Lenovo has been on a hiatus in the Indian market for over a year now, but today, the company has re-entered the fray with the launch of two smartphones – the Lenovo K9 and A5. While the former is a new device, the A5 was announced in China in June this year alongside the K5 Note. The USP of the budget A5 is its massive 4,000mAh battery. We received the Lenovo A5 ahead of launch, and here’s what you can expect from the smartphone and its retail package.

Lenovo A5_1
The A5 comes in a simple white box with an image of the phone on top. Opening up the box will reveal the phone nestled in a tray. Underneath, you’ll find a 5V 2A wall charger, USB cable, SIM ejector tool and documentation. For some reason, Lenovo has provided a black wall charger and white cable, which feels a bit sloppy.

Lenovo A5_8
In terms of the design, the Lenovo A5 looks pretty basic. It features rounded corners and a curved back panel made of plastic. The device comes in two colour options – Black and Fine Gold. The A5 is a pretty compact device, owing to its 5.45-inch display. While the bezels aren’t exactly thin, they’re shrunk significantly on the top and bottom thanks to the taller 18:9 aspect ratio. The display features HD+ resolution, and the viewing angles as well as legibility is quite good. However, the colour temperature is slightly skewed towards the warmer side, which might put off some users.

In terms of the ports and buttons, you have a micro-USB port and microphone on the bottom edge, 3.5mm audio jack on the top, power button and volume rocker on the right and ejectable SIM card tray on the left. The buttons are very thin and feel plasticky, so I’m not sure how they’d hold up with long term use. The SIM card tray has two nano-SIM slots, and a dedicated microSD card slot for storage expansion, which is a welcome addition. On the front of the device, you’ll find the 8MP front camera, earpiece-cum-loudspeaker and sensors above the display, along with a multi-colour notification LED. The back panel is home to the 13MP primary camera and LED flash in a slightly protruding horizontal layout. The fingerprint sensor sits in the middle of the back panel, within easy reach of your index finger. It’s recessed and easy to identify.

Powering the device is a 1.3GHz quad-core MediaTek MT6739 processor. The A5 comes in two variants – 2GB + 16GB and 3GB + 32GB. We had the latter in our labs, and you get about 24.2GB of free space out of the box. In our brief time with the device, we found the animations a bit slow. While this gives the impression that the handset itself is slow, the apps themselves work smoothly. The 4,000mAh battery should be sufficient for two days usage based on the other specs, but unfortunately it doesn’t support fast charging. In terms of the operating system, the Lenovo A5 runs Android 8.1 Oreo with version 3.0 of its custom UI. This is your typical drawer-less interface with the Google feed on the left and Lenovo’s Intelligent aggregating page on the extreme right, which is basically the same as Google feed and can be toggled off. The software also comes with its fair share of bloatware including UC Browser, a suite of games and more, which can be uninstalled to free up resources.

At it’s price of Rs 5,999 (Rs 6,999 for the higher variant), the Lenovo A5 is a decent budget device that stands out because of its large battery. The competition includes the likes of the Xiaomi Redmi 6A, Infinix Smart 2 and Infocus Vision 3, and while the A5 can match these devices on the basis of specs, it remains to be seen if Lenovo can sway consumers given its long absence from the smartphone market.

(With inputs from Abhiman Biswas)

Photos by Raj Rout