Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Lenovo A7000

Lenovo recently launched the A7000, the phone which could be touted as the big brother of the Lenovo A6000, which launched earlier this year.  It’s being portrayed as a multimedia performer, and is the first phablet ever to feature the Dolby Atmos audio system.

Design, Display & Hardware:

This dual sim (4G) device is pretty slim at a mere 8mm, and also weighs only 140gms (lighter than most other competitors in the same price range). The screen is 5.5” and the device has a matte finished rear with smooth curved edges. When you hold it, it feels pretty solid and is very very ergonomic, not something you’d usually expect from a phablet. Overall, the phone itself is plastic but it doesn't feel cheap.

Something that’s not common is the Micro USB port and the 3.5mm audio jack on the top of the phone, rather than the bottom. I actually like it considering the fact that the cables don’t interfere if the device is on charging and, say, if you’re wanting to hold the phone normally to talk.

The three buttons are at the bottom and not backlit which is a pain if you’re using it in the dark. That said, haptic feedback does help it from becomin a major problem. Volume rockers and the Power button are in chrome and sit on the right edge of the phone.  It’s got a powerhouse battery @2900 mAh which theoretically can have a talk time of 16hrs on 3G, and I got just a little over half a day of usage with all day gaming, music & Youtube.

The 5.5” screen IPS LCD screen is 720p @ 267 ppi made of Asahi's Dragontrail glass. It’s bright enough and not reflective thus being easy on the eyes in the sun. The innards of the device host the Mediatek MT6752m Octa-core SoC @ 1.5Ghz & 2GB RAM with 8GB ROM out of which only 3.6GB is user available space. One surprising thing was only the 1st SIM slot supports 3G/4G while the 2nd one supports only 2G. Some people might have a problem swapping cards especially since they aren’t hot swap.

Camera:

It’s got an 8MP shooter with dual LED flash at the back and 5PM at the front. Both the cameras are decent, but not what you’d want or expect after looking at the overall performance of the phone. The 8MP camera has a f/2.2 aperture, and software shows off modes like Sepia, HDR, Live effects and Scene which isn’t a big deal anymore since there are plenty of 3rd party apps in the Playstore that can do all this and much more . While testing indoor during  daylight photos were good, but outdoor ones came out a bit dull and lacking colour. Sometimes it just kept refocusing to take a final shot which obviously didn’t come out right. Video recording is at 1080p and playback at 30fps which is pretty standard. The front camera is good so your selfies are sorted!

Software:

The phone runs on Lollipop out of the box, with the new and improved Vibe UI 3.0. It’s now got additional features like Sleep mode, multiple users , Secure zone (which lets you run apps in a secure zone), and Wide Touch which is like a floating dock for apps like camera, music etc .

One thing I did not like was heaps of pre-installed apps like Evernote, Truecaller, and various game demos. That said, you can remove them easily, and with them being free and available in the Play Store, it's no great loss if you do. Still, I'd appreciate if they'd keep my new phone empty for me to fill it with the apps of my choice, rather than imposing it on. It also features a Pocket Dial Prevention Mode that prevents pocket dialing, and avoids unnecessary touches unless phone sensor realizes that it’s out of your pocket and in your hands.

Gaming & Multimedia:

It’s pretty good at handling high end games like Asphalt 8, and while playing it I didn’t notice any lag. Though the phone does heat up but it’s the same with all high end phones as well ; GPU ,RAM , CPU all working together to give you an uninterrupted performance. In the Antutu benchmark test it’s just below the Mi4 and Honor 6 Plus which are far more expensive, and manages to beat them in the Benchmark OS and Geekbench 3 tests.

Multimedia wise, it’s got FM with a recording option and can play pretty loud music via the rear loudspeaker. Talking of the much hyped Dolby Atmos sound and equalizer, it just doesn’t cut it with the cheap, plastic earphones which are in the box. Invest in a good pair yourself, and they’ll definitely be music to your ears ! 

Conclusion:

It’s a good buy compared to the other phones in the market. Powerful battery, OTG support and direct storage on SD card are good plus points, but if you want a good camera phone look elsewhere.

I'd rate Lenovo A7000 a 4/5.
Pritesh Khilnani



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