A NEW YEAR means that our expectation of what makes a flagship Android phone gets reset. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 will no longer be the top dog, and the lineup of top-rated Android phones will mostly share the Snapdragon 855 as benchmarks blend into one.
But the company at the front of the queue with a Snapdragon 855 in its eager mitts could be a bit of a surprise. It's not Samsung, Sony or LG - instead, it looks like laptop leviathans Lenovo will be the first out of the door with the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT, coming to China on 24 January.
Very much of the "add more words to an existing product" school of marketing (see also: the OnePlus 6T Mclaren Edition), the Lenovo Z5 Pro GT is a follow up to the Lenovo Z5 Pro, itself a follow up to the Lenovo Z5. It's like Russian dolls.
To be fair to Lenovo, it certainly offers enough over its predecessors to get more letters after its name, like a professor with PhD ostentatiously printed on every bank card. As well as likely being the first manufacturer to put the Snapdragon 855 inside a retail handset, the GT includes a ridiculous 12GB RAM and 512GB on internal storage.
There are four cameras: two on the back (16MP and 24MP) and two on the front (16MP and an infrared 8MP). It's virtually bezel-less and does away with the notch by popping out the front-facing cameras when required. Although oddly, you'll apparently also need to do this to take a call, as that's where the earpiece lives, making the GT a weird long-lost relative of the phones used in The Matrix.
It has a 6.39in OLED display (2,340x1,080), and it's powered by a 3,350mAh battery, which will make this an interesting case study for how power hungry the Snapdragon 855 is in real-world conditions.
What won't be there is 5G. Lenovo has said that it hopes to make the first 5G-compatible smartphone, but it isn't this one. Which is just as well, as it would add extra cost for a feature that nobody can yet use, like putting an HDMI port in the Commodore 64.
Speaking of cost, it's up for pre-order on 13 January, and the ridiculous 12GB/512GB configuration will set you back 4,398 yuan, which is around £504. There are no plans to bring it the UK, as far as we know, but expect a big old markup if it ever does show up on our shores. µ
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