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Lenovo A7000 Review: Solid Bang For The Buck Contender

Lenovo A7000 08

We review the Lenovo A7000!

Today we’ll be going in depth with Lenovo’s A7000, their own interpretation of the bang of the buck phone. The A7000 joins its rivals like the Alcatel Flash Plus, Meizu M1 Note and Huawei Honor 4X in the crowded low mid-range market. Does the A7000 have what it takes to differentiate itself from the crowd?

Lenovo A7000 specs

  • 1.5GHz MediaTek MT6752m octa-core processor
  • 2GB RAM
  • 5.5-inch IPS HD display, 1280 x 720 resolution
  • 8GB of storage expadable via microSD up to 32GB
  • 8-megapixel rear camera
  • 5-megapixel front camera
  • Dual-SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS
  • 2,900mAh battery
  • Dolby ATMOS surround sound
  • Android 5.0 Lollipop

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A simple, no frills design

Lenovo’s approach to the design of the A7000 can be summed up in a few words: function over form. There’s no fancy curves or cutouts here, no attempt to make a meaningful design statement: Lenovo essentially took a 5.5-inch display, wrapped a plastic case around it and called it a day. But as spartan as the design is, it’s still strangely elegant as there’s beauty in simplicity, after all, and the phone is quite comfortable to hold in your hands and to use one handed.

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The A7000 isn’t completely devoid of style though – we like the flat matte back, as well as the subtle metallic styling on the physical keys on the right side of the device. Lenovo moved all of the relevant ports and connectors to the top of the A7000. Oddly enough, the speaker grille is on the back, near the top of the phone which is unusual as far as speaker placement goes.

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Unlike most of the other bang for the buck phones that it is competing with, the A7000 features a removable back panel AND a removable 2900mAh battery. This means folks have the option of replacing the A7000’s battery themselves if it ever becomes a problem and can buy extra batteries for emergencies when a plug or a powerbank isn’t available.

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While Lenovo opted for a more spartan design, they’ve poured the money saved from that to the phone’s display. The A7000 has one of the best looking HD panels that we’ve seen in a bang for the buck phone. It has excellent color reproduction, good contrast overall and a very vivid display. The A7000 has the best looking display in its price category next to the Meizu M1 Note. Probably the only thing that we’re going to hit the A7000 is its capacitive navigation keys that don’t light up, making the phone a pain to use in the dark.

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Much like its other rivals, the A7000 uses a custom UI layered on top of Android, dubbed the Vibe UI. Lenovo’s implementation of their overlay is clean, pleasing to the eyes and is geniunely useful.

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Fast, efficient processor

The Lenovo A7000 is one of the many phones currently out in the market that sports MediaTek’s 64-bit MT6752M octa-core processor. It’s the same processor that runs on its main rival, the Flash Plus, and is paired with the same amount of RAM. Unsurprisingly the A7000 managed to score high marks in AnTuTu, and is capable of plowing through most Android games with ease, even graphically intensive ones. It’s safe to say that the A7000 is a thoroughbred, and will make short work of any and all Android apps out there.

The A7000’s main claim to fame is the Dolby Atmos technology that the company infused the phone with. Lenovo promises that users will be able to get an immersive, surround sound experience in the A7000. The truth is that the technology is simply an equalizer app within the phone that increases the overall sound of whatever you’re listening to. This is great for some games, videos and music, though bass heavy content naturally won’t mix well with the sound experience. The app also only works if you have headphones plugged in the device.

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Camera is a bit of a disappointment

Just like the Alcatel and their Flash Plus, Lenovo had to cut corners somewhere in the A7000 to get the right blend of performance and price. And just like Alcatel, they’ve done the cutting in the A7000’s camera. The 8-megapixel camera is good enough when it comes to brightly lit scenes, but image quality degrades quickly when you’re confronted with less than ideal lighting.

Great battery life

If there’s one thing that continually surprises us with MediaTek’s new MT6752M processor, its how efficient it is when it comes to battery. The Alcatel Flash Plus managed to rock our socks off with an amazing 2 days of battery life, and the Lenovo A7000 achieves similar numbers: with moderate use, the A7000 is capable of achieving close to two days of battery life on a single charge. The Alcatel Flash Plus manages to get better numbers out of sheer, brute force since it has a bigger battery. Overall we’re impressed with the battery life of the A7000 and MT6752M equipped phones overall.

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Verdict: A solid, bang for the buck phone that you need to seriously consider

Lenovo’s A7000 will always be saddled with unavoidable comparisons to Alcatel’s Flash Plus. It’s understandable, as both play in the same category – bang for the buck Android phones with excellent spec sheets and aggressively low pricing. Both phones have strengths and weaknesses – the Flash Plus has an overall lower price and bigger storage capacity, while the A7000 has a better display and removable battery and an overall better UX. In the end, it’s up to the consumers to decide which one is better, though you will have to seriously consider the Lenovo A7000 when you’re shopping for a new phone.

The Lenovo A7000 is available through Lazada.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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4 Comments

  1. Lenovo K3 Note ($165USD = 7392.91 Philippine Peso, with TAX approx. PhP 9,500) soon to be officially available with 1 year warranty on parts and service.

    http://www.gsmarena.com/lenovo_k3_note-7147.php

    Lenovo K3 Note K50-t5

    Network
    Technology
    GSM / HSPA / LTE

    2G bands GSM 900 / 1800 / 1900 – SIM 1 & SIM 2
    3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100 TD-SCDMA 1880 / 2010
    4G bands LTE band 1(2100), 3(1800), 7(2600), 38(2600), 39(1900), 40(2300)
    Speed HSPA, TD-SCDMA, LTE, TD-LTE
    GPRS Yes
    EDGE Yes

    Launch
    Announced 2015, March
    Status Available. Released 2015, March

    Body
    Dimensions 152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm (6.01 x 3.00 x 0.31 in)
    Weight 150 g (5.29 oz)
    SIM Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)

    Display
    Type IPS capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
    Size 5.5 inches (~71.7% screen-to-body ratio)
    Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~401 ppi pixel density)
    Multitouch Yes
    – Lenovo Vibe 2.5

    Platform
    OS Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
    Chipset Mediatek MT6752
    CPU Octa-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A53
    GPU Mali-T760MP2

    Memory
    Card slot microSD, up to 32 GB
    Internal 16 GB, 2 GB RAM

    Camera
    Primary 13 MP, 4128 x 3096 pixels, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
    Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
    Video 1080p@30fps
    Secondary 5 MP

    Sound
    Alert types Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones
    Loudspeaker Yes
    3.5mm jack Yes

    Comms
    WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, hotspot
    Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, LE
    GPS Yes, with A-GPS, GLONASS
    Radio FM radio
    USB microUSB v2.0

    Features
    Sensors Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
    Messaging SMS(threaded view), MMS, Email, Push Mail, IM
    Browser HTML5
    Java No
    – Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
    – MP4/H.264 player
    – MP3/WAV/eAAC+/FLAC player
    – Photo/video editor
    – Document viewer

    Battery
    Li-Po 3000 mAh battery
    Stand-by Up to 750 h (3G)
    Talk time Up to 36 h (3G)

    Misc
    Colors Yellow, White

  2. I’m beginning to look at A7000 as the better buy than the Flash Plus. Lollipop, removable batt and the freebies, although it would have better if it came with king-kong glass out of the box already. Atmos is not really a deal for me – it’s just software. An audio chip, like a Yamaha, would really make it super attractive.

  3. The only features that remains for the Flash Plus that I’m attracted to is the CG OGS screen and dual LTE. If only Alcatel is bringing out the Gold version, then it becomes a no contest for me – i’ll buy the Flash Plus. Funny how color becomes the final straw in the decision. Yo Alcatel, out the GOLD one now!

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