A few months ago we had the opportunity to try Lenovo S5, a device medium range characterized by the presence of good hardware equipment. However, during the review, we were very critical about two particular aspects: reliability and photographic quality. It is not surprising that during these months, therefore, a certain interest was born in his natural successor. This curiosity was also fueled by continuous rumors on the technical specifications of this device, which brought attention to a remarkable level. Lenovo S5 Pro it looks like a different smartphone than its predecessor, from many points of view. Has he really managed to win our trust? How did the system react in these days of testing? We discover this, and much more, within our own Full review.
Lenovo S5 Pro Review
The sales package depicts the shape of the smartphone frontally, not showing any specific details on the back. Inside we find:
- Lenovo S5 Pro;
- USB / USB Type-C cable;
- wall power supply with quick charge support;
- pin for the SIM slot;
- short instruction manual.
Design & Quality
On this Lenovo S5 Pro we find one shell made entirely of metal, showing a satin surface. Although it is slightly too slippery it is characterized by very small dimensions. This smartphone measures, in fact, 154.5 x 75.45 x 7.7 mm thick, offering a weight overall of only 170 grams. We are talking, therefore, of a handy and practical terminal that would need an additional cover anyway, to avoid any kind of damage.
Looking at the rear profile, you can see the plastic bands, which ensure better reception of the antennas. These components have been implemented very well inside the structure, resulting practically flush with the body. What protrudes, instead, from the surface of the device is the photographic form. The two sensors are distributed vertically, one below the other. A little further down, there is also the space dual flash LEDs. Obviously not missing biometric sensor, as well as the Motorola logo.
Looking at the right side, we find the keys of the volume balance and the On / off button. Instead, along the opposite profile lies the SIM slot trolley and microSD. Lower down we have, starting from the left, the hole mini jack for the headphones, the main microphone, the entrance USB Type-C 2.0 and system speaker. On the upper side, finally, there is the space according to microphone for the reduction of environmental noise.
You have surely noticed that this smartphone offers a completely different design compared to S5. In fact, the front surface offers a display topped by a large one notch, in which they find space well two cameras dedicated to selfies, a LED RGB notification, the headset capsule, an infrared sensor and the most common proximity and brightness sensors.
This unit has an LCD panel IPS da 6.2 diagonal inches, with resolution FHD + (2246 x 1080 pixels), 402 PPI and ratio in 18.7:9. Thanks to a good reproduction of the entire chromatic scale, this display is configured as one of the best in this category. The viewing angles they are good and there are only a few problems related to the screen matrix. Whites and blacks turn, in fact, already at small angles, showing however a discrete depth. The only real problem is represented by poor oleophobicity of protective glass, which especially on the outside does not allow to see the contents on the screen well.
Lenovo S5 Pro has shown some problems with the brightness sensor, not always precise and reactive. Sometimes it is necessary, in fact, to manually set the display light, because the smartphone tends to remain at a level that is a bit too low. Despite this, I must not report any problems with the touch screen, which even during the writing phase has never revealed particular critical points.
Mainly the device offers two unlocking systems: biometric sensor e Face Unlock. The first method is quite fast and precise, always maintaining first-class reliability. The position in the body is optimal, always managing to reach its surface automatically.
As regards the unlock with the face instead, a broader discussion is needed. Lenovo opted for a different type of approach than the rest of the competition, introducing an infrared sensor in charge of this activity. By means of this tool, in fact, it is possible to use the face unlock even in the dark, avoiding a very common problem in this field. Thanks to such a technology, a much higher release rate is guaranteed, while showing a speed that is certainly not worthy of a top of the range.
Hardware & Performance
From a technical point of view, this Lenovo S5 Pro mount a chipset Qualcomm Snapdragon 636, so an octa-core processor that emits a maximum clock frequency of 1.8 GHz. The SoC also integrates a GPU Adreno 509, able to guarantee good performance in the gaming phase, even with titles of the caliber of Real Racing 3 e PUBG. A very high frame rate is not returned but the game is equally usable by every type of user. To accompany this sector we find well 6 GB of RAM e 64 GB of internal storage. Giving up the second nano SIM it is possible to insert one microSD inside the device, reaching a maximum capacity of 256 GB.
The performances shown by Lenovo S5 Pro they are absolutely good, although there are still some software problems that will undoubtedly be solved in the future. Sometimes there is some hesitation and indecision which, in any case, does not affect the daily experience so negatively. In most of the time spent with this smartphone I could appreciate a good fluidity, both in the interface and in the single applications. Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitch e Netflix show sufficient opening times, always in line with the type of product considered.
A big difference is represented by RAM, which with its capacity allows you to keep a large number of apps in the background, lightening the work of the CPU and always making the whole system click. The temperature they never rise above the guard levels, feeling a slight warmth on the back, just above the impression sensor.
I remind you that the certification Widevine it's kind of L3, so with streaming content you will not be able to enjoy the highest possible resolution. On YoutubeHowever, this problem does not exist and 1080p is easily reached.
At the software level this device can count on the proprietary interface ZUI 5.0, Based on Android 8.1 Oreo. Many will remember the branded terminals with pleasure ZUK which first began to mount this particular ROM. Many things have changed over the years but this interface continues to maintain a good degree of customization. On Lenovo S5 Pro we also find the Italian language but the translations are not yet complete. In any case it will not be difficult to get used to this new system, because in the end it doesn't upset the Android experience so much.
This software implements the drawer applications, viewable with a simple swipe upwards from the main screen. Within the settings we find, then, a slightly different arrangement of the voices and even more colorful than the original one.
Gestures & Notch
Via the "4D U-Touch"You will have the possibility to disable, for example, the navigation bar for the benefit of gestures. The combination chosen by Lenovo it differs, however, from that proposed by many other producers. A prolonged swipe upwards will take you directly to the home while with a shorter swipe, always upwards, you will return to the previous page. To open the multitasking instead, it is necessary to proceed with a swipe from one of the two side edges of the smartphone.
I didn't completely understand the management of the notch superior, for a particular reason. Some apps, in fact, run counter to this system by cutting across the top of the screen. This is the case, for example, of Instagram. Therefore, in the settings there is an entry that allows you to enable this option. I do not approve, however, that it is not possible to choose which app to enable and which not, given that not all of them suffer from the same problem. The notificationsthey are also displayed correctly on the left but when the notification curtain is pulled down, they disappear.
All Message Incoming have always been notified in a timely manner, so from this point of view I have not registered any criticality.
Dual Rear Camera
Starting from the application proposed on the smartphone, we must certify a certain care in the interface. All the main options are available at sight, in the upper part. We find, therefore, the LED flash, L 'self-timer HDR mode and the button settings. With the latter it is not possible to access a sufficient number of options, showing only some basic items. The shutter speed is also quite good in all conditions.
Later we find a dual camera characterized by a configuration from 12 + 20 mega-pixel. The main sensor is a Sony f / 1.8 opening that allows one to be used 2x optical zoom. Thanks to the telephoto lens it is possible to shoot subjects at medium distance without suffering a particular loss of quality. Especially during daylight hours there is very little difference compared to an 1x shot.
In general, however, the services offered by the sector are good, because of day the photos give back a good number of details. From the chromatic point of view the images are poor and not very saturated but this does not particularly affect the overall quality of the shot. There are no distortions or particular light problems, as the main sensor hardly overexposes the scene in front of itself.
In the most difficult conditions, with so much light, the function is available HDR, which I recommend to leave automatically. In 90% of cases, in fact, it recognizes the exact moment in which to activate, improving the scene in a natural way. If you find yourself, however, in a situation where this option is not necessary, avoid exploiting it. This is because an almost unnatural result would emerge, highlighting the technical artifice managed by the software. Remember that when using telephoto the HDR mode does not work.
During the night hours the quality drops dramatically. There is an important loss of detail and all colors tend to knead almost excessively. The lights are not very well managed and there is some overexposure in their correspondence. Using telephoto the situation remains the same.
We also propose some shots taken with the dual flash LEDs. This component gives a very warm color to the image but from a qualitative point of view we are on a good level. All the subjects shot are in focus and show sufficient detail.
Videos can be shot in 1080p to 30 fps or, alternatively, in 4K to 30 fps. In this case, however, it is necessary to make the right clarifications. There are big problems with focus and sound. During shooting the focus is often completely lost and the audio is metallic, totally out of context.
Dual Front Camera
On the front we find a double sensor composed of a main camera Sony IMX476 da 20 mega-pixels and f / 2.2 aperture and a secondary camera from 8 mega-pixels.
This sector, overall, satisfied me. The photos taken with these two cameras are of good quality, especially during the day. In fact, a good sharpness and a good chromatic range are revealed. Lenovo has developed the software very well and this consideration can be seen by looking at some shots taken with thebokeh effect. The entire contour of the subject is cut very precisely, showing only a few small smears.
in night hours the quality is slightly lacking, as the colors are more mixed and the contours less precise. Despite this, however, one can remain equally satisfied for the price range considered.
Connectivity & Audio
Excellent equipment for connectivity. On Lenovo S5 Pro we find, in fact, a module Wi-Fi ac Dual Band with excellent performance, showing a good reception even in the most difficult to cover areas of the home. In case you were out of the house, you would have to rely on the built-in LTE module. Thanks to it you can easily browse 4G without any problems, given that support for the 20 band. I remember that the removable trolley allows the use of two Nano SIM 4G simultaneously. In case you need one instead microSD it will be necessary to renounce one of the two SIMs.
We also have the Bluetooth 5.0, which has always remained connected with one Mi Band 2. Also good navigation with the system GPS Compass, characterized by the presence of GPS / AGPS / GLONASS / Beidou modules. We also find the USB input Type-C 2.0 and FM radio.
As regards'audio on this device there is a stereo system developed by Dirac. Lenovo S5 Pro in fact, both the lower speaker and the ear capsule are used to convey the sound. Thanks to this technology the quality is higher than that shown on many other smartphones of the same band. Although the basses are almost completely absent, all the sounds are well perceived and even at maximum volume there is no particular mixture of tones. It simply lacks some depth. Using a pair of headphones moreover, I heard a sound that was a little too low even at full volume.
from headset capsule the sound is clear but not entirely clean. There are very small interferences and disturbances that do not affect the call in any case.
Lenovo S5 Pro owns a battery from 3500 mAh. This capacity allows you to arrive in the evening without any particular problems, with medium-intense use. During the test days I passed, for example, 5 hours of active screen on a well basis 18 hours of continuous work, with a mixture of Wi-Fi and 4G. So you won't have to worry about having to connect your smartphone to the power supply soon. If this happens, however, you can rely on the fast top-up supported by the device. By means of the power supply with 12V / 1.5A output one will be completed full recharge, from 10 to 100%, in little more than 1 30 hours and minutes.
If you choose the right time, you can find this Lenovo S5 Pro su GearBest about 170 €. On all the major online stores the figures fluctuate around this figure, remaining however below the threshold of the euro 200. I believe that this price is entirely consistent with the services offered by the device. In my opinion, some minor changes must be made to the software in order to increase its reliability. As for the photographic sector, instead, the brand has made a good leap in quality compared to S5. The only problem with this smartphone is the competition, especially in our country. With the arrival of important Asian companies, such as Xiaomi, the fight is really tight in the middle range. It becomes difficult, therefore, to compete with an official Italian guarantee, very powerful smartphones and constant presence in the territory.