2 of 2 people found this review helpful
best budget phone in 12k range and below
22 January, 2015
My Original review is on amazon.in. I thought i would post it here also so that more people can come across it.
This review is a long one, I know. But I have included almost all details which will help You to decide about purchasing this phone(or any other phone). So please read review completely as it will answer to most of your questions.(before and after purchase)
My first review was after 1 month usage. I have edited wherever necessary after 4 1/2 months usage. kit kat update for this phone is available as on 19/09/2014.
Specs in Short
1. Mediatek MT6582M –Quad core 1.3GHz with Mali GPU
2. 1GB Ram, 8GB memory+32 Mem Card support
3. 8 Mp primary cam +0.3 Mp secondary cam
4. user REPLACABLE 3000 mAh Li-Polymer battery
5. 4.7in IPS lcd screen
6. Android OS, v4.2 (Jelly Bean) upgrade to KitKat
7. Dual Sim Dual standby, 3G+2G, Wifi+Hotspot, GPS, Bluetooth, Radio
8. Accelerometer and proximity sensors
What you get
Handset, charger with microusb cable, headphone and magic cover(optional). Screen cover(not screen guard, but you can use it for a few weeks)
First Cons/Drawbacks.(newer versions might come with KitKat upgrade included, yet I had these)
1.No kitkat update (edited: Yes, KIT KAT update via firmware upgrade(511mb) on 19/09/2014),
2. low quality headset,
3. no APP to SD (edited: Yes, KIT KAT update via firmware upgrade(511mb) on 19/09/2014) ,
4. No USB OTG, No Compass, 0.3 mp front camera, no gorilla glass protection
Pls read detailed review completely
1. PROCESSOR: NO LAG FOR PHONE:
4 cores at 1.3 GHz max. Each core can work in 5 different states (598,747,1040,1196 and 1300 MHz) independently. So power management is perfect. When phone is in idle mode, only one core is working@598MHz (as seen by app Resource monitor) and at max 4 cores @1300 (seen it rarely)
2. RAM: SUFFICIENT:
1 GB ram is sufficient for all applications. In my one month usage i have seen that at least 50 mb ram is left even if we load many applications. If we boost phone with boosting software (preloaded), we get free ram of about 600MB.So OS just takes about 450mb ram
-0.3 MP front camera is a slight DRAWBACK. But if we take photo in enough lighting, its ok.
-8 MP CMOS rear camera is sufficient. Default camera setting is 6MP(to see n take image in full screen) we can change it to 8MP via settings, but the images can't be seen in full screen when we shoot.
-Special camera modes are HDR (we get high clarity pics), Face Beauty, Panorama, Multi angle view (something like 3D imaging), Smile detection, Best shot... LIVE PHOTO MODE-YOU GET THIS AFTER KIT KAT UPDATE-it takes a photo along with a few secs of video.
-Touching and holding camera button will give a continuous shot of 40 photos in 6-8 secs
-LED Flash is good. It gives good pictures in absolute dark (room environment). Also a preloaded App makes it a torch[AFTER KIT KAT UPDATE-app no longer needed, it can be opened from notification panel-toggle -function menu].
-Video recording: good. Videos can be seen in laptop with good clarity. Also there is continuous Auto focus(some mentioned that video runs out of focus if phone is moved). But there is a delay for one or two secs. But still video is OK.
4. BATTERY. Using live wallpaper, Wifi, Bluetooth, GPS unnecessarily will drain battery:
It is a user REPLACABLE 3000 mAh Li-Polymer battery. Lasts a day for medium use. For Heavy use: - it reached 15% when used as a navigation device ie, GPS on, display On, Mobile data (2G) ON for 8 hours. For normal Use it last 1.5 days and more (just calls and messaging and some browsing).
-Charging 1-100%:- approx. 200mins via USB 2.0. It takes half of that via AC charger
*Use USB charging:- battery temp is just below 30 degs, but via AC it reaches upto 35 degs (seen by using a battery monitor software)
-Playing asphalt 7: playing for 30 mins with full brightness and full volume costs 10% battery (asphalt 8 working and takes almost same battery, but slight heating of mobile occurs)
-Video playback: Full volume, Full brightness, full HD: for 30 mins we loss 10% battery
-Face book via 2G: 30 mins costs 5% battery
*After full charging if we use it for 10 mins or less, battery drops to 97%. But after that its ok.
*advantage of user REPLACABLE battery: your phone gets struck/not responding and power button does nothing!, pull out battery and restart phone.
5. DISPLAY: feels like HD: 180 degree viewing angle
4.7 inches qHD IPS. Good display, Good clarity and brightness. Use glossy screen guard instead of Matte finish type to get perfect display. We can see HD movies etc with perfect clarity.
-Touch response is very good. A small gap from display is sensed (we dont need to touch display, if you can really control your hand, Try it). 5 point multi touch is good.
*I called Lenovo and they told me that display is made of glass, but NOT GORILLA GLASS.
-I have a few issues with touch sensitivity when i keep phone in my pocket. When power button is pressed, it instantly locks phone and display is off. But display becomes ON (due to some notifications) and phone unlocks automatically and calls are dialled. When a notification comes, display becomes active- since our skin is near the display(has a capacitive effect even if our shirt/fabric is in between just like touching with fingers, but here a lot of frequent touches) and these weird actions occur. I found that it occurs with all capacitive displays. So to avoid it, use a phone cover which covers display also or keep some paper/notes in between . Edit: there are apps in playstore to sense whether phone is in pocket or not, use it(gravity sensor apps…)
-The 3 capacitive buttons (like back, menu ) are backlit. So its easier to use in dark environment. Also they are not onscreen. So we get full display for viewing
-A total of 18 home screens can accommodate all app shortcuts/widgets. So a 20x18 = 360 apps(normal icons)+ 4 in app dock at bottom, can be easily accommodated. Also if needed drag one app over other to create an additional folder.
6. SOUND and MIC: good
Speaker is good, not stereo (only one). Some people complained about very low volume. But i didn't feel that. Speaker is loud and clear. If volume is set to high (level 15) there is a slight distortion rarely for some frequencies. Mic: there are two microphones. one at bottom of phone (primary)and one at rear(noise cancellation). Phone gives clear calls due to the additional noise cancellation mic in rear of phone.
About included headset: LOW QUALITY HEAD SET. But its OK in a quiet environment. No ear cushions. Also they are not noise cancellation type and also not "in ear".
8 GB internal memory. Only approx. 5.7 GB available to user. Upto 32 GB microSD card support. I use class 10,16GB MicroSD.(edit: now upgraded to strontium 32GB class 10-UHS 1 ).
NO "APP to SD". So we have to be careful about number of apps we install. Also NO "USB OTG". So no attaching of a pen drive.
Edit: AFTER KIT-KAT UPDATE "APP TO SD" IS ENABLED.
How To enable "APP TO SD":- Go to SETTINGS-STORAGE: set "default Write Disk" to SD card. It will tell you to restart phone. After restarting, apps can be moved by going to SETTINGS-APPS:open each app and move. We cannot move all apps+some app data to sd card(some system apps).
Slim Metallic design. Premium look with titanium color. Brushed aluminium back panel. Good for one hand operation. No fingerprints n smudges. There are 5 connections (like gold plated) coming to the back panel. It might be for antenna or heat transfer (don't know). Battery is just under that. So if we hold phone in hand, temperature of body is easily absorbed by back panel and reaches battery. So using protective case is good (free magic case). Don't keep phone over a hot surface or inside a hot car. It will reduce battery life(not battery runtime, simply your battery will be useless fast and you have to buy a new one).
9. FREE MAGIC COVER/SNAP STAND
Acts as a stand(vertical/horizontal) and also protects phone as a bumper case. Thanks to Lenovo for that. All my friends liked it.
Proximity sensor: good response for the sensor. But when we move phone from ear, the display is not suddenly active. It has a weird delay(this issue is less after firmware upgrades). Accelerometer sensitivity is good. Proximity sensor becomes OFF if we attach headphone.
Notification light: red for charging, Blinking blue for missed calls, blinking red for mail, blinking green for SMS. GoTo SETTINGS-DISPLAY-LED Notification
Light sensor: At front near proximity sensor. Good. It controls display brightness if AUTO brightness is set. So display changes brightness, but occurs also during playback/ gaming(sometimes not so attractive/flexible).
NO COMPASS. But while navigating display automatically adjusts to route
11. PRELOADED APPS:
An all-in-one app for anti-virus, privacy, speed up, data usage control , anti-theft, private space (for calls n sms) , call blocker and parental controls. What I really liked is the firewall in data usage section. We can set which apps are permitted to access internet. So I can save a lot of data
Also speed up via clean up widget (update secureit to latest version) is perfect. More ram is freed compared to any other Clean up utility.
Edit: Lenovo SECUREit is now SECURITY. And it’s a trial version. I had a subscription. But I lost it when I did a reset of my phone. So I contacted Lenovo team and they replied that it’s a trial version, and we can’t uninstall(requires ROOTING which voids warranty), but disable it in app options. when trial version ends we can use it but we can’t update antivirus. all other functions works perfectly.
Mobile assistant (in phone and PC):
Just like a PC suite. All functions (uninstall, back up...). Also we can view what is on mobile display, but with a 3 second delay (usb2.0). Note: when we connect s660 to a PC, "USB computer connection" pops up. there is an option for CD-ROM which gives some cool apps for PC. Copy it and keep it safe. After K-K update this no-longer avaliable
EDIT: After Kitkat update, installing mobile assistant in PC+ enabling USB debugging will install mobile assistant app in phone. So backup your cd rom contents.
It is ok, but does not play all files like mkv.. So i used Kmplayer for HD playback.(or MX player)
Edit: video player app icon not avaliable after K-K update, but when we try to open a video, there is option to select video player
Route66 maps: very good. Download map pack for India (1.23 GB) and set install location to SD card, which saves phone memory.
AGPS: can set profile GOOGLE or NOKIA. Also EPO (extended prediction orbit of Mediatek. An offline server based AGPS, download it) is useful. (you lose this after K-K update)
WiFi + hot spot. All modes of tethering supported(bluetooth, USB). Has option USB internet: we can use internet from our PC to our mobile (Reverse tethering)
The softwares used for monitoring are Resource monitor: it shows a floating bar which shows current Ram, core speeds n numbers etc. And Battery+ for battery.
I selected this phone with help of some websites. "Smartprix" for selecting best phone in this range. "Buyhatke" to select best price from different sellers. Thanks to Amazon for hosting this market place, and delivery to my place (no other E commerce website delivers here).
Also phone was delivered by FedEx in 4 days (Mumbai to Calicut in two days, +2day, a slight delay by FedEx as my place is a little remote)
Seller(TechKitchenDeals) was nice. They replied to all my queries promptly before and after purchase.
ALSO WARRANTY IS VALID. I contacted seller after purchase and they guaranteed about warranty. Also I checked Lenovo site. My phone warranty is valid for 1 year from date of purchase (14 June 2014). You must get a VAT bill with Seller Tin number and one (primary) IMIE of phone
At the time of my purchase this phone was best budget phone (INR 11150)from a good company. Indian manufacturers also provide phones at this or higher specs. But I feel LENOVO is better than them. Lenovo has a reputed Brand Name, history in computer manufacturing. Now Asus Zenphone has come. But S660 still has a user replaceable battery, Quad Core, metallic body, more battery and also FM radio. So still a value for money.
Edit: Slight Heating occurs while playing graphic intensive games. But when games is closed, temperature goes back to normal.
On 19 sep 2014, KitKat 4.4.2 update was released. Check for software updates in phone (Settings -About phone-system updates). Now the entire look and feel of interface is changed. Thanks to Lenovo Team. the settings menu, icons.. are now better. Also now a lot of options are available in developer options menu. + performance increased.
edit: 19 oct:
after kit kat update,
1. WARNING: we can't install additional files to memory card. So asphalt 7 (or 8)additional files must be downloaded and installed in phone memory(consuming> 740 mb). and route66 maps for india also(1.23gb). But setting Default write disk to SD card will change this, and all data is stored in SD card and also gives you APP to SD.
2. By using developer option, we can use dalvik/ART runtimes, change animation , increase graphic performance... Enable developer option by :- SETTINGS-ABOUT PHONE-VERSION INFOS- And tap BUILD NUMBER 7 times (or more). Then come back to settings. Developer options is just above “About Phone”
Changing to ART(instead of dalvik,Default) will increase performance(some say so), phone will restart saying andriod is upgrading. But Some apps might fail to run in the new runtime.
3. In settings-storage. There is an option to set default write disk to phone memory or sd card. In previous versions, this can be easily changed to one another. but after KK update, if we change phone memory(default) to SD card, phone must be restarted. AND also ""APP to SD"" becomes active. but when we change deffault write disk to phone storage again, all programs must be changed to Phone memory, else it won’t work.
4. GPS option is removed, instead location option came with 3 modes- Device only (GPS), battery saving (WLAN, MOBILE NETWORKS) and High Accuracy (GPS+WLAN+mobile network)
5. In user interface, long pressing any app icon(or empty screen) will give you options to :-
1. Uninstall(click 'x' mark over icon),
3. batch move app icons(clicking app icon once will send it to taskbar, click from taskbar will send it to window)
If you want to take a screenshot, just press "VOLUME LOW+POWER BUTTON" together, screenshot is saved.
Touch and go vertical down anywhere on screen-notification panel drops down, go vertical up-desktop settings... pops up
use 2 fingers and pull down notification bar-you get function toggle bar
use two fingers and touch vertically down on screen- apps will get organised at bottom and vice versa
The back panel is metal. if a sand particle gets struck between magic case and back plate , you get a shiny scratch. So when you apply a new screen guard, take the screen guard (plastic cover) that is already on phone display and stick it to back plate/panel. but make sure to open camera, flash, speaker and rear mic regions.
one of customer (rahul) contacted me. he returned the product due to loss of wifi signal (after getting heated-video call 1 hr.) I didn't have any such issue. After chatting with him, I found that my S660 doesn’t have option for dual 3G, but his S660 had. I don't know.
LATEST FIRMWARE: S660_ROW_S062_141126
You cannot get this firmware in first upgrade. So do firmware upgrades+KitKat upgrade till you get this. 141126 is date -2014/nov/26
Sorry if this review was a long one. There might be some features I have omitted/forgotten/not yet found.
Note: I am just a customer of Lenovo s660 via Amazon. I am in no way associated with these companies other than this relation. I am always ready to help in any way I can. Your comments are always welcome
Pls Give a thumbs up (Yes button below) if you like my review. I would really like to know who all liked/purchased this phone/review
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