Lenovo A7000 Plus Review – Good Cameras, Build, and Performance for Under P9,000
A branded Android below P9k may be compromised – in looks, performance, camera quality, and how it feels in your hand. Not so with the 5.5-inch Lenovo A7000 Plus: it doesn’t look like any other phone, it has cameras impressive for this price range, good battery life (about 9 hours of abuse), and costs only P7999 online and P8499 on retail. The thrown in free screen protector and snug-fit case sweeten the deal, making the Lenovo A7000 Plus a great gift.
Because of its own Lenovo look (icons, intuitive UI skin, and “soft” squarish body), you won’t mistake this for any other Android. It’s also overqualified to be a daily driver, despite the budget price. Since we hope that our budget phones also deliver in the camera department, we’ve sandwiched sample camera shots between The Good and the Maybe Bad, before we hit The Verdict.
Lenovo A7000 Plus Specs
5.5-inch FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 401 ppi
1.7 GHz 64 Bit MediaTek MT6752 octa-core processor
Mali T760, 2GB RAM, 16GB internal up to 32GB via microSD
Rear Cam -13MP f/2.0 AF w/ LED flash | Front Cam – 5 MP FF
2900 mAh removable battery
Android 5.0 Lollipop with Vibe UI
3G HSPA+, 4G/LTE , WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0,
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, Dual SIM
Dolby ATMOS surround sound
152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm | 140 g
Free case and screen protector
Unique design. The A7000 Plus is not a long rectangle with curved corners, like an iPhone (and a lot of iPhone-esque Androids). Instead, and kudos to Lenovo for this, the A7000 Plus is more of a flat rectangle with angular (but soft) corners and a noticeably wide girth. This wideness is good since it accommodates more side space for the onscreen keyboard (meaning the keys are slightly wider). The rear and sides’ soft surface is nice to hold, and lends an elegance to the tactile experience.
Unexpectedly good rear camera – you’ll notice this early on when shooting macro (close ups) and unevenly lit scenes. Here’s a sample:
The A7000 Plus’s rear camera has good dynamic range (tones down overly exposed parts and slightly brightens dark areas in a shot) and good white balance adjustment (the camera software adjusts for overly yellow or bluish scenes). Combine these with a tendency to slightly underexpose shots (unlike the LG G3 and G4 which tend to overexpose images), and you get very good pictures that make you wonder if you paid too much for this phone. The A7000 Plus has neither laser autofocus, unlike the ZenFone Laser, nor Optical Image Stabilization, like the more expensive LG G3, G4, and Samsung S6 Edge+. (See sample rear and front camera shots below.)
Don’t let the Spartan camera UI and lack of full manual camera mode fool you. The rear camera of the Lenovo A7000 Plus is amazing.
Also, the default camera of the Lenovo A7000 Plus does not have manual mode, perhaps as a statement from Lenovo that you don’t need to do a lot of user tweaking to get good shots out of your budget phone.
The front camera is also good (see sample image above), and that’s not as a consolation. We live in the selfie capital of the world, and so a budget phone MUST have a decent front camera. The Lenovo A7000 Plus delivers in this department, with a default beauty level that ensures you won’t look bad on social media. Again, unlike more expensive selfies phones (like the ASUS ZenFone Selfie, P11,995), the A7000 Plus does not have flash, or a higher resolution camera, or full manual mode on its selfie app. But the results speak for themselves (see sample shots below).
The display is good, despite not being AMOLED, and text and images are clear, outdoor visibility (contrast) is acceptable (I could still text back and read my Facebook feeds despite being under noon time sun). The great viewing angles make for great video sharing. The wide girth (horizontal screen length) seems to make for better-looking landscape videos. Perhaps this last point is subjective.
The Dolby Atmos speaker is loud and clear. You can definitely watch a movie with a friend in a slightly noisy room. In a quiet room, the sound is immersive. Add to this how much you can tweak the sound profiles, via the Dolby Atmos app, and you’ll enjoy your music, games, and movies more.
Games like Mortal Combat X (above) and Modern Combat 5: Blackout run without hiccups. So Clash of Clans will definitely run.
If ever the A7000 Plus slows down, simply clear away recent apps to free up RAM.
About 9 hours of battery life, and that’s with continuous WiFi use – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, a few YoutTube videos, selfies and food shots uploaded and shared. Even with data on for about an hour, I still got 6 hours. With reduced use and with the power saving options, you can extend the A7000 Plus’s battery stamina.
To protect their phones from dents, scratches, and cracked screens, some buyers of budget phones tend to buy screen protectors and cases. The Lenovo A7000 Plus already comes free with both. No need to buy these items separately. The free case is a snug-fit, is slightly grippy, and protects the phones’ sides and rear from scratches.
The micro USB charging port is found on top of the phone, and not on the bottom. This is good for two reasons. First, it’s easier to plug in the male end of the charging cable, especially when you’re doing this when it’s dark (no need to flip the phone over to its rear end). Second, if you want to attach a USB keyboard via a USB OTG cable, the phone can stand up right (with a stand, of course) while you type on the keyboard. This is convenient if you want to draft something on your phone, and you’re away from or can’t currently use your computer.
Lenovo A7000 Plus Rear and Front Camera Samples
The Small Things
Calls are clear: I’ve taken calls inside moving jeeps, with mothers yelling at their kids beside me – never had problems with call quality. I could hear the person on the other line and she could hear me, and the yelling. No dropped calls or faint audio problems. No problems, too, with reception, unless you’re in a basement, of course. Two rooms away from our home router and I could still play Modern Combat 5: Black Out, which requires a constant web connection to be played. This is a good phone.
The Maybe Bad
The A7000 Plus, as with many 2GB RAM phones, can choke when many apps are running in the background. To offset this, you can, with two taps, see all recent apps and then close them all to free up RAM. Then the phone is back to its speedy and responsive self. Problem solved.
The A7000 Plus has one of the cleanest UI’s I’ve ever seen.
The capacitive keys on the phone’s chin are not backlit but provide enough haptic feedback (vibration), so you know you’ve tapped them even in the dark. This is not a bad thing; I got used to it.
No headphones come with the box.
Buy it! The Lenovo A7000 Plus is a balanced phone, in features, build, and price. The wide girth make for a comfy typing experience (slightly wider keys) and for a slightly better landscape video watching feel (great display, too). Despite the thinness of the body, the A7000 Plus doesn’t creak or bend. Games are smooth and if ever an app or switching between apps results in a slow down, you can easily kill recent apps to free up RAM, and get back that fluid responsiveness. The rear camera is impressive in how it renders colors and dark and light tones (as you’ve seen in the images). Dolby Atmos is amazing! Battery life is good.
The A7000 doesn’t have laser autofocus (like the ZenFone Laser) but its phase detection is fast enough and it’s cheaper than the ZenFone Laser. The Laser also doesn’t have 360 degree Dolby Atmos sounds. The Lenovo A7000 Plus makes for a great gift and is overqualified as a daily driver, despite the price. Highly recommended. Lastly, buying it from Lazada is cheaper than buying on retail.
Get the Lenovo A7000 Plus for only P7999 on Lazada.
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