Lenovo has been present in the Indian smartphone market for quite sometime, but they have never had a budget smartphone, which would get instant recommendation from the consumers, experts, or reviewers. The company is hoping to change that with its A6000 smartphone by captialising on prevailing state of the smartphone market in India. Be it great specifications in an affordable pricing or flash sales or the support for 4G connectivity, Lenovo A6000 has everything that is needed to make it popular, but is it a great smartphone, is it capable of providing an all-round performance in a budget? I used the phone for the past ten days to find out. Here is my review.
I don’t expect much from the entry-level Android phones on the design front as the manufacturers tend to focus more on other components of the phone when building something in a tight budget. Lenovo has done the same with A6000, but the company has also made sure the smartphone doesn’t look like a cheap device.
The A6000 sports the usual rectangular form factor with rounded corners and a plastic body, however the lightweight design and matte back makes the phone pleasant to handle and look at. The back-cover is removable and Lenovo is offering optional coloured back panels in Red, Yellow and White colour options, if you don’t like Black.
The front of the smartphone is largely taken by the 5-inch HD display, apart from the earpiece, front camera, Lenovo logo and the capacitive Android buttons. The capacitive buttons are not backlit, which will be an issue until your thumb gets used to their location. In addition, the display cover glass is a fingerprint magnet, so it gets smudged easily.
Among the specifics, Lenovo has included the volume rocker and power button the right side. The MicroUSB port and 3.5mm audio jack are present on the top and the primary micrphone on the bottom. The left-side of the phone is clean and back houses two speakers, 8MP camera, LED flash, secondary microphone as well as Lenovo and Dolby logos. In addition, the company has strategically placed two nubs in the centre of the speaker grills, which provide necessary breathing space for the speakers when the phone is put on its back, resulting in louder sound. The sound would otherwise get muffled, like it gets in most others phones with speakers on the back.
The 720p HD display is decent and provides good colour reproduction and viewing angles. The under sun visibility is average. The touch-screen is responsive and I didn’t face any issues with the touch panel.
Lenovo has gone with Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core processor in the A6000, which is a quite capable processor like its predecessor Snapdragon 400. In addition, the company has included 1GB of RAM. The sufficient amount of RAM and a capable processor make sure that A6000 provides great performance. The phone is snappy and doesn’t lag. During my testing, the smartphone came out on top of everything that I threw at it, be it HD video playback, graphic intensive games (Dead Trigger, Asphalt 8, Riptide GP2) or multi-tasking. The phone also plays 1080p video files nicely, but not all of them. Some formats are supported, others are not.
The basic functions like Wi-Fi connectivity, web browsing, Bluetooth as well as call-quality, also worked great, however the GPS/ A-GPS (Device only mode) was never able to lock my location, except when supported with Wi-Fi and cellular networks (High Accuracy Mode).
The twin speakers present support in the A600 provide loud sound output and also support Dolby enhancements. I wasn’t able to test the 4G performance, as it is still not available in New Delhi.
On the software front, the smartphone runs on Android 4.4.4 with Lenovo’s Vibe UI. Personally, I am not a fan of Vibe UI, but most consumers won’t have any issues with it. While, I found the interface to be hampering the performance of Lenovo’s Yoga Tab 2, it is not the case with A6000.
Similar to MIUI and select other user interfaces from Chinese manufacturers, Vibe UI also keeps everything on the home-screen and there is no app drawer, however thanks to the availability of dozen of great Android launchers in Google Play, it is just a matter of minutes that you can get an app drawer.
Among the Lenovo-specific customisations, the smartphone comes with themes support (there are only two themes on-board with no option to download more) built-in security software, Lenovo’s SYNCit and SHAREit as well as customised dialler and messaging applications, as well as tweaked notifications shade. The company has also pre-loaded a number of apps as well as games on the device.
Overall, the software experience is excellent on the phone, but it would be great if Lenovo takes some cues from its subsidiary Motorola Mobility and makes the software lean and close to stock Android.
Camera/ Battery Life
Lenovo has included an 8MP camera sensor on the back of the A6000 with an LED flash as well as a 2MP front shooter. Both the cameras offer decent performance for the given price-tag. The rear camera captures nice shots with plenty of detail and vibrant colours. The front shooter isn’t bad either, but its performance offers nothing to brag about.
Lenovo A6000’s imaging performance might not be the best in class, but it won’t disappoint you.
On the battery front, Lenovo A6000 leaves little to be desired. The 2300 mAh battery on-board the A6000 provides impressive uptime and will last more than a day for moderate users and the heavy users shouldn’t any problems in lasting a day.
In our video playback test, the Lenovo A6000 lasted 5 hours and 30 minutes hours with full brightness and constant Wi-Fi.
If you are looking for an affordable budget Android smartphone, Lenovo A6000 is a great option. With the discontinuation of Xiaomi Redmi 1S, there is no smartphone under INR 7,000, which outclasses Lenovo A6000, however it is not perfect and includes some minor issues, which I have already highlighted during the course of the review. Still, Lenovo A6000 remains a great all-round budget smartphone with decent display, great performance, excellent battery and good camera.
Pricing and Availability:
Lenovo A6000 retails for INR 6,999 in the country and is exclusive to e-retailer Flipkart. Also, it is being offered as a part of flash sales, similar to Xiaomi phones and given the limited number of units being offered as a part of the flash sales, it is really hard to get right now.