Battery anxiety - it’s more common than you think.
The symptoms are easy to spot: sweaty palms once you see your phone drop below 15% juice. Refusing to leave the house without a portable battery pack. Constantly being on the lookout for a USB port.
If that sounds a bit too familiar, it might be time to ditch your fast-draining flagship for Lenovo’s latest budget bargain.
The Lenovo P2 punches well above its weight when it comes to specs, but well and truly flattens the competition for battery life. It’s rocking a colossal 5100mAh battery, which can easily last two days between charges - or even more if you’re careful.
LENOVO P2 DESIGN & BUILD
I was expecting the P2 to be a bit of a porker, but Lenovo has managed to fit that huge battery inside without adding dramatically to the bulk. At 177g and 8.3mm thick you’ll definitely still notice it in your pocket, but it’s only slightly bigger overall than the rest of the 5.5in phone world.
The all-metal build is a pleasant surprise, given the price. Chamfered edges and gunmetal grey colours might not be the epitome of smartphone style right now, but it blends in nicely with the OnePlus 3Ts of the world - it certainly doesn’t look like a budget phone.
It’s also impressively fingerprint-resistant, both on the metal rear and glass-covered front. You won’t need to constantly polish it to keep it looking spangly.
Not everyone likes having a fingerprint sensor on the front of their phone, but it works well enough on the P2. It's quick to unlock your phone, and has some neat optional gesture controls that can be toggled on in the Settings menu. More on those later.
LENOVO P2 FEATURES
There are a few tell-tale signs to where Lenovo has kept costs down, though, like the microUSB charging port on the bottom of the phone instead of reversible USB-C. Oh, and those speaker grilles sat either side of the port? Only one of ‘em actually has a speaker behind it.
The headphone jack sits at the top of the phone, with the power and volume keys within easy reach on the right side.
There’s also a handy flip switch on the left, a lot like Apple’s mute key or the Do Not Disturb switch on the OnePlus 3T, except here it throws the phone into an ultra-low power mode. Annoyingly you can’t change its function, and it sometimes gets flipped accidentally when pulling the phone out of a pocket.
Seeing how this power saving mode turns almost everything off, only letting you make calls and send SMS messages, it’s not something you’re going to be using unless you’re really desperate to squeeze some extra life from a draining battery.
This is a dual-SIM phone but the second slot doubles as a way to add extra storage with microSD cards - something I’m betting more people will be interested in.
Finally, the notification LED is a nice touch, as not all budget phones have one. Lenovo’s software overrides the colours, though, so anything that’s not a phone call or text message gets lumped under the same colour scheme. You’ve basically got to turn on the phone to check, rather than know at-a-glance if that beep was for an important email, or annoying Candy Crush notification.
LENOVO P2 PERFORMANCE & SCREEN
The 5.5in AMOLED screen is a real highlight, as most sub-RM1200 phones make do with LCD displays - and don’t always stretch to Full HD resolutions. You get honest-to-goodness 1080p on the P2, and picture quality is great.
Everything looks bright, with vibrant colours, plenty of contrast and deep black hues. You can tone down the clarity in the Settings menu if you find things a little too colourful, but I thought the “Normal” mode was a little too muted.
Viewing angles are fantastic, but there’s no blue light filter for night-time viewing - just a low brightness mode that won’t help you get to sleep once you’re done with your late-night Instagram addiction.
Underneath, a Snapdragon 625 CPU and 4GB of RAM are running the show. This is more than enough power for a budget phone, as while it’s not lightning fast, it can still open apps in a sprightly manner, multi-task without any real slowdown and handle Full HD video or media-heavy web browsing.
Certain, more demanding apps can still throw up a stutter or two, but I wasn’t left wanting more power at any point.
Gaming isn’t quite the same story, as you’ll need to lower the detail settings on apps like Asphalt 8 to get a completely smooth experience. 2D titles run perfectly, though.
The 32GB of onboard storage has about 24GB available to use out of the box, which is more than enough for a selection of apps and games to get you through a long journey.