Compare 6 All-New Lenovo A- and S- Series Smartphones: S860, S650, S660, A859, A680, A526 (May 2014)

Lenovo Malaysia launched 6 all-new A- and S- series smartphones in May 2014
Lenovo Malaysia launched 6 all-new A- and S- series smartphones in May 2014
Lenovo Malaysia launched 6 all-new A- and S- series smartphones in May 2014

Lenovo Malaysia announced the availability of its all-new A- and S- series smartphones in May 2014.

The new S-series smartphones are S860, S650, S660; new A-series smartphones are A859, A680, A526.

Yes, total 6 new smartphone models! They have similar specs with a little different. I was dizzy looking at the specs sheet at the media launch event! I spent time at home to sort them out and compare specs-to-specs.

Here you are, the ONE article compares all 6 Lenovo phones. Guess which model is Best Value among the six? Read on to find out.

(Don’t forget to read my thoughts at the end of article)

[box type=”info”]Info: S series is “elite entertainment smartphones” designed for video, music, and gaming. The series has high resolution display and studio-class audio. It is the main series of Lenovo smartphones. A series, on the other hand, is entry level smartphones at lower price.[/box]

Despite different series and price tags, all new Lenovo smartphones are powered by the same MTK 6582 1.3GHz Quad-core processor and Android 4.2 Jelly Bean. They are also all support Dual-SIM, Dual-Standby and support Dual 3G.

Compare new S series smartphones (S860, S660, S650)

Compare Lenovo S-series smartphones: S860, S650, S660
Compare Lenovo S-series smartphones: S860, S650, S660

S860

Lenovo S860 (RM 1169) is the king among the new smartphones. It has best cameras, 5.3-inch HD display, 2GB RAM and 16GB storage, plus a 4000mAh battery for 24 hours 3G talk time. The phone even includes a USB on-the-go cable to charge your other devices. The metal body phone build quality is good. It has stereo speakers at the bottom, too.

However, S860’s battery is non-removable and it does not support micro SD memory card to expand its storage space.

Lenovo S860 smartphone (front & back)
Lenovo S860 smartphone (front & back)

S660 vs S650

S660 (RM 749) and S650 (RM 699), as you can see from their model number and price tag, have similar hardware specifications.

The major different is the battery capacity. S660 is 3000mAh versus S650’s 2000mAh. The 1000mAh battery juice different gives you 2 hours more talk time on S660.

The other different is phone materia – S660 is aluminium and S650 is polycarbonate (read: plastic).

For RM50 extra, S660 has higher battery capacity and better phone material than S650. Good?

Compare new A series smartphones (A859, A680, A526)

Compare Lenovo A-series smartphones: A859, A680, A526
Compare Lenovo A-series smartphones: A859, A680, A526

A859

If S860 is the king, then A859 (RM719) would be the queen among the new smartphones. Despite categorized as A-series smartphone, A859 has S-series specs. It has 5-inch HD display, 8MP+1.6MP cameras, 8GB phone storage.

Lenovo A859 smartphone (front & back)
Lenovo A859 smartphone (front & back)

A680 vs. A526

The other two A-series phones – A680 (RM499) and A526 (RM469) – are priced under RM500. Both models have similar specs, such as 5MP+0.3MP cameras, 4GB phone storage. The different is the display size – 5-inch vs. 4.5-inch, both same resolution).

Best Value: Lenovo A859

Among the 6 new Lenovo smartphones, I would give Lenovo A859 the Best Value award.

It has specs higher than S-series phones (S660 and S650) with better display, higher resolution front camera for selfie. The price is only RM719, RM30 cheaper than lower specs S660.

Do not buy Lenovo S650! For only RM20 more, you get better display, better front camera, bigger battery on Lenovo A859. Buy S660 only for its 3000mAh battery capacity.

Thoughts

I do not understand why Lenovo want to release many phones with similar specs and prices. Could not be simplified?

Want to have more choices for customers? I think it is more confusing instead. A salesman would not take the time memorizes all the phone models and specs. Would customers research the phone models like I did in this article? No, most phone buyers only ask for salesman’s recommendation. At the end, phone buyer is not buying the right phone for their needs.

The 6 new models could slash to only 3 models:

  1. S860 – highest specs
  2. A859 - medium specs
  3. A526 - entry level

S660 and S650 are duplicated. Do not need to have.

In the same price range, A859 is already overlapping the S-series models. This is agreed by Lenovo Malaysia when I asked during media event.

Now Lenovo Malaysia is selling a total of 19 smartphone models and more are coming later 2014…

Lenovo Vibe X 5-inch Smartphone with 5MP Selfie Camera (Hands-on Review)

Lenovo Vibe X
Lenovo Vibe X
Lenovo Vibe X

Lenovo Vibe X was launched in Malaysia in January 2014. Lenovo Malaysia invited LiewCF to its launch event to experience the company’s latest premium smartphone.

Read on for my hands-on experience of the 5-inch Android smartphone with 5MP selfie camera.

Slim and Light

Lenovo Vibe X
Lenovo Vibe X

Lenovo Vibe X is 5-inch smartphone but it does not feel bulky. Instead, it is light and thin – 121 gram and 6.9 mm thin. It has laser engraved “fabric-feel” surface on back cover to improves the grip.

Vibe X is only available in silver colour with black front panel. I like the little Chrome touch at the bottom.

Vibe X display is 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080) with 441 PPI – 20/20 Vision Display, according to Lenovo. Meaning, Vibe X display is bright and vibrant, as good as other high-end smartphones in the market.

Lenovo’s Smart User Interface ditches Android apps drawer and show apps in pages – similar to iPhone/iPad.

Some handy features are: share to lock phone, press volume button to power on, swipe up/down anywhere to open panels.

With smart keyboard on, the keyboard will shift side depends on the holding angle. I only got the feature enabled for numeric keypad, though.

Not enough storage

When we talk about “premium smartphone”, we are expecting a smartphone with at least 32GB or even 128GB storage.

Vibe X, Lenovo premium smartphone, has only 16GB storage space with about 10GB usable space. Worse still, it does not support microSD card for memory expansion.

Seriously, Lenovo?

Also, strangely, Asphalt 7 was not playable on the Vibe X demo unit I tried. The space-hungry car racing game return “not enough space”

Performance is disappointing

Vibe X is powered by MediaTek MTK 6589w 1.5GHz Quad-core processor and 2GB RAM. Disappointedly, it only runs Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, though Android 4.3 and 4.4 are already released in 2013.

Based on past mobile device reviews, I do not have good impression about MediaTek mobile processor.

The Taiwan company’s mobile processors are mostly used in low-cost mobile devices. It is quad-core and run at high frequency but the performance is not up to expectation.

At the launch event, the Lenovo Vibe X demo units’ (not one but all) performance was disappointing. Swiping and scrolling screen were not smooth and lagging. Apps were randomly not responding to touch and crashed unexpectedly.

I hope the demo units were lab testing units. Hopefully, the final product runs smoothly.

5MP Selfie Camera, Unusable Camera App

Lenovo Vibe X for selfie lovers
Lenovo Vibe X for selfie lovers

Vibe X equipped with 13MP rear camera with LED flash and 5MP fixed-focus camera with 84 degree wide angle lens.

Yes, 5MP front camera. High resolution selfie camera is one of the selling point of Lenovo Vibe X.

When front camera is activated, you can choose the level of auto enhancement for faces. The effect is so amazing that I look much handsome with fair and smooth face! It is truly designed for selfie!

The camera app also has dozens of photo effects for rear camera shooting.

Lenovo Vibe X camera app
Lenovo Vibe X camera app makes LiewCF a handsome boy!

However, when front camera is activated, the phone is lagging badly, not responding or the camera app simply crashed! The same problem occurs among the demo units at the event.

Unusable camera app make the high-resolution selfie camera useless.

Vibe X specs

  • Processor: MTK 6589w 1.5GHz Quad-core processor
  • Graphics: PowerVR SGX544 graphics
  • OS: Android 4.2 Jelly Bean
  • Storage: 16GB eMMC (not support microSD)
  • Memory: 2GB RAM
  • Display: 5-inch Full HD (1920×1080 pixels) IPS, 20/20 Vision display (441 ppi)
  • Camera: (rear) 13MP auto focus with LED flash; (front) 5MP fixed-focus
  • Battery: Li-Polymer 2000 mAh (embedded)
  • Size: 144 x 74 x 6.9 (mm)
  • Weight: 121g (0.25 lbs)
  • Price: RM 1,299 (~USD$390)

Lenovo Vibe X gallery

Thoughts

As “premium smartphone”, I think Vibe X should have more storage options or at least support microSD memory card.

Also, Lenovo should not launch an smartphone with outdated Android version 4.2 in 2014. Let’s hope Vibe X will receive Android OS updates soon.

Only if Lenovo fixes the software problems, Lenovo Vibe X would be a good candidate for 5-inch smartphone at only RM 1,300.

6 Latest Lenovo Devices You Need to Know

Models and Khoo Hung Chuan, Country General Manager, Lenovo Malaysia, showcasing the latest Lenovo range at the Lenovo Limitless Possibilities Launch.
Models and Khoo Hung Chuan, Country General Manager, Lenovo Malaysia, showcasing the latest Lenovo range at the Lenovo Limitless Possibilities Launch.
Models and Khoo Hung Chuan, Country General Manager, Lenovo Malaysia, showcasing the latest Lenovo range at the Lenovo Limitless Possibilities Launch.

Lenovo Malaysia announced latest range of products designed for all “Doers”. The product line-up consists of Yoga, Flex and K series smartphone. Here’s top 5 Lenovo devices you need to know.

#1. Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro - tent mode
Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro – tent mode

Lenovo Yoga 2 Pro is 13.3-inch Ultrabook with super high-resolution QHD+ (3200×1800) multi-touch display that can flip back 360 degree to offer 4 different usage modes: Laptop, Tablet, Stand, Tent.

It is powered by 4th generation Intel Core processor and offer up to 6 hours battery life for FullHD playback.

Price is starting from RM 4,199 (~USD$ 1,284)

#2. Lenovo Flex 14

Lenovo Flex 14 stand mode
Lenovo Flex 14 stand mode

Lenovo Flex 14 is dual-mode 14-inch multi-touch laptop that flips 300 degrees from laptop to stand mode. It includes stereo speakers with Dolby Advanced Audio.

Price is starting from RM 2,299 (~USD$ 703)

#3. Lenovo Flex 20

Lenovo Flex 20 All-In-One PC
Lenovo Flex 20 All-In-One PC

Lenovo Flex 20 is All-In-One (AIO) PC with 19.5-inch multitouch display (1600×900) and support 2 usage modes: stand mode and table mode.

In table mode’s Aura Interface, two or more users can enjoy pre-loaded multi-user games and educational apps together around a single screen.

Price is starting from RM 2,299 (~USD$ 703)

#4. Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga stand mode
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga stand mode

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga is business Ultrabook with 12.5″ display that – like Lenovo Yoga – rotates 360 degree to offer 4 different usage modes: Laptop, Tablet, Tend, Stand.

When switching between modes, Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga’s multimode back-lit keyboard automatically rises and keys lock to offer more comfortable grip. You can also take hand-writing notes using the included stylus.

Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga uses magnesium-allow frame and Corning Gorilla Glass to offer tough body and smudge-resistant display.

Price is starting from RM 4,639 (~USD$ 1,419)

#5. Lenovo Yoga Tablet

Lenovo Yoga Tablet
Lenovo Yoga Tablet

Lenovo Yoga Tablet is Android 4.2 tablet with build-in kickstand and front facing Dolby Digital Plus speakers. It is available is 8-inch and 10.1-inch sizes, both are HD display (1280×800 pixels). The battery life last up to 18 hours of WiFi web browsing.

Price is RM 999 (~USD$ 306) for Yoga Tablet 8 and RM 1,299 (~USD$397) for Yoga Tablet 10.

#6. Lenovo K900 Samrtphone

Lenovo K900 smartphone
Lenovo K900 smartphone

Lenovo K900 is Android 4.2 smartphone powered by Intel Atom processor. Full HD 1080p 5.5-inch display and 6.9 mm thin brushed metal casing. The smartphone features 13M f1.8 camera with dual LED flash.

Price starting from RM 1,499 (~USD$ 458) for 32GB K900.

➤ For more information and other products, please visit Lenovo