The budget end of the smartphone market is no longer a place for plasticky afterthoughts, as manufacturers realise that to appeal to the budget buyer — of which there are many — you can’t make the device feel like its price.
When Xiaomi announced the RMB699 (around RM467) Redmi 3, it blew the minds of everyone here at the office with its metal body and mid-tier Snapdragon 616 processor, not to mention the 13MP PDAF rear camera plus its massive 4,100 mAh battery. We thought that nobody would be able to hold a candle to it, much less challenge it.
Well, we were wrong because Lenovo came out of nowhere and swung a left hook right in the Redmi 3’s face with their new budget smartphone.
Affectionately named the Lemon 3, Lenovo’s new device sports a 5-inch 1080p full HD display — which is one up over the Redmi 3’s measly 720p HD panel. On the inside, it is powered by a 1.5GHz Snapdragon 616 processor with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable internal storage.
In terms of camera, the Lenovo Lemon 3 packs a 13-megapixel rear sensor and 5MP front camera combo. It also supports 4G LTE and dual-SIM functionality plus a 2,750 mAh battery all encased in a metallic body.
Hoping to one-up other budget phones (as if it hasn’t already), the smartphone will have a pair of Dolby Atmos speakers. The only unfortunate thing is that they’re rear facing, instead of front facing like their Vibe K4 Note that they announced earlier. Then again, for the price of RMB699 (around RM467) we can’t really complain.
Also, since it’s priced at that sweet spot of RMB699, Lenovo couldn’t have made it more obvious that this Lemon 3 was designed to slay the Redmi 3. Odd isn’t it that we’ve arrived at a point in time where there is such a thing as a “budget flagship” killer. All the better for consumers, though!
The way we see it, your options are clear. Do you want a better screen plus a better set of speakers for a smaller battery, or do you want a massive battery with compromises in the other two departments. With that laser etched lattice-diamond-design-thing, we will give the Redmi 3 a slight edge for now in terms of build, but we’ll have to hold them both before we make a decision.
Currently, there is no information on availability outside of China, but we will keep you posted if there are any updates. For now, do let us know what you think of this device and if you would get it over the Redmi 3 in the comments section below.