Lenovo K860 Hands-on

Recently at an event in Chennai, Lenovo unveiled their new strategy for the Indian market in which they announced their foray into the highly competitive and booming Smartphone market. We were there at the press briefing and they had launched a total of five devices. Naturally, we got a brief hands on with every one of them. We bring some photos and our thoughts about Lenovo’s all new portfolio of devices for India.

First up is the Lenovo K860, this is Lenovo’s flagship phone that has all the top end specs that we crave for.

The Lenovo K860 has a 5-inch (720 x 1280 pixels) IPS display with a wide 178 degree viewing angle. From what we saw, the display is absolutely gorgeous, we would keep it right up there, at the top along with all the other beautiful IPS displays from the One X, the 4x HD and even the Optimus G, but our only small gripe was the blacks, they could have been deeper.

On the inside, it is powered by a 1.4 GHz quad-core Exynos 4412 processor with Mali 400M GPU. During our short hands on, we found no hint of lag, everything(except the multitasking switcher) was zippy smooth, much like the Galaxy S3 with similar innards.

The connectivity options include, 3G (HSDPA: 21 Mbps, HSUPA: 5.76Mbps), WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, aGPS. It has 1GB LPDDR2 RAM, 8GB eMMC, expandable memory up to 32GB with microSD and a massive 2250 mAh battery. With the memory at just 8GB, it is clear that they had cost reduction in mind, but the inclusion of the micro SD slot is welcome. But we do appreciate Lenovo for that massive 2250 mAH battery that can easily sustain this phone through a busy day.

One the software side, unsurprisingly, it runs on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Lenovo’s custom skin on top. Lenovo calls it the “Lenovo launcher” and it has been prevailing from their honeycomb tablet skin. We found it weird that it was inconsistent across their portfolio, the skins never matched. But the good thing is, the shortcut buttons are on the screen itself, rendered in software. So, on the front face of the phone, there are no hardware buttons. However there is the brand logo, an ear piece and a 2MP front facing camera at the top.

Coming to the design and build quality, the design resembled the philosophy embodied in Lenovo’s PC portfolio. Four of the five devices on display at the event were black in colour and the K860 has a generic rectangle design that we find very similar to LG. A chrome like plastic material is sandwiched between the two thick plastic slabs on the front and the back. The volume controls on the right reside in the valley of chrome. The plastic might be considered somewhat mediocre in quality, didn’t feel that premium to touch, but price will decide the premium feel of it.

The power button and 3.5mm audio jack are at the top and good to know that the phone also has FM Radio built-in. As you can see above, the front layer of plastic is glossy while the back is matte and has a denim texture to it.

It is surprisingly thin at 9.5 mm but weighs 190 grams. We didn’t feel the device is bulky, the weight is no big deal, however the device felt really big for one-handed usage. This, we consider very well in the phablet category but there seems to be no advantage for a screen that big, like a stylus or something.

As we said earlier, the screen is absolutely gorgeous and those rounded icons and the launcher buttons are the handiwork of the “Lenovo launcher” team. We did ask why they did not go for a stock Android look like Intel, or even Motorola, but we didn’t get a good enough answer from them.

This is the non slippery textured back and besides the logo is the 8MP auto focus camera with Dual LED Flash.

And finally, the Lenovo K860 comes in Black color and is priced at Rs. 28499. That price is the biggest USP of this device, and for all the power it packs, it’s a great launch price for a new comer that’s trying to get into a competitive market. We got a hands on of the other phones too, stay tuned!

Srivatsan contributed to this report.

Author: Bharadwaj Chandramouli

Bharadwaj is a content creator who has been obsessed with technology since the early days of smartphones. He loves talking about tech, is a fan of good design and photography. You can follow him on Twitter @gadgetbuff_ to know what he's upto!