At its press conference this afternoon, Lenovo announced the LePhone – initially intended for the Chinese market. Like Lenovo's other big announcement, the Skylight netbook, it runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon processor.
Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing introduced the handset by saying he believed the "Lephone is the best device in this category." The handset is a looker, with an 800×400 pixel screen and a customised Linux-based OS.
Lenovo says that by 2014 there will be nearly 90 million smartphone users in China and as the company has a high profile in its home territory, launching a smartphone seems like a natural thing to do.
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We managed to get a few pictures before the over-keen Lenovo worker started to tire of our "can you tilt it this way?" ways. Plus there was some interesting slides that might appear inspired by a certain other smartphone manufacturer.
The device has front and rear cameras, a 3.5-mm headphone jack at the bottom and a removable battery. "Try and do that with your iPhone," quipped US Lenovo head Rory Read who also said it was "launching in China for now." Elsewhere next?
The phone itself is certainly responsive – very similar to the iPhone – and our initial thoughts are that it's a very impressive device, albeit not as appealing as the iPhone or Android.
Lephone also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS and supports WCDMA (Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access) 3G.
A proprietary 9-pin socket is provided for charging and peripherals, including a rather nifty keyboard and extra battery.