The Lenovo booth at the Consumer Electronics Show 2013 is not inside one of the halls but in a marquee on the Las Vegas Convention Center's central plaza. It's also only open for press briefings which means I am one of the relatively few people who actually got their hands on Lenovo's new superphone, the K900.
At this point it is still in pre-production status and according to Lenovo will be released "sometime this year" in China where Lenovo is currently the second largest smartphone manufacturer. Three months ago the international expansion of Lenovo's cell phone business started in India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Vietnam and Russia, but we'll have to see if and when the K900 will make it to Western European or U.S. shores.
While the Sony, Huawei and ZTE flagship phones launched at CES all offer very similar specs -- 5-inch 1080p screen and Qualcomm 1.5 GHz processors -- the Lenovo slightly diverts form this formula. At 5.5-inches the screen is slightly larger (albeit still 1080p) but more interestingly, the central processor comes from Intel, a chip maker not necessarily well-known for its mobile efforts. That said, the Intel Atom Z2580 2.0 GHz processor should make the K900 one of the fastest devices in the market when it's eventually launched. Like previous Lenovo models, the new device is running Android but it's not clear which version will be installed on the final product.
The 13MP camera is on par with the rest of the top-end specifications. Images are captured on Sony's Exmor RS sensor (same as in the Xperia Z) which in combination with the fast F1.8 lens should make the Lenovo device one of the best smartphones for low-light capture. When it gets too dark, the double-LED flash should help lighten things up. The front camera offers an extra-wide viewing angle of 88 degrees (22.4mm in 35mm terms) to facilitate better group self-portraits.
The exterior materials and design match the high-end components under the hood. The phone is beautifully made, with Corning Gorilla glass 2 on the front and a mix of brushed stainless steel and polycarbonate (for maximium antenna reception) on the back. While at 162g it's fairly lightweight and at 6.9mm very thin, it's a little large for a jeans pocket. It'll fit nicely into the inside pocket of your jacket though. As mentioned above, we were looking at a pre-production unit but judging by the specification and the build quality and design, this could be one of the most interesting smartphone launches of 2013 and we're definitely looking forward to getting our hands on the finalized product.