Mobiles & Tablets

Made to last long, not to conquer

Sabyasachi Biswas | Updated on June 25, 2014

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Lenovo is building a presence in all price segments of the smartphone market. Will the new S660 make a strong impression?



While biggies such as the Samsung Galaxy S5, the HTC One M8 and the Sony Xperia Z2 battle it out to demonstrate what a super-smartphone should be, there’s another segment where a war simmers quietly – the sub-₹15k segment. It can be safely said that this is the fastest growing segment in the Indian market; therefore the new Lenovo S660 has been very strategically priced.

But the benchmark in this segment has been set by Motorola’s Moto G, and for good reason too – it’s got a sturdy build, blazing performance and overall value for money. We spend some time with the Lenovo S660 and find out if it manages to make a mark in the sub-₹15k segment.

Design and build

The Lenovo S660 uses a mix of plastic and metal in its body construction – that gives it a look that says that the device is built to last. The rear panel is made of brushed metal, giving it both style and practicality. The side panels are made of plastic, but get the brushed metal treatment, completing the device's functional yet classy design. It’s not the slimmest phone in the segment – on the contrary, it’s a bit chunky, but we like it as it offers a very good grip. Lenovo also bundles in a matte-rubberised bumper case, which has a kickstand too.

The 4.7-inch display has a thick bezel on the top and bottom, but is wide enough on the sides to make sure there are no accidental touches on the display while using the device. All in all, the phone offers very good one-handed usage. Under the removable back panel you get a microSD card slot and two SIM-card slots. We liked the simple yet classy design of the S660, and it’s definitely one of the better looking phones in its price segment.

Features and specifications

At this price segment, we always look at specs first, because that’s where most manufacturers cut corners – and an Android smartphone isn’t really a joy to use with shoddy specs. Thankfully, the Lenovo S660 has satisfactory specifications. The S660 packs a MediaTek system-on-a-chip, a quad-core MT6582M running at 1.3GHz with integrated 416MHz Mali-400 MP2 graphics. It’s coupled with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal memory (which is expandable up to 32GB).

In our usage, the device offered good performance, with zero lags or freezes. It’s a breeze to use for everyday apps, such as IM apps and social networks, news apps and some light gaming. On Quadrant, the S660 scored an average of 5,800 points, much less than the Moto G’s 8,700 points.

The 8-megapixel camera on the back offers good performance, but the front VGA camera just doesn’t pass muster. We were also disappointed by two major things – the display and the Android version. The display, though bright and colourful, has a disappointing resolution of 540p (we expected at least 720p). Also, the device runs the old 4.2 version of Android (at a time when Nexus 5 and Moto G and X have already gone past the 4.4.3 updates).

Verdict

We’re happy that Lenovo has managed to put out a phone in this price segment, for those who’re looking for something other than a Moto G. But because of the display quality and the version of operating system, the attempt isn’t good enough to make the S660 a very good alternative. The performance too is a bit low, but acceptable for everyday smartphone usage. The S660 offers better prospects only in form of a better design and expandable memory and good battery life, as compared to the Moto G. Only if Lenovo decides to push out the KitKat update for the phone soon, we would call the S660 a good value-for-money prospect.

₹14,999

Love – Functional design; long battery life

Hate – Low-res display; Old version of Android

Published on June 25, 2014

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