Lenovo calls new smartphone central to mobile strategy

The latest model of its Ophone contains new hardware and software

Lenovo announced a smartphone on Wednesday that executives said would be at the center of expanding the company's mobile strategy worldwide.

The device, called the Ophone, was shown at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It is Lenovo's first smartphone since the Chinese company reacquired its mobile business company from a group of private investors for US$200 million in November.

A device branded the Ophone is already available in China, but the new smartphone contains improved hardware and software features. It has a 3.7-inch screen that can display images at an 800-by-400-pixel resolution. The smartphone can also plug into a docking station for use with a keyboard. It also supports gesture-based navigation, and users can move through a map by tilting the phone.

The phone runs on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset, said Rory Read, president and chief operating officer of Lenovo, during a press conference. The chipset includes a processor based on an Arm design and supports the WCDMA (Wideband Code-Division Multiple Access) 3G standard. It also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS. The company did not comment on support for TD-SCDMA (Time-Division Synchronous CDMA), a homegrown Chinese 3G system that is available in the earlier Ophone.

The phone will first launch in China and then could become available through service providers worldwide, a person familiar with Lenovo's plans said.

Lenovo is mostly recognized as a PC maker but is now looking for new opportunities to sustain growth, Lenovo CEO Yang Yuanqing said during a press conference.

"For us, the next big opportunity is mobile Internet," Yuanqing said.

Customers are eager to get smaller devices that can easily connect to the Internet. The desire to connect is growing as 3G networks mature and online content and services proliferate, he said.

Yuanqing said another key part of Lenovo's mobile strategy is lightweight PCs that boot up quickly and remain connected to the Internet all day. In the days leading up to CES, Lenovo launched the $US499 Skylight smartbook, a low-cost mini-laptop that the company said combines the best features of netbooks and smartphones, albeit without telephone functions.

The company also launched the IdeaPad U1 Hybrid, a laptop that includes a detachable touchscreen. The screen turns into a tablet on which users can surf the Web, play games or read e-books. The U1 Hybrid will cost about $1,000, a company spokesman said, without saying when it would be available.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags smartphonequalcommIdeaPad

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Agam Shah

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?