A multimedia phablet in your budget

As phones became smarter, people found that they had more uses than just making phone calls. Today, many people use phones for surfing the internet, chatting on messenger apps, listening to songs, watching movies and playing games. To support such functions, even high-end hardware is no longer required. Lenovo realizes that there is a huge market for affordable multimedia smartphones, and has launched the Lenovo A7000 keeping this in mind.

With a large screen, a strong battery and a powerful processor, the A7000 has all the features a smartphone should have. This phablet with 5.5 inch screen is a budget smartphone and apart from this, it is the first phone in the world which has Dolby Atmos feature. Let us know about A7000 and whether it will be able to compete with other phones in its price range.

Look and Design
Looking at the Lenovo A7000, it seems that someone pulled the Lenovo A6000 from the sidelines and introduced a new model in the market. There are many similarities in the look of both the models. The edges of the A7000 are rounded and its design is also quite useful. The weight of this phone with thickness of 8mm is 140 grams. With perhaps a 5.5-inch screen, the A7000 is a great budget smartphone designed with your needs in mind.

The entire phone is made of plastic but it does not look cheap at all. We found that this phone is strong enough which means there will be less worry about rough use. The right edge of the phone houses the volume rocker and power button. These buttons are made of metal and respond well. There is a 3.5mm audio port on the top edge of the phone and also a micro-USB port. The microphones are at the bottom. The capacitive buttons are located below the screen, making them difficult to find in the dark as they are not backlit.

The earpiece, front camera and ambient light sensor are located above the screen. The primary camera and its dual-LED flash are placed on the top left side of the back of the phone. The speaker is on the right side of the back of the phone and was out of our reach while holding the phone so there is no possibility of sound blocking. However, if the phone is placed on its back, the sound will definitely become quieter. The rear cover is removable, below it is the battery, two micro-SIM card slots and a microSD card slot.

Specifications and Software
The A7000 uses a 1.5GHz octa-core MediaTek MT6752m SoC processor, which is the entry-level version of the MT6752. This SoC has integrated Mali-T760MP2 graphics. Lenovo has been generous in terms of RAM, the phone has 2 GB RAM but the internal storage is only 8 GB. Storage can be expanded up to 32 GB via microSD card, apart from this the phone also has support for USB OTG. Actually, you can charge other devices through USB OTG feature, this is a very useful feature for emergencies.

The A7000 has an 8-megapixel camera with dual-LED flash. The phone also has a 5 megapixel front camera. A SIM card can also operate on 4G networks and on the 2300MHz frequency band used in India. For connectivity, the phone also supports Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. The battery capacity is 2,900mAh.

The resolution of the phone’s 5.5-inch IPS LCD screen is 720p, with a pixel density of 267ppi. The screen is protected by Asahi’s Dragontrail glass. The saturation level of the display is not very high and it also looks crisp. Brightness and viewing angles are not that bad.

The phone works on Android 5.0 Lollipop operating system with Lenovo’s Vibe UI 3.0 skin on top. This skin does not use the app drawer. It gives users a lot of customization options and there is also a separate app for themes which makes the process easier. The notification slider and multitasking card features are based on Lollipop, with just one change. Lenovo has added the option of quick settings. Apart from Lenovo’s Shareit and Syncit apps, more preloaded apps can be removed.

Performance and camera
The A7000 is quite powerful and I never noticed any slowdown while using it. There was no problem in using multiple apps. There were no frame drops while using graphics based game Asphalt 8.

The phone scored 30,159 and 14,714 in AnTuTu and Quadrant benchmark tests respectively. On graphics benchmarks tests like 3DMark Ice Storm Extreme and GFXbench, the phone scored 22fps and 5,990 points respectively. These figures show that the A7000 is a perfect phone for gaming.

Although we did not face any problem in playing all our sample videos on the phone, we found that there was some strange problem in the 40Mbps sample. Videos of other formats with different resolutions played fine on the phone. We were extremely excited to try Dolby Atmos on the A7000, but were disappointed by the feature.

Dolby Atmos on the phone is mainly an app, which can be used for sound handling as per the need. Be it listening to music or watching a movie. In fact, it looks like a sophisticated equalizer app through which you can adjust the frequency level of the sound as per your need. We tried playing many content on the phone. There was no noticeable difference between regular stereo and Dolby Atmos during music, movies and gaming. In fact, Dolby’s own lossless demo could not run on the phone. At maximum volume level, the sound was not very loud, whether it was from the speakers or the microphone. However, it is not that bad, the sound quality is quite good.

There was no problem during the phone call. There were no dropped calls and the voice quality was also good. While the A6000 surprised us with its battery life, the A7000 performed even better. The 2900mAh battery of this phone lasted for 10 hours and 58 minutes on the video loop test. During normal use it will last for about a day and a half, which is excellent.

We had a fun experience using the A7000’s camera app. As per a budget phone, the 8 megapixel camera of this device shoots fast but the pictures are average. The daylight samples we took were underexposed and some details appeared blurry. However, colors were quite natural and there was no pixelation at full resolution. The pictures taken in low light were of no use as they looked blurry due to lack of software. Excellent selfies can be taken from the front camera. The camera failed to maintain focus while recording videos, despite having an autofocus function.

our decision
Lenovo has adopted the right strategy in terms of price range by keeping the price of A7000 at Rs 8,999. This phone is Rs 1,000 cheaper than phones like Micromax’s Yu Yureka, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G, Huawei Honor 4X and Infocus M330, which is a profitable deal for it. Lenovo A7000 is a great phone for gaming and general use.

Unfortunately, the multimedia features that were emphasized during its launch did not live up to expectations. This does not mean that Lenovo A7000 does not perform at multimedia. It’s just not as great as it was advertised to be. Overall the A7000 is a great phone and its biggest feature is the price.

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