Lenovo hasn’t got its hands dirty in the mobile space yet, but the S880 could be a step in that direction. This is a dual SIM, mid-range phone from the notebook maker with some pretty interesting features given the price point. Can it make a name for itself now that Micromax and many other companies are aggressively fighting for the mid-range smartphone space? Let’s find out.
Design and build
Built mostly of plastic, the S880 is very sturdy and is quite aesthetically appealing. Dressed in a glossy white finish, the device can’t escape fingerprints and maintaining a clean look can be a task. The front is dominated by a 5-inch TFT capacitive display with a rather low, 480 x 800 resolution. Due to this, text and icons look overly large and aren’t very sharp. There’s a very noticeable pixilation around text as well. The S880 is not very thick at 9.9 mm, but it does feel heavy at 196 g.
Sturdy build quality
The right side houses the volume rocker while the microUSB, headphone jack and power/sleep buttons are placed on the top. This is actually quite inconvenient place for the power button, since you have to really stretch your finger to use it. A side placement of the button would have been a better design choice. The rear panel has a soft plastic cover that comes off easily. Underneath, we have the two SIM slots (3G + 2G) and a microSD card slot. The rest of the space is dominated by the chunky 2250mAh battery. Overall, Lenovo has done a decent job with the build and finish of the handset and is quite good for the price it retails at.
Glossy back can get slippery
The S880 comes with 4.0.3 Ice Cream Sandwich along with Lenovo’s custom skin on top. Thankfully, the skin is not really intrusive and the performance of the system is not affected. Lenovo has changed the launcher a bit – as seen on its IdeaPad K1 tablet – and you now have toggle switches in the notifications bar for quick access. The UI is smooth thanks to the 512MB of RAM and a 1GHz single-core CPU from MediaTek. The S880 only has 4GB of onboard memory, but there’s room for expansion via a microSD card slot. It’s not hot-swappable though, as you will have to remove the battery to insert it.
UI is quick and fluid
Lenovo has used its own set of icon as well for most of the apps. There aren’t any physical capacitive buttons, just onscreen ones. We have options for home, more options, back and recently closed apps. The icons for these are custom as well, so it takes some time getting used to at first.
Media playback is handled via the stock player, which gives us support for MP3, WAV, WMA, eAAC+, MP4, WMV, H.264 and H.263. Lenovo has also added the option for lyrics, which displays it if the lyrics file is added in the same folder. Audio quality is good provided you have a decent pair of IEMs. The speaker volume is not too bad either as alert and notifications can be heard even in a noisy environment. One neat feature about the S880 is that along with FM radio support, you also get an FM transmitter built in along with an internal antenna. This means you can beam audio from your phone directly to your car’s radio as long as you set it to the same frequency.
Good media options
The stock video player cannot handle many file types and video playback is limited to 720p due to the single core CPU.