The Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola is a smartphone designed first and foremost for the same business and enterprise customers who buy Lenovo’s ThinkPad-branded laptops. But like those laptops, the ThinkPhone will also be available to anyone who wants to drop some cash on one.
First announced during CES in January, the ThinkPhone goes on sale for business customers this week. And starting April 28th, the general public should be able to pick up an unlocked model from Motorola.com for $700.
Lenovo acquired Motorola nearly a decade ago, but up until now the company has largely kept is smartphone brands separate. Most of the company’s phones sold outside of China have been marketed as Motorola devices, while the company sells Lenovo-branded phones in China (and occasionally a few of those models have made it out to other regions).
The ThinkPhone earns its name by featuring a business-like design that’s reminiscent of the company’s no-nonsense, black-with-red-accents design for ThinkPad laptops. This extends to the red button button on the side of the phone (which can be customized to launch apps or perform other functions) and the little red dot in the I over the ThinkPhone logo on the back of the phone.
Lenovo is also positioning the phone as a PC companion thanks to inclusion of Motorola’s Ready For software that allows you to drag and drop files between devices, stream apps, use your phone as a webcam for your computer, access a shared clipboard, and quickly use your phone as a mobile hotspot for your computer, among other things.
The phone also has a Moto KeySafe chip that’s isolated from the primary processor, giving your passwords, PINs, and cryptographic keys extra protection by keeping them isolated from the Android operating system. And there’s a Moto Secure feature that lets you add extra security features to the lock screen or protect sensitive data by putting it in a secure, encrypted folder.
And while this is hardly unique to the ThinkPhone, Lenovo’s phone is fairly sturdy: it’s rated IP68 for water resistance and it’s been MIL-STD-810H tested for durability.
But for the most part, the ThinkPhone is… just another Android phone, albeit ne that’s reasonably well priced for a model with features like a 144 Hz AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 8 series processor, and support for 68W fast charging.
Early review suggest the cameras are serviceable, but not great and it seems strange to offer a flagship-like phone in 2023 with a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chip rather than something newer. But it’s probably one of the best Motorola phones available right now, if that’s a thing you’re looking for.
|Lenovo ThinkPhone Specs|
2400 x 1080 pixels
144 Hz refresh rate
360 Hz touch sampling rate
1200 nits peak brightness
Gorilla Glass Victus
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|Security||On-screen fingerprint reader|
ThinkShield for Mobile
|Ports||USB 3.1 Type-C|
Aramid Fiber Inlay
|Dimensions||159.8 x 74.4 x 8.3mm|
Wow, what I wouldn’t do to get my hands on one of those. I love the laptop
$700 for last gen processor, no SD card slot, non-removeable battery and no headphone jack… yeah, no thanks.
Nice to see a customizable key on a business phone. Last one I saw was on the ruggedized CAT phone. Do wish it could be used to, say, immediately start recording instead of merely opening the recorder app.
Maybe you can find a recording app which lets you set it to automatically record when opened. There was one like that on the original WearOs/Android Wear watches. I had it set to one the extra button on my Fossil watch and it would start recording as soon as I opened it (it was an option in the settings to record immediately upon opening).
Android recorders apps usually have record start Intent. Some launchers like Nova allows to create shortcuts to these intents, and there should be IFTTT style apps that can probably allow you to bind these intents to buttons or create app component shortcuts that can be then bound. I have app bound to Bixbi key for example, but its not intent though.
The thing about customizations in general (not just keys) is that it is a 2% thing. most don’t bother to go that route and benefit from the automation. There are clearly two solutions: in built AI and community AI or both. for instance i have a moto e4 and the most used apps get pinned automatically. It is ai alright but not clever enough. even if we are able to set the learn window to a week, we might get better pinning. but things can get far more clever even with just on chip AI. the other is community AI, so basically we need some form of inheritance to cater for each individual phone. so let’s say someone comes up with a clever way to adjust volume based on foreground, that would have to be implemented in a 1000 ways. The other tough aspect is psychology: so we need to keep devs psychologically pure then let the inheritance learn the psychological inheritance. so if dev A’s implementations never sit with user B’s preferences, that inheritance (or rather lack of it) has to be learned only once. and even then it has to be prioritized because maybe in some activity dev a’s implementation is the only one available to user B. also we need to be able to A-B test (pun intended) implementation with server side switching.