Lenovo P2 review

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Interface and reliability 

  • Running Android 6 but can be upgraded to Android 7
  • Comes with Lenovo's software, looks attractive and is simple to use
  • Search within the app drawer is a very useful feature

The Lenovo P2's software doesn't look like stock Android, but it doesn’t have a bad looking design and it's almost as intuitive and simple as stock Android.

In fact, Lenovo’s software adds a few extra features to the mix that you may find useful.

Unlike some other software overlays, (we're looking at you, Huawei) this comes with an app drawer so you can organize your main screens a touch better.

Entering the app drawer gives a clear view of everything you have downloaded in alphabetical order. There’s also a search bar in the top left corner, which we found ourselves using time and time again to find apps in a hurry.

Next to that it also includes your most recently used apps. If you’ve just closed down Spotify, it’ll appear here for you to open it up again in only two taps from the home screen.

The Lenovo software also warns you when particular apps are running in the background and using a lot of power. It will say, for example "Spotify is using a lot of power" and give you the option to close it down.

The reliability of the phone was also great – in our week using the P2 we didn't find the software crashed and it didn’t give us any other issues. That's good as sometimes at this price point you can find a lot of app crashes in day-to-day use.

The Lenovo P2 launched with Android 6 Marshmallow but the company has now pushed an update to Android 7 meaning you'll get all the most recent and up to date features from Google's OS.

During our testing with the phone running Android 7 we found it to work the same as when running Marshmallow, but you may prefer the upgrade so you can get the up to date Android features.

Music, movies and gaming 

  • Basic media apps but lots of space to download alternatives
  • Good media spec as well as 32GB or 64GB storage options
  • MicroSD support for cards up to 256GB too

Listening to music on the Lenovo P2 is an enjoyable but not exceptional experience. There’s a speaker grille at the bottom of the phone that plays OK audio but won’t perform as well as the setup on the ZTE Axon 7 Mini or an HTC phone boasting BoomSound.

There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top of the phone for when you want to use wired headsets, and you’ll be able to connect Bluetooth headsets for wireless audio as well.

When using Bluetooth we didn’t find any connection issues that you'd not find on any other phone you’d buy in 2017 - audio was a little patchy on occasion though.

The app to play music isn’t stunning on the Lenovo P2 and only allows you to play audio you’ve uploaded to the phone, so we’d recommend downloading a streaming service as well.

The Lenovo P2 works well for movies, as it boasts the audio options listed above as well as a Full HD 5.5-inch screen to watch your videos on.

The video app works well, but again isn’t anything special. It’s easy to use for video clips you’ve uploaded to the phone, and you’ll have lots of space to do so.

We used the 32GB version of the Lenovo P2 and found the operating system itself took up just over 8GB of the phone’s space. That leaves 24GB of storage to play with for apps, files and games, which should be plenty for most users.

If you need extra space, the P2 supports microSD cards of up to 256GB. That's a lot of extra space if you decide to go out and buy a card.

For gaming, we found the Lenovo P2 to be similarly competent, and considering the price, this is probably one of the best budget phones out there for gaming on the go.

Playing Lara Croft Go was an enjoyable experience, as the P2 has a large screen and under the hood it performed well. There wasn't any stuttering and we found the game loaded quickly.

Benchmarks and performance

  • Packing a Snapdragon 625 chipset that did okay in benchmarking tests
  • One storage version comes with a choice of either 3GB or 4GB of RAM

The Lenovo P2 sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 625, a system-on-a-chip we haven’t been all that impressed by when it was used in past phones such as the Huawei Nova or Moto Z Play.

But we found the 2GHz octa-core setup to be impressive throughout our testing of the P2, despite it being a substantially cheaper phone. It's well optimized on this device and did well in our benchmarking. 

There are three versions of the Lenovo P2, two with 4GB of RAM and either 32GB or 64GB of storage and another with only 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

In our testing we had the chance to use a 4GB of RAM version and found the phone to be very powerful considering the price point. It didn't crash at any time and it managed to run some high-end games.

The Lenovo P2 averaged a score of 2971 in our Geekbench 4 benchmarking test, which is a good score for a phone of this price. It’s not the best result we’ve ever seen at this sort of level though, as the similarly priced Moto G4 Plus managed to average 3047.

That said, this is still a good option and you won’t be disappointed by the power behind the Lenovo P2.

James Peckham

James is Managing Editor for Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.