Introduction

The Lenovo S90 Sisley wants to be many things at once and one up every possible rival in the crowded midrange. An AMOLED screen, an 8MP selfie cam complete with an LED flash, Dual-SIM and LTE in a package powered by Snapdragon 410 and designed by Apple but not in California.

Lenovo obviously saw no need to invest heavily in the Sisley, which mostly inherits its hardware from the Vibe Z2. In fact, they simply went ahead and re-packaged the Z2, most probably for markets where the origins of the otherwise sharp unibody design wouldn't be taken the wrong way.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley press images

As for what's under the hood, the Lenovo S90 Sisley isn't likely to disappoint its target audience. The chipset is the increasingly popular Snapdragon 410, with four Cortex-A53 cores clocked at 1.2GHz and Adreno 306 GPU. The camera setup is quite impressive, at least on paper, with a 13MP main shooter and an 8MP selfie cam with its own LED flash. The S90 comes in two main hardware setups: a 16GB model with 1GB of RAM and a 32GB version, with 2GB of RAM. The display is a 5-inch 720p Super AMOLED unit.

Key features

  • 5.0" 16M-color 720p Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen
  • Android OS v4.4.4 KitKat with Vibe UI 2.0
  • Quad-core 1.2GHz Cortex-A53; Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410, Adreno 306
  • Dual SIM (Micro-SIM, dual stand-by)
  • 1GB/2GB of RAM
  • 13MP camera with 1080p video recording @ 30fps
  • 8MP front-facing camera with AF, LED flash and 720p video recording
  • 16GB/32GB of built-in storage
  • LTE Cat. 4 (150Mbps), Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/, GPS/GLONASS receiver, Bluetooth v4.0, FM Radio
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with a dedicated mic
  • 2,300mAh non-removable battery

Main disadvantages

  • No microSD
  • Non-removable battery
  • 16GB version has a single gig of RAM
  • Design is a blatant rip-off

Lenovo is taking a completely different approach with the S90 Sisley compared to the fairly recent Vibe X2. Technically, both of them are midrangers, though obviously not in the same price bracket and not after the same target audience. The original, layered design of the Vibe X2 goes well with the Full-HD screen and more powerful octa-core CPU.

The Sisley on the other hand, is powered by a more modest chipset but boasts a high-res selfie cam and an AMOLED screen. Whatever the reasoning behind their choice of design, some of the specs are perhaps a direct response to specific competitors like Samsung and Sony.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley live images

These will be named and blamed in due time but not before we've looked at the Lenovo S90 Sisley from all possible sides. Coming up next is the usual unboxing and hardware checkup.

Unboxing

The Lenovo S90 Sisley comes in a pretty simple rectangular white box but what's inside is more interesting. The compact container is offering more than the basic set of accessories.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley has a rich retail package

The device comes bundled with an A/C adapter and a microUSB cable, along with a set of headphones with a microphone. The extra items are a transparent back cover and a screen protector. Tucked away underneath the manual there is a SIM ejector as well.

Design and build quality

The goal of the S90 Sisley was to get noticed and Lenovo wasn't particularly subtle about the ways to achieve it. From a distance, you'll be hard-pressed to distinguish it from an iPhone 6, especially looking at it from the sides. The look and feel are incredibly similar, which is quite a compliment actually.


Lenovo S90 360-degree spin

We can't help but notice how the 13MP camera is sitting flush on the back and not protruding in any way, a notable difference from Apple's design. The Lenovo Sisley measures 146 x 71.7 x 6.9mm and weighs 129g - resulting in a surprisingly light and comfortable feel in hand.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley next to the iPhone 6 Plus

Corners on the Sisley are nicely rounded and the _phone_ is a pleasure to handle. Against the pure white front, only the LED flash breaks away from the color palette. Speaking of, the Lenovo comes in gray, gold and platinum (the latter our review unit), all matching paint jobs for an aluminum exterior, which go nicely with the white front panel.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley has a distinct Apple vibe

Sadly, the fluent elegance is abruptly broken at the top of the device. The Sisley has a large chunk of plastic covering most of the top side. This would've been nearly bearable if it wasn't for the glaring mismatch in the shades of white between the plastic strip and the front glass. It almost seems like a flimsy patch that's completely out of place in an otherwise handsome device.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The S90 is available in a few colors: in gray, gold and platinum and a few more colorful ones

The S90 Sisley feels quite good in the hand and we appreciate the nice contrast between the sturdy case and the lightweight feel. The build quality raises no questions but the execution of some details is far from perfect - let's say, not up to the standards of the one it's trying to emulate.

It's just a little rough around the corners and when we literally mean it. Sliding a finger along the edge of the screen you can feel the coarse surface. Not a major issue but, like we said, not an outstanding attention to detail either.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley in the hand

Controls

The Lenovo S90 boasts a 5" 16M-color display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. Although it's not impressively sharp, the Super AMOLED technology offers vivid colors and deep blacks. Right underneath it we find three capacitive keys, Menu, Home and Back, which is the standard layout for Lenovo.

Above the screen, the earpiece is flanked by the proximity and ambient light sensors, and the front-facing camera setup, which includes an LED flash.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The capacitive keys • 8MP camera with flash sits right above the display

Going round the device we find the left side mostly empty. It only features the SIM card compartment. Inside we find two microSIM card slots. There's no microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The left side of the S90 houses the SIM card tray

The right side is where the volume rocker and Power/Lock button are.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The right side is home to the volume rocker and Power/Lock button

The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the device near the left corner along with the second noise-canceling mic positioned right in the middle.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The top hosts the 3.5mm headphone jack and noise-canceling mic

The bottom of the _phone_ houses a microUSB port, two screws and what appear to be two speaker grilles. Only the left grille actually contains a speaker, while the right one houses the mouthpiece.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The bottom is equipped with a MicroUSB port and two speaker grill only one holds a speaker

Going round the back, we find the 13MP camera in the top left corner with a single LED flash right next to it.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The back is very stylish with plastic accent like the one on the iPhone

A plastic strip going all the way from side to side near the bottom brings the whole thing together and it comes as no surprise that when we flip an iPhone 6 over we find one exactly like it.

Display

The Lenovo S90 Sisley is equipped with a 5-inch Super AMOLED display with 720 x 1280px resolution. Not impressively sharp but perfectly alright at 294ppi. It offers nice vivid colors and deep blacks thanks to its Super AMOLED technology.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Display looks sharp, but is only HD resolution

We were surprised to find that the Lenovo Sisley lacks Gorilla Glass protection, so the bundled screen protector is really more of a necessity than an accessory. A cool feature is the smart brightness option, which detects any hard lights hitting the display and adjusts the brightness automatically.

The Lenovo S90 uses a Diamong Pentile matrix similar to the one in the Galaxy A5.

Lenovo S90 Sisley

Contrast on the S90's panel is superb, hardly surprising considering the Super AMOLED panel. Brightness on the other hand is a underwhelming. The Sisley is even surpassed by the Galaxy A5 in this respect, which is the most likely donor of the panel itself.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Lenovo Vibe X2 0.16 188 1196 0.38 447 1188
Samsung Galaxy A5 191 398
Xiaomi Mi 3 0.18 142 809 0.61 557 907
Motorola Moto G (2014) 0.24 253 1039 0.43 413 968
Sony Xperia C3 Dual 0.13 152 1207 0.56 642 1153
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime 0.25 194 785 0.56 426 756
Xiaomi Redmi 2 0.3 273 943 0.58 561 974
Lenovo S90 Sisley 119 344


As already mentioned the display on the Lenovo S90 is quite sharp and despite the relatively low max brightness, sunlight legibility is more than satisfactory.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Oppo R5
    3.678
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Nokia Lumia 735
    3.547
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • YotaPhone 2
    3.453
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 Active
    3.406
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    2.892
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • HTC Desire Eye
    2.815
  • Gionee Elife S5.1
    2.812
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Meizu MX4 Pro
    2.765
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC Desire 820
    2.372
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Oppo N3
    2.181
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    2.12
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    1.952
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.935
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • Nokia Lumia 830
    1.887
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Windows phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Samsung Galaxy Core Prime
    1.507
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Microsoft Lumia 535
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

The Lenovo S90 Sisley packs a 2,300mAh battery, just like the Lenovo Vibe X2. Due to the unibody design it is also non-removable, making support a hustle.

The phone did okay in our traditional battery test, scoring an overall endurance rating of 54 hours, which is adequate, but not impressive.

Lenovo S90 Sisley

Our proprietary score also includes a standby battery draw test, which is not featured in our battery test scorecard but is calculated in the total endurance rating.

Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

In regards to power management, it's worth noting that the company has baked in a handy power manager app. It gives you a clear reading of the battery power remaining and an estimated time left till shutdown.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley power-saving options

There is also an option to kill certain background processes when the screen is off, preventing them from waking up the CPU, network and the display. Another cool feature is something Lenovo calls "Screen and GPU power saver". It employs a Power saving engine, which optimizes the phone's brightness by something called "sine wave power-saving technology".

Lenovo claims it can reduce power consumption by 5-30%. There's a similar option for the GPU and its potential power reduction goes as far as 25%. If you want to squeeze even more out of the battery, the app allows you to schedule a timed shut down of the phone.

The Lenovo Sisley allows you to freeze apps or see a detailed graph of the power consumption. The latter is broken down by software and hardware. The software part is akin to the stock Android battery graph, while the hardware shows you how much power the CPU, screen, network radios, Wi-Fi and other hardware components draw out.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Turning the phone automatically on and off is a cool feat

Ultimate Power Saver Mode goes one step beyond normal energy saving techniques. It is a bit extreme and limits functionality to only calling and messaging. Anything else on the phone is disabled, allowing it to spread that remaining charge over several hours or even days.

It's clear that Lenovo has turned special attention to getting the most out of the S90 Sisley battery.

Connectivity

The Lenovo S90 comes equipped with quad-band 2G/GPRS/EDGE and quad-band or dual-band (depending on the model) 3G with HSPA (up to 42Mbps downlink and 5.7Mbps uplink) cellular connectivity. The Cat. 4 LTE support in the Snapdragon 410 (up to 150Mbps download, and up to 50Mbps uploads) is not the best around, but it still covers plenty of big names in the 4G business.

The phone offers dual SIM support and has a dedicated SIM management section in its settings menu. It allows you to choose which SIM card is active and the default SIM to use for placing voice calls, data connectivity or messages.

Local connectivity is covered by a single-stream Wi-Fi a/b/g/n as well as Bluetooth 4.0. GPS and GLONASS support is enabled. There's an FM radio, but no NFC or Infrared on board.

User Interface

The Lenovo S90 Sisley runs Android 4.4.4 KitKat out of the box complete with Lenovo's thoroughly skinned Vibe 2.0 user interface layer. Lenovo hasn't specified a time frame for a potential firmware update to Android 5.0 Lollipop.

As is often the case with Chinese phone makers, we can't help but notice a lot of similarities between the UI skin and Apple's iOS as far as general organization is concerned and this is even truer with the Sisley.

Nevertheless, Lenovo's approach is clean and unobtrusive. It features a lot of additions to the stock Android functionality, without making everything too cluttered.

Check out our quick walkthrough of Lenovo's custom Android work in the video below.

Starting with the lockscreen, Lenovo has opted for a slide-up unlock approach, but other modes are also available through themes. It also features a time and date widget and three shortcuts to the dialer, messages and camera. It is also worth noting that backgrounds can be changed by swiping left or wright, a cool little feature that can be toggled in the settings menu.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The lockscreen on the S90

Beyond the lockscreen we find a fairly standard Android homescreen with up to 18 homescreen panes available at your disposal. That's a lot of space, but then again, Lenovo doesn't have a dedicated app drawer, so you might need more of it than you expect. With no app drawer, anything you install pops up on the homescreen.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The homescreen doubles as an app drawer

You can group the app in folders, which look a lot like the folders on iOS 8. Anyway, a pinch gesture on the homescreen gets you to the management screen - from there, you can rearrange, delete and add panes. That's where you also choose the default homescreen that you go to when you press the home button.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Managing the homescreen panes

Tapping the Menu button on the homescreen gives you quick access to themes, wallpapers, desktop settings and screen manager. From here, you can also add and remove widgets.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Tapping the menu button gives you more options

Theme center allows you to change the look and feel of the user interface. There are several built-in themes, which change the wallpaper, the boot animation, ringtones, user interface elements and app icons. You can also change boot animations and lockscreen styles separately.

The notification area features a row of five user-selectable shortcuts and can be expanded by a swipe down to unveil ten more. You can specify their order from the notification bar settings menu.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The notification area and its settings

We can't help but notice that Lenovo hasn't added a dedicated Do Not Disturb mode. Still, there are four customizable audio presets so you can quickly change your ringtone and notification settings.

In fact, in the Features tab of the Settings menu, there's a bunch of interesting options. There are screen gestures for quick app launching while the screen is off. You can answer or decline calls by swiping up or down the screen and also control video playback. There are also options for timed and WiFi based profile switching and also a quick shortcut overlay window interface, called "Wide touch".

Lenovo S90 Sisley

Special features menu

A long tap on the Menu capacitive key reveals the app switcher. Swiping an app up removes the app from memory and closes it. A slide to the right shows you the available RAM and a button to clean all open apps from it.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The app switcher

The custom Lenovo launcher sports a number of features such as wallpaper scrolling and replacing the wallpaper at will. The latter enables you to change the wallpaper from the homescreen by sliding from the top right corner diagonally. Other settings include desktop transition animation as well as backup and restore.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The advanced custom launcher settings

Adding a widget is straight out awkward. You have to long tap on one of the four docked app shortcuts on the bottom and then slide up to reveal the widget bar. Then, it's simply a matter of tapping the widget you want to appear after selecting a homescreen with enough free space on it.

Finally, Google Now integrates with your Google account and can access your daily routine, internet searches, email, etc. and give you information relevant to your interests and daily needs.

It provides traffic information to your work or home, knows the scores of sports teams you follow and gives you the weather forecast for your location. It's great for at-a-glance info, but can handle voice input as well. It also has a dedicated homescreen/lockscreen widget.

Lenovo S90 Sisley

Google Now

Performance

The Lenovo S90 Sisley sports the Qualcomm MSM8916 Snapdragon 410 chipset equipped with four Cortex-A53 cores, clocked at 1.2 GHz. It is backed up by 1GB or 2GB of RAM, depending on whether you choose the 16GB or the 32GB model. The accompanying GPU is the modest Adreno 306, which frankly is adequate at best.

This particular setup seems to be rather common in mid-range devices, most notably Samsung's new Galaxy A3 and A5, as well as the Galaxy Grand Max and the Galaxy E7. The platform is also found in the Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 and the Redmi 2 as well as a few HTC desire phones, like the Desire 520, 620 and 820q and last but not least a few Huawei smartphones. Interestingly enough Lenovo's own Vibe Z2 is almost identical to the S90, despite a larger screen and a lot less Apple design influence.

Considering the specs, expectations are not very high, but let's see what out test actually show. First up we have raw CPU performance test with GeekBench 3, so things should be pretty straight-forward in this department. The dominance of the Vibe X2 with its MediatTek MT6595m True8Core is totally justified and so is the lead of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 in the Xiaomi Mi3. But they are here to represent what Lenovo has to offer in the higher register and what Xiaomi has on sale for roughly the same price as the Sisley.

GeekBench 3

Higher is better

  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    3647
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    1837
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1469
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1460
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1460
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    1377
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    1181
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    1171

What is more interesting though is Samsung's clear lead with two devices - the Galaxy A5 and Galaxy Grand Prime, which essentially have the same CPU, again clocked at 1.2GHz. We must note that the Lenovo did get pretty hot during testing so perhaps throttling form overheating might be the reason behind the mismatch. The situation is almost identical in the AnTuTu 5 test.

AnTuTu 5

Higher is better

  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    46666
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    21581
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    21002
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    20616
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    19690
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    18466
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    18245

Advancing further to the slightly broader Basemark OS II test we see much the same poor performance. The overall score places the S90 around the middle of the table with only slight deviations in its adversaries.

Most notably the Galaxy Grand Prime, which is after all equipped with only 1GB of RAM, while the A5 and our in-house Sisley both have 2GB, has dropped significantly. On the other hand the Moto G (2014) has a slightly better total score, despite its presumably weaker chipset, but this can perhaps be credited to the almost pure stock Android ROM it runs.

Basemark OS II

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    1234
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    930
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    555
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    526
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    513
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    509
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    504
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    466

The single and multi-core performance breakdown also shows quite poor performance on the S90. Again it might be due to heating issues or perhaps poor software optimization, but whatever the case it seems Lenovo is not taking full advantage of the Snapdragon 410 and could take a few queues from Samsung.

Basemark OS II (single-core)

Higher is better

  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    2571
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2397
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1420
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1414
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1217
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    1203
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    1187
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    1123

Basemark OS II (multi-core)

Higher is better

  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    13999
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    8976
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    5481
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    5313
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    5234
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    5001
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    4880
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    4208

As already mentioned the Lenovo S90 Sisley comes equipped with an Adreno 306 GPU, which is less than ideal. In fact our GFX bench tests speak for themselves. Compared to the Lenovo Vibe X2 and its PowerVR G600 the Sisley looks grossly underpowered and even its 720p screen doesn't help much, despite having to drive half the number of pixels.

Just as expected the Xiaomi Redmi 2 and Galaxy A5 have an identical graphics score and considering they have identical GPUs anything other would be weird. The same is also true for the Galaxy Grand Prime, which did manage to ramp up some points in onscreen rendering, but only because of its even lower 540 x 960 pixels resolution.

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    27.4
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    17.8
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    5.8
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    5.8
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    5.4
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    5.3
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    5.3
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    5.2

GFX 2.7 T-Rex (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    28.2
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    17
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    12.8
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    11
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    10.8
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    9.6
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    9.6
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    9.3

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (1080p offscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    11.6
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    6.1
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1.8
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    1.8
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    1.8
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.8

GFX 3.0 Manhattan (onscreen)

Higher is better

  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    11.5
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    6.4
  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    6.1
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    4.1
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    4
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.9
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    3.9
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    3.9

Browser performance on the Lenovo S90 is adequate, but nothing spectacular. The big life-saver here is probably the smart decision to make Chrome the default browser of choice on the handset. Having things any other way might have resulted in significantly lower marks, given the scores we have seen so far.

Kraken 1.1

Lower is better

  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    4747
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    6586
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    13083
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    13694
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    14488
  • Sony Xperia C3 Dual
    15737
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    15988
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    18343

BrowserMark 2.1

Higher is better

  • Lenovo Vibe X2
    2211
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    1171
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    1085
  • Lenovo S90 Sisley
    1076
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    706
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    549
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
    413

Overall, the Lenovo S90 Sisley is a little rough around the edges when it comes to performance. There is definitely room for improvement and seeing how Samsung has managed to squeeze a lot more from the Snapdragon 410 and Adreno 306 it seems Lenovo still has some work to do to get the Sisley up to speed.

We can only assume that if Lenovo updates the Vibe X2 to Android 5.0 Lollipop, we'll not only see a slight boost in performance, but also some nice optimizations resulting in better battery life. Your move Lenovo.

Straight-forward phonebook

The Lenovo Vibe X2 comes with a very streamlined phonebook experience. It is laid out across four tabs: dialer, contacts, messaging and favorites. You can view either single contacts or groups as well as blacklist entries. Tapping on a contact brings up a popup with access to a contact's scrollable info.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The phonebook

As on most Android launchers, you can assign a plethora of contact information including custom ringtones and images. You can link contacts too, if you've added the same person on multiple services.

You can also search for contacts or filter them by their first letter.

Nice phone experience

We didn't experience any issues with the quality of the calls we placed with the Vibe X2. The voice made it crisp and clear to the other end. The proximity sensor makes sure the screen stays off when you hold the phone to your face.

Flipping the phone on its face while it's ringing would mute the call ringing. The secondary noise cancelling on-board microphone ensures a quieter background for your voice while in call.

The dialer and the call log share the same screen. The dialer offers smart dialing and it works both with names and numbers.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Smart Dial works like a charm

We put the Lenovo S90 through our traditional loudspeaker test and it scored a Good mark, which means you'll likely have no trouble hearing the phone in crowded rooms, but don't count on it at parties. It definitely outshines most of its rivals though.

Here's how it stacks up against the competition:

Speakerphone test Voice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Samsung Galaxy A5 57.9 60.7 66.6 Below Average
Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime 63.0 60.3 68.3 Below Average
Xiaomi Mi 3 64.9 64.8 66.6 Below Average
Sony Xperia C3 Dual 66.2 61.1 75.3 Average
Lenovo Vibe X2 66 67.7 71.8 Average
Sony Xperia C3 Dual (Clear Audio) 68.3 65.8 71.6 Average
Motorola Moto G (2014) 66.5 66.2 75.1 Average
Lenovo S90 Sisley 66.6 65.9 75.7 Good
Xiaomi Redmi 2 70.8 70.9 77.4 Very Good


Messaging

The messaging section is business as usual with all SMS/MMS communication is organized into threads. Attaching a photo, video, audio recording or the like automatically turns your message into an MMS.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The messaging app supports MMS

The Lenovo Sisley also comes with Hangouts, which is another way to handle texts. It can now handle all of your text messages, including SMS and MMS, so you can center most of your conversations in one place I that suits you.

For email, the Gmail app includes the four inbox options (Primary, Social, Promotions, Updates) that Google recently introduced in their online interface. The default Email app is similar to Gmail and can also handle multiple POP or IMAP inboxes, which is useful for when you want to keep track of multiple accounts from one place.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Full-blown email experience

The Lenovo S90 Sisley employs the stock Android keyboard, which many users like. It stretches nicely on the 5" display and allows for a really quick typing. You can enhance it even further by turning on the Gesture typing. A cool little feature is that you can use the volume rocker to move the cursor left or right when you're in a text box.

Gallery

The gallery of the Vibe X2 has been heavily customized from the stock Android experience. It can either show all of your photos organized by date or a list of your albums. Tapping on a photo shows it in full screen. Sadly, you can't resize thumbnails using the pinch zoom gesture, but zooming far out of an open photo brings you to a nice sliding interface where you can browse and delete shots.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The gallery looks nice, but is a little limited

Another missing feature is any form of image sorting. Whereas many rivals allow you to sort by folders, favorites, people faces or location, that's no possible on the Sisley.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

You can edit photos on the fly with quite a lot of useful options and filters

You can also go into a more capable editor with options for light and exposure adjustments (so you can bring out the shadows or the highlights), filters and beauty enhancements (which detects faces automatically) and many more quick tools.

Video player

The Vibe X2 packs a very capable video player that didn't stutter at playing every video codec we threw at it. It refused to play a video with AC3 audio, though.

The interface is marginally better than the gallery as it offers a few ways to sort the videos. There's also an editor, which allows you to stitch together a couple of videos. However, there's no subtitle support, which is a pity.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The video player interface

Google Play Music provides the soundtrack

Believe it or not, Lenovo hasn't bothered making its own Music app and is using the stock Google Play Music one. Not that this is a bad thing, though. It features Listen Now feature, which tries to determine what you like and the sequence of your track-changing so that it can start offering you music you might like to play next.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Google Play Music

Google Play Music also gives you the option to upload music onto the Google's cloud servers and stream it on your device via Wi-Fi or mobile data. There's also the nifty option of downloading the content onto the device if you want to have it there for offline use.

The equalizer features several equalizer presets along with a custom user defined one. If you plug in a headset, you can also play around with the Bass boost and 3D effect sliders.

Sadly, we did not manage to put the Lenovo S90 through our standard audio output test despite all our efforts. For some unknown reason it bugs the testing rig and ends up showing unrealistically low results.

13MP camera does not disappoint

The Lenovo S90 Sisley features a 13MP camera with a maximum resolution of 4208 x 3120 pixels in 4:3 mode, actually it's a little wider than that. It can also shoot in 16:9, but photos are cropped to 4096 x 2304 pixels.

Lenovo also boasts about the 8MP front-facing camera of the Sisley with its auto shutter gesture controls. The camera automatically takes a photo when you wave to capture, make the "piece" sign or blink in order to reduce shaking. Blink detection was surprisingly good, that is if you do it slow enough. The V-sign recognition is a hit and miss, while we couldn't get waving to work at all, but maybe we're just not selfie-proficient enough.

The user interface of the Lenovo S90 camera is friendly and logically laid out. On the top left you get four shortcuts (front camera switch, flash toggle, HDR and shutter trigger). The settings menu is accessed via a dedicated shortcut in the bottom left corner. It gives you access to HDR mode, Auto scene, geo-tagging, resolution settings, and anti-banding, among others.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The camera interface

Lenovo has provided the basic shooting modes - there's Normal, Panorama and Effects.

Lenovo S90 Sisley

Camera modes

The Lenovo S90 captures images with plenty of detail. Despite the not-so-favorable shooting conditions, we were pleasantly surprised with its image quality. Colors are accurate as well.

Most of the time our unit was able to produce good detail and sharp results. Occasionally, some of the photos had some softer spots here and there. Noise levels are a bit high too, but it's tolerable.

The Sisley was fast to lock onto focus and taking multiple images in a succession is a breeze with low shot-to-shot times.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley camera samples

The Lenovo S90 managed to get close to subjects and offer detailed macro images. Quality is pretty good but manual focus seems to be playing a trick or two to the background.

Each manufacturer has their own way of dealing with HDR photography. High dynamic range shots aim to expose both the highlights and the shadows of a scene correctly.

The Lenovo Sisley snaps multiple images with different exposures and merges them to create its HDR shots. The results are generally nice, but Lenovo has perhaps gone a little overboard with the effect as it is very noticeable and sometimes even cartoon-like. The shooting process takes 2 to 3 seconds, during which the camera looks frozen and instructs you to hold the device steady, but this is more of an observation than a complaint.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

HDR Off • On

Naturally, we shot our test posters with the Lenovo S90 Sisley and here's how it fared, compared against the Samsung Galaxy A5 and the iPhone 6. Of course, our tool allows you to compare it against any other smartphone that we've shot with.

Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool
Photo Compare Tool

Lenovo S90 in our photo compare tool

1080p video is fine, but could be better

The Lenovo S90 Sisley offers 1080p videos at 30 frames per second in addition to 720p videos, but there's no option for fast- or slow-motion capturing.

There's not a whole lot you can adjust in terms of video settings. You can set the focus to infinite or continuous as well as change the video quality. That's about it, which is quite disappointing. There is the option to shoot video in HD mode, but it's more of a quirk actually as it does bring out colors a bit, but at the expense of some fine detail.

1080p videos taken with the Lenovo S90 look good, but are not spectacular in any way. The level of resolved detail is ok, the white balance and colors are fine too. The videos look smooth with a framerate of about 29-30fps. Edge-to-edge sharpness is good, too.

Videos have a bitrate of 20Mbps and their stereo audio track in encoded in 96Kbps 2 channel AAC.

The video camera auto focus kept hunting which got annoying at times. This was also the case with the Lenovo Vibe X2 so probably it's how they like them over there in Lenovo R&D.

Below you can find the 1080p video sample along with the one shot with HDR enabled.

You can also download an untouched video sample - 0:11s, 27.8MB.

And finally, you can check out our video comparison tool to see how the 1080p videos taken with the Lenovo Sisley match the rest in resolution, color rendition and more.

Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool
Video Compare Tool

Lenovo S90 Sisley in our video compare tool

Web browser

The Lenovo S90 Sisley comes with Google Chrome as the default web browser out of box instead of the generic Android browser. Chrome is definitely more pleasant to look at and is a lot more feature-rich. It might just have saved the handset in our web browsing tests.

Of course, one of Chrome's strengths is its ability to seamlessly sync with the desktop version, using nothing but your Google account. This allows you to open an article on your PC and finish reading it on your mobile phone. It also syncs your bookmarks and favorite sites.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Chrome

Google Chrome is generous with the available settings as well. You can control almost every aspect of your web browsing from choosing what content you want to allow to load like JavaScript, images, cookies and pop-ups.

The Reduce data usage option does what it says on the tin - Google servers compress the webpage (using Google-developed tech like SPDY and WebP) and only then send it to the phone.

Incognito tabs let you browse without saving history or cookies.

Unfortunately, Chrome still doesn't offer a Reading mode like its completion from iOS and Windows Phone.

Other pre-installed apps

Lenovo has put a lot of effort in offering added value with its custom UI. One of the cool apps is Security, which performs a check if you have malicious software on your phone or an app has too much access to private information. You can then prevent it from accessing your calls, messages, location and camera.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Security app

On top of that, you can define parental control access and set up an anti-theft password, in case you lose your phone.

There's also a cool looking File manager. It lets you access internal memory and sorts your files into neat categories. You can perform cut, copy and paste operations, too.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The file manager

The Lenovo S90 Sisley comes with the usual set of utility apps such as flashlight, calendar, clock, calculator, recorder, compass and radio apps. Sadly, the FM Radio app doesn't support RDS, but compensates for that with a beautiful UI.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Radio app

Finally, as with most Androids out there, there's Google Maps to let you navigate around. The app offers much of the same functionality as its web-based counterpart, although you will need a data connection to take full advantage of the navigation features.

Street view mode works especially nice in conjunction with the phone's accelerometer and digital compass.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

Google apps

The best part of owning a smartphone is getting new apps, and when it comes to Android, Google Play Store is the best source for getting your fill. From recommendations to top apps, it features a plethora of ways you can find new apps, and installing an app usually only takes a couple of taps.

Final words

Looking back at the Lenovo S90 Sisley, the design is definitely the most questionable piece of the puzzle. The phone was meant to look as close as possible to the iPhone 6, from the exterior all the way down to its custom Android build.

That's not to say that it's not an attractive phone - right on the contrary, but we liked some of the other Lenovo smartphones better, like the Vibe X2 or Z2 and Z2 Pro, which all have a distinct and equally pleasing look of their own.

We get it though. Apple's design on a budget does hold a lot of appeal and potential in certain markets, but a more in-depth look reveals a lot of compromises in terms of the materials used and the fine, precision engineered parts, but more importantly, performance.

The S90 Sisley is reasonably spec'd on paper, but seems to perform under its league. Lenovo may have skipped on some fine-tuning or the ambitious Vibe UI 2 is stressing the device too much but, whatever the reason, the Sisley struggled to come through with a lot of the benchmarks we threw at it.

Lenovo S90 Sisley

Lenovo S90 Sisley key test findings

  • Great design, but certainly not original; materials and execution could have been better
  • Super AMOLED display offers deep blacks and vibrant colors
  • The 2300mAh battery provides decent battery life. The device has excellent power-management options
  • Vibe UI v.2 is great, fast and with tons of personalization options and custom apps
  • Performance is worse than expected and could benefit a lot from optimization
  • Does tend to heat up noticeably under pressure which may cause performance drops
  • Still images offer a lot of detail and saturation, and generally look pleasing
  • 1080p videos turn out quite good, but auto focus tends to hunt more aggressively
  • Gallery and Camera application could use some more advanced feature to keep up with the rest of the UX; also there is no custom Music playback app.
  • Video player handles all video and audio codecs, but not AC3 sound and subtitles

Lenovo has inexplicably decided to break away from its routine and churn out what is essentially an iPhone on a budget. This definitely has its appeal, especially considering the company's recent agenda of covering more ground both domestically and internationally under the Lenovo and Moto brands.

We just can't help but think that Lenovo could have put some more effort into distancing its device from the majority of iPhone clones.

After all, we know Lenovo is capable of designing good-looking phones, and not necessarily with premium price tags. The likes of the Vibe Z2 Pro and the Vibe X2 have the high-end market covered, but the S90 has a solid alternative in the Lenovo A6000.

The Lenovo A6000 is powered by a Snapdragon 410, exactly like the Sisley. The budget-friendly LTE-enabled smartphone is currently only available in India and is doing quite well in flash sales. It is also equipped with a 5-inch screen, but the Super AMOLED panel has been swapped for an IPS LCD, again of 720p resolution. The A6000 is only available with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of onboard memory and its camera setup is a little downgraded as well - 8MP main and 2MP front. At about $113 in India, the A6000 is less than half the price of the Sisley

Lenovo A6000

Lenovo A6000

Over at Samsung's camp, the Galaxy A3 and A5 are built on mostly the same hardware and the 5-inch Galaxy A5 looks like a direct contender.

The Galaxy A5 costs a good $100 more than the Sisley, but it is also a much better device all-around. The CPU, GPU, display and RAM are absolutely identical and the Galaxy A5 also comes in a dual-SIM variant. The couple also offer metal bodies, although the one on the Samsung feels far better in terms of materials and quality. What is really important in this comparison is that the Galaxy A5 outshines the S90 in terms of benchmark performance.

The A5 also comes with a microSD expansion slot, but the tradeoff is an inferior front-facing camera.

Samsung Galaxy A5

Samsung Galaxy A5

The Motorola Moto G (2014) costs about $50 less than the Sisley (can even be found for as little as $200) with a dual-SIM version, which retails for about as much as the Lenovo. It is also quite equally spec'd, packing a Snapdragon 400 SoC, a quad-core Cortex A7 and an Adreno 306 GPU. Despite its simple appearance and less impressive specs sheet, the small Moto packs quite a punch (save for the camera) and is a solid performer.

The Moto G also offers a stock Android experience, second only to the Nexus devices. This allows the budget, low-powered device to really hold its own and outperform a lot of powerful phones.

Motorola Moto G (2014)

Motorola Moto G (2014)

A few notable contenders to the S90 in terms of specs that are worth noting are the: Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime, the more recent Galaxy Grand Max, and the HTC Desire 620 Dual SIM.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime
Samsung Galaxy Grand Max
HTC Desire 620 dual sim

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime • Samsung Galaxy Grand Max • HTC Desire 620 dual sim

Now let's take a look at what else there is in the Sisley's price range. The Sony Xperia C3 is Sony's first attempt at a selfie-centered phone. Its hardware is very similar to Moto G (2014), but it comes with a slightly bigger 5.5-inch 720p display. This, coupled with a spectacular endurance rating of 91 hours make the C3 a formidable rival to the Sisley.

Sony Xperia C3 Dual

Sony Xperia C3 Dual

Last, but not least we can't help but mention another similar Meizu device - the Meizu M1. It is a brightly-colored, plastic handset with a 5-inch screen and a Mediatek MT6732 chipset with a quad-core 1.5 GHz Cortex-A53 and 1GB of RAM. It is on the list mostly because it comes with a more than intriguing price tag - around $100. Sadly, it is only available in Asian markets for the time being, but if you get the chance, it is definitely worth checking out.

Meizu m1

Meizu m1

The Sisley does have its appeal. Sure, most of it has been borrowed from Apple, but an Android-powered iPhone on a budget is quite a marketable thing, to the right target group. The 8MP selfies with an LED flash will certainly help too.

We just wish Lenovo had put a twist of their own instead of simply copying. The fine line has been crossed between saying cheese and smelling it.

Unboxing

The Lenovo S90 Sisley comes in a pretty simple rectangular white box but what's inside is more interesting. The compact container is offering more than the basic set of accessories.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley has a rich retail package

The device comes bundled with an A/C adapter and a microUSB cable, along with a set of headphones with a microphone. The extra items are a transparent back cover and a screen protector. Tucked away underneath the manual there is a SIM ejector as well.

Design and build quality

The goal of the S90 Sisley was to get noticed and Lenovo wasn't particularly subtle about the ways to achieve it. From a distance, you'll be hard-pressed to distinguish it from an iPhone 6, especially looking at it from the sides. The look and feel are incredibly similar, which is quite a compliment actually.


Lenovo S90 360-degree spin

We can't help but notice how the 13MP camera is sitting flush on the back and not protruding in any way, a notable difference from Apple's design. The Lenovo Sisley measures 146 x 71.7 x 6.9mm and weighs 129g - resulting in a surprisingly light and comfortable feel in hand.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley next to the iPhone 6 Plus

Corners on the Sisley are nicely rounded and the phone is a pleasure to handle. Against the pure white front, only the LED flash breaks away from the color palette. Speaking of, the Lenovo comes in gray, gold and platinum (the latter our review unit), all matching paint jobs for an aluminum exterior, which go nicely with the white front panel.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley has a distinct Apple vibe

Sadly, the fluent elegance is abruptly broken at the top of the device. The Sisley has a large chunk of plastic covering most of the top side. This would've been nearly bearable if it wasn't for the glaring mismatch in the shades of white between the plastic strip and the front glass. It almost seems like a flimsy patch that's completely out of place in an otherwise handsome device.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The S90 is available in a few colors: in gray, gold and platinum and a few more colorful ones

The S90 Sisley feels quite good in the hand and we appreciate the nice contrast between the sturdy case and the lightweight feel. The build quality raises no questions but the execution of some details is far from perfect - let's say, not up to the standards of the one it's trying to emulate.

It's just a little rough around the corners and when we literally mean it. Sliding a finger along the edge of the screen you can feel the coarse surface. Not a major issue but, like we said, not an outstanding attention to detail either.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The Lenovo S90 Sisley in the hand

Controls

The Lenovo S90 boasts a 5" 16M-color display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. Although it's not impressively sharp, the Super AMOLED technology offers vivid colors and deep blacks. Right underneath it we find three capacitive keys, Menu, Home and Back, which is the standard layout for Lenovo.

Above the screen, the earpiece is flanked by the proximity and ambient light sensors, and the front-facing camera setup, which includes an LED flash.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The capacitive keys • 8MP camera with flash sits right above the display

Going round the device we find the left side mostly empty. It only features the SIM card compartment. Inside we find two microSIM card slots. There's no microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The left side of the S90 houses the SIM card tray

The right side is where the volume rocker and Power/Lock button are.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The right side is home to the volume rocker and Power/Lock button

The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top of the device near the left corner along with the second noise-canceling mic positioned right in the middle.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The top hosts the 3.5mm headphone jack and noise-canceling mic

The bottom of the phone houses a microUSB port, two screws and what appear to be two speaker grilles. Only the left grille actually contains a speaker, while the right one houses the mouthpiece.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The bottom is equipped with a MicroUSB port and two speaker grill only one holds a speaker

Going round the back, we find the 13MP camera in the top left corner with a single LED flash right next to it.

Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley
Lenovo S90 Sisley

The back is very stylish with plastic accent like the one on the iPhone

A plastic strip going all the way from side to side near the bottom brings the whole thing together and it comes as no surprise that when we flip an iPhone 6 over we find one exactly like it.

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