Of late, Lenovo as a smartphone brand is getting a lot of eye balls and one of the primary reasons for that is the way they have been aggressively pricing their latest products. The Chinese maker has managed to disrupt the market with A6000 – one of the most affordable 4G LTE offerings in the mid-range market.
Lenovo A6000 with 4G capabilities in its armoury makes its competition look a bit overpriced and also underequipped. We have spent some high quality time with the device and of course it took a while for us to bring this review to you, but it’s better late than never.
Lenovo A6000 comes in a standard retail box with the company’s branding all over the package. The key hardware specifications and other import details are mentioned on the rear of the box.
The standard retail package contains an A/C adapter, microUSB cable, headset, some leaflets and a nice little surprise – a scratch guard.
We had managed to buy our unit from one of the flash sales and the product had undergone the unboxing treatment. You can check out the video below.
Lenovo A6000 has very simplistic and a clean design. The plastic rear cover is quite practical and we in our testing we did figure out that the panel is quite durable. The overall design isn’t captivating, it is sensible but it is understated styling.
The smartphone is built nicely and all the parts fit tightly in its place. There are no squeaks while handling the A6000 and it’s safe to say that Lenovo has got all things right when it comes to build.
The device however is not quite a looker – we are not saying that it is a bad looking smartphone and what we mean is A6000 is not a head turner. It just doesn’t manage to grab attention in any manner. The A6000 is compact for its screen size and it isn’t huge. The smartphone measures 141 x 70 x 8.2mm and weighs only about 128 grams, but feels solid in the hands.
Lenovo A6000’s removable rear cover is made up of plastic and we are happy to report that the back panel is not prone to fingerprints and smudges.
The front of the A6000 is mostly occupied by the 5-inch display and the screen to body ratio is about 69%. Above the screen, there’s an earpiece, an array of sensors and a 2 megapixel front facing camera.
Below the display is where we find the three capacitive touch buttons – menu, home and back keys. This also means that one can completely utilize the available screen estate.
The right side of the device houses the volume rockers and the power key. The buttons are made up of plastic and the feedback they offer is satisfactory. The left side is completely bare.
On the top, we can locate the microUSB port in the centre and the 3.5mm audio jack towards the left corner.
The button features the primary microphone pinhole and apart from that it’s completely flat.
Lenovo A6000’s holds the 8 megapixel camera and is equipped with a LED flash. There’s also a secondary microphone pinhole just below the flash light. The Dolby branding can be seen on lower half and the speaker grilles are placed either side of it.
Underneath the back panel lies the dual SIM card slot along with a microSD card slot. Furthermore, the battery is removable and can be replaced.
The Lenovo A6000 sports a 5-inch IPS display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels and accounts to a pixel density of 294ppi. Unfortunately, the screen doesn’t come with any protective layer and you will have to take great care to secure it from scratches.
The display offers great contrast and the colors are vibrant. It is also quite bright at 100% but we noticed that reducing the brightness dims the screen quite sharply and about 50% seems like 25%.
The glass on top is very reflective and what it does to the screen is it degrades the image quality quickly whenever there’s an external light falling on it. The display looks great under a roof, but as soon as you are out in the sun, the experience changes drastically.
Lenovo A6000 comes with Android 4.4 KitKat with a layer of Vibe UI out of the box. The Android KitKat is optimized to run on even modest of the hardware and a smartphone like A6000 is probably what the internet giant had in mind.
The fact that the operating system is not stock Android also means that the device comes with some bloat ware and a few home-baked software tweaks. The quad-core Snapdragon 410 chipset along with 1GB of RAM tries to keep thing smooth most of the times, but fails to deliver when it’s under extreme pressure.
Lenovo has pre-loaded all the customary Google applications like Gmail, Drive, Maps, and Chrome and with the company’s own skin there’s some variety on offer as well.
Just like the MiUi, the Vibe UI also doesn’t feature an app drawer, which means that all the applications are on the home screen. Of course, it’s not a new thing considering Apple has this in its iOS eco-system for a few years now.
The first interesting bit of the software on the A6000 is the theme centre. The application offers the users a wide range of wallpapers, lock screen, system UI, boot animation, notification UI and contact manger. So, you can customize your phone to suit your taste.
There’s a security app as well. The software is designed to help you keep your device safe from malware and also to guard your privacy.
The official Dolby app is also on-board Lenovo A6000. The app mainly enhances your experience while watching movies, playing games or while listening to your favourite music.
Another application that deserves a mention is the built in file manager. The app filters all the content on the device and puts under individual sections helping you locate your data easily. Furthermore, the file manager also enables you to remotely manage files on your phone from your computer.
The device comes with about 8GB of built-in storage out of which you can utilize about 4GB. The operating system uses 600MB of RAM and there’s about 400MB of free RAM available at boot.
Lenovo A6000 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 chipset with quad-core 1.2GHz CPU, Adreno 306 GPU and 1GB of RAM.
We ran some benchmarking tests on the device to gauge the performance of the Lenovo A6000 and stack it up against its competition. Before we continue with the results, if you are wondering what smartphone benchmarking is all about, then check out our feature story to know more about it.
The first challenge for the A6000 was the AnTuTu benchmarking, which reveals the overall performance of the smartphone. Lenovo A6000 with a score of 20974 is ahead of its competition.
Second up was the Linpack test that measures the multi-threaded oriented benchmarking of a smartphone. As expected, the A6000 provides a stiff competition.
Next up we had the Adreno 306 GPU running all guns. The GFX benchmarking test reveals the raw performance of the graphics processor on the Lenovo A6000.
Lastly, we ran the Vellamo benchmarking to test the browsing performance of the smartphone. With a score of 1,557 points, the Chrome browser on the A6000 is capable of offering good web browsing experience.
The primary camera on the Lenovo A6000 has an 8 megapixel sensor and a LED flash. The camera is not loaded with features like most the flagship models do, but it does come with all the basic ones so you can’t really complain about it.
The camera interface and navigation is very simple. All the basic settings like flash, HDR and camera modes are available within the reach of your thumb finger. You will have to dig deeper if you need to find the advance options that are categorized under three sections – camera, video and others.
Lenovo A6000’s 8 megapixel sensor allows you to shoot images in macro, panorama, PIP, EV bracket and Face beauty modes.
There’s a 2 megapixel secondary front facing camera as well. The focus on the shooter is fixed and the quality of the image it captures is not the best, but you can certainly leave with them.
We took a few samples from the 8 megapixel shooter and you check them out below –
Lenovo A6000’s camera resolves a decent amount of detail and the color reproduction is accurate most of the time. The white balance is also good, but the noise levels are a bit on the higher end. We really liked the camera on the device especially after considering its price tag and it is definitely better than what its competition has got of offer.
The HDR mode rescues both the highlights and shadows without making the contrast too low. So, you are better of capturing images with HDR.
Lenovo A6000 has the ability to record video at 720 pixels. There’s nothing much to write about the quality of these videos as they lack the punch and the clips are only good to be viewed on a mobile screen.
One of the main selling points for the Lenovo A6000 is its ability to support 4G LTE network. The smartphone is tuned to work with Indian bands – TDD 2300MHz and FDD 1800MHz. The device supports LTE Cat 4 speeds of 150Mbps down and 50Mbps up links. The first SIM card supports 4G, while second SIM card supports only 2G networks.
We tested 4G LTE capability of A6000 in various parts of Bangalore and the device managed to download data at 20Mbps constantly.
Lenovo A6000 also comes with a wide range of connectivity options such as WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, A-GPS and FM radio.
The juice for the Lenovo A6000 is provided by a 2,300mAh battery. Our battery test reveals that the device will last for about 11 hours and 19 minutes before you need to find a power source to recharge it.
The detailed breakdown of the A6000’s battery consumption will be posted on our blog in the next couple of days. So, keep a close eye on our blog wall.
Meanwhile, if you are a new reader on our site and if you are wondering about our test, then feel free to check our battery test introduction to know more about our procedure.
Lenovo has already launched the A6000 in India with a price tag of INR 6,999. The device is available exclusively on Flipkart and definitely an interesting offering.
The standout feature of Lenovo A6000 is its ability to support 4G networks in India. The build quality and the performance also deserve a mention especially after considering its price tag.
The Snapdragon quad-core processor, a capable GPU and 1GB of RAM hold things together very well and you can’t ask more from a mid-range smartphone.
Lenovo A6000’s camera performs better than most of the smartphones in the similar price category. The software is one aspect where things can get better, but there’s nothing to worry as it can be improved with timely firmware upgrades and patches.
There’s no short coming in Lenovo A6000 and with a good build, performance, dual-SIM capabilities and 4G support – the device has got enough character to rub its shoulders against the likes of Yu Yureka and Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G.