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Review: Lenovo K900 Android phone

*This review was written by TN guest writer, Ken Tamayo

As I write this, the smartphone market is currently dominated by quad-core or Octa-core phones with more RAM than you can shake a stick at. So where does a dual-core, top-of-the-line device fit? Lenovo is more than willing to show us, that it’s not the number of processor cores, but rather how efficiently the phone runs in actual use.

Enter the Lenovo K900, one of the first phones powered by an Intel Processor, the K900 is positioned to be a premium device with groundbreaking specifications all at a price that is easily affordable.

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Specifications:
OS: Android 4.2.1 Jellybean
Processor: 2.0 GhZ Intel Atom Processor (Z2580)
Graphics: PowerVR SGX544
Screen: 5.5” Full HD IPS display (1080p) with Gorilla Glass 2
Wireless: Wifi (a/b/g/n), 3G and HSPA+, Bluetooth
Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage
Connectors: Micro USB, 3.5mm Jack
Camera: 13.1 mp XMOR Camera, Wide angle 2 mp front camera
Price: Php 24,990.00 SRP

Introducing a new star
As a brand itself, Lenovo have taken over where IBM left off, literally revitalizing their flagship Thinkpad laptops as well as covering the lower end market with their excellent netbooks. When they branched in to the mobile device scene however, their offerings were a mixed bag of hits and misses, more often playing catch up with bigger brands and content with staying in the mid-level market. The Lenovo K900 aims to break them out of this mold, with it’s bold styling as well as topnotch spec sheet, the K900 is probably one of the most hotly anticipated yet underrated devices in the market today.

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Style Icon
The phone itself greets you with it’s generous 5.5” Full HD (1920×1080) IPS display, literally rivaling that of the LG Optimus G pro or GALAXY Note II, the large screen however is offset by it’s incredibly slim waistline (6.9mm) making this one of the slimmest phones available on the market to date, this in turn makes the K900 very easy to hold. Materials on the K900 are topnotch as well, you of course get that wonderful Gorilla Glass II spanning the entirety of the front, which is flanked by a very, very thin strip of polycarbonate for the chassis. Out back is a gorgeous piece of brushed stainless steel, this gives the K900 the feeling of luxury while keeping it’s weight fairly low.

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Atomic Processor
Let’s get to the juicy bits! That dual-core 2.0 GhZ Intel Atom processor, this was one of the features that stood out to me, how can a flagship phone compete with the ever growing number of quad and more core devices out there? Well to my surprise, it compares very well, the Atom handles processes much more efficiently than ARM (Snapdragon et al) or EXYNOS, it is also much more power efficient, yet performs at very much the same level as its competitors, a quick jab on AnTuTu gave me a score of 21930 marks, that’s just below the HTC ONE and GALAXY S4 but well above the Xperia Z and older phones. The K900 also runs one of the latest builds of Android to date (4.2.1) the combination of the two give the phone one heck of a performance boost, apps load with reckless abandon and task switching is blatantly effortless, in fact, I was able to run Real Racing 3 while both Despicable Me: Minion Rush and Candy Crush were all churning in the background.

Juice wizard
Power consumption is also another advantage the Atom has over the competition, with fairly heavy use (Wireless data always on, browsing the web, installing apps, candy crush, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) I was able to get a full 15 hours of use out of the 2500 mAh battery, Power Users will probably see a 5 hour drop in standby time. The K900 also comes with it’s own power saving suite called “Lenovo Power” it will automatically compute how much standby time you have and let you customize different power profiles to suit your needs.

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Connections… but no LTE, no NFC
Connectivity is not something the Lenovo K900 is shy about, it hosts your usual array of connectivity options like 3G and HSPA+ as well as Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS/A-GPS, but one glaring omission is the lack of LTE, I suspect this is because the Intel Architecture does not yet support LTE, hopefully succeeding devices will gain the support for LTE, another missing feature is NFC, again maybe the chipset doesn’t support it completely yet, which is too bad, the inclusion of it would have made this phone much more desirable.

Camera
As an avid photographer, I usually and immediately look at what camera a phone features, and this one does not disappoint, the Lenovo K900 packs the same 13.1 MP f/1.8 XMOR camera module as the Xperia Z! It is definitely one of the better 13mp shooters out there, start up time isn’t as horrendously long as the Z and capture times a quite snappy, there’s also a plethora of camera modes and filters for the discerning instagramopgrapher, as well as a burst shutter for those moments you need to capture all the action. My one gripe with the camera is that it tends to overexpose when met with high contrast situations, but other than that, it is definitely a very good camera.

Storage woes
If there was was one major flaw in Lenovo’s wunderkind phone, it’d probably be it’s decision to go for internal storage, sure, it kept the device svelte and sexy, it however sacrificed the MicroSD slot that was so vigorously advertised at first. 16GB nowadays is not much, especially with the size of apps as well as those massive 13mp photos you just took and let’s not even consider movies and music. This is however where you can put cloud storage to it’s fullest use, dropbox and other services are definitely a must with this phone.

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Conclusion
The Lenovo K900 is a dark horse in todays lineup of flagship phones, boasting sexy specs with a sexy body to boot, it will definitely serve as a poster boy (or girl) for Intel Smartphones to come. It’s a powerhouse performer using half of the processor cores that other phones need, and it exudes luxury like nobody’s business. The shortage of storage and no LTE will sway others from considering this as their main phone, but for a select few, this is more than enough for them, it’s a phone you’ll definitely love and develop an emotional attachment to, and to that I can highly recommend the Lenovo K900.

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