Midrange Lenovo A859 doubles the SIM cards (hands-on)

One of Lenovo's four new smartphones for CES 2014, the A859 is modeled for overseas markets.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt Editorial Director / CNET Franchises, How-To, Performance Optimization
Jessica Dolcourt leads the CNET Franchises, How-To and Performance Optimization teams. Her career with CNET began in 2006, and spans reviews, reporting, analysis and commentary for desktop software; mobile software, including the very first Android and iPhone apps and operating systems; and mobile hardware, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of practical advice on expansive topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Expertise Team leadership, audience engagement, iPhone, Android, iOS, tips and FAQs.
2 min read

LAS VEGAS -- A midrange effort that Lenovo announced ahead of CES, the A859 smartphone skates by on specs that should satisfy, but certainly not astound. Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2 is a fine operating system, but one that feels a bit stale when Android 4.4 KitKat is already updating smartphones today.

Operating system aside, the phone's 5-inch LCD IPS screen has a 1,280x720-pixel resolution, which is a big step down from the 1,920x1,080p HD resolution we're seeing on many phones of this size. Still, the screen looks bright and you'll probably only notice any real discrepancy when you compare the phones side by side. Unlike its other CES-birthed brethren, the A859 is the only one to feature a glossy plastic backing (I saw it in white.)

Still, it has a 178-degree viewing angle for those who look for such things. The handset measures 9.2 millimeters (0.36 inch) thick.

Further equipping the A859 are an 8-megapixel rear camera and 1.6-megapixel front-facing shooter. MediaTek supplies the 1.3GHz quad-core chipset, and a microSD card slot capable of taking 32GB in offboard storage balances out the 8GB internal storage capacity and 1GB of RAM. The features are very similar to Lenovo's 6-inch S930 and slightly stepped-down 4.7-inch S650.

In addition to these specs, we also know that the A859 has Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and a 2,250mAh battery that promises a very decent life span on a single charge. It'll go on sale January 2014 for $220 unlocked.

Looking at Lenovo's first-ever LTE smartphone (pictures)

See all photos

The dual SIM card slots and lack of LTE support (it does handle 2G and 3G networks) mean that the Lenovo A859 is probably not intended for US markets. Those seeking a higher-end experience from Lenovo should look at the Vibe Z, with Android 4.3, a state-of-the-art processor, and high-powered camera specs.

Shopping laptop image
Get the best price on everything
Shop your favorite products and we’ll find the best deal with a single click. Designed to make shopping easier.
Add CNET Shopping