Android How big is too big? Lenovo pushes the bounds of practicality with massive 7-inch smartphone

Shawn Knight

Posts: 13,000   +130
Staff member

Lenovo brought a collection of new hardware to Berlin for the annual IFA trade show including a pair of massive smartphones fittingly referred to as the Phab and Phab Plus.

The budget-minded Lenovo Phab features a 7-inch, 720p IPS display. That’s right, seven inches.. for a phone. It’s powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 quad-core chip clocked at 1.2GHz with a paltry 1GB of RAM to work with. There’s a 13-megapixel camera around back, a 5-megapixel forward-facing camera for video calls and selfies and 16GB of internal storage that’s expandable via microSD card slot.

Connectivity-wise, you get 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 in addition to 4G LTE with two microSIM card slots. It’ll ship running Android 5.0 Lollipop and its 4,250mAh battery is good for up to 24 hours of talk time, Lenovo claims.

The Lenovo Phab is priced at $179 and will be available in red, black, white and blue color schemes.

The higher-end Phab Plus utilizes a slightly smaller 6.8-inch IPS display albeit with a resolution bump to 1080p. Under the hood is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 SoC that consists of four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.5GHz and four Cortex-A53 cores ticking along at 1.1GHz alongside 2GB of system memory and 32GB of expandable flash storage.

It, too, includes a 13-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel camera on the front. In terms of wireless connectivity, it comes with 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 and accepts a microSIM and a nanoSIM to connect with 4G LTE networks. Android 5.0 comes pre-installed, we’re told, while the battery is a good deal smaller at 3,500mAh.

The Lenovo Phab Plus will set you back $299 in your choice of silver or grey finishes. Both phones will be available sometime this holiday season.

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Posts: 3,087   +1,478
A smaller phone with higher end specs than the bigger phone, both being phones that are intentionally larger than the competition. weird....


Posts: 14,117   +1,850
Issue is the user's intended usage:
  1. if you want a 'cell phone', not an Internet browser, facebook device, or instagram viewer, then a smallish screen is sufficient and these large devices that need a handcart to carry about are insane.
  2. If the device is your primary access to "The Net", then you likely need a large screen device with XXX Mpixel camera, wifi and a cellphone with megabyte data plan.


Posts: 2,668   +2,008
Nice to see some mid spec devices. I've been using a 6.1" Huawei Ascend Mate2, with a snapdragon 400, 2gb ram 720p screen, 4,100mAH battery. It easily last 2 days of heavy use. Wasn't an arm and a leg in price either. Granted, I don't play 3D games, but use it a lot for phone, email, web, mp3, youtube.
It's fast, no lag, does everything I need. $300 bucks.
Faster and faster processors with higher and higher screen densities just isn't the answer anymore. But, the public thinks that more is better, and they PAY out the nose. Faster chips along with the same size batteries just makes you hunt for a charger faster, and it costs you more and more money.
Unless device makers start TRUE innovation, I think their overspec days are numbered. With the USA finally getting away from the 2 year contract, I don't think people are going to want to shell out the full retail price, even if paying on credit, even though they've paid MORE than the retail price over that same 24 month period anyway.


Posts: 5,464   +6,145
Making a cell phone just large enough to remove many of the advantages of a cell phone, genius. What's the point converging all your tasks and entertainment into a device that is inherently going to be extremely size limited? Sure, a bigger screen makes it easier to watch media and play games but do you really think the same battery tech is going to be able to handle all that additional use? Bigger Screen + Higher use + larger size = Short battery and a major loss of convenience.


Posts: 8,645   +3,288
Why so big? Is Lenovo in the fashion industry as well and have insider information that huge pants pockets hanging down to the ankles and garbage bag sized handbags are going to be fashionable very soon or do they just expect man to suddenly evolve and have hands the size of a bunch of bananas?


Posts: 1,750   +400
Making a cell phone just large enough to remove many of the advantages of a cell phone, genius.

I think that pretty much sums the state of the phone industry. At one point 4" was considered large, then we moved to 4.5", 5", now 5.5" is pretty standard. We call 4.5" 'mini'. 7" is "just large enough" to remove the advantages, whereas 6.5" might not be. Don't worry, we'll have 10" phones in a couple of years.


Posts: 982   +339


Posts: 1,382   +72
Kinda dumb, but nice for people who had bad eyes like me. By the way, eyes are improved. Not easily testable.
3500 mAh battery for such big screen Phab !? I am not sure if that supports. P1 780 series of lenovo is pretty much better I guess. It has 4900 mAh battery with 5.5 inch screen. and works absolutely fantastic. However, Phab's "screen shrink" (one handed mode) feature allows you to draw letter C wherever you want and subsequently screen shrinks for single finger access. Another interesting feature is the provision for 64 GB external memory. 13 megapixel camera is quite an attractive feature with such a huge screen for display. Overall the Phab and Phab plus look very fancy with a blend of major features of Phone and Tablet. Its a go to buy for me.