I’m generally a Windows user, but one of the things that’s always sorely tempted me about the Apple ecosystem is the interconnectedness. Not only are macOS and iOS comfortably similar in form and function (and getting moreso every year), but there are so many easy ways to transfer content between a Mac and an iPhone. That’s why I enjoyed testing out Lenovo’s ThinkPhone by Motorola, which is supposed to be — and I never thought I’d be writing this phrase — the smartphone version of a ThinkPad.
The ThinkPhone has a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, a 6.6-inch OLED screen, a 5,000mAh battery, a bunch of fancy enterprise security features (a phrase ThinkPad enthusiasts will certainly be familiar with) and two rear cameras including a 50-megapixel stabilized standard wide and a 13-megapixel ultrawide (plus a depth sensor). It’s MIL STD 810H certified and IP68 rated for dust and water resistance. It ships with Android 13. But the coolest part, and the differentiating feature in my opinion, is how much fun it is to use with a ThinkPad.
My favorite software feature is called Unified Clipboard. When you have this enabled, any photo you take, text you copy, documents you scan, or video you take with the ThinkPhone is automatically copied to a clipboard that your ThinkPhone shares with your ThinkPad. You can then paste that media instantly on your connected ThinkPad, which seems very handy for dropping photos into presentations and documents as you’re creating them. This was fun to use, and worked perfectly each time I tried it. (And I did try many times…it was really fun.)
This Unified Clipboard feature is part of a whole suite of features called the Think 2 Think connectivity (come on, that’s cute) that connects the ThinkPhone and the ThinkPad. You can also drag and drop files, and the two devices can quickly discover each other and connect over Wi-Fi while nearby.
You can even use the ThinkPhone as a webcam while taking conference calls on the ThinkPad. The latter works with any video conferencing software, Lenovo told me, so it’s not like some other fancy webcam features companies have come out with this year where your company’s conferencing software of choice needs to decide to support them.
I was able to fairly easily set the ThinkPhone as the ThinkPad’s conferencing webcam directly from Lenovo’s software settings, but I’m told that you can do it from individual applications (Zoom, etc.) as well.
Physically, there are some other touches that make this phone look blissfully ThinkPad-y. The black textured back… come on, you can’t miss that similarity. But the most striking homage to Lenovo’s premium business laptops is the red button on the side of the ThinkPhone — which isn’t quite a keyboard nub but, you know what, it’s close. You can map both a single and double tap of this button to shortcuts of your choice, which I’m sure some ThinkPad users (who may, for example, have experience remapping some of the ThinkPad’s unconventionally placed keyboard keys) will appreciate.
All in all, this phone seems like a fun idea to me. There are lots of ThinkPad lovers out there. Why not give them a phone to match?