While the Lenovo A800 has been generating the most local buzz, it isn’t the only phone that Lenovo Mobile is releasing onto our shores this month. This time, I’m turning my attention to another ICS phone in their stables: the Lenovo S720. They’re similarly sized and even share the same chipset, but the Lenovo S720 retails at Php9,999. Let’s take a look at the key specs and see if the affordability tradeoff is worth it performance-wise.
The Screen: Better Sharpness for Viewing Your Self-shots
While the displays on the Lenovo S720 and A800 are both 4.5 inch IPS units, the S720 actually has a higher qHD (540 x 960) resolution compared to the FWVGA (480 x 854) resolution on the A800. This results in a screen that is sharper than the A800, despite the similar size. The difference in pixel density might be negligible (245ppi vs 218ppi) for some, but it can subtly improve your reading and viewing experience with images, eBooks, movies and surfing the net.
The Chipset: Tried and Tested Setup
The Lenovo S720 uses the tried and tested 1GHz dual core Mediatek MT6577 chipset coupled with a PowerVR SGX531 GPU. I’m already quite familiar with this platform since it’s the same as on the Cherry Mobile Blaze that I recently reviewed. It’s a powerful yet affordable solution that is perfect for mid-range devices like the S720. However the Lenovo A800 also makes use of the same chipset and GPU, and since the Lenovo S720 sports a higher resolution, expect it to be a teeny bit more sluggish compared to the A800 in synthetic benchmarks. Something like that won’t be that noticeable in real life usage though
Imaging: A Boost to Megapixels, Plus a Front Camera Too
While the Lenovo A800 is a solid phone on its own, there had to be some compromises to keep its price down to compete with similar phones from local brands. One such compromise was the lack of an LED flash for the rear camera, along with a nonexistent front camera. The Lenovo S720 addresses these shortcomings by adding an LED flash and even boosting the camera from a 5mp unit to an 8mp autofocus snapper. It also manages to add a 1mp front-facing camera for self portraits and video calls through Skype and the like. While megapixels aren’t the only factor when it comes to image quality, the S720 does at least have the potential to capture more detail because of the increased megapixel count.
The Color Scheme: Targeting the Fashion-conscious Crowd
Most smartphones these days come in black, while some have an option to go for the more fashionista-friendly white. Sure, there are some smartphones that come in a range of colors, but those are mostly entry-level handsets that target students and young professionals. The Lenovo S720 is different in that it comes in Hot Pink and Bright White. Ironically enough, the Bright White version is the one that stands out less as the Hot Pink S720 really does grab attention because of its size and sheer pinkness. It’s a curious choice for Lenovo not to have offered a black variant, but it can also be an advantage. There aren’t that many higher end smartphones that not only target the female or fashionista crowd, but also sport large screens, after all.
Is it a Buy?
So should you buy it? If you belong to the female population or are a more fashion-conscious individual looking for a gadget/accessory that allows you to stand out, the Lenovo S720 makes for a compelling buy over the likes of the iPhone 5 and other sleek flagships simply because you don’t have to pay as much. And it still retains a certain level of performance that is expected from a high end phone. It might not be able to compete well with similarly-specced phones from local brands, but that’s not its job anyway. That job belongs to the A800. The Lenovo S720 is an affordable and fashionable option for those who want to be able to stand out without necessarily paying Php20-30K.
Lenovo S720 Specifications
- 4.5 inch qHD (540 x 960, 245ppi) IPS display, 5-point multitouch
- Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich
- 1GHz dual core Mediatek MT6577 CPU
- PowerVR SGX531 GPU
- 512Mb RAM
- 4Gb ROM, expandable up to 32Gb via MicroSD
- 8mp autofocus rear-facing camera with LED flash, 1.3mp front-facing camera
- Bluetooth 2.1, WiFi b/g/n
- 3G up to HSDPA 7.2Mbps
- FM Radio
- Motion/Proximity/Ambient Light Sensors
- Micro USB port
- 3.5mm headset jack
- 2,000mAh battery
- Price: Php9,999