First impressions of Lenovo Phab Plus PB1 – the perfect combination between a compact tablet and a large smartphone

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The trend of increasing the screen size of smartphones has been around for a couple of years now and both users and manufacturers know that in exchange for the larger work space, we sacrifice the convenience of holding and using the devices with one hand. However, there’s a large enough variety of smartphones on the market to satisfy the needs of every type of user – those who enjoy compact devices and those who are okay with working with two hands most of the time. Anyway, the model we’re going to talk about today is closer to a tablet than a smartphone. This is due to its insanely large 6.8-inch display and supports dual-SIM.

You can find information about the price and availability of Lenovo Phab Plus PB1 at the following link: http://amzn.to/1PA3SDw

As you can tell from the name of the model, we’re dealing with a phablet. If we are to look at the bright side of things, we could say that this is the worlds largest smartphone or most compact tablet. Speaking of, it has high-end looks thanks to its metal unibody construction and only 7.6 mm thick profile. The latter is of great importance since you are going to carry it around in your pocket a lot. Anyway, you’re bound to have one of those moments, where you’re out in the public and you have to put this gigantic phone on your ear, which in our days would look shocking if not ridiculous. Lenovo has put a lot of effort to decrease the overall size of the phone, by putting relatively thin screen bezels yet we’ve seen better to be honest. The similarity between this model and iPhone 6 Plus also makes an impression. However, we’re considering this as a “plus”, no pun intended.

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Unlike a lot of other Lenovo devices, Phab Plus PB1 has an app-drawer. Besides the standard Google apps, you’ll find a couple of pre-installed applications, such as SHAREit and SYNCit. The device runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop and the settings menu has the usual for the version of the OS appearance but offers a special function section. Most of them are designed to make the phone easier to use with one hand, as you are able to adjust the active screen size and thus reach a much larger portion of it with your thumb. There’s a similar option with the keyboard, but you can only move it to the left or right sides of the display, again – to make one-handed use more comfortable. We also see the popular in Lenovo models – virtual navigation button, which you can place anywhere you please on the screen. The button itself provides quick access to selected features and apps. We’ll look at more of the software capabilities of the phone in our upcoming review.

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We’re eager to put the 3500 mAh battery through our tests and see how it fairs. We wonder how the battery will keep up with the 6.8-inch screen. Also, we’d like to check if Snapdragon 615 has that overheating problem that we’ve observed in previous models. To this moment we haven’t felt anything alarming in this regard, however, we’re yet to put the phablet through our temperatures test, so we’ll refrain from giving any statements for now. We also took a quick look at the camera menu that offers all the usual manual settings, such as white balance, ISO, exposure, etc. There are also a lot of shooting modes as well. The main camera of the device has a 13MP sensor with double LED flash, capable of recording videos in Full HD resolution.

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Specs sheet


OS Android v5.0.2 (Lollipop)
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939 (4-core, 1.00GHz, Cortex-A53 & 4-core,1.50GHz, Cortex-A53)
RAM 2GB
Storage 32GB
GPU Adreno 405
Display 6.8-inch IPS capacitive multi-touch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution
Connectivity Bluetooth 4.0, 802.11b/g/n, 4G/LTE
Cameras 13MP (rear), 5MP (front)
Features
  • Dual-SIM card support
  • microSD memory card slot, supports up to 32GB
  • micro-USB port
  • built-in speaker
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
Battery 3500 mAh
Dimensions 96.6 x 186.6 x 7.6 mm
Weight 220 g

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