As expected we haven't seen too many new phones during CES 2023, so I was thrilled to go hands-on with the Motorola ThinkPhone, which looks like what would happen if a ThinkPad X1 Carbon made a wish to be a flagship phone.
Much like the laptop that inspired it, the ThinkPhone feels fantastic to hold with its slightly textured back, and the bright red multifunction button on its side makes me nostalgic for some of the old Motorola Droid phones. While the hardware ticks all the boxes you would expect for a mid-range flagship phone, the real magic of the ThinkPhone is in its seamless integrations with your laptop.
We'll have a full review when it is closer to release, but for now, here's our quick first look at the Motorola ThinkPhone.
I got to spend about 15 minutes putting the Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola through its paces at CES 2023 and I came away impressed with the experience overall. The hardware is fantastic, despite the large 6.6-inch display and typical Lenovo durability, it feels light and that carbon fiber finish on the back looks and feels great in your hand.
Performance was snappy with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and 8GB of RAM powering the phone. An upgraded model with 12GB of RAM will be available as well for smartphone multitaskers.
The phone has two rear cameras, a 50MP primary wide-angle and a 13MP ultra-wide. The latter can also offer macro shots and a depth sensor rounds out the sensors in the array for improved portrait photos. It's a pretty typical setup for a mid-range flagship, but I'll want more time with the phone to render any final opinions on its photo prowess.
The ThinkPhone will launch running Android 13 and offer 3 major OS updates along with four years of security updates, which isn't class-leading but covers the typical lifespan of a phone for many users.
While the red multifunction button is a nice nod to its Lenovo roots, it's not purely decorative, you can customize the action for a single or double tap of the button, which is a handy shortcut for any tasks you are doing repeatedly.
As I tipped earlier though the real secret sauce of the ThinkPhone is in its interaction with your ThinkPad. The ReadyFor software allows you to control your phone entirely from your ThinkPad in a variety of ways and gives you complete access to taking calls or responding to text messages over your laptop. You can even launch any of your phone apps as windows on your laptop if you want to flip through Instagram while still appearing to be hard at work.
Lenovo is also taking a page from Apple's playbook by allowing you to use your ThinkPhone as your webcam, which should give you a crisp image and added flexibility with the placement of your camera.
While the phone isn't exclusively targeted at business users, Lenovo is giving security a push with Moto Secure, a one-stop shop for all of the security features available on the ThinkPhone. Whether for business or personal use this should be a boon for users that want to keep their phone secured without having to dive through dozens of settings menus.
There is no pricing or exact release date available for the Lenovo ThinkPhone by Motorola just yet, but it's expected to arrive early in 2023 and we'll bring you all of the latest updates and a full review when it's closer to launch.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.