Hey, where’s my Lenny? A girl suddenly turned back to my seat and thought I called her, in truth I was actually fumbling my bag for this Wiko branded smartphone called Lenny. Yes, its confusing alright to have a phone model named like a person’s name. We’ve seen the Lenny 2 when it was launched back last year, it had entry-level specs and a somehow different design that I’ve seen from other Android devices, the Lenny 3 is no different, it is a sleek looking device that looks really different from the rest of the competition, so what has Wiko improved on its new Lenny smartphone this round? We find out.
Wiko Lenny 3 Hardware Specifications
Processor: Mediatek MT6580 1.3GHz Quad-Core
RAM/Storage: 1GB/16GB (up to 64GB Micro SD expansion)
Display: 5″ HD (1280×720 IPS
Camera: 8MP with LED flash (Rear), 5MP (Front)
Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, BT 4.0
Battery: 2000mAh removable
Design and Hardware
I’ve never reviewed the Lenny 2 before but have definitely spent some time with it during Wiko’s launch event last time, the Lenny 2 was plasticky and had a low resolution display that you will expect from an entry-level smartphone. This time, Wiko has transformed the Lenny 3 into a more classy device, the first thing you’ll notice when holding up the phone is the sturdiness, you might think its an all metal phone but in fact, the Lenny 3 has a removable aluminium back case that got me impressed, you get access to the phone’s SIM slot, micro SD card slot and battery compartment after that.
In most cases, succeeding smartphone models will usually get a slimming job, the Lenny 3 however has gotten thicker and heavier, it now measures 9.9mm of thickness and weighs 177g, which is a significant bump from its predecessor and isn’t exactly a good thing if you always have your phone in your pockets. In addition, the smooth metallic surface makes the phone extremely slippery to hold as well, there was one time that I accidentally spill my coffee over just because the phone slipped from my hand when using single handedly. To be honest, I really can’t see any reason why the Lenny 3 has to be heavier despite having the same screen size and a slightly premium build material, this is something that Wiko should have never neglected since it has always emphasised on smartphone design.
The Lenny 3’s display is now a HD resolution IPS panel, which brings a significant pixel density bump from its predecessor’s FWVGA resolution. Unlike many other entry-level devices, the phone’s display is able to automatically adjust its brightness depending on lighting conditions, even though display brightness could be better I was still able to see it properly under bright sunlight. Unfortunately, the display’s touch response can be a little sluggish at times due to the phone’s performance internals, hence you shouldn’t expect the phone to be your note taking and texting device, it also lacks screen off gestures which you won’t be able draw gestures to launch apps or actions without turning on the display.
While there are design flaws that can be improved, I’m glad that the Lenny 3 features a notification LED which is omitted in many other entry-level smartphones, the capacitive function buttons are not backlit but they still have haptic vibration feedback if you choose to enable it. Overall, the Lenny 3 is an attractive device and if you choose to overlook its design flaws.
User Experience and Software
Just like its bigger sibling the Robby, the Lenny 3 comes preloaded with the same Wiko launcher running on top of Android 6.0, it unfortunately shares the same underpowered Mediatek MT6580 SoC paired 1GB of RAM, therefore I faced the same sluggish experience found on the Robby, though not so much of force closes this round, the software still freezes occasionally that causes the experience to be a little annoying. In addition, the Lenny 3 lacks 4G LTE support and it really is a shame for such a nice looking device.
On the plus side, the Lenny 3 is able to handle Pokemon Go properly if you do not activate the AR feature, GPS signal can be inconsistent at times and it doesn’t deliver a totally smooth playable frame rate but sufficient graphics power for you to catch your Pokemon. Furthermore, I did not encounter any graphics issues or GPS signal inaccuracy on the Lenny 3 when navigating with Waze, which is a common issue I have experienced with many Mediatek powered smartphones.
For those who aren’t too particular about having a fast and snappy software performance, the Lenny 3 will still do simple tasks just fine, but do keep in mind that you will need to free up the phone’s RAM with the One Clean feature to ensure a reliable experience.
The Lenny 3 technically shares the Robby’s camera configuration, it has an 8-megapixel main and 5-megapixel front camera, though the phone has its ‘Selfie Flash’ removed and have it replaced with a ’Screen Flash’, it does a very minimal job of brightening your face if you happen to take selfies in low light, trust me you really don’t want to do that with the Lenny 3. Suffice to say, the phone’s main camera will do a fine job on great lighting conditions, focusing speed is reasonably fast and pictures don’t look grainy at all.
Battery Life and Network
As of now, you won’t be able to find huge capacity batteries on most Wiko smartphones, the Lenny 3 has a rather small 2000mAh battery but that’s sufficient enough to power the phone for a working day when used moderately, I have been using the Lenny 3 for social media browsing, two sessions of Waze navigation to 20 minute destinations and 15 minutes of watching YouTube videos, the phone’s battery lasted approximately 16 hours before jumping into its ‘Eco Mode’.
As much as smartphone makers like to make entry-level phones as premium as they could, the lack of 4G LTE support is a big no-no as similar as having a plasticky entry-level smartphone, many can argue this as an unnecessary feature in the case of the Lenny 3, but telcos these days are no longer maintaining reliable transfer speeds on 3G networks, furthermore there are a number of 4G smartphones that competes with the Lenny 3 within the similar price range. Thankfully, there were no dropped calls during my usage and reception is clear on both ends.