LAS VEGAS: HARDWARE MAKER Lenovo has had quite a busy day, announcing bundles of Windows 8 devices including its quirky 27in Table PC. Luckily though, the firm wasn't too busy to show off its Ideaphone K860 smartphone, which might soon be arriving on UK shores.
We managed to get our hands on Lenovo's Samsung Galaxy Note challenger, an exciting moment not just because of the phone's high-end specifications but because it's the first time we've been able to handle a Lenovo branded smartphone. We're pleased to say that we weren't disapointed.
The screen is the most striking thing about this handset, because of its 720x1280 resolution and in-plane switching screen technology, which offered impressive colours and viewing angles during our brief hands-on time with the smartphone.
We were shocked to discover the size of the phone too, as it didn't feel as big as 5in when held in the hand. That's not to say it's a tiny phone, as with dimensions of 143.5x74.4x9.6mm it won't squeeze easily into your skinny jean pocket, However, Lenovo designed the phone with a narrow bezel around the screen, which means it doesn't waste valuable space with white plastic.
Speaking of white plastic, we were pleasantly surprised with the design of the K860 smartphone.
Despite being crafted from a material similar to Samsung's Galaxy Note 2 smartphone, the device felt much more rugged when held in the hand, and felt like it could handle a few bumps and tumbles. This means the K860 doesn't feel as cheap as its Samsung rival, although here's hoping it won't be quite as expensive if it does make its way to UK shores.
Switching the device on, you'll find a pretty much untouched version of Google's Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system.
Unlike some of its rivals, Lenovo showcased its barebones custom user interface at CES on Sunday, which offers just one interface filled with apps - these being frequently used choiced such as Google's Gmail and Maps applications. Of course, there are plenty more screens for you to clog up with more apps and widgets, but we're fans of Lenovo's more laid back approach.
The final thing we noticed about the Ideaphone K860 was its speed. Scrolling through homescreens and firing open apps was a very nippy experience, thanks to the 1.4GHz quad-core processor that sits under the hood of the Lenovo smartphone. We're not sure that everything is quite as slick as it is on the Galaxy Note 2, but it was certainly fast enough for everyday use.
So, will we be seeing the Lenovo K860 here in the UK? The firm was unable to confirm that, but did suggest that the phones will be moving away from emerging markets in the near future. Fingers crossed. µ