Lenovo PHAB Plus hands-on
A highly contested area in the mobile space, this new ‘premium’ mid-range segment has been generating an increased amount of focus from consumers and handset makers all around. Lenovo is itching to make a move with one of its upcoming phones for the fall season, which is looking to make one fabulous mark in the phablet space to be exact. With the Lenovo PHAB Plus, it’s aiming to bridge the gap between tablets and smartphones, but in a very affordable package – something that’s still a rare sighting.
Talk about PHABULOUS! This phone has somehow impressively trimmed off a lot of fat because it doesn’t look or feel like a 7-inch esque tablet. Considering the inexpensive price point attached to the PHAB Plus, Lenovo has gone with an aggressive approach by giving it one slick looking design with its metallic uni-body construction – one that’s complemented with flush front and back surfaces. While we’re astounded by its compactness for a phablet, especially one with a 6.8-inch display, there’s no denying that it takes some design cues from the iPhone 6 Plus. The resemblance is uncanny!
Some sort of magical wonders were somehow needed to get its 6.8-inch 1080p IPS display fitted into the already tight confines of its body, but Lenovo’s engineers managed to do it. The result is a panel with a pixel density count of 326 ppi, which is more than adequate for all sorts of viewing and media consumption. Surprisingly, there are several good qualities in tow with this one – such as its decent viewing angles and punchy looking colors. In just our short time checking it out, we’re really entranced by how iridescent it looks.
Running Lenovo’s newest custom UI on top of Android 5.0 Lollipop, we’re most glad to see that they’ve decided to bring back the apps panel. Previously, it was something eliminated by its interface, which made for some disorganization with all the icons cluttering up the homescreen. While it’s functional without having a bunch of redundant features that sometimes makes the experience overwhelming, its one-handed mode is something that can be quickly accessed – ensuring that the interface is shrunk down to a thumb friendly reaching size. This is especially useful, since its general size still makes it impractical for one-handed operation by itself.
Processor and Memory
Factoring its cost and whatnot, it’s no one’s surprise to know that the Lenovo PHAB Plus is powered by an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC, coupled with 2GB of RAM. It’s certainly not a menacing combo, but for the quick and easy tasks, it’s an effective combo that manages to get the job done. However, we’re not going to be too optimistic about its graphics processing performance until we get our hands on one.
Adding more versatility to its package, there’s a handy microSD card slot on board to supplement the 32GB of internal storage it offers out of the box.
Armed with a 13-megapixel rear and 5-megpixel front camera combo, the specs are undoubtedly indicative of a mid-range device. However, we’re crossing our fingers that its quality will turn out to be good at the very least, mainly because the majority of mid-rangers with a similar combination tend to deliver subpar results. Unlike the iPhone 6 Plus, however, there’s no hump or protrusion made around the camera lens, so we’re happy to know it’s uniformly flush around the back.
Beyond what we’ve talked about so far, the Lenovo PHAB Plus also features a Dolby Atmos 3D Surround support, 3500 mAh battery, and will offer LTE support. Oh yeah, did we mention that it’s dual-SIMed too? There’s certainly a lot to like about this one, more so when it meshes the smartphone and tablet form factors into a compact package with a sturdy construction. Best of all, however, is that the phone will be attached with a $299 MSRP when it becomes available sometime later this month in September. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be sold here in the US, which means that you’ll need to go through some other channels if you’re interested in picking it up. Hey, that might not be a bad option!