With the prices of phones getting more premium and people getting less reluctant to pay for them, the budget segment is something that many companies might not invest in. But, there, still, exist some phones in the budget and entry-level devices. And how much sense does this kind of phones make in 2019? Well, it remains to be seen. And so, the Lenovo A5s is a recent launch that has a price tag of less than $100, making it an entry level device. So, what does this phone bring to the table? And does it make sense to get a phone of this kind today? We tried to find out in this Lenovo A5s review.
Lenovo A5s Specifications:
- Design: Plastic design with glossy finish, removable back
- Display: 5.45″ IPS LCD, HD+ resolution (1440 x 720 pixels)
- Rear Camera: 13 MP, Normal mode, HDR
- Selfie Camera: 13 MP, Normal Mode, HDR
- CPU: Quad-core MT6761 Helio A22 chipset
- GPU: PowerVR GE8300
- RAM: 2 GB
- Storage: 16 GB onboard, expandable up to 128 GB via microSD
- Battery: Removable 3100 mAh
- Price: Rs.12,500
In terms of design, the Lenovo A5s looks like a typical budget phone of today – with bezels and a chin. It has a plastic body with a glossy finish, which makes it look good, actually. It does not look like a budget phone at first glance. You’ll only know that this is a budget phone because of its small size, and the single camera at the back.
Plus, there is a weight to consider. This phone is very light on the hands, and since it is small in size, it is comfortable to hold as well. The glossy back will attract some fingerprints and smudges, but at this point, that’s nothing new in any kind of phones. The frame is metal, so, it can handle small drops and impacts. The back is removable and you can access the removable battery, Dual SIM, and a memory card. Overall, the design is appealing, considering this is a budget phone.
The display here is a 5.45” IPS LCD panel with HD+ resolution and an 18:9 aspect ratio. There are considerable bezels all around the device, but that doesn’t make the phone look unappealing.
The HD+ resolution on a display this size looks good enough. There is no visible pixelation. The viewing angles look good. Colors are not as punchy, neither do they stand out, but there is not much you can complain about this. It is bright enough to use under sunlight and harsh lighting, and there is a presence of adaptive brightness feature as well.
So, overall, it is an okay display.
Performance, Software, and Storage
The performance is the part which is make or break for budget phones. This phone packs a modest quad-core Helio A22 chipset. Paired with 2 GB RAM, the performance is as expected from this one.
Day to day tasks can run okay, but apps like Messenger, Instagram and YouTube can take a while to open up. Multi-tasking is not very good, and switching between apps is not seamless. With multiple tabs in your messenger, you can notice the sluggishness. In addition, it cannot keep the apps open in the background for very long.
As for games, you cannot play high-end games all that well. You won’t be able to play Asphalt 9 as it’s not even available in the PlayStore for this phone. However, PUBG is playable in the lowest settings and with a very minimal amount of lags and stutters. Normal low-end games can run okay, though.
The phone runs on the latest Android Pie, and so the User Experience is pretty smooth. I feel like the less RAM is the bottleneck for the device to perform as smooth as it can.
As for the storage, there is only 16 GB onboard, but since there is a microSD card slot to expand the memory, that’s all well.
On the camera front, it has single cameras of 13 MP, both at the back and front. And the images from the camera are what you would expect from a phone of this caliber.
Most of the aspects on this one are good enough, but the colors appear a bit washed out. The color accuracy is there, but it’s not as punchy as I’d like it to be. The amount of details in the photos are acceptable, and definitely social media worthy. But don’t expect anything super high-quality, though. Let’s just say it packs enough details for you to take photos of your college notes and send it.
The autofocus takes a slight amount of time to get the subject in focus, but besides that, it works alright. The HDR mode does a good job, too. As good as you can expect from a phone at this price. In this mode, colors tend to be slightly punchier than normal ones.
However, there does not seem to be any other features on the camera. Maybe, because ours was a review unit we received pre-launch, it only has this “Normal Mode” option. Because, if not, the modes selection is just pointless!
For nighttime images, you can’t expect very much either. The images will come out grainy, and won’t pack enough details. But this is actually somewhat better than I expected it to be.
The selfie camera has the same story. It clicks social media worthy pictures, but nothing that you can brag about. You might be able to see a good amount of details when the subject is up close, but the same can’t be said for every situation. Like I said, there seems to be no portrait mode – not even a software-based one. So, no bokeh pictures for you.
Video quality seems okay. Not something that you can vlog or such, but just good enough to capture some moments for you to watch later. And definitely post it in your social media.
As for the battery, you get a 3100 mAh unit, which is typical for a phone at this price. Due to the power efficient chipset, and a low-res screen, it will last for a day easily with your day to day usage. There is no Fast Charging of any kind, and it cannot be expected either. The phone takes nearly 2 hours to charge fully from an empty battery.
Bottom line, for a $100 phone, this seems it is a device of decent value. There are very few options in this price range, and most of them revolve around Android Go. And you know, there are limitations to Android Go as well. But with this, you can get the full Android experience, which will not be very disappointing. Of course, you will have to cut some corners, but the price you pay for it is good enough.
Also Watch: Does a $100 phone make sense in 2019?