Making a smartphone with the intent of having it sell for a budget-conscious price is a tricky balancing act. Sure, you can build a stupid cheap handset just by giving it ancient hardware, but there’s a law of diminishing returns there – at some point, you’re not saving any more money by going with lower-end tech. At the same time, even if you go with conservative but still decent hardware, if you’re not pricing the phone low enough, it’s still not going to sell. Some manufacturers have been very successful at finding this balance; companies like Motorola and Nokia certainly come to mind. Should we start considering some new names for that list? This latest story has us wondering if Lenovo has the chops to become a big name in budget phones, as we learn about the very affordable Lenovo Golden Warrior S8.
Let’s start with what we’ve heard about the hardware: the S8 is supposed to end up with a 5.3-inch 720p display (protected by Gorilla Glass), have 2GB of RAM, offer 16GB storage (expandable via microSD), and support dual SIMs. It should have a 13-megapixel main camera, decent-sized 5-megapixel front-facer, and 2000mAh battery. At its heart, the S8 would be powered by a 1.4GHz octa-core MediaTek SoC.
We have mixed feelings about the picture those specs paint, but on the whole we’re feeling pretty positive about it. The MediaTek chip isn’t necessarily the one we’d go with (even though it is one of the newer ones with eight-cores-at-once functionality), and that 2000mAh battery sounds a little meager, but 2GB RAM is quite nice to see on a budget phone, and those cameras sound alright, too. Compared to bottom-of-the-barrel hardware like we see in cheap phones like those new LG L Series III devices, this is practically bleeding edge. Hell, this one’s even better than Lenovo’s own Androids we saw back at MWC.
Now for the kicker: the S8 is rumored to sell for a mere $130. That doesn’t just beat the Moto X, but also the Moto G, and any number of other competitors. Sure, we haven’t heard about any plans for Lenovo to bring the S8 to the West anytime soon, but we can’t help but consider the possibilities.