Review: Lenovo P700i
A good budget smartphone with dual-SIM functionality but not for photography enthusiasts.
Sturdy build; Snappy UI; Vibrant IPS screen; Dual-SIM functionality; Good battery life.
Poor camera; Lacks LED flash; Slightly heavy.
Street Price: Approx Rs 11,500
Considering the popularity of budget Android phones in India, Lenovo is betting high on its P700i. This ICS handset offers 3G and dual-SIM functionality. It sports a 4" IPS screen and is powered by a 1 GHz dual-core processor. Like all the budget smartphones, the P700i looks impressive on paper, but whether it delivers in the real world scenario is what matters. So, let's find out if it's a run-of-the-mill Android device, or really worth your hard earned money.
Design And Build
The P700i isn't quite a head turner, but at least looks different than the most budget Android phones. The phone sports four UI navigation keys below the screen. The handset's back panel is slightly textured, which helps with the grip. The device is compact, so you can easily operate it with a single hand.
The phone is thick and many will find it tad heavy at 162 grams. However, I personally don't mind the additional heft since the handset is well built. After using it for around a week, I can assure you that this handset can withstand a few drops. The one thing I'd like to change here is the P700i's protruding camera lens, which not only looks odd but increases the phone's thickness for no good reason.
The P700i's 4" IPS screen has pixel dimensions of 800x480. Considering its price, the display's brightness and colour reproduction is very good. I found the viewing angles to be wide and sunlight legibility wasn't bad either. The only gripe I have here is that the display isn't protected by a scratch-resistant glass.
The phone is powered by an MTK 6577 chipset that packs in a dual-core 1 GHz Cortex A9 CPU and PowerVR SGX531 GPU. It has 512 MB of RAM, 4 GB internal storage, microSD card slot, 5 megapixel camera, and 2500 mAh battery. The detailed specs can be found at the end of this article.
UI And Performance
The P700i features Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with Lenovo's custom skin on top of it. The customization is quite deep and everything from the app launcher to web browser looks different. The menu icons are rounded, much like what we see on Symbian platform.
The launcher widget features five zones (shortcuts), which provide quick access to select apps. You can personalise this widget and add your favourite apps here. This is a welcome addition, inspired by Lenovo's IdeaPad tablets.
Thanks to the well optimized software, swiping across the five homescreens is smooth. However, occasional performance hiccups start popping up when you start multitasking. The browser isn't very fast at rendering pages, but offers smooth scrolling. The manufacturer has thrown in the Lenovo Note app, which allows you to scribble and doodle on your phone. In terms of gaming, the phone can run popular games such as the Temple Run and Fruit Ninja. But don't expect it to run newer graphics intensive games without the odd stutter.
All in all, considering its price, the P700i offers decent performance. If you care about synthetic benchmarks, the handset scored 6390 in AnTuTu. To put things in perspective, the similarly priced Sony Xperia miro has scored 3900 in the same test.
The P700i's default music player looks completely drab. All is not lost though, as the phone offers decent sound quality through earphones. Moreover, you get plenty of equaliser and sound settings to play with. The video player supports 720p MP4 and 3GP files out of the box. DivX and XviD files can be played using third-party apps such as MXPlayer.
The phone offers a 5 megapixel autofocus camera with dedicated shutter button. Since it lacks a flash, low light photography is out of question. In well-lit environments, the colour reproduction is quite decent. However, the noise level is beyond acceptable. So, if you like photography, stay away from this handset. Click here, to check view the unedited sample. In terms of video recording, the handset can capture 480p 3GP videos at 25 fps. The quality of resulting clips is disappointing.
Telephony And Messaging
Since this is a dual-SIM dual standby device, the P700i offers SIM management settings. After using it for almost a week, I found no issues with the handset's network reception or call quality. On the other hand, typing on the onboard keyboard is a pain. Therefore, if you're planning to write a long message, better switch to the landscape keyboard.
Battery And Verdict
The P700i packs in a 2500 Li-Ion battery. In our video loop test, it lasted for around 7 hours. On a normal work day it easily lasts for a day and half.
Priced at around Rs 12,000, the Lenovo P700i offers pleasant ICS experience, impressive build quality, dual-SIM functionality, and impressive battery life. The camera flash is sorely missed, and the image quality too is disappointing. Still despite these niggles, the P700i is a good dual-SIM Android phone for the price — much better than the similarly priced Sony Xperia miro and HTC Desire C.
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
- 4" IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen with 480x800 pixels.
- 1 GHz dual- core MTK 6577 chipset,, 512 MB of RAM.
- 5 megapixel autofocus rear camera, Front-facing VGA camera.
- 4 GB internal storage (1.8 GB user available), MicroSD card slot.
- Dual-SIM (GSM) functionality, One slot supports 3G.
- Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Micro-USB port, A-GPS, FM radio.
- Accelerometer, Proximity sensor.
- Available colours: Dark Blue, White
- Li-Ion 2500 mAh battery.
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