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Earlier this month we introduced you two phones, which capabilities left us a good impression – the Lenovo A6000 and Lenovo A5000. Now it is time to take a more serious look at Lenovo S60, that can also be placed in the middle-range smartphones, but higher in the hierarchy. That affects its price, as it is a bit more expensive than the other aforementioned models. The reason for this could be its classy design, as well as its improved camera. We are going to run our usual tests, so that you may get a clear idea of what the phone is capable of.

Lenovo S60 could also be listed as the budget sibling of Lenovo S90, which got quite notorious after its official announcement due to its resemblance to the iPhone 6, but this isn’t the only reason. However, the Super AMOLED Full HD screen and 32GB storage of the S90, place it one step above the S60, not to mention the price. Still, the model, that is being review today, has more than a few positive sides that we would like to take a look at.

Contents


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Design and construction

Speaking of the advantages of Lenovo S60 over most of the other mid-range devices, we would have to place its design at the top. The small resemblance with iPhone 6 is a fact and some users may even take as a plus. After all we are talking about Apple’s flagship device. The slightly rounded edges, camera and LED flash placement, as well as the position and appearance of the loudspeaker (closer to the iPhone 5S, than the 6) are the things that mirror Apple’s smartphone the most. If you have ever used an iPhone 6, you will unconsciously search for the iconic “Home button” of Apple devices on the S60.

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No matter if we disregard the slight similarity or not, we must give it to Lenovo for taking the time, to make the phone with such comfortable dimensions. The weight of the device is 128 grams, that surely is low for a 5-inch device and its thickness is only 7.7 mm – a rarity at this price range.

The construction of Lenovo S60 is a unibody, with the back panel being non-removable, meaning you don’t have access to its battery. Accordingly, to insert the SIM or microSD card in the device, you will need the special pin, found in the package, that gives you access to each card slot. Both of them are found on the left side of the smartphone, with the SIM card slot being only one, but capable of containing one microSIM and one nanoSIM cards. On the opposite side of the device, you have the volume rocker and Power button. At the bottom, you will find the aforementioned loudspeaker and a built-in microphone and crafted to look like a second speaker. The 3.5 mm headphone jack and second microphone, for reducing surrounding sound, are placed at the top.

Lenovo S60 side3 displayONLenovo S60 side1 displayONLenovo S60 side2 displayONLenovo S60 side4 displayONLenovo S60 face3 displayON

On the back of the device, along with the 13-megapixel camera with LED flash, found in the top left corner, you will find a “Lenovo” logo in the middle and some other product labels at the bottom. The front side of S60 holds higher similarity to an Android phone, mostly due to the well-known three hardware buttons for navigation. The proximity and ambient light sensors, the earpiece, and the 5-megapixel front-facing camera are placed right above the screen.

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Display

Lenovo S60 has an IPS, HD, capacitive, multi-sensor screen. Its diagonal measures 5 inches (12.7 cm) with 16:9 aspect ratio. The resolution is 720 x 1280 with 0.0865 x 0.0865 mm pixel pitch and pixel density of 294 pixels per inch. The screen could be considered “Retina” when viewed from a distance equal to or higher than 30 cm.

On the microscopic photo below you can see the sub pixels.

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Lenovo S60 offers wide viewing angles. On the image below you can see the screen under 45-degree angles.

Lenovo S60 Angles Final

The measured maximum brightness of the screen is 491 cd/m2. The contrast is excellent – 1900:1.

Brightness-LenovoS60

Color gamut coverage (CIE)

The display of Lenovo S60 covers 90% of sRGB and 69% of Adobe RGB color gamut.

CIE-LenovoS60

The gamma curve of the display is close to optimal. Areas with mid-brightness levels will be slightly darker.

Gamma-LenovoS60

Color reproduction

The colors of Lenovo S60’s display are accurate. The average deviation ΔЕ 2000 at maximum brightness is 2.47.

DeltaE2000-LenovoS60

On the color map below you can see how the display colors stack up to the sample ones.

DisplayColor-LenovoS60

PWM

The display of Lenovo S60 doesn’t put a strain on user’s eyes via PWM at any brightness levels.

PWM-LenovoS60

Conclusion

Lenovo S60’s display has wide viewing angles, high brightness, contrast and accurate colors. The lack of PWM at any brightness level means that using the device for longer periods won’t additionally harm the user’s sight.

Sound

Lenovo S60 has relatively good sound reproduction in the mid-range frequencies. The upper register lacks the purity of tones and causes audio distortion. The measured frequency response has a significant upswing in the range of 3 kHz to 9 kHz. The sound quality of the device is average.
Sound-LenovoS60

Specs sheet

P0SG0015RO
OS Android 4.4 (KitKat)
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 (quad core, 1.20GHz, Cortex-A53)
RAM 2GB RAM
Storage 8GB
GPU Adreno 306
Display 5-icnh IPS capacitive multitouch display with 1280 x 720 resolution
Connectivity Bluetooth v4.0, A2DP, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, GPS
Cameras 13-megapixel rear, 5-megapixel front
Features
  • Two SIM cards (Micro-SIM, Nano-SIM)
  • microSD card slot, supports up to 32GB
  • microUSB port
  • built-in speaker
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
Battery 2150 mAh
Dimension 72 x 143.3 x 7.7 mm (2.83 x 5.62 x 0.3 inches)
Weight 128 grams (4.5 oz)

Battery

Lenovo S60 has a 2150 mAh battery, which seems rather small for a 5-inch device. However, the power-efficient Snapdragon 410 SoC is at hand, which gives us relatively high expectations for the results in our different endurance tests. As you can probably guess, the tests we ran are the usual ones – talk time, Wi-Fi and 3G surfing, video playback, and 3D gaming. As always, the settings are 120 cd/m2 brightness, turned on Wi-Fi and turned off Bluetooth, GPS and 3G (except in our 3G web surfing test).

In this test the screen doesn’t affect the battery life, since the proximity sensor turns it off during phone calls.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 2150 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 1424 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) 2070 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) 707 – 50.35 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) 2100 mAh, 4.7-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 1166 – 18.12 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 893 – 37.29 % Check price
Lenovo P70 4000 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, MediaTek MT6752 1950 36.94 % Check price

We run our Web surfing test with a custom-made script, which browses through 70 popular web pages.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 2150 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 562 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) 2070 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) 479 – 14.77 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) 2100 mAh, 4.7-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 598 6.41 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 630 12.1 % Check price
Lenovo P70 4000 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, MediaTek MT6752 681 21.17 % Check price

This test uses the same custom-made script, but we use 3G connection instead of Wi-Fi.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 2150 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 429 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) 2070 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) 332 – 22.61 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) 2100 mAh, 4.7-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 381 – 11.19 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 556 29.6 % Check price
Lenovo P70 4000 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, MediaTek MT6752 609 41.96 % Check price

For this test we use a looping 720p movie.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 2150 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 631 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) 2070 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) 417 – 33.91 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) 2100 mAh, 4.7-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 682 8.08 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 631 0 % Check price
Lenovo P70 4000 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, MediaTek MT6752 718 13.79 % Check price

In order to simulate 3D gaming, we use Epic Citadel cycles at High Quality setting.

Smartphones Results (min.) Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 2150 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 286 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) 2070 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) 235 – 17.83 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) 2100 mAh, 4.7-inch, IPS, Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) 248 – 13.29 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note 3140 mAh, 5.5-inch, IPS, IGZO, MediaTek MT6752 300 4.9 % Check price
Lenovo P70 4000 mAh, 5-inch, IPS, MediaTek MT6752 357 24.83 % Check price

Power manager

The so-called Power manager is also available. It offers a couple of options to save the battery charge for as long as possible.

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Software

The S60 runs the well-known, from other Lenovo smartphones, UI on Android 4.4 KitKat. Not only does the UI offer pleasant appearance, but also various features. For example, all applications are found on the home screen, due to the fact, that there is no app drawer. Additionally, most of the icons look different than the classic ones. The are two themes available, which are capable of completely transforming the appearance of the UI. The organized and convenient sliding menu, as well as an additional one, are also present. You can access them by swiping up your finger from the bottom part.
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Pre-installed applications

Lenovo has always tried to equip their devices with a lot of useful pre-installed apps. Some of them are seen on the S60. You will find Lenovo’s SHAREit and CLONEit, used to transfer information across devices, as well as SYNCit to synchronize your data and information with the cloud or SDcard. File manager, weather, and user manual applications are also available.

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Settings menu

The settings menu has a way more pleasant appearance, than that of the classic Android 4.4 KitKat. Every option here is displayed with a small colorful icon on white background. One of the mot interesting sections is the “Functions” menu, which we will talk about below this image.
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Feature

A couple of additional features are grouped in the “Feature” submenu. They are created with the purpose to facilitate using the device. The well-known “Knock to light” option is one of the features. It wakes the screen up when you double tap it, and locks it when you slightly shake the device. The volume rocker buttons could also be used to wake the screen.

Lenovo S60 feature

Floating button

We are going to give some extra attention to the “Floating button” feature as well. It is found in the “Feature” submenu and creates a small virtual button, which you can press, hold or double tap. Each of these actions results in a different effect. For example: back, return to desktop, lock screen, open a menu and etc. The idea behind this extra feature is for you to have quick and easy way to navigate through the phone.
Lenovo S60 floating button

Performance

Lenovo S60 runs the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916 SoC, that we begin to see more often in the mid-range class of mobile devices. It has 64-bit architecture and offers four Cortex-A53 cores, clocked at 1.2 GHz. Not only does the Snapdragon 410 SoC have reasonable performance capabilities, but also low energy consumption, which is one of the reasons we measured these relatively high results in our battery tests, despite it not having a high capacity battery (2150 mAh). As we expected, the device doesn’t show any signs of lag when we used it. Adreno 306 is the GPU, that comes with the SoC, but what’s most curious are the 2GB of RAM, which is not common for a device of that range. The internal storage is 8GB, but Lenovo offers a microSD card slot, to compensate for that. As usual we ran a series of benchmark tests and we measured the results with other models of the same class.

More about the capabilities of Snapdragon 410 and a full specification list, you will find on Qualcomm’s official page: https://www.qualcomm.com/products/snapdragon/processors/410
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CPU performance

Geekbench 3.0 is Primate Labs cross-platform processor benchmark which simulates real-world scenarios and gives a combined score, based on the results of integer, floating point and memory performance.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 2GB RAM 1496 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) (4-core, Cortex-A7, 1.2 GHz), 1GB RAM 1158 – 22.59 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM 1463 – 2.21 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 3142 110.03 % Check price
Lenovo P70 MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 3551 137.37 % Check price

Metal 3 is the latest version of Vellamo’s CPU benchmark.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 2GB RAM 862 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) (4-core, Cortex-A7, 1.2 GHz), 1GB RAM 627 – 27.26 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM 778 – 9.74 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 1041 20.77 % Check price
Lenovo P70 MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 1107 28.42 % Check price

Vellamo 2 Metal measures the CPU subsystem performance of mobile processors.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 2GB RAM 658 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226) (4-core, Cortex-A7, 1.2 GHz), 1GB RAM 514 – 21.88 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916) (4-core, Cortex-A53, 1.4 GHz), 1GB RAM 623 – 5.32 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 862 31 % Check price
Lenovo P70 MediaTek MT6752 (8-core, Cortex-A53, 1.7 GHz), 2GB RAM 898 36.47 % Check price

GPU performance

The T-Rex 2.7 test is based on ES 2.0/GL 3.0 and includes highly detailed textures, materials, complex geometry, particles with animated textures and a post-process motion blur effect. The graphics pipeline also features planar reflections, specular highlights and soft-shadows.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 5.2 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226); GPU: Adreno 305, 0.45 GHz ; 1GB RAM 5.8 11.54 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM 5.3 1.92 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 16 207.69 % Check price
Lenovo P70 MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 16 207.69 % Check price

The Manhattan 3.0 test is based on ES 3.0 / GL 4.1 and uses deferred rendering and multi-render target (MRT) for the geometry pass, diffuse and specular lightning. It also features complex effects such as depth shadow map, cloaking effect, post-process effects (bloom, depth of field), occlusion query and animated volumetric light shafts.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 1.8 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226); GPU: Adreno 305, 0.45 GHz ; 1GB RAM 0 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM 1.7 – 5.56 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 5.8 222.22 % Check price
Lenovo P70 MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 5.8 222.22 % Check price

In this test, 3DMark’s Unlimited engine uses a fixed frame interval and renders exactly the same frames in every run on every device. The frames are rendered in 720p “offscreen” while the display is updated with small frame thumbnails every 100 frames to indicate progress.

Smartphones Results Result
difference
Price
Lenovo S60 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 4350 0 % Check price
Motorola Moto G (G2, 2014) Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 (MSM8226); GPU: Adreno 305, 0.45 GHz ; 1GB RAM 4659 7.1 % Check price
LG Spirit (H440N) Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (MSM8916); GPU: Adreno 306, 0.7 GHz ; 1GB RAM 4378 0.64 % Check price
MEIZU m1 note MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 10633 144.44 % Check price
Lenovo P70 MediaTek MT6752; GPU: Mali-T760, 0.7 GHz ; 2GB RAM 10859 149.63 % Check price

Temperatures and comfort

We were pleasantly surprised with the results of Lenovo S60 in our temperature test. We measured the temperature on the back cover of the device in three different areas after a couple of hours of 3D gaming. What’s impressive is that even the zone where the SoC is found (around the camera) the temperature remained low and didn’t make the device unpleasant to hold. At the hottest point we measured only 36.5 degrees. In the middle part, our thermometer showed us 34.9, while at the bottom – 33.3 degrees. We remind you that the bottom side is the one, that we most commonly lay our hand on, while using the device with one hand. In any case, you won’t have reasons to worry about the device overheating.

temp

Camera

The rear camera of Lenovo S60 has an 8-megapixel sensor, 4160 x 3120 pixels and an LED flash.

Resolution

We measure the camera’s resolution in lph (lines per high), that is affected by both – the lens and the matrix. For this test, we use the ISO 12233 chart.
ISO-LenovoS60
The camera of Lenovo S60 got maximum resolution of 2250 lph in the centre of the field.

From our test composition, we get a subjective, but accurate enough idea of the photo’s details, color, noise, and aberrations.
Test-LenovoS60
The text is readable, there are some tracks of JPG compression. The shaded areas lack details. The color noise is limited.
TEXT-LenovoS60
Noise-LenovoS60
No signs of chromatic aberrations.
Aber-LenovoS60

Color reproduction

Analyzing the photo of the color map, we can conclude, that the colors are accurate.
ColorChart-LenovoS60-940

Blue good
Green very good
Red good
Yellow very good
Magenta very good
Cyan very good
White excellent
Gray very good

We give it 7.1/10.
On the digital color map below you can see how the colors from the photo stack against the sample ones.
CameraColor-LenovoS60

A look at the menus

Menu-LenovoS60

Conclusion

The camera of Lenovo S60 takes high-detailed photos for its price range and also has accurate colors. The dynamic range isn’t the best we’ve seen, though.

Sample photos

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Macro shots

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Focus

Lenovo S60 has the ability to capture two completely different photos of the same scene, under the same conditions. Overall, we are left with good impressions from the photos, that we made with the device, but you must always pay attention to the focus, because the end result might not be of your liking.

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Video

Comparison with Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G (2014) is one of the most popular mid-range smartphones on the market, the camera being one of its most valuable assets. Precisely for that we thought, that a comparison between its photos and those of Lenovo S60 would be a fair comparison.

Lenovo S60

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Motorola Moto G (2014)

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Conclusion

lenovo-smartphone-s60-grey-back-17Even though Lenovo S60 is a mid-range device, its price makes it a competitor to models like the MEIZU m1 note and Lenovo P70, where the bar is set a little bit higher. Lenovo did their best to make their device a combination of good looks and functional software and in some cases managed to do so. The IPS display offered not only high brightness, contrast and accurate colors, but also no sings of PWM at all brightness levels.

The performance of the Snapdragon 410 with 2GB of RAM is pretty decent. The low temperatures of the device is another thing to consider. The camera left us with mixed feelings. It’s a fact, that we manage to capture some impressive macro shots, but we have some slight remarks. The ability to shoot a Full HD video comes as a big plus.

Pros

  • IPS screen with high brightness, contrast and accurate colors. No PWM in across all brightness levels
  • Thin and elegant design
  • A wide variety of extra features in the users interface
  • Relatively long battery life
  • High performance thanks to the Snapdragon 410 and Adreno 306
  • 2GB RAM
  • Low temperatures even after heavy usage

Cons

  • Only 8GB of internal storage

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