Notebookcheck

Lenovo B Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, Stefanie Voigt (translated by MP), 03/30/2017

A Lenovo for first-time smartphone users. The Lenovo B smartphone is already available for less than 100 Euros (~$108). Its fixed-focus camera or TN display may cause disappointment, but at least there is LTE and a replaceable battery. Whether this is enough to top other low-cost smartphones, we'll clarify in the following test.

For the original German article, see here.

Lenovo's smartphone offensive to conquer significant western market-share certainly continues: their assortment covers the entire range between low-cost and high-end -- sometimes the same territory is even occupied by two models, if we consider their "trendy" Moto line too.

Today's device for testing, the Lenovo B, provides a pretty plain and simple design for its sub-100 Euros (~$108) price. But are we really facing a typical Lenovo bargain, or rather a cost-optimized product with a 4.5-inch display, the afore-mentioned LTE modem and replaceable battery? Let's also compare it to the major competitors in this price-class, such as the LG K4, the Wiko Jerry, the Archos 50 Platinum 4G or the Huawei Y5 II.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Especially English native speakers welcome!

Currently wanted: 
News and Editorial Editor - Details here

Lenovo B (Vibe Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.5 inch 16:9, 854 x 480 pixel 218 PPI, Capacitive 2-Point Touchscreen, TN LED, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 3.75 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5mm jack for headset, Card Reader: Micro SD-card, 32 GB max., Sensors: Accelerometric Sensor
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM (850/​900/​1800/​1900), UMTS (850/​900/​1900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B5/​B7/​B8/​B20/​B38/​B40/​B41); Bandwidth (download/​upload): 150Mbps/​50Mbps (LTE), 21Mbps/​5,76Mbps (UMTS); SAR-rate: 1,557 W/kg (Head), 1,714 W/kg, Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 9.9 x 132.5 x 66 ( = 0.39 x 5.22 x 2.6 in)
Battery
7.6 Wh, 2000 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 11.3 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 170 h
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix LED-Flash, Fix-Focus Lens
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix Fix-Focus Lens
Additional features
Speakers: One Rear Speaker, Keyboard: Virtual Keyboard, Charger, USB-Cable, Android 6, 24 Months Warranty, FM-Radio, fanless
Weight
144 g ( = 5.08 oz / 0.32 pounds), Power Supply: 70 g ( = 2.47 oz / 0.15 pounds)
Price
100 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

What immediately meets the eye, but wasn't depicted in official product shots: on the back side there is a "Moto" logo, already wearing off -- at least on our test device, which is a retail item made available by the online shop "notebooksbilliger.de". The logo appears strangely displaced, since one might expect Lenovo to keep their main brand strictly separate from the trendy Moto products of Lenovo's affiliate Motorola. Could this be a first sign that a merger between the brands is in the making?

Regardless, such lousy screen-print quality is surprising. Otherwise, the back cover is slightly textured, which feels nice, but it is not really slip-proof. Its compact shape with rounded corners makes the Lenovo B fit well even into smaller hands.

A height of 9.9 mm makes the device appear quite massive, but, despite a weight of not less than 144 g, it is easy to hold. Applying pressure to the front causes a colorful pressure point with waves around it on screen, remaining for a few seconds. Pressing the back side hard will not affect the display though. The Lenovo does not produce a creaking sound when twisted. Altogether the device proves to have a good level of stability, with a slight deduction noted for the high pressure-sensitivity of the display.

Size Comparison

145.1 mm / 5.71 inch 73.5 mm / 2.89 inch 9.6 mm / 0.378 inch 166 g0.366 lbs145 mm / 5.71 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 9.4 mm / 0.3701 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs143.8 mm / 5.66 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 135 g0.2976 lbs132.5 mm / 5.22 inch 66 mm / 2.6 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 144 g0.3175 lbs131.9 mm / 5.19 inch 66.6 mm / 2.62 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 120 g0.2646 lbs

Connectivity

The Lenovo B ships with 1 GB of RAM and 8 GB flash memory (eMMC). That's average for this price class, but some models even offer 16 GB internal storage. The tested smartphone provides dual-SIM capability; a single-SIM version is also available with no difference in price. The extra slots for micro-SIM and micro-SD card add value to the product. An extension of the internal storage capacity is especially necessary, as the built-in 8 GB leaves the user with just 3.75 GB of free space for personal data or additional apps! The manufacturer specifies a maximum of 32 GB, but our 64 GB SD-card worked as well.

The smartphone's sensor-equipment is quite limited; it lacks a sensor to adjust the display brightness as well as a proximity sensor, which is useful in preventing unsolicited app starts while on a call. Competitors like the Wiko Jerry or the Huawei Y5 II can score here. Last but not least, there is an FM radio on board.

Software

The preinstalled operating system is Android 6, with the last security patches updated on October 5, 2016 -- almost half a year before our test. It would be better not to expect any updates for such a low-budget product! The Lenovo apps SHAREit and SYNCit to transfer data between devices or to use the Lenovo cloud service are included. Then there is the Lenovo Companion, an app containing diagnose and help tools to better understand the smartphone. That Lenovo has to install some promotional apps is quite a nuisance in consideration of the very limited memory storage available. 

Communication and GPS

The Lenovo B provides LTE-connectivity, which, while not entirely out of the ordinary, still isn't the normal for devices in this price-segment. Altogether this modem can cover nine different LTE frequency bands. Our German Vodafone connection signal never went below half in signal strength, when tested in urban area, indoors or on the road.

WLAN connectivity is limited to 802.11 b/g/n; the faster 802.11 ac WLAN is beyond the class-standard. Also, the rarely used 5 GHz band isn't supported by all our competitors. But even in comparison with other low-budget smartphones the Lenovo B's data-transfer rates score low: receiving only at 39.5 MBit/s and sending at just 47.7 MBit/s.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo C2
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
50.5 MBit/s ∼100% +28%
Lenovo Moto E3
Mali-T720, MT6735P, 8 GB eMMC Flash
47 MBit/s ∼93% +19%
Lenovo B
Mali-T720, MT6735M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
39.5 MBit/s ∼78%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Lenovo C2
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
53.3 MBit/s ∼100% +12%
Lenovo Moto E3
Mali-T720, MT6735P, 8 GB eMMC Flash
49.3 MBit/s ∼92% +3%
Lenovo B
Mali-T720, MT6735M, 8 GB eMMC Flash
47.7 MBit/s ∼89%
GPS test: indoors
GPS test: indoors
GPS test: outdoors
GPS test: outdoors

The GPS module is pretty responsive: though our location cannot be determined while being indoors, our position outdoors is quickly located with an accuracy of 3 m radius.

For deeper analysis we take the Lenovo B on a short bike ride -- together with our professional navigation device Garmin Edge 500. The Lenovo B calculates the route by 400 m shorter than the pro navigation, which is caused by the fact that smartphones usually set less measuring-points and thus lack accuracy due to adding up from fewer straight lines between way-points. But most competitors perform worse. For a hobbyist, with little need for absolute precision, the GPS module provides a nice benefit.     

GPS Lenovo B: overview
GPS Lenovo B: overview
GPS Lenovo B: junction
GPS Lenovo B: junction
GPS Lenovo B: riverbank
GPS Lenovo B: riverbank
GPS Garmin Edge 500: overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: junction
GPS Garmin Edge 500: junction
GPS Garmin Edge 500: riverbank
GPS Garmin Edge 500: riverbank

Telephone and Call Quality

Lenovo modified Google's stock phone app without providing significant improvement or new features. A "mercury keyboard" might be the most special feature: when the mobile leans, the keypad will lean too, the perspective increase of the numpad is supposed to accommodate one-hand usability. Alas, there seems to be no mid-adjustment, thus keys never display just square.

The voice quality is acceptable in general. Signal reception and sound reproduction result in hearing loud and clear voices through the head-set or the built-in speakers. Our transmission works fairly well too for the other side, even when we lower our voice. Alas, on speaker-phone a permanent background noise is produced, drowning out any soft voices.

Cameras

Front camera picture
Front camera picture

As a consequence of Lenovo's tight budget, very limited optical signal-processing capabilities are to be expected: both cameras are fix-focused, with a meager 5 megapixel resolution at the rear and just 2 megapixels at the front. At least the main camera features an LED flash.

Still, the images of the main camera appear blurry and without distinctness in detail, which is obvious even without magnification. Colors appear washed-out instead of impressive. Poor illumination will drown pictures in an ocean of noise. Videos can be recorded in up to 720p resolution at 20 frames per second provided one accepts shuttering images, color artifacts and lots of noise in the darker parts. Exposure adaptation worked responsively at least.

While the front-cam produces dim colors too, its sharpness was quite acceptable, as was the distinctness in dark and bright areas.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

By making standardized shots of our reference objects under pre-determined light conditions with the main camera, we analyzed inconsistency in sharpness, with high variation from crisp areas to neighboring blurry ones. Letters on colored backgrounds cause problems too, as do high-contrast borders, creating fringes and color variations.

We couldn't even recommend the rear camera for snapshots, which often turn out badly blurred.

Reference card, photographed with the rear camera
Reference card, photographed with the rear camera
Reference-card detail, photographed with the rear camera
Reference-card detail, photographed with the rear camera
Photographed ColorChecker reference: The lower half of each square contains the original color.
Photographed ColorChecker reference: The lower half of each square contains the original color.

Accessories and Warranty

The box just contains the charger with a cable and the obligatory printed reference. There are no options to purchase special accessories for this device via Lenovo online.

Lenovo provides a warranty of 24 months for the device and 12 months for the replaceable battery, which is remarkable, as Lenovo's Moto devices only get a 12-month guarantee.

Please see our Guarantees, Return Policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Handling

The virtual keyboard software is Google's standard app, which is part of Android 6. Despite the small size of the displayed keys on the screen, typing works precisely. Fast typists may feel a slight delay in reaction, but this would not slow down from writing as fast as possible on such an on-screen keyboard.

On rare occasions the space-bar wasn't recognized. That might be caused by the fact that the touchscreen can only process two inputs at the same time. Apart from that, the touchscreen is well usable, with no lack of sensitivity at the edges. Some time might be needed to get used to the unusual positioning of the menu buttons, which are designed as integrated touch buttons. On the right side of the device there are the obligatory rocker-switch for volume control and the stand-by button. Both are easy to manage due to palpable pressure points.

Virtual keyboard in landscape format
Virtual keyboard in landscape format
Virtual keyboard in portrait format
Virtual keyboard in portrait format

Display

Subpixels
Subpixels

The Lenovo B's display type is becoming quite uncommon: nowadays a TN panel can only be found in exceptionally low-priced smartphones, as the price-gap to an IPS panel is too marginal to justify the TN panel's bad viewing angles. A resolution of 854x480 pixels for a 4.5-inch screen is still acceptable, though small letters show visible pixelation. In general, such a coarse-grained surface constitutes for an uneven impression. Competitors like the Archos 50 Platinum or the Huawei Y5 II provide a 720p-resolution at the same price.

The maximal screen-brightness is quite low; we measured a mean value of 302 cd/m² across the display. The competitors score significantly better. What all products have in common, though, is the lack of a brightness sensor, which requires manual corrections. The illumination level is 96%, which leads to an almost exemplarily consistent display of large color spaces.

297
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
299
cd/m²
300
cd/m²
309
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
302
cd/m²
310
cd/m²
297
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 310 cd/m² Average: 301.7 cd/m² Minimum: 14.76 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 96 %
Center on Battery: 309 cd/m²
Contrast: 672:1 (Black: 0.46 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 9.8 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 11.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.33
Lenovo B
TN LED, 854x480, 4.5
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Huawei Y5 II
IPS, 1280x720, 5
LG K4
TN-TFT, 854x480, 4.5
Wiko Jerry
IPS, 854x480, 5
Screen
12%
7%
2%
21%
Brightness middle
309
344
11%
465
50%
337
9%
432
40%
Brightness
302
349
16%
443
47%
342
13%
436
44%
Brightness Distribution
96
89
-7%
90
-6%
92
-4%
91
-5%
Black Level *
0.46
0.65
-41%
0.84
-83%
0.44
4%
0.57
-24%
Contrast
672
529
-21%
554
-18%
766
14%
758
13%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
9.8
5.8
41%
7.8
20%
11.4
-16%
7
29%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
19.7
10.7
46%
15.7
20%
22
-12%
12.4
37%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11.5
5.7
50%
8.4
27%
11
4%
7.6
34%
Gamma
2.33 94%
2.1 105%
2.07 106%
2.19 100%
2.1 105%
CCT
12460 52%
7792 83%
8438 77%
9372 69%
8368 78%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9266 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

A black value of 0.46 cd/m² is quite acceptable, resulting in a reasonable contrast ratio of 672:1. There are no possibilities of display adjustment; the image presentation looks strong in colors.

By the means of a spectral photometer and the software CalMAN we achieve concrete details about the display quality: there is an extreme blue tint, while all colors in general deviate in respect to their reference values defined by the sRGB color space. But who would judge the quality of photos by such a screen anyway?

CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Saturation
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Colorspace

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
32 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 14 ms rise
↘ 18 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 82 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (24.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
276 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ ms rise
↘ ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 100 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (39.6 ms).

Outdoors, the usability is limited by strong display reflections together with a pretty low brightness level. As mentioned, the viewing angles reduce visibility further. Vertical inclination especially leads to color shifts -- even turning negative!

Viewing angle
Viewing angle
Outdoor visibility
Outdoor visibility

Performance

Data processing inside the Lenovo B is performed by the MediaTek MT6735M SoC, a trimmed-down MT6735 with slower clock-speeds for the processor and graphics. The four CPU cores run at just 1 GHz. The lower-clocked MT6735 is also inside the LG K4 and the Archos 50 Platinum, so that any performance difference might be marginal.

The entry-level Mali-T720 MP2 GPU is integrated into the MediaTek SoC. A single cluster runs at 450 MHz. With such comparatively low performance, the Lenovo B is on class-level. One has to live with delays and stuttering. 1 GB RAM is too little to keep complex apps running in the background.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
23464 Points ∼8%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
23657 Points ∼8% +1%
Huawei Y5 II
23795 Points ∼8% +1%
LG K4
22998 Points ∼8% -2%
Wiko Jerry
15185 Points ∼5% -35%
Geekbench 4.0
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
1209 Points ∼4%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
1206 Points ∼4% 0%
Huawei Y5 II
1573 Points ∼5% +30%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
431 Points ∼7%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
428 Points ∼7% -1%
Huawei Y5 II
561 Points ∼9% +30%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Lenovo B
7072 Points ∼8%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
6902 Points ∼8% -2%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0% -100%
LG K4
7018 Points ∼8% -1%
Wiko Jerry
7748 Points ∼9% +10%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
2239 Points ∼0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2681 Points ∼1% +20%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0% -100%
LG K4
2171 Points ∼0% -3%
Wiko Jerry
2481 Points ∼0% +11%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
2640 Points ∼1%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
3103 Points ∼1% +18%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0% -100%
LG K4
2565 Points ∼1% -3%
Wiko Jerry
2922 Points ∼1% +11%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo B
4.1 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
8.7 fps ∼0% +112%
Huawei Y5 II
8.4 fps ∼0% +105%
LG K4
4.1 fps ∼0% 0%
Wiko Jerry
4.4 fps ∼0% +7%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Lenovo B
11 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
4.9 fps ∼0% -55%
Huawei Y5 II
15 fps ∼0% +36%
LG K4
11 fps ∼0% 0%
Wiko Jerry
11 fps ∼0% 0%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo B
1.5 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
3.6 fps ∼1% +140%
Huawei Y5 II
fps ∼0% -100%
LG K4
1.4 fps ∼0% -7%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Lenovo B
5.5 fps ∼2%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
1.2 fps ∼0% -78%
Huawei Y5 II
6.1 fps ∼2% +11%
LG K4
5.8 fps ∼2% +5%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo B
1 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2.7 fps ∼0% +170%
Huawei Y5 II
fps ∼0% -100%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
Lenovo B
4.2 fps ∼0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
1.2 fps ∼0% -71%
Huawei Y5 II
fps ∼0% -100%
LG K4
4.1 fps ∼0% -2%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
2125 Points ∼11%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2807 Points ∼14% +32%
Huawei Y5 II
3237 Points ∼17% +52%
LG K4
2644 Points ∼13% +24%
Wiko Jerry
2636 Points ∼13% +24%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
Lenovo B
9 Points ∼0%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
9 Points ∼0% 0%
Huawei Y5 II
10 Points ∼0% +11%
LG K4
536 Points ∼6% +5856%
Wiko Jerry
530 Points ∼6% +5789%
Graphics (sort by value)
Lenovo B
145 Points ∼1%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
175 Points ∼1% +21%
Huawei Y5 II
283 Points ∼1% +95%
LG K4
141 Points ∼0% -3%
Wiko Jerry
139 Points ∼0% -4%
Memory (sort by value)
Lenovo B
311 Points ∼4%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
354 Points ∼5% +14%
Huawei Y5 II
375 Points ∼5% +21%
LG K4
139 Points ∼2% -55%
Wiko Jerry
290 Points ∼4% -7%
System (sort by value)
Lenovo B
799 Points ∼5%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
838 Points ∼5% +5%
Huawei Y5 II
1094 Points ∼7% +37%
LG K4
816 Points ∼5% +2%
Wiko Jerry
966 Points ∼6% +21%
Overall (sort by value)
Lenovo B
136 Points ∼2%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
148 Points ∼2% +9%
Huawei Y5 II
183 Points ∼2% +35%
LG K4
304 Points ∼4% +124%
Wiko Jerry
379 Points ∼4% +179%

Legend

 
Lenovo B Mediatek MT6735M, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Archos 50 Platinum 4G Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Y5 II Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG K4 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Wiko Jerry Mediatek MT6580M, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash

Surfing the Internet is as quick with the Lenovo B as with its competitors, only the Huawei Y5 II excels in speed here slightly. Expect delays in loading times and occasional stutters when browsing sophisticated HTML5 websites.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
18130 ms * ∼30%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
19092.2 ms * ∼32% -5%
Huawei Y5 II
12505 ms * ∼21% +31%
LG K4
18213.5 ms * ∼31% -0%
Wiko Jerry
14922.6 ms * ∼25% +18%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
1929 Points ∼4%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2122 Points ∼4% +10%
Huawei Y5 II
2707 Points ∼5% +40%
LG K4
2049 Points ∼4% +6%
Wiko Jerry
2075 Points ∼4% +8%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Lenovo B
12.64 Points ∼4%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
12.755 Points ∼4% +1%
Huawei Y5 II
18.47 Points ∼5% +46%
LG K4
13 Points ∼4% +3%
Wiko Jerry
14 Points ∼4% +11%

* ... smaller is better

Even for a budget phone the Lenovo B's storage access is quite poor. Especially when accessing the memory, the competitors are a little faster. Also SD-card access is quite slow: our reference card, a Toshiba Exceria Pro M401, would permit significantly higher data-throughput, and again most competitors do better.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Lenovo B
16.8 MB/s ∼19%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
15.58 MB/s ∼18% -7%
Huawei Y5 II
18.03 MB/s ∼21% +7%
LG K4
18.7 MB/s ∼21% +11%
Wiko Jerry
19.12 MB/s ∼22% +14%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
Lenovo B
24.16 MB/s ∼25%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
31.85 MB/s ∼33% +32%
Huawei Y5 II
29.47 MB/s ∼31% +22%
LG K4
28.52 MB/s ∼30% +18%
Wiko Jerry
40.91 MB/s ∼42% +69%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Lenovo B
4.2 MB/s ∼2%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
4.35 MB/s ∼2% +4%
Huawei Y5 II
6 MB/s ∼2% +43%
LG K4
4.97 MB/s ∼2% +18%
Wiko Jerry
6.4 MB/s ∼3% +52%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Lenovo B
12.4 MB/s ∼6%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
14.31 MB/s ∼7% +15%
Huawei Y5 II
27.3 MB/s ∼14% +120%
LG K4
16.05 MB/s ∼8% +29%
Wiko Jerry
14.97 MB/s ∼8% +21%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Lenovo B
8.1 MB/s ∼1%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
7.56 MB/s ∼1% -7%
Huawei Y5 II
21.6 MB/s ∼4% +167%
LG K4
8.07 MB/s ∼1% 0%
Wiko Jerry
12.11 MB/s ∼2% +50%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Lenovo B
115.6 MB/s ∼8%
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
125.37 MB/s ∼8% +8%
Huawei Y5 II
173.3 MB/s ∼12% +50%
LG K4
120.84 MB/s ∼8% +5%
Wiko Jerry
132.81 MB/s ∼9% +15%

Games

The Lenovo B doesn't really qualify for gaming, despite its low resolution. A demanding racing game like Asphalt 8 is practically unplayable with all these shutters and stutters. Even with a reduced detail level some stuttering remains. On the other hand, simple games like Angry Birds 2 run smoothly and without problem. Due to precise navigation by the acceleration sensors and touchscreen it can be real fun.

Asphalt 8
Asphalt 8
Angry Birds 2
Angry Birds 2
Asphalt 8: Airborne
 SettingsValue
 high10 fps
Temple Run 2
 SettingsValue
 default59 fps

Emissions and Energy

Temperature

In stand-by, the device warms-up to 36.6 °C, which is mainly noticeable on the front side. Operation under full load won't lead to a significant increase; we measured a maximum of 38.5 °C. Some of the heat will spread throughout the device but nobody would claim that the Lenovo B becomes uncomfortably hot.

Max. Load
 35.3 °C
96 F
35.6 °C
96 F
33.9 °C
93 F
 
 35 °C
95 F
34.5 °C
94 F
38.5 °C
101 F
 
 34.3 °C
94 F
34.4 °C
94 F
36.3 °C
97 F
 
Maximum: 38.5 °C = 101 F
Average: 35.3 °C = 96 F
33.6 °C
92 F
35.3 °C
96 F
36.3 °C
97 F
33.6 °C
92 F
34.9 °C
95 F
36.6 °C
98 F
30.7 °C
87 F
34.5 °C
94 F
35.9 °C
97 F
Maximum: 36.6 °C = 98 F
Average: 34.6 °C = 94 F
Power Supply (max.)  29.4 °C = 85 F | Room Temperature 21.4 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.3 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 38.5 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 36.6 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(±) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 32.7 °C / 91 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heat-map front side
Heat-map front side
Heat-map back side
Heat-map back side

Speakers

Speaker test: Pink Noise
Speaker test: Pink Noise

The small built-in speaker on the back side does a decent job. The volume level is acceptable -- but don't expect to hear low frequencies! Otherwise mid- and high-sounds are quite balanced which makes occasional listening to music possible, provided you face the speaker.

Sound output via the 3.5 mm jack provides clean results, as well as via Bluetooth.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.638.42525.438.63125.333.24032.9315033.6386331.6338028.432.71002727.312520.826.51602225.720021.331.225020.836.431521.246.840019.45550019.561.163017.764.780017.968100017.873.4125017.375.2160017.474.2200016.773.8250017.270.9315018.267.8400017.966.2500017.663.6630017.762.6800017.859.41000017.955.61250018.153.31600018.244.2SPL3082.3N1.346.4median 17.9median 61.1Delta1.311.832.433.931.330.231.731.82632.939.440.236.235.328.629.825.428.321.33223.327.822.530.422.437.221.342.318.446.217.555.417.557.317.262.416.867.517.368.317.467.416.676.617.375.617.675.217.679.517.779.817.477.417.772.917.967.918.158.118.140.429.8871.359.8median 17.7median 62.41.617.2hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLenovo BHuawei Y5 II
Lenovo B audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (82.31 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 28.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (10.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.6% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.7% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 83% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 10% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 88% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 8% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Y5 II audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.3% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 13% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (34.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 94% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 4% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 24%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 96% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be selected/de-selected)

Power Consumption

The power drain shows acceptable levels in idle mode, with a remarkable 1.33 W as well as when in stand-by or switched off. Full load usage though leads to an average consumption of 4.59 W -- which is more than the comparison devices.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.05 / 0.12 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.64 / 0.96 / 1.33 Watt
Load midlight 4.59 / 4.63 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
Lenovo B
2000 mAh
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2200 mAh
Huawei Y5 II
2200 mAh
LG K4
1940 mAh
Wiko Jerry
2000 mAh
Power Consumption
-17%
-10%
-25%
-46%
Idle Minimum *
0.64
0.59
8%
0.54
16%
1.15
-80%
0.8
-25%
Idle Average *
0.96
1.68
-75%
1.58
-65%
1.76
-83%
2.02
-110%
Idle Maximum *
1.33
1.79
-35%
1.7
-28%
1.82
-37%
2.19
-65%
Load Average *
4.59
4.22
8%
2.98
35%
2.71
41%
5.02
-9%
Load Maximum *
4.63
4.26
8%
4.98
-8%
3.15
32%
5.52
-19%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The Lenovo B's battery capacity of 2000 mAh or 7.6 Wh is class standard, but due to its exchangeability we could switch to a second battery to double the runtime. Our WLAN test lasted 7:22 hours, a usual performance expected for the budget class, but many competitors could keep-up for a little longer.

It should be noted that a complete recharge takes quite a long time: it took 3 hours for the included charger to fully recharge the phone.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 22min
Lenovo B
2000 mAh
Archos 50 Platinum 4G
2200 mAh
Huawei Y5 II
2200 mAh
LG K4
1940 mAh
Wiko Jerry
2000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-13%
14%
2%
7%
Reader / Idle
1102
WiFi v1.3
442
384
-13%
503
14%
452
2%
475
7%
Load
253

Pros

+ ergonomic case
+ swappable battery
+ decent speaker
+ passable voice quality
+ responsive GPS module
+ LTE

Cons

- low-quality TN display with blue tint
- limited vewing angles
- substandard camera
- poor performance
- long recharge time

Verdict

Lenovo B smartphone. Test device made available by Notebooksbilliger.de
Lenovo B smartphone. Test device made available by Notebooksbilliger.de

It was immediately clear that a budget price of less than 100 Euros (~$108) doesn't leave much opportunity for the Lenovo to use high-value components. However, resorting to a low-res TN panel with poor brightness and a blatant blue tint, together with a camera that produces mainly blurry, faded images, is nothing else but meager -- even for the budget class! Its performance found the Lenovo B quite on par with the competition, as did the battery life, with an extra feature to swap the battery out. Its long charging time didn't impress, though.

While demands and expectations in this entry-class might be rather moderate, we can't help noticing that the competition provides more bang for the buck: more memory, better camera or better display. Its compact size makes the Lenovo B well manageable for children's hands. It might be a solid product, but it definitely sets no new standards in its class.  

Lenovo B - 03/18/2017 v6(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
71%
Keyboard
61 / 75 → 82%
Pointing Device
79%
Connectivity
30 / 60 → 49%
Weight
93%
Battery
90%
Display
77%
Games Performance
4 / 63 → 6%
Application Performance
18 / 70 → 25%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
35%
Average
62%
73%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 2 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Lenovo B Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-03-30 (Update: 2019-04-13)