The Rs 20,000 mark is an interesting one in the Indian mobile market. That’s the range at which flagship models of Indian manufacturers like Micromax and Karbonn are priced. That’s also the range where international brands like Samsung and Sony strike a value-for-money proposition with their phones. The Lenovo S860 is the newest contender for the 20k crown, but is it worth that price?
Specs: 5.3-inch IPS touchscreen (1280×720 pixels, 277 ppi) | 1.3GHz quad-core Mediatek MT6582 processor | 2GB RAM | 16GB internal memory, no microSD slot | Dual-SIM (micro SIM + micro SIM) | 8-megapixel rear camera, 1.6-megapixel front camera, 720p HD video recording | 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4, GPS | 4000mAh battery | Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean
Price: Rs 19,999
Design: The Lenovo S860 looks great and feels robust when you hold it. The metallic finish on the back makes it seem like a premium phone, especially with the unibody design. That said, it’s perhaps a little too big for most hands. Although the screen is 5.3 inches, the bezel and thickness of the phone, compounded by the rectangular shape with no rounded corners, makes it impossible to operate with one hand—and I’m a guy who can use most big phones with one hand.
Screen: At 5.3 inches, the IPS screen with its HD resolution should be good enough for most users in terms of sharpness, unless you are someone who has a particularly keen eye for detail. The optimum viewing angles are low; if you look at the screen from the side, the colours distort to their darkest shade. The bigger problem with the screen is the lack of scratch resistance, which means you will need to use a screen guard if you buy this phone—and with that on, there’s no telling how good it’s going to look or how responsive it will be to touch.
Performance: The Lenovo S860 might have 2GB of RAM and a quad-core processor, but those two still can’t handle the requirements of of the phone. On many occasions, it slowed down to a point where I had to wait a few seconds to tap the screen because my last action was still being executed—and that’s for simple things like swipe-typing fast on a keyboard rapidly switching between two apps. The performance of the S860 is just not up to the mark.
Camera: On the positive side, the S860’s camera takes sharp photos with a good amount of detail, and especially shines in accurate colour reproduction. Video recording is smooth too and the microphone does not pick up too much ambient noise. But the big negative is the autofocus. The S860 takes too long to focus on any image, but does not compensate for that by slowing down the shutter—the result is that out of every five photos I took, three were out of focus. If you are posing and taking photos, the Lenovo S860 is great. But if you plan continued…