Much like how Lenovo's K800 was unveiled as the first Intel Medfield phone last CES, this year the manufacturer pulled another first with the K900, powered by Intel's recently-announced Clover Trail+ platform (likely an Atom Z2580 clocked at 2GHz). For those who missed the Intel keynote, Clover Trail+ is the much improved yet still secretive successor to the relatively quiet Medfield, though it is odd that Lenovo only says "the forthcoming Intel Atom processor platform for smartphones" instead of just "Clover Trail+" in the press release.
Anyhow, said Android device comes with many mouth-watering features: 5.5-inch 1080p IPS display, Gorilla Glass 2, 13-megapixel F1.8 camera with dual flash, and a front-facing imager with an 88-degree super wide viewing angle. 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage add to the package. As with many Lenovo phones, there will also be three capacitive touch buttons below the screen. All of this goodness comes in a handsome 6.9mm-thick body that consists of stainless steel alloy plus polycarbonate, and together they weigh just 162g. Little else has been unveiled about the K900 so far, but it'll be available in China from April.
Update: We've just gotten up close and personal with the Lenovo K900 and it's certainly an impressive piece of kit. This 5.5-inch 1080p device touts a low magnetic property steel in combination with polycarbonate to offer users lavish style without compromising on antenna reception. Depending on the model -- four colors in all -- users will be treated to a striped brushing or, in the case of the Diamond Plate model, a very reflective gem-like design on back. For more of these first impressions of Lenovo's K900, follow on after the break.
Joseph Volpe, Ben Gilbert and Zach Honig contributed to this report.
Aside from its seemingly excellent construction (company's reps wouldn't let us actually hold the phone), the big news here is the inclusion of Intel's just announced Clover Trail+ platform: an Atom chip that marks the company's second stab at powering mobile devices. It's a dual-core setup clocked at 2GHz, but we're unsure as to the amount of allocated RAM. Storage-wise, you're looking at configurations up to 64GB with the option to further augment that memory via microSD slot.
Lenovo's wrapped the K900's UI in its Le Phone skin, separating this particular Android handset from the rest of the stock pack. You know how we feel about skinning (for the most part), so thankfully that overlay can be disabled. Unfortunately, we weren't able to glimpse much of the software in action, as these are obviously pre-production models on the showfloor.
There are no surprises where the K900's ports are concerned -- it's all pretty standard. You have the volume rocker on the left, power on the right and beneath that the covered microSD slot. Around back, there's a single strip of shiny metal surrounding the 13-megapixel camera and accompanied by a dual flash. And in what we consider to be an interesting industrial design decision, Lenovo's left four screws visible on the phone's back further conferring an element of elegance and high-end rigidity.
Details on pricing or even Android version for the K900 have yet to be disclosed and, apart from a spring bow in China, we don't know when we'll be seeing this hit stateside. In the meantime, whet your appetite with our gallery and brief video walkthrough.
Update 2: Turns out, it's actually Android, NOT Windows Phone 8. Apparently, the Lenovo rep demoing the K900 here on the showfloor was misinformed and misled the press in attendance by insisting this was a WP8 device (despite our protestations). We've since amended the post above and added a new hands-on video below to reflect that correction.
Latest Lenovo Smartphone Pushes Design Boundaries
Top-end device packs premium performance into slimmest profile in class
LAS VEGAS – January 8, 2013: Lenovo (HKSE: 992) (ADR: LNVGY) today announced its latest flagship smartphone, the K900, a premium smartphone with a super-slim profile whose look and feel make it a must-have for those who will see and be seen with their smartphones. A unique blend of design and performance, the K900 sports a 5.5" IPS screen, one of the best camera arrays available in class and a super slim 6.9mm profile, all running on an Intel® Atom processor.
"With the K900, our team has broken down the key functions of the smartphone and redesigned them from the ground up," said Liu Jun, president, Mobile Internet Digital Home, and senior vice president, Lenovo. "Rather than focus on specifications that look good on a datasheet, we've zeroed in on what consumers want and proved that for smartphone users, top performance doesn't require a thick profile. The K900 is a game-changer that looks as good as it performs."
"Intel is pleased to provide the processor that will power Lenovo's latest flagship, K900. This innovative smartphone exemplifies the close cooperation between Lenovo and Intel. We believe that consumers will appreciate Lenovo's cutting-edge design and the overall responsiveness provided by Intel's next generation processor." - Hermann Eul, General Manager, Mobile and Communications Group, Intel
As smartphones have become ubiquitous, customer demands on "top-of-the-line" devices have increased, with design and usability growing in importance. The K900 resets the bar on these aspects. At 6.9mm, the K900 is the thinnest phone in its class by a wide margin and weighs in at a mere 162g, making it a device that unobtrusively slips into a jacket pocket or handbag. Made from a composite of stainless steel alloy and polycarbonate in a Unibody mold, the K900 manages to stay strong and look sharp while maintaining its slim profile.
The material alone is not the only aspect that has allowed Lenovo to achieve a design milestone with the K900 however. The rear camera array has been optimized for size with a new sensor and layout that does not protrude from the case, leaving a clean, smooth rear face that doesn't snag on clothing. The design team tweaked the PCB and battery layout to reduce the space used by internal components. And the K900 is topped off by a unique "stripe" ID language that reinforces the thin body and integrates the external components.
While the K900 is certainly sleek, it does not ignore the emerging trend toward larger and clearer displays on smartphones. The K900 is one of the first smartphones in the world to combine a 5.5" IPS display with 1080p full high-definition resolution performance at 400+ pixels-per-inch, all under the latest, touch- capacitive Gorilla Glass 2. This gives the K900 supreme clarity and crispness along with plenty of space to capture the nuances of high-definition photos and video, as well as for viewing standard-size web pages.
Amazingly for such a sleek package, the K900 does not skimp on performance. Centered on the forthcoming Intel® Atom processor platform for smartphones, the K900 is very responsive, especially for key functions such as web-browsing and application-loading. Although Intel® has yet to release complete specifications for the new chipset, Lenovo has clearly maximized the opportunity to be the first to market with the new generation platform.
The K900's camera stands out as one of the smartphone's most distinguished features. As with other functions on the K900, Lenovo has overhauled the camera completely, and delivered a package that is truly greater than the sum of its parts. Megapixels is the first specification that many users recognize for digital cameras, and with 13MP, the K900 ranks at the top of its class in this aspect and combines this with an industry-leading, Sony® Exmor BSI sensor for what would already be considered outstanding performance.
With the K900 though, the team has gone even further. Recognizing that customers often need to take clear, flash-less photos in low-light, Lenovo has equipped the K900 with an F1.8 focal length lens, making it the first smartphone to offer such a wide aperture on its camera. Combined with its other specifications, the K900 is now a legitimate stand-in for a digital camera in a smartphone. In addition to these improvements to the rear camera, the front camera has also been widened to an 880 viewing angle, the widest available on a smartphone front camera for convenient self-photos and video calls.
Pricing and Availability*
The K900 smartphone will be available from April in China, and in select regional markets soon thereafter. Pricing for the K900 will be announced at a later date.
*Prices do not include tax or shipping and are subject to change without notice and is tied to specific terms and conditions. Reseller prices may vary. Price does not include all advertised features. All offers subject to availability. Lenovo reserves the right to alter product offerings and specifications at any time without notice.