Lenovo Phab Plus - One Year Later
Lenovo issued giant 6,8" phablet at the end of 2015. It is truly a huge phone that can also be considered as a small tablet. Lenovo Phab Plus indeed represents a device between these two categories.
Posted: Jun 2009
Lenovo issued giant 6,8" phablet at the end of 2015. It is truly a huge phone that can also be considered as a small tablet. Lenovo Phab Plus indeed represents a device between these two categories. There were other similar devices launched in similar period (Asus Zenfone 3 Ultra and Huawei P8 MAX).
This post review (after using it one year) is made to evaluate usability of such device from user perspective and to point to pros and cons of this device, but also to reflect to category of big devices.
Build and Handling
This phone has an excellent, premium built quality. The body is completely made of brushed metal that give you premium look and excellent grip in hand. Actually, I never drop this phone of to the floor, which is contrary to other phones that I owned. Simply, the device material gives you a good grip.
Also, the device weight (239 g.) is making you to naturally hold the device a little stronger. This is not unpleasant for the hand, because, lets speak realistically, this weight is not something that is heavy to anybody. On the other hand, if you have light phone with plastic cover, you may handle it with loosed grip, which will probably lead to dropping the phone off to the ground.
The handling is not for one hand and that is something that you need to accept. It is true that phone have option of screen shrinking for one hand operations. But you should just get use for two hands operations.
The phone is large, so everybody will notice is size. For some people it may be silly to see somebody who talks on this huge device. But remember, some 20 years ago everybody holding the mobile phone was looking a bit silly.
The screen is a big 6,8" FHD, which gives you the good density and size for most activities: browsing, reading books, watching videos ... The colors are good, but a bit pale compared to other IPS screens. But this is not that should worry you much, since this is still a good screen.
But unfortunately, now we come to the point of real dissatisfaction, at least to me. The screen has stabile brightness while the image is stable (if auto adjustment is set to off).
But if you scroll e.g. web page where you are moving from text to picture, the whole screen sometimes slightly changes brightness. This is not visible when you just start using a phone, but you will notice it soon. Even worse happen with video, especially if the quality of video is lower. Occasionally, the screen starts to flicker (rapidly changing the brightness).
This brightness "happening" is a strange thing, it can be really annoying at the moments, but it is not that often, so let’s say that you can live with that. It is also possible that not all devices are having this symptom, but unfortunately my device has.
The device has single speaker, positioned at the back. The software Atmos Dolby is supposed to give you various adjustments, although do not expect something special from tiny mono speaker. The most important thing is that speaker is decent and that it provides clear and loud sound that will give you what you can expect from the device of this size.
The overall performance of the phone is good and comfortable, without lagging. The gaming is decent, so I do not expect that you will have problems. The device gets a bit warmer at the upper back, but it is within expected limits.
OK, camera is fine, but do not expect miracles. The photos taken in good brightness surrounding are decent. Those taken in darker room will be smudged and grainy, while shooting process will not be fast. If you really try hard, you can get decent photos even in low light conditions, but forget about quality that will make you impressed.
The devices have 3500 mAh battery, which is fine, but not exceptional. Phone of this size should have more than 4000 mAh, due to its size. This battery should be able to give you 1-1,5 normal days, depending how you use it.
If you press it hard you will run out even before bed time. I usually have screen on time 3-4 hours, 30 min of phone calls, 3-4 hours of tethering on and usually I manage to go through the whole day. Not bad, but phone of this size has a space for stronger battery.
The Lenovo Phab Plus is having good connectivity in all aspects, phone calls, mobile data, Wi-Fi, tethering, Bluetooth. I never had any problems, except with Bluetooth in car, but I do not know what causes the problem, the car equipment, or the phone.
The „connectivity“ problem that I experienced is with the micro SD card. The phone is declared to support 64 GB micro SD, but I tried 2 different cards and it didn’t work. 32 GB works fine, but I intentionally bought 64 GB, that now I cannot use now. I took other from tablet, but it doesn’t work as well. The same comment as before, maybe it is not the problem with all devices, but my device has this problem.
This concept of big phone/small tablet in one device is not for everybody, so think twice before buying it. Try to borrow one and make a test. But if you are like me, you will absolutely love this concept.
Extra size is not something that you should worry about, it is only matter of time to get used to it. Once you are used, you will love it, and your eyes will be less stressed if you use the screen a lot. Just forget to use of pockets, you will need some other way of carry it around.
What is the Future of Big Phones?
The future of phones of these sizes is questionable. Obviously, there is a small niche of users who prefer such a big phone. Lenovo, Huawei and 6,8" phones in 2015, but in 2016 didn't. Lenovo did downsizing with 6,44" Lenovo Phab 2 in 2016. Unfortunately, this niche is not likely to be supported in the future.
Therefore, grab your huge phone while you still can.
BODY Dimensions 186.6 x 96.6 x 7.6 mm (7.35 x 3.80 x 0.30 in)
Weight 229 g (8.08 oz)
SIM Dual SIM (Nano-SIM/ Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
DISPLAY Type IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors
Size 6.8 inches (~70.7% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution 1080 x 1920 pixels (~324 ppi pixel density)
PLATFORM OS Android OS, v5.0 (Lollipop)
Chipset Qualcomm MSM8939 Snapdragon 615
CPU Octa-core (4x1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 & 4x1.0 GHz Cortex-A53)
GPU Adreno 405
MEMORY Card slot microSD, up to 64 GB (uses SIM 2 slot)
Internal 32 GB, 2 GB RAM
CAMERA Primary 13 MP, f/2.2, autofocus, dual-LED (dual tone) flash
Features Geo-tagging, touch focus, face detection, HDR, panorama
BATTERY Non-removable Li-Po 3500 mAh battery
Stand-by Up to 480 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 24 h (3G)
Screen size is excellent for those who use a screen for many hours daily
Excellent built quality
Very good performance
Decent storage (32 GB)
Good value for Money
Screen Flickering in some cases (probably not all devices)
Problem with 65 GB sd card (probably not all devices)
This phone is only for those who like big screens