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.

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.