Lenovo S860 is a beefy bruiser with a blockbuster battery

Lenovo might have bought Motorola, but it's still making own-brand mobiles, with three new phones on show at MWC.

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Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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BARCELONA, Spain -- Just when Lenovo was starting to make its name as a phone maker, with chunky, big-screen handsets such as the Vibe X we saw at IFA in September, and the Vibe Z that was unveiled at CES, the Chinese company went and bought Motorola.

It's unlikely to give up making own-brand phones in favour of pumping out new Motos, however, and three new mobiles are on show here at MWC.

Lenovo S860: Big smartphone wth a big battery (pictures)

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The S860 is the most high-end of the bunch. Retailing for $349 unlocked later this year, its headline feature is prodigious battery life. Its massive 4,000mAh battery promises a whopping 24 hours of 3G talk time, or 43 hours on 2G.

The huge cell makes the S860 a massive beast. It's a meaty 10.3mm thick, and weighs a hefty 0.42lbs (190g). The weight lends it a sturdiness, and the brushed metal back feels classy, but make no mistake -- you'll feel this great lump in your pocket.

Lenovo S860
The S860 has a bright 5.3-inch screen. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

It's a pretty impressive spec for the price. The 5.3-inch screen has a decent 1,280x720-pixel HD resolution, with a bright IPS panel that seemed just hi-res enough to make text easy to read. It has a mid-range 1.3GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage, which isn't expandable. In my brief hands-on it felt quick and responsive.

It falls down in a few areas. It doesn't do 4G LTE, and it has a fairly old version of Android (4.2 Jelly Bean) although Lenovo says it will get an update to 4.4 KitKat at some point. There's only an 8-megapixel camera on the back, which I wasn't able to properly put to the test, but the 1.6-megapixel camera on the front for video calls is perfectly respectable.

The camera lens sits in the top center of the brushed metal battery cover. Andrew Hoyle/CNET

Lenovo's new suite of "DOit" apps will come as standard, with some really handy features such as Wi-Fi sharing, security and performance, backup and photo management. My favourite is the SNAPit camera app, which adds filters before you shoot, and automatically beautifies your subjects afterwards.

The S860 will go on sale in June for $349 in the following regions: China, India, Indonesia, the Philippines, and other Asian countries; Russia, Ukraine, and other Eastern European countries, Mexico and other Central American countries; Saudi Arabia, UAE and Nigeria. Lenovo doesn't sell phones in the US or Western Europe.

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