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At Rs 18k, Lenovo P2 is no challenger for Redmi Note 4

Lenovo is all set to kick off the 14 nm revolution in India with the launch of its P2, the successor to the no-so-hot-selling P1.

The P series phones are ‘upper mid range’ devices priced around Rs 16,000 — or about 25% higher than the company’s K series devices.

While the K series looks primarily at affordability, the P series is a blend of style and a premium feel without being limited by pricing requirements without leaving mid range (Rs 10,000-20,000) territory.

You can watch the live transmission of the unveiling of the Lenovo model at 12:30 PM at the bottom of this article.

UPDATE: The company has priced the device at Rs 17,999 for the 4GB variant, or Rs 4,000 more than the expected price of Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 4. The Note 4 is expected to release next Thursday at a price of Rs 11,000-12,000 for the 3GB variant and Rs 13,000-14,000 for the 4GB model. See the below link for more details.

Lenovo P2 priced at Rs 17,999 for 4 GB variant, higher than expected

BETTER DISPLAY, MORE JUICE, MORE POWER

The Lenovo P2 is notable for two key reasons. The first is the presence of a far superior display compared to models like upcoming Redmi Note 4 (to be launched next Thursday or Jan 19) and the recently launched CoolPad Cool1 (4GB – Rs 14,000).

The P2, whose pricing will be announced in New Delhi in a few moments (likely Rs 16,000), comes with a full-HD Super AMOLED display, while the others come with regular LCD screens.

The second big advantage is the chipset. The model comes with the Snapdragon 625 processor unit. The 625 is the shrunk version of the Snapdragon 617, which is already a decent chipset and found on models like Coolpad Note 5.

However, because the 625 is built using a finer process, each transistor on the processor is smaller in size, consumes less power and can run at high speeds for a longer duration.

The result?

While the 617 and equivalent chipsets like MT6753 score around 2,600 points in Geekbench (a measure of CPU power), the 625 scores about 4,200 points — a jump of around 60%. MediaTek’s P10 — another competing chipset — scores only around 3,000 points.

The reason is that the older chipsets — built using 28 nm technology — have their cores running at an average of around 1.3 GHz, while the 625 found inside the Lenovo P2 runs its cores 2 GHz. It is able to do this because of these cores produce much less heat.

If the older chipsets were to run at this speed, not only would they draw all the battery juice quickly, they would also make the handset literally too hot to handle.

The net result is that the P2 offers a good performance at an affordable, mid-range price. Even the highest rated chipsets from Qualcomm, Snapdragon 821, scores only around 5,200 points.

Most of the other specifications of P2 are what you expect for the Rs 12,000-16,000 range, including 13+5 MP cameras, 3 or 4GB of RAM (though it’s not clear if the 3GB version will be launched in India) and 32 GB or 64 GB of storage.

Like the others in its category, there seems to be no separate MicroSD card other than the hybrid dual SIM slot.

REDMI NOTE 4

An upcoming strong competitor to the P2 will be the Redmi Note 4 — the successor the most popular mid-range phone of 2016 — the Note 3.

The device will be unveiled next Thursday (January 19).

However, for now, no one knows which chipset will power the Redmi Note 4.

The Chinese variant has the Mediatek X20 processor, but Xiaomi is likely to go for a Snapdragon variant in India due to patent issues.

If that is so, then we’re looking at either the Snapdragon 652 or the 625. If it’s the 652, the Redmi Note 4 will not be a big step over last year’s model, which came with Snapdragon 650.

Both 652 and 650 are very similar and differ only in the number of cores. While the 650 has six cores, the 652 comes with eight, which gives it more power.

652 vs 625

The 652 — built on the 28 nm process — is slightly more powerful than the 625 and scores about 4,500 points on Geekbench, versus the 4,200 points managed by the 14 nm chipset.

While this is definitely welcome, the 652 consumes about 50% more power than the 625, and a phone built using the older chipset is likely to last about 20-25% less on a single charge.

Given that the difference in performance is not that noticeable in most use cases, most consumers are likely to be better off with the 625 compared to the 652.

Morever, the Redmi Note 4 is a lower-mid-range phone, and is likely to be priced in the Rs 12,000 range for the 3GB variant.

This means that the model does not come with the more expensive AMOLED display, but makes do with the less power-efficient LCD screen. In terms of imaging, both comes with a 5 MP front camera and a 13 MP back unit.

The P2 not only has a more efficient processor, but also a bigger battery.

The P2 has a 5.1 Ah one, compared to 4.1 Ah in Redmi Note 4.

In other words, if Note 4 ships with Snapdragon 652, the Lenovo P2 is likely to last about 50% longer on a single charge. If the Note4 comes with Snapdragon 625, the Lenovo phone will last only about 24% more.

COOLPAD COOL1

Also in contention in this range are CoolPad Note 5 and Cool1.

The Cool1, which was launched two weeks ago, comes with Snapdragon 652, a 4.05 Ah battery.

The smartphone, priced at Rs 13,999 for the 4GB RAM version, comes with 32GB of internal storage.

Cool1 also has superior imaging capabilities. The 13 MP rear camera supports 4K video recording, while the Redmi and Lenovo models can capture only full-HD video.

Morever, the Cool1 has an advanced front camera as well, with a resolution of 8 MP and a pixel size of 1.4 micrometer. A bigger pixel size gathers more light and reduces ‘grains’ in low-light situations.

However, if the Redmi Note 4 is priced at Rs 13,000 for its 4GB version, it will make the Xiaomi model cheaper by Rs 1,000 compared to Coolpad Cool1.

This, along with Xiaomi’s better brand recall, could help the phone compete successfully against Coolpad Cool1 despite the latter having clearly superior imaging capabilities.

However, we believe Xiaomi’s likely to price the 3GB version at Rs 12,000 and the 4GB version at Rs 14,000.

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