Posted in: Android, Featured, Hands-on, Mobile phones

Lenovo P780 review

Lenovo has been one of the biggest gainers in the smartphone market over the past couple of years. The company even did devices like the K900 and Vibe Z, showing that it’s not out of its depth in the high-end market.

Yet it’s smartphones like the recently announced P780 that Lenovo is strongest at producing. The handset brings four 1.2 GHz Cortex A7 cores along with PowerVR SGX544 GPU on a MTK6589 chipset along with a whopping 4,000mAh battery aiming to become one of the longest lasting smartphones on the market.

Retail package

The Lenovo P780 comes in standard retail box, inside which you can find the USB cable, headset, A/C adapter and some paperwork, as well as the nice surprise that is the USB-host cable.


The retail package of Lenovo P780

Design

The Lenovo P780 is built using a combination of black plastic, chrome and brushed metal that gives a premium look to the smartphone – something rather hard to find at this price point. At 176g, the P780 is certainly heavy but that also contributes to the very solid in-hand feel it gives.

On the front we have the display along with capacitive home, back and settings buttons right below it. There is a secondary camera located on top. The power button, 3.5mm audio jack and the USB port is designed at the top of the smartphone.


The front panel • top of the device

The volume rocker on the right side is the only other physical buttons on the device after the power key.


The volume rockers

The back of the smartphone is where we see the 8 megapixel sensor with LED flash and a microphone pinhole for noise cancellation. The speaker grille is placed at the bottom right corner. Underneath the back panel lies the gigantic non-removable battery as well as the three card slots – two for SIM cards and one for microSD card.


The back panel • SIM-card slots

Display

Lenovo P780 sports a 5-inch IPS LCD display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. The numbers add up to 294 ppi pixel density, which is quite sharp by any standards and you will have a pretty hard time telling individual pixels apart.

Better yet, the 720p panel on the P780 offers great colors, so the overall image quality is quite good. Sadly the display is very reflective and the viewing angles are not that great, so it lack the high-end vibe of the best screens out there, where icons look as if painted on the glass.

User Interface

Lenovo P780 is powered by the Android 4.2.1 Jelly Bean OS and comes with a few cool software tweaks. The quad-core CPU along with 1 GB of RAM helps the device run smoothly, although we encountered the occasional lag.


The home screen • App gallery

The first interesting bit of home-backed software that the Lenovo P780 brings is the power management app that aims to enhance battery life. You can always customize the settings to match your needs, but the pre-defined power saving modes actually works pretty well.


Lenovo Power saving app

The lock screen, music and the movie players look and behave very similar to their stock Android counterparts. The notification drop down menu has a wide range of settings, but lacks the quick toggle shortcuts, which is less than ideal for usability.


The notification drop down • Settings menu

The camera on the back has an 8 megapixel sensor and a very simple interface with the settings grouped into three categories – Basic, Advanced and Others. You can also add lens effects, magic effects and color effects before or after you capture images.


Camera interface

Lenovo P780′s camera also has the ability to shoot images in burst, night portrait, HDR, panorama, low light, micro and a few other modes.


Different shooting modes

Synthetic Benchmarks

We decide to take the Lenovo P780 for a spin and stack it up against some of the other smartphones we’ve reviewed to find out more about the raw power of its chipset.

The first challenge was when we put the single-core performance to a test with the Benchmark Pi. As we expected, the P780 found itself in the middle of the mid-range club.


Benchmark Pi

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    166
  • Sony Xperia Z
    264
  • HTC Butterfly
    266
  • Oppo Find 5
    267
  • HTC One X+
    280
  • LG Optimus G
    285
  • HTC One mini
    293
  • Samsung Galaxy Express
    346
  • Sony Xperia M
    400
  • Lenovo P780
    407
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    409
  • Sony Xperia L
    435
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    488
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    499
  • Sony Xperia go
    543
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    554
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    578
  • HTC Desire X
    639
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    800
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    831

Next up was the AnTuTu benchmark that aims to show the overall performance of the device. The result reveals that the smartphone is punching well above its weight and matches some far pricier offerings.

AnTuTu

Higher is better

  • HTC One
    22678
  • Sony Xperia Z
    20794
  • Oppo Find 5
    15167
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    14518
  • Lenovo P780
    13611
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    13216
  • HTC Butterfly
    12631
  • HTC One mini
    11434
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    11203
  • Sony Xperia M
    9902
  • Sony Xperia L
    9746
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    9140
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    7408
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    6650

We then had the PowerVR SGX544 GPU sweating at the Epic Citadel test. Lenovo P780 managed to come up with some respectable score that is on par with 2012 flagship smartphones.

Epic Citadel

Higher is better

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    59.8
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    57.1
  • HTC One
    56.4
  • HTC One mini
    56
  • Sony Xperia Z

    55.6
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    55.5
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    54.7
  • Nexus 4

    53.9
  • Asus Padfone 2

    53.4
  • Sony Xperia M
    53.2
  • LG Optimus G

    52.6
  • Lenovo P780

    44.1
  • Samsung Galaxy S III

    41.3
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    34.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    24.9

Last up was the web browsing performance of the Lenovo P780. And, the smartphone again finds itself in the middle of the pack with a score of 1452.

Vellamo

Higher is better

  • Sony Xperia SP
    2497
  • HTC One
    2382
  • HTC One mini
    2252
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2189
  • Samsung Galaxy S4
    2060
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    2019
  • HTC Butterfly
    1866
  • Sony Xperia M
    1800
  • Sony Xperia L
    1640
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    1572
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1568
  • LG Optimus G
    1522
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    1471
  • Lenovo P780
    1452
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1366
  • Nexus 4
    1310
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1234
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1072
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1065

Camera

We took a few samples from the 8 megapixel sensor of the Lenovo P780. The color rendering was very accurate, but that was one of the few good things we can say about the images. Noise levels are rather high, while the fine detail is rather limited and so is dynamic range.


Camera samples

Battery Test

The 4,000mAh battery in the Lenovo P780 is among the biggest we have seen in a smartphone so far. The ample juice pack just begged to be put through its paces. We weren’t disappointed, as the P780 offers amazing endurance and became the new champ, topping our web browsing and video playback charts.

The Lenovo P780 dethroned the LG G2 with 15 hours and 23 minutes of web browsing, while the Motorola RAZR MAXX, which held the throne for ages now bowed down to the new king, who managed 17 hours and 46 minutes of video playback.

Web browsing

  • Lenovo P780
    15:23
  • LG G2
    11:22
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    11:20
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini duos
    10:10
  • BlackBerry Q5
    10:04
  • HTC One
    9:58
  • Apple iPhone 5
    9:56
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    9:47
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    9:12
  • Apple iPad mini
    9:05
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    9:05
  • ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
    9:03
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    8:51
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    8:48
  • BlackBerry Q10
    8:42
  • Nokia Lumia 810
    8:20
  • Asus Padfone 2
    8:20
  • Moto X
    8:17
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    8:17
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    8:17
  • HTC One mini
    8:12
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    8:01
  • HTC One X+
    7:56
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    7:42
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    7:38
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    7:37
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    7:35
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    7:24
  • Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue
    7:23
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    7:23
  • HTC Radar
    7:17
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    7:15
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 GPE
    7:13
  • LG Optimus GJ
    7:11
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    7:10
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos
    7:09
  • Samsung Galaxy Express
    7:09
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    7:07
  • Motorola RAZR i
    7:06
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    6:58
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    6:56
  • Samsung I8262 Galaxy Core
    6:54
  • HTC One V
    6:49
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    6:40
  • Samsung I9105 Galaxy S II Plus
    6:40
  • Sony Xperia L
    6:40
  • HTC Droid DNA
    6:40
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    6:40
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    6:40
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    6:40
  • Sony Xperia Z
    6:37
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    6:35
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    6:34
  • HTC Desire 500
    6:31
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    6:30
  • BlackBerry Z10
    6:27
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    6:27
  • HTC Butterfly
    6:24
  • Sony Xperia SP
    6:18
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    6:15
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    6:13
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    6:04
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    6:01
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    5:59
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    5:56
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    5:55
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    5:53
  • Pantech Burst
    5:51
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    5:50
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    5:45
  • HTC Desire V
    5:44
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE
    5:41
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    5:40
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    5:34
  • Oppo Find 5
    5:33
  • Sony Xperia T
    5:33
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    5:33
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    5:28
  • Samsung Galaxy Note LTE
    5:24
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    5:23
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    5:23
  • HTC Sensation XL
    5:20
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    5:19
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    5:17
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    5:16
  • HTC Rezound
    5:16
  • HTC Desire X
    5:16
  • LG Optimus G
    5:15
  • HTC Rhyme
    5:08
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    5:07
  • HTC One X (AT&T)
    5:03
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    4:50
  • LG Optimus Vu
    4:49
  • HTC Vivid
    4:46
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    4:45
  • Meizu MX
    4:35
  • Google Nexus 4
    4:34
  • Nokia N9
    4:33
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    4:32
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    4:24
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    4:24
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    4:20
  • HTC One X
    4:18
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4:14
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    4:10
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T
    4:10
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    4:07
  • HTC Titan II (LTE)
    4:05
  • HTC One S
    4:03
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    4:02
  • LG Nitro HD
    4:00
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    3:59
  • Sony Xperia P
    3:59
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    3:51
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    3:50
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    3:47
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    3:35
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    3:23
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    3:01

Video playback

  • Lenovo P780
    17:46
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX (ICS)
    16:35
  • Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
    14:17
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    13:12
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini
    13:12
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 mini duos
    12:52
  • Apple iPad mini
    12:51
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    12:51
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 GPE
    12:32
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (S600)
    12:30
  • BlackBerry Q5
    12:28
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    12:18
  • LG G2
    11:51
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 (Octa)
    11:29
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II N7100
    11:27
  • BlackBerry Q10
    11:15
  • Apple iPhone 5
    10:12
  • HTC One
    10:02
  • Moto X
    10:01
  • Samsung Galaxy Express
    10:00
  • Samsung I9105 Galaxy S II Plus
    10:00
  • Nokia 808 PureView
    9:53
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    9:42
  • Samsung Rugby Smart I847
    9:34
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    9:30
  • HTC One S
    9:28
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III (JB)
    9:27
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    9:24
  • HTC Evo 4G LTE
    9:07
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    8:45
  • BlackBerry Z10
    8:44
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    8:40
  • Nokia N9
    8:40
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    8:34
  • HTC Butterfly
    8:28
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    8:25
  • LG Optimus GJ
    8:15
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Duos
    8:11
  • HTC One X+
    8:11
  • Motorola RAZR i
    8:11
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    8:00
  • Samsung i937 Focus S
    7:55
  • Samsung Wave 3 S8600
    7:52
  • HTC Desire 500
    7:50
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    7:46
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia neo V
    7:45
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    7:41
  • Asus Padfone 2
    7:38
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    7:38
  • Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G
    7:33
  • Samsung I8262 Galaxy Core
    7:30
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    7:30
  • HTC Droid DNA
    7:30
  • Samsung Galaxy Note LTE
    7:30
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    7:30
  • Sony Xperia SP
    7:27
  • HTC One mini
    7:23
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    7:23
  • LG Optimus G
    7:16
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 Active
    7:03
  • ASUS Nexus 7 (2013)
    7:03
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    6:55
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    6:49
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    6:43
  • Huawei MediaPad 7 Vogue
    6:40
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    6:33
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    6:32
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    6:29
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    6:27
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    6:27
  • Nokia Lumia 810
    6:27
  • HTC Desire V
    6:26
  • HTC One X (AT&T)
    6:26
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    6:25
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace Duos
    6:25
  • Gigabyte GSmart Maya M1 v2
    6:24
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    6:23
  • LG Optimus Vu
    6:23
  • Samsung I9103 Galaxy R
    6:21
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    6:19
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    6:12
  • HTC Sensation XL
    6:12
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    6:06
  • Samsung Captivate Glide
    6:04
  • Sony Xperia ion LTE
    6:03
  • Samsung Galaxy Nexus
    6:02
  • Sony Xperia T
    6:01
  • Motorola Atrix HD
    6:01
  • HTC Vivid
    6:00
  • HTC Radar
    5:54
  • Nokia Lumia 800
    5:52
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    5:50
  • HTC Titan II
    5:50
  • BlackBerry Bold 9790
    5:47
  • HTC One X
    5:45
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro
    5:44
  • Sony Xperia Z
    5:39
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    5:38
  • HTC Desire X
    5:38
  • Pantech Burst
    5:38
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    5:28
  • Meizu MX
    5:27
  • HTC Rhyme
    5:23
  • HTC One V
    5:20
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    5:18
  • Oppo Find 5
    5:18
  • Nokia Lumia 900 for AT&T
    5:18
  • BlackBerry Curve 9380
    5:09
  • HTC Rezound
    5:03
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    5:02
  • Google Nexus 4
    4:55
  • Sony Xperia L
    4:44
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    4:30
  • Sony Xperia P
    4:30
  • LG Nitro HD
    4:17
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    4:14
  • LG Optimus 3D Max P720
    3:28
  • Nokia Lumia 710
    3:27

Conclusion

Already available in several markets, the Lenovo P780 is certainly a very interesting offering with its $306 price tag. It’s not quite the perfomance powerhouse but its quad-core processor and a capable GPU are just enough to ensure a smooth overall user experience and that’s enough for the mid-range market.

However, the standout feature is definitely the gigantic 4,000mAh battery, which topped our all-time chart in both tests we ran.

Unfortunately while the hardware specs are more than reasonable for the price, the software running on the P780 comes with a fair share of bugs that often affect the real-performance of the device. As long as Lenovo corrects that with timely patches and updates, it might have a real winner on its hands.

Because at the end of the day, Lenovo P780 hardware does more than enough to justify the price tag it comes at. With a premium design, one of a kind battery, a very decent screen and dual-SIM capabilities it’s got more than enough character for a mid-ranger.

Pros

• Premium build
• Good display for its range
• micrSD card slot
• Impressively long-lasting battery

Cons

• Only 2.14 GB of user- available memory
• Sluggish real life performance, despite decent benchmark scores

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