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Lenovo A65 Review (Dual-SIM Android Php5,499)

Review: Lenovo A65, Dual Sim Android Smartphone

Lenovo A65 Review

The Lenovo A65 is one of the most affordable dual-sim Android smartphones in the market today. It sells for just Php5,499 and you get a smartphone running on an 800MHz CPU, Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread, and sporting a 3.5-inch screen. That’s not a bad deal any way you look at it. It’s also dual-sim, dual-standby which means you can use both sims simultaneously without the need for switching or rebooting. Looks like it was made for Pinoys right? Hehe.

Lenovo A65 Spec Sheet

  • 800MHz CPU
  • 256MB RAM
  • 3.5-inch LCD, 320×480
  • Memory expandable up to 32GB via microSD
  • 3G/2G (only one SIM can have 3G)
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, FM Radio
  • 3.2MP Camera (rear, no front)
  • Android 2.3.5 OS
  • 1500mAh battery

We’ve been playing around with the A65 for quite a while now (you can read our initial unboxing here) and we’d like to share our review.

It looks twice its price

Just like it’s bigger brother, the Lenovo P700, the A65 looks much more expensive that what you paid for it. Most smartphones in the Php5,000-Php6,000 range are usually made from some sort of cheap plastic material with a 3-inch screen. The Lenovo A65 stands out in this category because it has a 0.5-inches more to the display and it looks solid.

The glass of at the front is elegantly framed with some sort of silver metal. The Lenovo logo sits right below the screen and right under it are the physical buttons (Menu, Home, and Back). At the top you’ll find the micro-USB port, power button, and the standard headphone jack. At the side are the volume rocker and the dedicated camera shutter button. The 3.2-megapixel camera is at the back as well. The plastic back plate is removable and behind it are the SIM card slots, micro-SD slot, and the battery pack.

The screen itself is quite big considering the price. Quality is decent with a resolution of 320×480 but you’ll probably get annoyed if you’re used to smartphones with better resolution displays (pixels are obvious). Also, the color is a bit too white/bright for me even if you bring down the brightness levels as well.

Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and 256MB RAM

The A65 runs Android 2.3.5 Gingerbread and we don’t see it getting Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich anytime soon since it just has 256MB RAM. Over-all experience with the phone is pretty smooth until you start doing multi-tasking and graphics intensive applications. The phone bogs down when you run multiple apps and that’s the price you pay with just 256MB RAM. If you want a smooth ride with the A65 you better make sure you have a Task Manager app so you can kill the apps running the background which eat up the RAM. We also strongly suggest that you keep widgets to a minimum since those consume RAM as well.

For standard fare, the Lenovo A65 delivers. Social networking apps like Twitter and Facebook run on it with no problems as well as your usual casual games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope. Call quality was good for us and the stock keyboard was also easy to use (though you might want to upgrade to SwiftKey later on).

Don’t forget also that you can stuff your favorite movies, songs, eBooks, and photos into the device with abandon since the storage is expandable via micro-SD card (up to 32GB).

Killer feature: It’s an affordable dual-sim, dual standby Android smartphone

So what makes the Lenovo A65 special? At the end of the day you have a Dual-SIM Android smartphone with a 3.5-inch screen. At Php5,490 that’s a compelling offer. Lenovo also did a great job with the dual-sim, dual standby execution. Dual standby basically means you don’t have to reboot or press a button to be able to receive and send messages with the secondary SIM card. You get your messages from both sims in one inbox and when you want to send a message you can pick from which SIM card it will come from.

We heard that Lenovo has a partnership with Smart Communications for this unit and it makes a lot of sense to me especially if you take into consideration the market segment this is meant for (probably high school kids or people on a budget). You can load up SmartNet on this and enjoy social networking for free (minimum Php1 load).

Camera is “okay”


You can’t expect the best photos with a 3.2-megapixel camera but it actually works well if you take photos in good lighting environments. It’s practically worthless though if you try to take pictures in dark places (even with the flash).

We took several sample shots and we’ll upload it later (we’re having some problems with the internet as we write this entry).

Battery Life

Surprisingly the 1500mAh battery is enough to keep it powered for most of the day even with 3G on. I was very skeptical about how long I can use the A65 without charging because of the dual-SIM, dual Standby feature but it actually worked. I used this as a primary phone for a couple of days and I got standard smartphone battery life (charge in the middle of the day if heavy use, if not then it can last you till you get home).

Verdict

The Lenovo A65 has its share of flaws but you can’t expect the moon and the stars for Php5,490. What you get though is a nice-looking, feature packed, dual-sim and dual standby 3.5-inch Android smartphone. That’s a solid offer if you ask me. It’s a great upgrade for people who are still using feature phones and it’s a good first-smartphone if you’re thinking of something to give to your kids.

Lenovo is seriously on a roll with their smartphones. Hope to see more great products from them in the next few months!

Awesome.

Carlo Ople

Carlo is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Unbox.ph. During daytime he’s the Managing Director and Partner of a Digital Marketing Agency in the Philippines and by nighttime he’s living out his passion as a gadget enthusiast and story teller through Unbox.

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