help me on how can i take out the letter G beside the signal display? GPRS is off bluetooth and 3G also not in use.. i dont know what to do.. can somebody help me with this… thank you

    • Kalyan says:

      Ann.. the G is for GPRS as you must be aware.May be your network activates GPRS default.Hope you have switched off the data usage in the system settings.Do let us know.

  19. Cerb says:

    Anyone knows how to get free internet via Opera or knows how to change the APN settings on this phone? using Globe Sim btw. Thanks in advance!

  20. Wow, amazing weblog structure! How long have you
    ever been blogging for? you made running a blog look easy.
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This article was written by Ronnie Bulaong, a special features contributor and correspondent for YugaTech. Follow him on Twitter @turonbulaong.

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