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Lenovo P780 Review

on November 30, 2013 – 4:06 pmNo Comment

Lenovo P780 was launched recently in India. The Lenovo P780 resembles most mid-range phablets in India because of its internal specifications, but differs from the crowd thanks to a couple of special features. One among its unique feature is that Lenovo P780 comes with an enormous 4000mAh (which according to a Lenovo Ad will help you last a week in an island). Another differentiating factor that bolsters its position over the other mid-range smartphones is its solid build quality.

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So, is the Lenovo P780 worth it? Check out our video review below and read on.

Design, Build Quality and Handling

The design and build quality are definitely one of the advantages of Lenovo P780. We saw that Lenovo is capable of delivering solid products as they did with their Lenovo K900 and it is pretty evident that build quality means a lot to them even in their mid-range products. Lenovo P780 is made of solid metal and that gives it a premium look when compared to the cheap plastic phones from other manufacturers.

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On the front, most of the real estate belongs to the 5inch HD display. Above the display, we have the Lenovo logo above which we have the earpiece along the top edge. There is a front facing camera right next to the logo and the combination of ambient and proximity sensors is found hidden next to the camera. An led notification light is present within the earpiece.

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Below the display, we have three capacitive touch keys for navigation. The home button is differently designed and it is the same that Lenovo has been using for their Android smartphones.

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On the right side of the phone, we have just the volume rocker.

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On the bottom, we have just the microphone. On the left side, it is completely barren.

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Over at the top, things are crowded as we have a power lock button, covered microUSB slot and a 3.5mm audio jack.

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The volume rocker and power lock button are made of solid metal and feel quite premium. They offer a nice feedback.

The front and back part of the phone are glued together by a chrome metal ring that runs across the entire length of the device. The metal rim is located slightly inward and that gives the device a better grip, but feels slightly awkward.

Moving to the back side of the phone, we find metal, metal and metal everywhere. The curved edges on the sides make it quite comfortable to hold on to the device. There are two different materials used – one for the top and bottom while the removable back cover comes in a slightly different finish.

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There is a Lenovo logo engraved on the removable back cover. On the top left, we have a 8MP camera with an LED flash and secondary microphone below it. There is a speaker grill on the bottom left and it can be muffled when the phone is being used of when it is lying on the table.

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Overall, the design of Lenovo P780 is good, but its the build quality and choice of materials that make it stand out. When in comes to handling, the phone definitely feels heavy because of the metal build and the huge 4000mAh battery inside it.

Display

Lenovo P780, like most phones in the mid-range segment, comes with a 5inch 720p HD display with a pixel density of 295ppi.

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In terms of colors, there is a slight blue tint but it shouldn’t be a problem for most cases. The viewing angles aren’t the greatest as colors seemed washed out when the display was tilted. Also there seems to be a light bleeding issue on the top side of display.

The display is a ten point multitouch display which is quite rare considering that the competition offer only 5 point multi-touch.

Overall, the display of Lenovo P780 was above average.

Hardware and Performance

Like most of the phablets in its budget range, Lenovo P780 is powered by the same and repetitive MediaTek MT6589 quad-core SoC clocked at 1.2GHz. There is 1GB RAM and PowerVR SGX544 GPU to handle the graphics tasks.

Surprisingly, out of the 1GB RAM, around 970MB is available for use and when the device is idle, around 500MB is free.

The phone comes in 4/8GB variants and we have the 4GB version. Out of the 4GB, 2.14GB is allocated for app installation and the user accessible memory is 1.56GB. The internal storage should not be a problem as you can expand it with a microSD card.

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In terms of performance, the phone is fast most of the times. However, there are some software glitches and occasional jitters. The touch screen response can be delayed at times, but that is something you have to live with. Switching between the apps is fast and for most of the average daily use, the phone is quite good. Since Lenovo have customized the UI, it takes its toll on performance.

You can take a look at the benchmarks video right below to find out about its average performance.

In terms of gaming, the device performs on par with most mid-range phablets and you can check out its gameplay and gaming review right below.

Camera

Lenovo P780 comes with a 8MP camera at the back and a 1.2MP camera at the front. The rear camera records 1080p videos at 30fps while the front camera can record only 480p VGA videos.

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In terms of camera UI, Lenovo P780 has the UI similar to the one on Lenovo K900. The UI has the flash toggle on the top left corner below which we have the front/rear camera toggle. On the bottom left corner we have the settings icon which opens up quite a lot of settings options. On the right side, we have the mode selection at top and the effects icon on the bottom. On the complete right, we have the navigation strip with the photo/video toggle on the top, shutter key at the center and the gallery shortcut at the bottom. In terms of camera quality, the images are quite good and they are much better than the other 8MP camera smartphones in the mid-range segment.

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You can check out a few samples here, but if you want to see more, you can head over to our camera samples post.

Software Features

Lenovo P780 runs on Android 4.2.1 Jellybean with lots of customization from Lenovo. The customization does not run deep and is visible only in the UI and notification bar. The lockscreen is very close to the one on Stock Android devices with the ability to add widgets. The notification bar has seen a lot of changes from the stock implementation and you get toggles with just a swipe down.

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There is no particular use of double swipe down as all toggles are seen in the usual notification bar itself. There are lots of themes and you can change the look and feel as you wish. The icons of all applications have been changed with an aim to distinguish it from stock Android.

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Apart from these minor changes, the settings menu too has seen changes. There are various ways to organize settings based on your usage pattern and we really din’t find that intuitive.

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In addition to these eye candy, Lenovo P780 comes with a lot of preloaded apps – Facebook, Twitter, Evernote, CamCard, Camscanner, Kingsoft Office and many other applications.  These applications can be uninstalled which is a relief.

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Overall, in terms of software features, there isn’t much to talk about except for the different themes and icon styles.

Battery and Connectivity

One of the key features of Lenovo P780 is that it comes with a huge 4000mAh battery. As you would expect, the battery life is really amazing and we were amazed at how long the phone can hold up. When left in standby, the phone hardly loses charge and if you are one of the people who prefer to have large battery lives, then this is the phone for you. On 3G usage, you can easily get more than a full day of usage and it can last nearly 1.5 days on 3G. When watching videos, you can easily more than 10 hours of continuous video.

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In terms of connectivity, the Lenovo P780 has typical smartphone connectivity options like DualSIM connectivity, WiFi, Bluetooth, 3G, GPS with A-GPS and microUSB.

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Conclusion

Lenovo P780 is a typical mid-range phablet when you consider its specifications, but it is set apart from the crowd thanks to the solid build quality and its enormous battery. The fact that it is priced slightly higher than the other phones in similar price range is justified by its unique features. The Lenovo P780 is available for Rs. 18,000 currently.

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Pros

  • Solid Build Quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Decent camera

Cons

  • Slightly on the expensive side
  • Same old MediaTek processor and average performance
  • Poor front facing camera(competition offer 5MP cameras)
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Monish is passionate about smartphones who is also interested in User Experience and Design. He is currently using Samsung Galaxy S3. You can follow him on Twitter and Google+