You’d be forgiven for thinking that Lenovo are entering the market for smartphones with their recent purchase of Motorola from Google if you’re from one of the comfortably insulated and developed (over saturated) markets of the world. Lenovo have been manufacturing Android smartphones and tablets for some time now and today I’m bringing you news that they’re working on an inexpensive 4G LTE device to be announced at the CES, Consumer Electronics Show, at Las Vegas. The rumors are suggesting that the new device will be powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and it’ll be destined for the Indian market, to be priced less than the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G, which went on sale today at in Rs. 9,999, just under $160 or a little over £100. We don’t have any other information to go on at the moment.
Lenovo opting for a Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 is interesting because it’s another win for the American chip maker in what remains a competitive market. The Snapdragon 410 is the follow up act to the very successful Snapdragon 400 processor, which has been used in a large number of devices as diverse as the Motorola Moto G and a few off the Lenovo tablets. The 410 is similarly clocked at 1.2GHz but features revised, 64-bit compatible architecture that promises 25% higher performance plus reduced power consumption compared with the older generation (and 32-bit only) chipset. Perhaps the new, unannounced device is similar to the Lenovo K3 smartphone that was recently revealed, which also uses the Snapdragon 410 processor. It too comes with 4G LTE support but the rest of the specification has been filled out: a 5-inch HD screen, an 8MP rear camera, 1 GB of RAM, 16GB of internal storage, a 2,300mAh battery and dual-SIM functionality. The K3 runs Android 4.4 KitKat with no word of when it might be upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
Why the sudden interest in 4G LTE handsets for India? It’s because Indian LTE coverage is currently underdeveloped but several operators are planning on enabling LTE coverage next year. We’ve already seen the Microsoft (Nokia) Lumia 638, Xiaomi Redmi Note 4G and Micromax YUREKA devices announced or launched, which support the Indian 2.3GHz and 1.8GHz LTE Bands 40 and 3 respectively. So if you’re in India and you want an inexpensive LTE-capable device, you will shortly have the choice of at least four devices. We’re expecting more to follow in the coming weeks and months.