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Lenovo P780 Review: Insane Battery Life with a Premium Build

It's the Lenovo P780!
It’s the Lenovo P780!

Full Review: Lenovo P780

Out of all the smartphone series of Lenovo, we’ve always been a fan of and loved the “P” (Professional) series. The smartphones in this line have always been about staying power, aka long battery life. We liked the Lenovo P700, loved the P770, and now we’re head over heels crazy about the Lenovo P780! Just like the previous two models, the P780 delivers outstanding and almost insane levels of battery life with no major compromises. If you’re looking for a smartphone that can go the distance, you seriously have to put this device near the top of your list.

We’ve been using one for the last week for the purpose of his review and we’d like to share with you guys how it fared in our tests. For starts let’s quickly go over the specs again.

Lenovo P780 Spec Sheet

  • 1.2GHz MTK 6589W Quad Core Cortex A7 Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB Internal Storage, Expandable up to 32GB via microSD Card
  • 5.0-inch HD 720P IPS Display
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 8.0-megapixel primary camera with auto focus and LED Flash
  • VGA secondary camera
  • 3G, HSPA+, WiFi Hotspot, WiFi, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS with aGPS, FM Radio
  • USB On-the-Go
  • 4,000mAh Battery
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2
  • SRP: Php13,999

Yep, that’s a 4,000mAh battery right there. Delicious.

Hardware: Not too thick, looks great, feels even better to hold!

The Lenovo P780 features a partially premium metallic build that you rarely find in smartphones these days. Most of the time manufacturers tend to favor an all plastic chassis. The back plate of the Lenovo P780 is very similar to the aluminum brushed metal finish of the Lenovo K900.

Metallic back FTW
Metallic back FTW
Covered micro USB port
Covered micro USB port

It’s also a rather big device as it sports a 5.0-inch display. The front panel is dominated by the big screen with three capacitive buttons at the bottom. On the sides are the ports, controls, and buttons. What we found kinda weird though was that the micro USB port was covered (you have to open mini door to access). It’s probably an aesthetic decision more than anything since this isn’t a waterproof or water resistant device.

In terms of form factor, the Lenovo P780 is not the thinnest or lightest smartphone in the block. In all honesty it has some heft to it but it’s a huge improvement over the previous models. You’ll probably feel the weight after prolonged use but that’s okay since the phone will last you days before needing a charge, hehe.

Not too thick but not thin either. Just right.
Not too thick but not thin either. Just right.

Moving on to the front, the Lenovo P780 features an HD 1280×720 IPS display. The quality and brightness of the colors reminds us again of the Lenovo K900. It might not be Full HD but it’s still beautiful. Images, icons, and text all pop-out pretty well. Lenovo has definitely made major strides not just in the design of their hardware but also with their screen and display technologies. Definitely applaudable and worth noting. It’s a far cry from the displays they first shipped with their initial products, hehe.

Over-all when it comes to the hardware we’re okay with the P780. It’s a premium looking and solid smartphone that has a big 5-inch high quality display. Sure it’s not the thinnest or lightest but that’s it doesn’t reach the point where it’s hard to use or a pain. It’s just right in our opinion.

Software: Can be jittery at times but for the most part lag-free

Antutu
Antutu

The Lenovo P780 runs on a quad-core MediaTek processor. It delivers the usual quad-core MediaTek score on Antutu which is around 13,000. Translated into real life usage you basically get a minimally laggy Android experience. It’s not totally lag free especially since the custom UI of Lenovo is quite heavy. The delays usually appear when you’re switching in between apps or when you’re going back to the home page from a graphics and RAM intensive application (there’s a delay before the widgets appear, not totally seamless).

Some issues with multi-tasking
Some issues with multi-tasking

Speaking of Lenovo’s custom Android ROM, the P780 has several great widgets which include task managers, RAM manager, and a nice looking calendar. They’re actually all very useful and designed well. Hopefully someone will port those widgets over to the Google Play store so that everyone can enjoy them.

Very nice calendar widget
Very nice calendar widget

You can also quickly change the theme of the Lenovo P780. Changing themes will change the design of the icons, wallpaper, and even the sound profiles. There are several generic themes pre-loaded into the device. We don’t know how to download additional themes though since there’s no built-in theme store like what we saw with the smartphones of THL.

Different themes available
Different themes available
Changed it to the brick theme
Changed it to the brick theme

When it comes to apps, the Lenovo P780 can handle pretty much anything you throw at it save for several games not compatible (but you can get around this by rooting your device). We had the P780 go through our usual test apps including Dead Trigger, Bard’s Tale, and Minion Rush (lol). We noticed a longer than usual loading time but after the game fired up there was barely any slowdowns or lag. We were actually pretty impressed with how the P780 was able to handle Dead Trigger on high settings. It started to crawl though on the ultra high settings, hehe. Still best played at low-medium.

Gaming on the P780
Gaming on the P780

One thing we ended up doing often with the P780 was watching HD videos. Thanks to the long lasting battery life we could actually finish several episodes of Dragon Ball (we’ve been retro-watching anime hehe) throughout the day without needing a charge. The 5.0-inch display was a generous surface to show the content in good quality as well.

Anime Rant: By the way, to all the Dragon Ball fans out there did you know that there’s actually Super Saiyan 4? Weird. They should have kept it to 3. The level 4 Super Saiyan looks too wild and crazy, lol. Also it’s so complicated just to reach that stage. I mean turn into a monkey and then revert back into a humanoid form with monkey features? What’s up with that?

Great for watching YouTube
Great for watching YouTube

One thing we did find lacking though was the 4GB internal storage. For a smartphone priced at Php13,999, the minimum internal storage should really be 8GB. We feel shortchanged if it’s anything less than that especially since there are a lot of smartphones coming out with 8GB-16GB internal storage (expandable) at the Php12,000 price range.

Everything considered on the software side, the Lenovo P780 has more hits than misses so it definitely gets a passing grade from us. Hopefully though the next line of the P-series will have bigger internal storage and Lenovo will be able to further optimize their ROM.

Camera: Reminds us of the K900 shooter but not the same quality in low-light

We were pleasantly surprised with the capabilities of the camera of the Lenovo P780. It actually reminds us a lot of the optics of the Lenovo K900 which we were very happy with. The P780’s shooter is able to take in a lot of light well and this results to nicely captured images even in mid lighting conditions. It struggles in low-light though (images start to get noisy).

Here are some sample shots for your reference:

20131004161009

20131004162726

20131004160543

20131004211227

Nice right? Beats the crap out of “18MP” cameras of other smartphones, hehe.

Battery Life: Believe the Hype

Okay now we get to our favorite feature of the Lenovo P780 — battery life. If you manage your 3G and brightness levels well you can actually go beyond 48 hours without needing a charge. That’s over 2 days of battery life for a 5-inch smartphone. However if you go all out and fire up all the settings and jack up brightness to 100% you will still be able to finish the day with leftover battery to spare.

This is the biggest draw of the Lenovo P780 and if you’re looking for a smartphone that can keep up with you then this is truly one of the best options in the market today.

Verdict: Worry Free Smartphone Experience

It can go the distance :D
It can go the distance 😀

The insane battery life of the Lenovo P780 coupled with the fantastic hardware design and the capable performance makes it a strong and good smartphone. If you’re the type that always runs out of battery mid-day you definitely have to check this phone out. Next to the K900 this is the best offering of Lenovo so far here in the Philippines.

That said we still see points for improvement like the need to further optimize the stock Android ROM and further increasing the internal storage capacity. Hopefully the next P-series smartphone will take those upgrades into consideration (and maybe throw in LTE too hehe).

The Lenovo P780 is now out in the market for Php13,999. There are also accessories available like colored flip covers. Just check out the nearest Lenovo Mobile distributor or store near you.

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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38 Comments

      1. Sir I plan to get this but my main concern is it’s calendar. Does it sync to my google/gmail acct? I need my sked and tasks from my xperia go.

  1. You’re right sir carlo. The main problem on this phone is its internal storage which is 4gb. Which is divided in two. 2gb for internal storage(system storage) and 2gb for built in storage. Even you put 32 gb microsd, you cant install many games as you can because its internal storage is somehow 150mb free out of 2gb. Some of the data eats some storage on internal storage even though you transfer it to microsd

      1. @carlo, I agree sir now that local brands have up to par processor and maybe ram, if we want to compete with international brands they must address the internal storage and battery life.or maybe some LTE chip for their flagship phones, lte is one of the reasons why i’m still holding on to “old” korean phones like my pantech/sky vega lte

  2. Dear Mr. Opler,

    i would like to ask if you have done a review regarding on the performance-feature-apps pre-installed on CloudFone THrill 530qx and Lenovo P780: like the compass, office and so forth.

    Sir, In your most honest critic,opinion and suggestion, which of the two contesting smartphone/phablet would you choose in everyday life, as a blogger/writer/entrepreneur/businessman, fitting and in lieu of your daily activities and needs?

    Thank you so much in advance. it will help me to weight and decided which of which i’ll be investing my resources.

    Hope to hear from your good office.

    Yours truly,
    Hans Nana

  3. sir Carlo lucky for us your website is one of the websites that we can access in our office and we find your post very honest and direct. .. most of my office mates who wanted to buy android phones always check your honest critique before buying a phone. I was inspired by a mobile photographer in flicker and planing to make my own photoproject. Im eyeing on the W11 monkey king as my phone camera for this project but basing on your blog post lenovo 780 might worth the stretch of saving that I have for this project. At first i thought that the starmobile knight will do the job just fine, but the more i do my research, some phones emerge as possible candidate.

    w11 monkey king – “Front and Back are the Killer Features”

    starmobile knight – “The rear-facing one is competitive but not really that much better compared to the 12MP shooters with BSI of other smartphones.”

    skk platinum – “We will go as far as saying that the quality of the optics come very close to the THL W11 Monkey King” (which made me think buying this compare to the w11 price wise and service’s

    nokia lumia 720 – “Definitely impressive and can give higher end devices a run for their money”

    thank you in advance sir carlo.

  4. sir patanong lng po… naipit ng konti ung P780 ko… wala nmang cra pero nung nag play po ako ng music sa speaker ng phone ko sabog sabog po ung naririnig ko ano po bang solution d2 .?

  5. kind of caught in between Lenovo P780, O+ 8.15, Lenovo S820. i need a good camera, long battery life and overall build quality and expandable storage via micro sd. I am aware of some of the software quirks of the Lenovo UI..should i get one now? Or wait for the Mediatek turbos? thanks!

  6. which is better between samsung ace 3 and lenovo p780? and can give a simple reason? my main focus is using for internet.

    1. Ahm, actually, pwd ma tanggal yun battery sa P780 kaso meron nakalagay na sticker saying “Warranty will be void if removed”.. In that case, hnd pwd i removed ang battery..

  7. Just got this phone and was pretty much impressed from hardware to even the heavily laden default UI. The only thing that bummed me out was the call quality when using the supplied (and even different) headset which made me sound like I’m at the bottom of a deep dark well according to the other line (which I even confirmed to be true when I tried calling our house phone and heard the deep echo-ish distant voice of the speaker). Has anyone encountered the same issue or is it only with my device? Is there any known fix for this? Not sure if this is a hardware or software problem. Aside from that I give this phone a 4 thumbs up (including my left and right big toes lol). Sadly had to sell it off after only a day of use since I’m not really keen on using a bluetooth headset (which I haven’t tried on it), and that I use a wired headset 95% of the time when talking with my wifey.

    1. Update:

      Just called up the new owner of my phone and asked that he test the unit’s headset and bring along another headset just in case, since the phone is still under the 7 days replacement warranty. Was surprised, glad (then really disappointed that i hurriedly sold off such a good phone) to hear a really clear voice response from the other end of the call.

      My only guess is that resetting the phone to the original factory settings before handing it to the buyer might have solved the “voice coming from the bottom of a deep dark well” issue that I had when using the headset during calls. Now I want to get one again but the store where I bought it (Memoxpress) is fresh out of the unit 🙁 Hope they’ll have fresh stocks soon and with the 8gb variant but will be happy to settle with the previous 4gb one.

      Is it true, by the way, that the 8gb variant is buggy??

  8. Hi
    I am in Tanzania, I have Lenovo mobile phone P780 that I bought in Thailand in May 2014 . One It happen that the I did not recharge my phone for long time and power went off. I when I put on power my phone remained off. Up today my phone is off. I really like LENOVO P780. I need your technical advice otherwise I have to buy new one. The problem is that there is no Lenovo agent in Tanzania.

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