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Hands-on with the Lenovo K900

48

The Lenovo booth at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 is not inside one of the halls but in a marquee on the Las Vegas Convention Center's central plaza. It's also only open for press briefings which means I am one of the relatively few people who actually got their hands on Lenovo's new superphone, the K900.

At this point it is still in pre-production status and according to Lenovo will be released "sometime this year" in China where Lenovo is currently the second largest smartphone manufacturer. Three months ago the international expansion of Lenovo's cell phone business started in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Russia, but we'll have to see if and when the K900 will make it to Western European or U.S. shores.

While the Sony, Huawei and ZTE flagship phones launched at CES all offer very similar specs -- 5-inch 1080p screen and Qualcomm 1.5 GHz processors -- the Lenovo slightly diverts form this formula. At 5.5-inches the screen is slightly larger (albeit still 1080p) but more interestingly, the central processor comes from Intel, a chip maker not necessarily well-known for its mobile efforts. That said, the Intel Atom Z2580 2.0 GHz processor should make the K900 one of the fastest devices in the market when it's eventually launched. Like previous Lenovo models, the new device is running Android but it's not clear which version will be installed on the final product.

The back plate is stainless steel with polycarbonate top and bottom.
On the back you'll find a 13MP camera with Sony's Exmor RS sensor and a double-LED flash.
At 6.9mm the K900 is very thin. As with most Android phones you'll find the volume rocker on the left ...
... and the power button on the right side of the device.

The 13MP camera is on par with the rest of the top-end specifications. Images are captured on Sony's Exmor RS sensor (same as in the Xperia Z) which in combination with the fast F1.8 lens should make the Lenovo device one of the best smartphones for low-light capture. When it gets too dark, the double-LED flash should help lighten things up. The front camera offers an extra-wide viewing angle of 88 degrees (22.4mm in 35mm terms) to facilitate better group self-portraits.

The exterior materials and design match the high-end components under the hood. The phone is beautifully made, with Corning Gorilla glass 2 on the front and a mix of brushed stainless steel and polycarbonate (for maximium antenna reception) on the back. While at 162g it's fairly lightweight and at 6.9mm very thin, it's a little large for a jeans pocket. It'll fit nicely into the inside pocket of your jacket though. As mentioned above, we were looking at a pre-production unit but judging by the specification and the build quality and design, this could be one of the most interesting smartphone launches of 2013 and we're definitely looking forward to getting our hands on the finalized product.

Comments

Total comments: 48
angeljew

LENOVO K900

At 5.5 inches diagonally, the K900 dwarfs even the Galaxy Note 2, and like other devices in this half phone space, half tablet it's easy to see how this might not be ideal for every smartphone buyer. But the overall design is attractive enough, with a metallic chassis and squared-off edges. On the front is a 1080p display, which looks about as sharp and clear as you'd expect. On the inside, Intel's Clovertrail+ -- a dual-core, HyperThreaded CPU -- provides enough horsepower to keep things running smoothly, and around the back is a 13MP Sony Exmor R camera with f/1.8 aperture. On the hardware side, we came away pretty impressed.

http://www.jsxltech.com/collections/c1-cellphone-c2-brand-c3-lenovo/products/lenovo-k900

0 upvotes
windmillgolfer

Another hi-spec phone, with what, theoretically at least, should be a very good camera, can only be good for the customer - pushing prices down. At < 23mm the camera should be very good for architectural interiors, which suits me. IMO, we are still searching for the optimum screen size for a phone that supports comfortable surfing and messaging, while still being pocketable, For my, admittedly older, eyes 3" to 4" doesn't quite cut it. So, look forward to checking out the new emerging 5" and plus smart phones.

0 upvotes
baldeaglefan

With the aging population, the trend is for bigger screens and reading glasses.

0 upvotes
bodos

yeah, maybe my eyes are getting worse, but so far, I haven't noticed my finger getting bigger.
I always hated pressing 5 things at once.

0 upvotes
wakaba

Title should read: Compact cams are the walking dead, whole industry in panic.

Phones like the Nokias, Lenovos, Galaxies are death to compact cameras. Similar pic quality, faster processing, faster pictaking much better screen and much more versatile with browser, full support of skydrive, facebook etc.

Unless it has full 35mm chips, quick af and instant click, near medium format resolution and big glass to match - picquality will be too close to phone cams.

0 upvotes
Tan68
0 upvotes
Glenn D

No it won't. Phones have digital zooms, no real flash. No current cell Phone will actually match a current p+s digital. BUT, convenience far outweighs quality. It's better to have a fair image than none at all.

0 upvotes
Daniel Payne

I place my 5.3" phone in my pocket every day (Samsung Galaxy Note I), so the folks that think this is too big are typically iPhone owners with tiny 4.0 and 3.5" displays. Having used a 5.3" phone I will never regress and go back to anything smaller. The only decent images come at the widest angle, so it's OK for landscape photography but not people photography.

4 upvotes
rondhamalam

Gangnam Style
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3E7fUynrZU

0 upvotes
guest2007

i barely found a holster case for nexus 4. no way i'll be able to buy a holster for sony experia or this phablet. not putting any phone in my pockets. hope experia is smaller. need a good cam.

0 upvotes
Breitling

phone? doesn't look like, I don't need this slab in my pocket

0 upvotes
rogalxxx

at f1:1.8 this could be a nice low light shooter. any other phones that offer aperture this wide?

0 upvotes
Timmbits

with a sensor so tiny, you can call it f-whatever-you-want... it's not going to do miracles. nothing but marketing hype.

2 upvotes
CyberAngel

f1.8 is even better than the f2.0 on the Lumia 920
(but no OIS here)
Of course it matters! It always does!
What you mean is that these phone shooters are no match for a real camera - no matter the spec
then you're right
BUT
with *these* cameras Every tiny bit helps.
Agreed?

0 upvotes
Mrrowe8

Its funny to read the douchtards that mock new phones, same types that yrs ago mocked auto focus and later digital so lets punt thier dinosaur asses as valid ... Lets face facts, like it or not The camera phone is changing the way we think & see and maybe even present images as well as change the of idea of photography & this is the beginning of the end of the point and shoot camera ...all I care about how good r the images and how big can I make em !

1 upvote
KennethDante
0 upvotes
nofumble

I though ARM is more power efficient, and x86 has zero chance to get into a phone. Well, it is almost a reversal.

1 upvote
chris_j_l

This isn't the first, but almost every other attempt has sunk without trace and been swept under the carpet. Currently the number of selling Intel based phone models can be numbered on the thumbs of one hand (Razr Max), whereas ARM phone models are "just about everything else on the planet".

0 upvotes
ChapelThrill23

I don't get the attraction to phones with screens that big. It looks nice enough but it is too big. It might be a nice size for a purse but not for a pocket. It isn't that much smaller than a tablet.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm

fits nicely into a jacket inside-pocket but yeah, I would not want to carry it in my jeans pocket,

0 upvotes
Roger Nordin

I carry my 7" Android tablet (a Huawei Mediapad) in my jeans pocket WITH an additional soft protective casing on! Every day, no issue... fits both front and back pockets. So this is really slim size... sounds just about perfect (holding to 7" tablet to the ear still feels somewhat bulky, so I resort to headset during calls)

0 upvotes
systemBuilder

these phones browse the REAL web. using pinch, you often want to size the web page so it's just barely displayed in landscape mode. A larger (taller) screen is a very useful reading aid, especially if you are older and either cannot focus at 6" any more or need more light for your eyes, or both.

0 upvotes
Dmitriy Balashov

And what's the price?

0 upvotes
bodos

a premium price :D

0 upvotes
gl2k

Pretty much curious about battery endurance !!!

2 upvotes
Timmbits

We need a dislike button.
I couldn't care less about all the latest dumb phones!
When I go to the booth, or shop for plans, I'll look up what phones the carrier is offering, choose the one that meets my features and price preferences, and that's it.
We don't need dumb phone clutter on the wall of a photography site.

9 upvotes
Lars Rehm

this is connect.dpreview.com which has specifically been set up to cover mobile devices. Occasionally we will cross-post an article to dpreview.com. If you're not interested in these articles I'd recommend you simply ignore them.

20 upvotes
Juraj Lacko

We need a button to remove dumb coments as one above from Timmbits

Comment edited 43 seconds after posting
12 upvotes
Dave Oddie

Lars, would it not be possible to offer the option to the dpreview user to filter news content so it didn't include anything from the connect site? It's OK saying ignore connect cross posts but the fact they are there on DPR just pushes news more relevant to DPR users off the screen quicker. I think you need to realise Connect content is tantamount to spam for many on DPR and no one tells anyone to just ignore spam do they?

2 upvotes
Richard Butler

Dave - there's already a 'Filter news' option on the front page with an 'Advanced mode' that allows you to make your choice persistent.

5 upvotes
WellyNZ

When you read "Smartphone" in the title of this post, did it not occur to you to simply ignore it as you "couldn't care less about all the latest dumb phones"?

2 upvotes
Timmbits

OK guys, I guess I was just confused.
I thought connect.DPreview.com was ALSO about DIGITIAL PHOTOGRAPHY - I mean, it's in the name/URL an all...
So this is only about phones and tablets then?
Never about serious cameras or serious photography? Just consumer electronics gadgets?
Alright then, in that case, yes, I'll filter it out!
For sure!
It just wasn't presented in that manner - when it started it seemed this was some sort of photography social network or something of the sort.
So, now that I've "connected" with "connect", how does one "disconnect" from it? (and I don't mean the filter button on dpr)

Comment edited 12 minutes after posting
1 upvote
iip

cool!

0 upvotes
Glenn72

Too bad its not running Windows Phone 8.

0 upvotes
Dmitriy Balashov

Maybe "2.0 GHz processor" isn't enough for it.

2 upvotes
Combatmedic870

LOL!!....its a 2ghz dual core atom processor....its the most powerful processor to be in a phone!! Its essentially a PC CPU(a small one....but a pc). The snapdragon, Exynos, tegra....ect.....no where near pc performance.

1 upvote
farcanal

This phone should come with a pair of matching jeans ( custom pockets ) and a usb belt buckle :)

0 upvotes
xlynx9

Samsung's Note 2 isn't too big for jeans and this phone is smaller.

0 upvotes
Lars Rehm

Depends on your jeans I guess. I have tried the Note II and find it too big for my front pocket...but maybe it works better with really baggy pants.

1 upvote
DVT80111

You can get used to the tight fit by just leaving the phone in buzz mode.

0 upvotes
Michael Ma

I have designer-ish jeans that fits pretty snug with average sized pockets. The Note 2 still fits., doesn't stick out of my pockets. "Really baggy pants Lars?" Are you sure you weren't holding this iPad mini? To be fair, the Note 2 won't fit in pockets that don't let you insert more than just your fingers. Is that an accurate description of your jeans? I would think those jeans are the problem because they are abnormal.

1 upvote
Lars Rehm

well, let me clarify: the Note II does fit into my pocket but it doesn't feel comfortable. A typical 4.7inch device like a Nexus 4 or Galaxy S3 is pretty much the biggest I'd want to carry that way but I am aware that might vary from person to person.

0 upvotes
jkr77

Never have a problem carrying my Note2 in my jeans and no they arent "baggy". Maybe you are wearing skinny jeans? If so then thats a problem in more ways than one.
After having a phone this size I NEVER want to go back to anything smaller.

0 upvotes
utomo99

Many user need good battery life.
Many manufacturer forget about this.

and also Android need to optimize the update.
Too many update and also too big. It eats the Internet quota and also battery

1 upvote
Rexian

What phone are you talking about? This phone is large enough to have a decent battery. My Note II has awesome battery life with everything turned on.

0 upvotes
bodos

I just jizzed in my pants a little bit.

5 upvotes
aytackurtuba

Congrats Lenovo !

4 upvotes
Mike604

Stunning Device. Hope it comes to Canada.

4 upvotes
Total comments: 48
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