Bullish is just the first word that comes to mind when talking about Lenovo’s smartphone prospects, based on the company’s recent claims. Yet we’re not seeing the Chinese stepping things up as we’d have expected.

Lenovo A850 Lenovo prepping A850 phone with Tegra 3 CPU, Android 4.2 and sub $250 price

At least as far as the high-end market niche is concerned, because in the mid-range sector Lenovo is looking pretty good. The S820 has seen daylight recently, targeting an audience that’s neglected by many (women), and now the A850 is closing in on a launch of its own.

This thing doesn’t appear to have an aim as clear as the S820, but it might well top a few wishlists of techies worried about their budgets. Rumor has it the Lenovo A850 will go on sale in China for 1,500 Yuan ($243), which is a pretty low price for a 5.5-inch quad-core device.

Then again, that ginormous display is… well, awful. Like really, really bad. It boasts a 960 x 540 pixels resolution (wut?), which comes down to a horrific 200 ppi pixel density.

Lenovo A850 2 Lenovo prepping A850 phone with Tegra 3 CPU, Android 4.2 and sub $250 price

On the bright side, you might be shocked to hear the A850 doesn’t pack a MediaTek CPU, like every other budget phone in China, but instead an Nvidia Tegra 3. That’s a fairly old platform, but it can still hold its own in the mid-range mobile market, being considerably zippier than MT6589 processors.

What else do we know about the A850? Not much, as the phone is not yet official. But it has been approved by China’s FCC (Tenaa), so it should start selling in a matter of weeks (months, tops). And it appears to be running Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean. 1 GB of RAM is also confirmed, as is a decently slim profile measuring 9.45 mm in thickness. Again, not bad for less than 250 bucks, am I right?

Via [Giz China] and [CN Beta]