- Ridiculous battery life
- Crisp, colourful screen
- Strong customisation
- Rugged design
- Mic issues
Lenovo P2 Review: Lenovo’s great-value P2 smartphone, which boasts an absolutely massive 5000mAh battery, just hit the UK with a sexy low asking price of £199. But can this well-specced mobile beat off rivals such as the Moto G4 Plus for a piece of your stack? Here’s our full Lenovo P2 UK review.
As if we haven’t already made it massively obvious by now, you no longer have to splash out hundreds of pounds on a new mobile to get something that’s fully functional and fun to use. In recent times the likes of the Moto G4 and Moto G4 Plus, Wileyfox’s Swift 2 Plus and Swift 2 X and the Blu Vivo 6 have proved that £200 or less can bag you some seriously great smartphone features, plus some solid camera tech.
The Lenovo P2 is the latest great-value smartphone to hit the UK, with a £199 asking price. This handset’s main USP is its mighty 5100mAh battery, which promises up to three full days of use between charges. But thankfully the P2 isn’t a one-trick pony, also packing a premium design, smart 13-megapixel camera and Full HD screen.
Here’s our full Lenovo P2 review, taking a closer look at this budget phone’s best and worst qualities.
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Lenovo P2 Review: Design
Like the Wileyfox Swift 2 series, the Lenovo P2 sports a solid metal frame despite its budget cost. That aluminium surfacing is resistant to scratches it looks nice and neat too, with some chamfered edging and a two-tone finish on the rear.
The P2 is another 5.5-inch phone like the OnePlus 3T and pretty much the same size, so one-handed use can be rather tricky. However, Lenovo has included a one-handed mode which scales down your desktops and apps, crushing them towards the bottom of the screen when desired. It’s a tricky feature to enable (you have to draw a c-shape with your thumb, which is kind of hit and miss), but works quite well in a pinch.
Beneath the screen is a physical home button, which doubles as a fingerprint sensor. This is impressively fast at unlocking your phone, not to mention just as accurate as the scanners found on full-priced mobiles. Even better, the sensor comes with gesture support built in. More on this later.
I did have one problem with the P2’s hardware, and that’s to do with the mic. This was fine for standard calls when I had the phone pressed up to my face, but others struggled to hear me when I was Skyping them and the phone was at a distance. In these case you may have to use a headset for best results.
Lenovo P2 Review: Screen and media
That 5.5-inch screen is a solid budget panel, offering crisp Full HD visuals just like the Moto G4 phones. You can switch on Lenovo’s Vibrant display mode if you like punchy colours, while the screen is also eye-searing on top brightness. If you love to kick back with some Netflix on the go, the P2 will more than satisfy.
Alternatively, if you don’t like streaming your media, the P2 can take a microSD memory card. In that way, you can easily expand the 32GB of storage and fill up the phone with dozens of high-def movies, plus a good-sized music collection.
The P2’s speaker grilles can be found on the bottom edge of the phone, making them very easy to muffle with your palms when watching video or playing games. They’re not too tinny, but they’re certainly not good for blasting music either.
Lenovo P2 Review: Features and OS
Android 6.0.1 comes pre-installed on the Lenovo P2 and as usual offers full customisation and plenty of great features. Hopefully you should get an update to Nougat in the near future, as it offers more efficient running, improved navigation and proper multi-tasking with apps.
In the meantime you get plenty of bonus features packed into the P2, courtesy of Lenovo. For instance, there’s gesture support built into the display, for turning on the screen with a double-tap and so on. Even the fingerprint sensor recognises pre-set gestures. Leaving your thumb on the surface for a second brings up your open apps, for instance. I didn’t use these gestures much at all, but others might.
You also get dual login support for the likes of WhatsApp, if you’re leading a bit of a double life (or simply have separate work and personal accounts). And you get even more customisation options than with vanilla Android, allowing you to configure the toolbar layout and so on.
Lenovo P2 Review: Performance and battery life
A Snapdragon 625 processor is packed inside the Lenovo P2, backed by a generous 4GB of RAM. The result is a pretty smooth everyday experience, although you’ll spot the occasional bit of lag when zipping between different apps. Still, we happily played even quite demanding action games, with a solid framerate throughout.
But the real star of the Lenovo P2’s overall offering is of course that 5100mAh battery. Lenovo’s boast that you can get three full days of life from the P2 on a single charge isn’t fiction. We really did get close to 72 full hours of use each time, plus the phone can be recharged in roughly an hour and a half with the bundled charger.
As if the phone needed it, you also get a battery saver mode that temporarily cuts some of the P2’s features to extend the battery life. You can quickly activate this using the nifty slider button on the edge of the handset.
Lenovo P2 Review: Cameras
On the back of the Lenovo P2 you’ll find a 13-megapixel camera with a two-tone LED flash, and it’s a perfectly decent budget snapper. Lenovo’s ‘Smart’ auto mode does a respectable job of figuring out the best settings for each shot on the fly, while the Phase Detection Autofocus locks onto your subject in double-quick time.
Need to take a spontaneous shot? You can double-tap one of the volume buttons to take an instant snap when the phone is hibernating, which captures an image in just over a second.
As well as the ability to shoot up to 4K UHD resolution video, you also get a handful of bonus camera modes. Slow-motion and fast-motion footage can be shot, for instance, while the Pro mode offers up full manual controls for tweaking the white balance, ISO levels and so on.
Our snaps generally came out well, providing the light was decent. You get impressive detail packed into your shots, even those taken up close, along with realistic colour reproduction. However, tricky contrast often results in murky and oversaturated areas, while low light snaps come out grainy. And if your subject is a hyperactive child or an active pet, then good luck getting a photo that isn’t super blurred.
Around the front of the Lenovo P2 you get a 5-megapixel camera that’s perfectly fine for the odd selfie. You get the obligatory beauty mode too of course, for smoothing out those wrinkles.
Lenovo P2 Review: Verdict
The Lenovo P2’s awesomeness thankfully extends well past the ridiculously good battery life. For just £200 (or £23 per month on contract), you get a well-specced handset that’s great for enjoying media on the move, as well as reassuringly rugged. As a result, it's a definite rival to other value phones like the Moto G4.
- Android 6.0.1
- Snapdragon 625
- Fingerprint sensor