After the success of Lenovo A6000, the company announced yet another device in the A series, the A7000 at the Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona. The device was soon announced in India as well and comes with 5.5 inch HD (1280 X720p) display and is powered by a 64 bit MediaTek MT6752m TruOcta Core processor clocked at 1.5Ghz. There is also 2GB RAM available on the phone. The device also comes with 8GB internal storage which is expandable via microSD card. This is also the first smartphone to feature Dolby Atmos for superior sound.
So how does this device match up with the competition from Yureka, Redmi Note and Honor 4X? Lets find out in this review.
Related Reading: Lenovo A7000 Unboxing
Design and Build:
Design wise, the Lenovo A7000 is very similar to the A6000 and follows the same design aspects. The phone has matte finish rear panel and pretty slim (8mm) for a budget phone. The rear panel has slightly curved edges on the sides while the top and bottom has flat edges. The rear panel has the 8MP camera with the chrome finishing around it along with the dual LED flash, the Lenovo branding and the speaker located near logo. The power and volume keys are on the right side and 3.5mm audio jack along with micro USB charging slot is on the top. The front panel has the 5MP camera, usual set of sensors (Ambient, Accelerometer and Proximity) and the three capacitive buttons. The touch buttons are not backlit but there is notification light on the device.
Overall, the design and build quality of the device is impressive and at 140gms, it is one of the lightest 5.5 inch devices around. The phone comes in dual SIM card support and there is also support for 4G LTE in India.
The display on the Lenovo A7000 is the same IPS LCD HD display we found on the A6000, the only difference being 5.5 inch compared to 5 inch on A6000. The 5.5 inch display has 1280 X 720p resolution and 267ppi. The display is pretty vibrant and sharp and has good viewing angles.
The brightness levels are also very good on the device. When we reviewed the A6000, we mentioned the display being a bit sticky to our liking, but the display on A7000 does not exhibit that nature and the touch response is very good.
Software and Performance:
Lenovo A7000 runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop with the company’s custom UI called Vibe UI. This the first budget smartphone from Lenovo which runs on Lollipop. Although there are lots of similarities between the Vibe UI on Vibe X2 and A7000, the latter has lesser features in comparison and also different notification center. The Vibe UI brings in lot of customized options and looks different from the stock Android.
The UI does not come with app drawer and has multiple home screen which you can customize. The notification center has almost all useful quick toggles but they are not customizable.
Unlike the MIUI or the Cyanogen OS which offer themes and customization options, Vibe UI offers only couple of themes and there is no option to download more themes.
One of the interesting aspects of the device is that it comes with Dolby Atmos feature which is first of its kind on a smartphone, so if you are a music buff, this should provide great experience. The phone has rear speakers and the output is also pretty decent. The Dolby Atmos feature is available only if you listen via earphones. There is a dedicated app to enable different modes for Dolby.
The phone also comes with few apps from Lenovo which includes Sound Recorder, FM Radio, Portable Hotspot, Syncit and Shareit. The Security app which was included in KitKat is missing in the Lollipop version of Vibe UI.
The device offers 8GB internal storage and out of which 4.5GB is available to user in the first boot. You can also extend the storage via micro SD card. The phone also allows you to install or move apps on the SD card which is a very handy feature. The phone supports USB OTG out of the box which was missing on Lenovo A6000. The phone also comes with good set of gestures which comes handy to manage the device. These can be turned on from the settings.
The Lenovo A7000 runs on MeditTek Tru Octa 64 bit processor with 2GB RAM. The benchmark scores of the device is very good and even beats other flagship devices priced three times the price of A7000. The gaming performance of the device was very good with the 5.5 inch HD display. The device can play almost all games with ease. The heat generated while playing games was also considerably lower than Yureka.
Related Video: Lenovo A7000 Gaming Review
Multi tasking was also very good on the phone, we ran multiple apps in the background including games and still there was close to 1GB of RAM available.
The phone supports 4G LTE, but we could not test it as our region does not have 4G. The call quality on the phone was good and we didn’t notice any issues with calls.
The Lenovo A7000 features the same 8MP rear camera found on A6000, but this one features dual LED flash and a front 2MP camera for selfies and video calls. The camera interface is different from what we saw on the A6000. The A7000 camera interface is similar to what is offered on Lenovo Vibe X2. The interface is pretty good and has a uncluttered UI. The camera offer almost all features and options you would want on a camera including HDR, Panorama, Face detect, color effects and more. The camera interface is much better than the A6000 in terms of usability.
For the images taken in daylight, there is good amount of detailing available in the photo. The colors look pretty decent and the overall clarity is pretty good for a budget smartphone. The macro captures have come really good and the detailing is very good.
Its the low light photography is also decent on the A7000 and looks much better than the competition. The clarity of the photos taken in low light was surprisingly good. Although it did have noise, it was considerably lower than Redmi Note and Yureka (both have 13MP camera). With adequate lighting, the shots came pretty good. The dual LED flash is pretty powerful and lights up the objects well in low light. While the camera might not be the best in this price category, it is definitely a decent camera.
Here are some of the samples from the camera.
Lenovo A6000 comes with a 2900mAh and the battery performance was pretty decent on the device. With moderate usage, which includes couple of hours on call, browsing, social networking, taking few photos, listening to music and causal gaming along with 3G, you can get a day of usage easily. We could get around 3.5 hours of on screen time and the battery life was around 24 hours. Although we expected more than a day, the battery performance is still pretty good on the phone.
Priced at Rs 8999, Lenovo A7000 makes excellent value for money with great design and build, excellent performance and decent battery life with the latest Android 5.0. But having said that we would have liked a slightly better camera on this device and also the Vibe UI is not as feature rich as Cyanogen, MIUI or the EMUI.
On the whole, if you are looking for a solid performer, Lenovo A7000 will not disappoint you.