Quick Lenovo A7000 Plus Review, A Top Under 8000 Pesos Contender!

Earlier, Lenovo Philippines surprised us when they launched a more powerful variant of the Lenovo A7000 called the Lenovo A7000 Plus. It now has double the ROM at 16 GB, boast a more powerful CPU and a better rear camera at 13 MP.
LENOVO A7000 PLUS QUICK REVIEW, A TOP UNDER 8000 PESOS CONTENDER!
Lenovo A7000 Plus review

Lenovo A7000 Plus Specs

Display: 5.5 Inch FHD 1920 x 1080 resolution at 401 ppi
CPU: 1.7 GHz 64 Bit MediaTek MT6752 octa core processor
GPU: Mali T760
RAM: 2 GB
ROM: 16 GB expandable via micro SD card up to 32 GB
Back Camera: 13 MP f/2.0 w/ AF and  LED flash
Selfie Camera: 5 MP FF
Battery: 2900 mAh removable
OS; Android 5.0 Lollipop w. Vibe UI
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS, dual SIM
Sensors: Gravity, proximity, magnetic, light
Others: Dolby ATMOS surround sound
Dimensions: 152.6 x 76.2 x 8 mm
Weight: 140 g
Price: 7,999 Pesos (Sale at 7,499 this September 15 to 17, 2015)

Unboxing / Accessories

LENOVO A7000 PLUS QUICK REVIEW, A TOP UNDER 8000 PESOS CONTENDER!
The box

The accessories included in the package is on a standard level. You get a 1 USB wall charger adapter, paper documentations, 1 screen protector and the phone itself. It seems like Lenovo listened to our wish when they included a good quality hard case in the package. What's missing in the package is an in ear monitor with mic.
LENOVO A7000 PLUS QUICK REVIEW, A TOP UNDER 8000 PESOS CONTENDER!
The accessories included

Build Quality / Design

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The back of the phone

The design and build of the A7000 Plus is basically the same with the regular A7000 variant without compromising the build quality for even at this price bracket. It feels good to hold, not slippery in my hands, doesn't have annoying sharp edges and it's not big for a phone with 5.5 inch screen.
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Top part

Just like what I said the form factor is the same with the old A7000. On top you'll find the microUSB port, microphone, sensors and front facing camera. On the right side you'll see the volume rocker and power button that has a metal like easy to distinguish texture. At the back you'll find the main camera, dual LED flash and the weird placement of the speaker near the camera. Compared to the ZenFone 2 Laser, this one doesn't fall short in terms of build quality with a bit slimmer bezels.
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Side buttons

Display Quality

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Display of A7000 Plus outdoors

If you think that the display of the older A7000 is already sharp, think again. The Lenovo A7000 Plus is even better as it boast a major update in this department. It now has a full HD display with 1920 x 1080 resolution compared to 1280 x 720. It can now perform better under sunlight and has better color reproduction. It's not also harsh to eyes and has a slightly colder tone. However, it doesn't have display color adjustment in case you want to lower the Bluelight harshness when reading things at night. Lastly only thing that didn't change in its display is this still has 5 points of multitouch. 

Audio Quality

As a person who's very picky to audio, the A7000 Plus just like the A7000 caught my interest when they said that those phones has the Dolby ATMOS software. That basically enhances the soundstage output from your headphones or IEM to make it a lot wider and have a 3D effect. Via headphone or IEM, they're successful with that it was able to emulate the real Dolby ATMOS experience usually reserved in some expensive cinemas. I'd like to say that the Dolby ATMOS effect works great for gaming and watching movies.
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Lenovo A7000 Plus + ATH IM50 + Furutech Silver Braided cables = WOW

I'd just like to debunk one myth here, the Dolby ATMOS software is just okay for music, but not as good when its off. Why? The default equalizer setting It slightly bloats and muddies the midrange (vocals), can be overly bassy and gives it an un-natural effect. Some may not notice it, but the Lenovo A7000 and A7000 Plus sounds a lot better in listening to music when the Dolby ATMOS is turned off. Once you did that, you'll experience better clarity, tighter bass response and a more natural sound with great sound layering.

Note: This one still depends on your preference as some may like to turn on this feature when listening to music.

What I like here is the A7000 Plus can be a substitute HiFi DAP as it can play lossless audio files with ease. It also has enough driving power for running some low impedance cans and earphones. For example I was able to use my Havi B3 Pro I with 32 ohms of impedance at just 70% volume to get satisfactory sound. That's quite impressive as I usually need 80-100% of volume to get the result I wanted from other phones I just don't know the exact type of DAC (Digital to analog) converter Lenovo used here, but I'd like to commend them for putting a balanced capable chip to a phone this affordable.
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Speakers at the back

Speaker-wise it's just as loud as I wanted on a phone with me getting satisfactory tunes. It's good enough to fill a small quiet room with acceptable audio quality. The microphone is they used here is also quite good for recording and for you to clearly hear your calls.

Battery

Packing a 2900 mAh of battery, the Lenovo A7000 Plus has the same battery capacity compared to the regular version of the A7000.
Battery life under straight heavy usage (wifi, browsing, camera, gaming and music)

First, I thought that the use of a full HD display and not upgrading the battery life of this Lenovo A7000 Plus will only make the phone suffer, but I'm wrong. Lenovo found a way to optimize it and make this one a phone that was able to withstand an entire day on a single charge. Under heavy usage it lasted me over 6 hours that's better than even some of the regular HD screened phones out there.
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Power saving features

The good thing with this is it has a powerful battery management software that has a battery saver, background app management tool, screen and GPU power saver, smart switch and ultimate power saver that turns your device into black and white with basic phone function.

Camera

From my first impressions and analysis, the 13 MP sensor used here with the A7000 Plus is a very capable one. As usual, the camera software of Lenovo is simple yet powerful. It features different effects, HDR mode, camera grid, panorama and several basic cam adjustments. The rear camera can also record 1080p videos.

The selfie camera also has several gestures where-in you can tap, use the timer, hand sign, blink and voice commands. It also has a beautify feature with adjustment to make sure that you don't over filter. Then this phone also has a fill light effect that you can choose your color tone of either pink or chrome. Lastly, it can record 720p videos with ease.

When it comes to the quality of the shots, I was able to produce fantastic shots in great lighting conditions with amazing clarity, details and balanced colors. What I'm amazed here is it can focus on subjects easily even when you're too close to it. The rear camera of A7000 Plus also has a faster focus and shutter speed compared to the regular A7000.

Not to be left behind, the 5 MP selfie camera of the A7000 Plus is also a decent performer. I was able to take good shots with or without beautify function. However, it falls short in low light even if you use the fill light effect where-in your screen will act like a soft flash.

Sample Shots

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Regular daylight shot (HDR)
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Close-up focus shot
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Parking lot super low light shot
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Rear camera flash shot
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Selfie beautify with good lighting
LENOVO A7000 PLUS QUICK REVIEW, A TOP UNDER 8000 PESOS CONTENDER!
Selfie no beautify with good lighting
LENOVO A7000 PLUS QUICK REVIEW, A TOP UNDER 8000 PESOS CONTENDER!
Selfie in the dark using the fill light effect

Performance

The Lenovo A7000 Plus uses the Android 5.0 Lollipop OS with Vibe UI on top. It's easy to use, has a lot of useful features and a nice stable kind of Android skin. It also has a lot of common pre-installed apps that you can easily uninstall if not needed. The OS is only using 4.81 GB out of 16 GB unified storage.
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The UI and some features

Power-wise, it reminds me so much of the K3 Note which is not that mind boggling as they're basically the same phone with slight differences. Everything was smooth and snappy and I hardly feel any lag. I tried running multiple apps at the same time earlier and it works perfectly fine. It also didn't stutter when playing 1080p videos and high fidelity audio. I just noticed some minor heating in that process, that's quite common for phone with this type of specifications. By the way I just tested my Smart LTE and it works just fine.
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Mortal Combat X runs smoothly on this powerful budget device

That makes this device not only a great gaming phone due to that Mali T760 GPU and the full 1.7 GHz 64 Bit MediaTek MT6752 setup. I will keep on updating this post whenever I discover something new, but so far I'm having a great time with this phone.

Update 1: Unlike the K3 Note, this phone doesn't have pre-installed Chinese Apps
Update 2: The double tap to wake only works on one way and that's to turn on the screen only

Benchmarks

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High antutu score and 5 point multi touch
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Geekbench and quadrant scores
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GPU Bench results

Pro's - World class processing power for the price, great rear camera, great battery life for the screen resolution, improved storage and has a case included
Con's - Selfie camera falls short in lowlight, incomplete double tap feature

Verdict

At the sale price of just 7,499 Pesos, this phone is arguably the BEST BANG PER BUCK phone in the Philippines as of this writing! It was able to solve some of my concerns with the regular A7000 by improving the camera, display quality, adding more power and putting a larger storage. Perhaps, the Lenovo A7000 Plus should be in your top 3 list right now when choosing a phone under 8,000 Pesos. This beast packs an incredible value for money and you cannot go wrong with this for the price.

GIZ Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
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