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Lenovo S920 Review: Graceful, Slender, and Elegantly Built Phablet

It's the Lenovo S920!
It’s the Lenovo S920!

Full Review: Lenovo S920

The Lenovo S920 is the best looking 5.3-inch smartphone/phablet in the market today. The subtle and ergonomic curves combined with the solid and compact build plus the crazy thin profile really makes it standout in a market segment dominated by big and clunky devices. It’s one of those devices that you’ll just let out a “wow” when you pick it up for the first time after unboxing.

We’ve been using a review unit courtesy of the great people from Lenovo Mobile PH and today we’re going to share with you guys our full take on this modelesque phablet. Before anything though let’s quickly run over the specifications once again to refresh our memories.

Lenovo S920 Spec Sheet

  • MTK 6589 1.2 GHz Quad-Core Processor
  • 1GB RAM
  • 4GB Internal Storage, Expandable via microSD Card
  • 5.3-inches HD IPS Display, 1280 x 720 resolution with OGS Technology
  • Dual SIM, Dual Standby
  • 8.0-megapixel primary camera
  • 2.0-megapixel secondary camera
  • 3G, HSPA+, WiFi, WiFi Hotspot, FM Radio, GPS/aGPS, Bluetooth
  • 2,250mAh Battey
  • Android Jelly Bean 4.2
  • SRP: Php14,999

>>> SEE ALSO: Lenovo S920 Unboxing and Initial Review

Okay with that out of the way let’s jump right into our review!

Finely Crafted Piece of Tech

Sezzy phone!
Sezzy phone!

Like what we said at the beginning of this post, we consider the Lenovo S920 to be one of the nicest looking 5.3-inch smartphones in the market. There are several factors for this. First is the build and the quality of the materials for the body. Lenovo used a hard polycarbonate material and made it as compact as possible so that the phone feels sturdy and premium. They applied a smooth matte finish as well and used some sort of coating to make sure it doesn’t pick up fingerprints and smudges easily. Their decision to not go with the usual glossy plastic definitely paid off here.

In terms of form factor, the Lenovo S920 has curved edges making it very comfortable to hold despite the big 5.3-inch display. It’s also crazy thin which makes it every more appealing and sezzy. All the ports and buttons are neatly placed on the sides including the micro USB port which is covered by a tray.

micro USB port
micro USB port

The back plate is removable. Underneath it are the two SIM card slots, a micro SD card slot, and the battery pack.

Removable back plate
Removable back plate
Crazy thin!
Crazy thin!

Up front we have the spacious 5.3-inch screen. Bezels are quite thin so you have a lot of room for the actual screen. In terms of display quality, we have HD resolution, 1280×720. What makes it fantastic though is the use of One Glass Screen (OGS) technology. This manufacturing technique minimizes the layer in between the screen and the LED panel making the images pop out more.

So yeah, just like a model the Lenovo S920 is thin, has a gorgeous front profile and an equally alluring backside. 😛

Software: Room for improvement

Performance check!
Performance check!

The Lenovo S920 uses the typical MediaTek Quad-core processor and 1GB RAM set-up. As expected it clocked it over 13,000 on the Antutu Benchmark Test. The device can pretty much handle everything but it will have some issues with the most demanding games like Zombie Wood (especially at the later stages). Basic transitions and functions were all smooth.

With a price tag of Php14,999, the minimum processor should really be the Turbo MediaTek processor already. That additional power is enough to give a better gaming experience for the hardcore titles. If you’re not into gaming though then this shouldn’t be an issue. The only lag you’ll experience is when you have too many apps running in the background (just close the ones you’re not using).

Antutu Benchmark Score Test
Antutu Benchmark Score Test
Dead Trigger
Dead Trigger

The UI is Lenovo’s custom ROM which we’ve seen with their previous offerings. They removed the 4-icon style widget though from the older generation devices (which is okay with us since we hated that widget, hehe). There are already pre-loaded themes you can pick from if you want to change the over-all look of the UI as well. We couldn’t find a theme store built-in though so till we figure that one out we’re stuck with the themes available in the device.

The Lenovo S920 shines the most with video playback. The 5.3-inch OGS HD display together with the lightweight and thin form factor makes it an ideal portable media player! The expandable storage also gives you more space for your movies and TV series. The 5.3-inch screen is also big enough for you to enjoy the content!

Lenovo S920 Review c

The 5.3-inch display is also great for consuming other forms of media like reading eBooks and browsing the web. Text comes out crisp and clear. You can also max out the brightness should you find yourselves under direct sunlight.

Over-all the Lenovo S920 is a solid performer BUT hardcore gamers might find it a bit lacking due to use of the standard MediaTek quad-core processor over the Turbo variant. The 4GB storage might also be an issue. We think that at this price range the minimum internal storage should already be 8GB. Hopefully Lenovo takes these suggestions into consideration for their next wave of products.

Camera: Competitive

We actually didn’t have high expectations for the camera so we were pleasantly surprised to see good color reproduction and detailed images in our shots even if we shot in low-mid lighting conditions. Looks like the imaging and optics division of Lenovo Mobile is finally getting their act together, hehe. We’ve actually been seeing significant improvement eversince the venerable K900.

Here are some sample shots taken with the primary camera:

This is our cat, Rumfold. he's a Scottish Fold.
This is our cat, Rumfold. he’s a Scottish Fold.
Here's another picture of him. Ang cute niya noh? Melts away all the stress,  hehe.
Here’s another picture of him. Ang cute niya noh? Melts away all the stress, hehe.
Rufus Shinra from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children.
Rufus Shinra from Final Fantasy VII Advent Children.
Snake Eyes. Go Joe!
Snake Eyes. Go Joe!
Iron Man!
Iron Man!

It has some issues with harsh light though so it’s not yet fantastic. At least Lenovo is making progress! 🙂

Battery Life: Surprisingly Long

Another surprise was the battery life! The Lenovo S920 packs a 2,250mAh battery which we initially felt was too small given the 5.3-inch HD display and the internals. However it turns out this is enough to get you through the day. With mid-heavy usage we averaged around 9-10 hours before we needed to plug it in for charge.

To those who are buying this just remember to keep brightness levels to 30%. Only jack it up when needed. The display is still the biggest battery sucker of ’em all.

Verdict: It’s Like a Model – sezzy and pricey


If you put a lot of weight on the design and looks of your smartphone, then the Lenovo S920 is a strong contender given the modelesque build and chassis. If you’re a super techie or a hardware gamer you might want to check out other options first. While the Lenovo S920 is a great device, the processor and internal storage are both lacking given the price. If you can overlook this fact then well and good (you’re probably not a hardcore gamer). If you use your phone mostly for browsing, watching videos, browsing the web, social networking, and messaging though then this might make more sense for you. 🙂

The Lenovo S920 is now out for Php14,999.

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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