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Hands on: Lenovo S860 review

The smartphone that can go on and on

What is a hands on review?
Lenovo S860


  • Awesome battery life
  • Dual SIM slots
  • Ability to charge other devices


  • No microSD
  • No Full HD display


  • + Awesome battery life
  • + Dual SIM slots
  • + Ability to charge other devices


  • - No microSD
  • - No Full HD display

As well as the Yoga HD+, Lenovo has announced three new phones here at MWC 2014 including this - a new flagship handset in its S Series available in both titanium and white finishes.

Slotting in above the S850 and S660 (which I've also checked out - be patient!) is this beauty of a handset which, like many high-end smartphones before it, promises all-day battery life.

However, with a whopping 4,000MHa battery, the handset can actually live up to its claim.

Lenovo S860

Because the battery is larger than most, the S860 supports on-the-go charging of other devices using the microUSB cable that comes included with the handset.

Lenovo S860

As you can see the device has a brushed aluminum back surrounding the camera, flash and logo.

Sorry about the sticky tape that was attached to the device I photographed - the handset had been attached to the stand and I had to rip it off to take a decent look at it. And, as with everything at Mobile World Congress, the device was tethered to the booth.

Lenovo S860

Disappointingly, the large 5.3-inch screen isn't Full HD, with only a 720p resolution, but the colour reproduction on the IPS display is netherless superb. Core specs aren't staggering, but they are competitive with much of the market, with a quad-core 1.3GHz MediaTek processor joined by 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, 8 megapixel rear snapper and 1.6 megapixel front cam.

Lenovo S860

I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the snapper, which could capture some really decent shots even under the bright lights of the Lenovo booth.

Lenovo S860

The side features the familiar volume up/down and on/standby controls while the headphone jack is on top.

Lenovo S860

Lenovo S860

There's no microSD slot in the S860, but there is support for two SIM cards instead - ideal for regular travellers who need access to more than one network. You can view the network status of both SIM cards in the notifications area.

Lenovo S860

That amount of power should provide at least 24 hours of 3G talk time – but of course it's the other net-connected features that use up power on our smartphones.

Lenovo S860

Android 4.2 Jelly Bean is shipped as standard, but the Lenovo attendant suggested there was no reason why it couldn't get KitKat in future. As you'd expect there are all the familiar Android apps, but everything is presented with the typical Lenovo Android overlay.

Lenovo S860

The device also includes numerous built-in Lenovo apps for sharing between Lenovo devices, backing up your contacts and keeping your device secure.

Lenovo S860

Lenovo S860

Early verdict

The Lenovo S860 is a really lovely handset with a few features that will make it compelling to certain users - notably the dual-SIM support, long battery life and ability to charge other devices are all features to attract regular business travellers. The lack of a Full HD display is surprising compared to other models around, but isn't necessarily a disaster.


Dan (Twitter, Google+) is TechRadar's Former Deputy Editor and is now in charge at our sister site Covering all things computing, internet and mobile he's a seasoned regular at major tech shows such as CES, IFA and Mobile World Congress. Dan has also been a tech expert for many outlets including BBC Radio 4, 5Live and the World Service, The Sun and ITV News.

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.