Motorola unveiled the ThinkPhone in January of 2023, introducing the phone as the perfect companion for business professionals delivering extra security features for sensitive data along with a host of smart features. It is aimed at simplifying your or your team’s workflow, especially if you are already using a ThinkPad. The ThinkPhone is designed to be fully integrated into Lenovo’s ThinkPad series of laptops and provides extra functionality to the laptops to make life easier for the enterprising professional who is always on the go.
The Lenovo ThinkPhone, at first glance, looks like any standard Android Motorola smartphone. Still, underneath, it packs a wealth of features aimed at business users, particularly those who already own ThinkPads. This article will dive deeper into the Motorola ThinkPhone to show you what Lenovo’s first foray into the smartphone market is all about.
Motorola ThinkPhone: Overview
Release Date and Price
As a business smartphone, the Lenovo ThinkPhone is a little expensive. It is currently available directly through Lenovo and Motorola and can be purchased through a few online retailers. The base model costs around $900, making the ThinkPhone more expensive than the iPhone 14.
However, as we dive into the specs, you will see that Motorola offers a premium experience with the Lenovo ThinkPhone, so let’s look a little deeper and see if it’s worth the high price tag.
The ThinkPhone has a wealth of features catered for business use, including a dedicated push-to-talk button, barcode scanner, and support for NFC payments. In particular, Motorola has included a special security module called Moto Key that isolates encryption keys and other important security information from the phone’s main memory, making it incredibly difficult to access.
This is one of the big focuses of the ThinkPhone, providing an additional high-security experience that goes beyond the usual security protections of the Android 13 operating system. With Moto Key and the ability to manage an entire fleet of ThinkPhones from a single location, the ThinkPhone gives IT businesses an easy and efficient way to keep devices secure at all times.
|Screen Type / Size:||pOLED / 6.55”|
|Card Slot Type:||Dual SIMM|
|Speakers||Dual Stereo Speakers with Dolby Atmos|
|Battery||5000 mAh / 36 Hours|
|Operating System||Android 13|
|Processor||SnapDragon 8+ Gen 1|
|Charging Time||15 Minutes using 65W Power Charger, Full Charge in 1-Hour|
Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola: Review
Lenovo has been in the laptop game for a long time, with their prestigious line of ThinkPad laptops known for incredible durability. Some of their computers are even renowned for their use on the international space station.
Motorola has the same reputation for durability and no-nonsense functionality. While their phones might not be as much of a meme as the old Nokia brick phones, they can still craft a seriously durable device.
Ever since Lenovo took over Motorola in 2014, enthusiasts have wondered when we would see Lenovo make their first smartphone. And now, in 2023, that time has come.
Thanks to the inclusion of the SnapDragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, the ThinkPhone is seriously powerful and performs at a higher standard than many of the Android-based phones available today. The cameras are exceptional, and you can access a beautiful pOLED screen and built-in support for Widevine L1, allowing you to stream videos from popular streaming services at the best possible quality.
As a business phone, the ThinkPhone excels with its powerful hardware. Thanks to the integration with IT management tools such as Moto Device Manage and OEMConfig, the Lenovo ThinkPhone stands out as a premium Android phone that delivers a great experience, despite coming in at a steep price.
This phone might look like your typical flagship smartphone at first glance, but its design features a few unique touches. Featuring a rugged design, the Lenovo ThinkPhone’s screen is constructed with impact-resistant Victus glass from Gorilla Glass. The phone passes MIL-STD 810H testing, making it similar to the rugged phones marketed to construction workers.
However, while the ThinkPhone can survive five-foot drops and features a dust and waterproof screen, this isn’t your average bulky construction-site device. The ThinkPhone is sleek and lightweight, weighing only 188g (the iPhone 14 is 177g by comparison). Motorola went with standard buttons and button placement for Android phones, which, while it’s nothing new, it’s comfortable for previous Android users to pick up the ThinkPhone as their next phone.
The screen might be one of the most impressive aspects of the Lenovo ThinkPhone. It features a 6.6” pOLED screen which performs beautifully. A pOLED display allows the ThinkPhone to remain thin and flexible, but still display colors in the true-to-life fashion we’re becoming accustomed to with OLED displays. The pOLED screen is certified for HDR10+ content and has a native resolution of 1080 x 2400 while running at 144 Hz.
Additionally, the ThinkPhone supports Widevine L1, which is a type of DRM that allows you to stream content from Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and Disney+ with the highest possible image quality — assuming that you have a fast enough connection, of course. The ThinkPhone’s panel gets incredibly bright, with up to 1,000 nits of brightness in bright conditions.
You can’t talk about a new smartphone without mentioning the camera. In addition to a stunning pOLED display, the ThinkPhone’s cameras pack an impressive performance. Its sensors are capable of recording 8K at 30 fps, 4k at 60fps, and even slow-motion with high frame rates at 1080p. There’s built-in gyro-EIS stabilization, helping you get an incredibly smooth picture. There is also phase detection autofocus mode for portrait photography, as well as continuous shooting modes for fast-action photography.
Best of all, the ThinkPhone is capable of shooting in RAW, allowing you to get the absolute best picture quality.
Shooting photography in RAW is a great feature, but RAW picture files take up a mass of space. We were disappointed that Motorola didn’t include a microSD card reader on the ThinkPhone. This would be especially important for photography or design professionals needing extra storage capability, as the ThinkPhone only has 256GB of storage space. At least data can be shared with your other Lenovo devices via NFC support, and data quickly transfers over the USB Type-C cable.
Processing and Performance
The ThinkPhone’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is undoubtedly one of the most powerful CPUs available in a smartphone at the time of writing, running at 3.0GHz. To multitask efficiently with the processor, the ThinkPhone provides blazing-fast LPDDR5 memory to work with the SnapDragon processor. The GPU in the ThinkPhone is a Qualcomm Adreno 730. This is a powerful mobile graphics processor capable of playing any of your favorite mobile games while providing a liquid-smooth graphics experience.
Motorola went all-out on the hardware offerings for the ThinkPhone, and it shows in the general performance of the ThinkPhone. Android 13 is clean and responsive on the ThinkPhone. Everything you can do, from video streaming and video calls to playing mobile games in your downtime, runs effortlessly and smoothly on the Lenovo ThinkPhone.
The Lenovo ThinkPhone ships with the Android 13 operating system giving you the usual protections and customizable options that Android users have gotten used to. In addition to Android 13, a suite of Motorola- based security features allow the phone to be configured by a business’s IT department through Moto Device Manage and Moto OEM Config.
One of the standout features is ThinkShield, offering total security for the entire device. On top of that you also get Moto KeySafe, which isolates PINs, passwords, and cryptographic keys and keeps them safe inside and out.
There’s also Think 2 Think connectivity, which provides seamless integration into the ThinkPad world of laptops. This allows you to view your phone on the laptop and vice versa and even allows you to use the Phone’s cameras as a webcam during video calls. With all of these features integrated together, along with the great hardware that Motorola has packed into the thin and lightweight ThinkPhone, it’s a serious contender for the title of best business smartphone in 2023.
If you’re traveling for business, the last thing you want is your phone dying before you arrive at your destination. The ThinkPhone won’t let you down in this arena.
Motorola claims that the 5,000 mAh battery housed within the ThinkPhone is capable of 36 hours of life. Still, many reviewers have noted that the battery’s endurance is significantly higher, with some managing over 80 hours of battery life. Motorola includes a 36W charger with the ThinkPhone, and it recharges to full in just under an hour.
While the ThinkPhone’s battery offers impressive performance, there are technically Android smartphones with significantly higher battery capacities, reaching upwards of 20,000 mAh. However, none of the popular flagship models from Apple or Samsung come close to this level. In that regard, the ThinkPhone is average and fits right alongside the rest of them.
You will still end up charging this phone at the end of the day if you use it heavily. But if you don’t need a smartphone that can go for days on end without charging, the ThinkPhone offers great battery performance with an excellent fast charger bundled with every phone shipped.
Motorola Lenovo ThinkPhone: Pros and Cons
- Rugged and durable design that’s both sleek and lightweight.
- Powerful processing with a 3 GHz SnapDragon processor.
- Stunning pOLED 6.6” display with up to 1,000 nits of brightness.
- No E-SIM Support.
- No MicroSD Card Slot.
Motorola Lenovo ThinkPhone: Is It a Buy?
Buy It If…
You need a phone with a powerful processor. The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is one of the best smartphone processors we’ve seen.
The selling point of the ThinkPhone is its function as a business phone. This is a great phone for businesses that need to distribute their software to employees. It also allows them to control what data is accessible on their employees’ work phones, thanks to the built-in remote management platform.
You’re planning on watching streamed content on the phone or other video content. Thanks to Widevine L1 DRM support and a pOLED display, streaming content looks great on the ThinkPhone.
You want a phone that offers an incredibly fast charging experience on the Android 13 platform.
Don’t Buy It If…
While we found the battery life to be more than adequate, some serious business users might prefer a phone with a higher rating instead of the ThinkPhone’s 5,000 mAh rating.
If you don’t want to spend a lot. It’s easy now to get a rugged and durable phone for much less than the asking price of a ThinkPhone. If durability is all you are looking for, several brands offer lower prices for the same durability standards as the ThinkPhone.
You want a great sound system from your smartphone. The stereo speakers leave a lot to be desired, even with Dolby Atmos support giving you a built-in mixer.
The lack of a micro-SD card slot is a curious factor in a phone that’s been so heavily designed around business users. The 256GB storage space is simply not enough for certain industries that will be utilizing large file sizes on the go.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Framesira/Shutterstock.com.