Lenovo has launched their latest smartphone in the K Series, the Vibe K5 Note which is the successor to the K4 Note. Lenovo’s K-series has been a success for the company which is said to have sold over 3 million smartphones in this series. The company has launched the K5 Note after a gap of only seven months after the K4 Note was launched in January this year. The K4 Note was not a great device to take on the heavy competition seen in this segment but as a contrast, the K5 Note is right up to the mark taking all the good from the K4 Note and also adding the present day requirements into it.
Let us look deep into the device discussing every aspect of the device to help you get a conclusion if this is the device for you, considering the huge competition in this price range. The direct competitors to the K5 Note are the LeEco Le 2, Redmi Note 3, Honor 5C, etc.
Design and Display:
Going away from the all-plastic body of the K3 Note and K4 Note, the K5 Note comes with a metal back panel and body but what disappoints is the presence of plastic on the sides between the back and front panels. The volume rocker buttons and the power button are also plastic, which is not up to the mark of the back panel which gives a premium look to the device.
This does not make this device look ugly of feel bad in hand, it looks and feels premium and with Camera positioned in the top middle of the back with the fingerprint sensor below it, from the back it looks like a device much premium than what it costs.
The capacitive button on the front occupy the huge lower bezel; the speaker is located on the lower back of the device. We can see glimpses of the K5 Plus and Vibe series design here, and there is nothing to complain about in this aspect.
The Vibe K5 Note sports a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels which is a norm in this segment and Lenovo has managed to include it here. The viewing angles are decent, visibility under outdoor lighting is not perfect but manageable when compared with the Redmi Note 3 and Le 2 it is a bit low.
When compared to the K4 Note, the screen has better contrast and color, one thing which I liked is the option to change the colors of the display; you can make it more yellow or whitish as per your requirement.
The Vibe K5 Note runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow out of the box with Lenovo Pure UI on top. The company has mentioned that this device is optimized a lot, but after using it with the amount of bloatware included, it does disappoint me in spite of all the added features like the custom notification panel, improved SMS management and the Secure Zone features which are taken from the Stock Android experience.
The UI and the OS would be enjoyable with the added features if the Bloatware would have been reduced, some apps of the pre-installed applications can be removed, but not all and this makes it a bit disappointing.
The Vibe K5 Note is powered by a 1.8GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P10 processor with Mali-T860 GPU and will be available in two variants based on RAM – 3GB and 4GB RAM. When it comes to everyday performance the device is up to the mark, have been using the device for the past one week, and it has never disappointed me with regular usage like browsing, social network, listening to songs and watching videos on a regular basis. But when it comes to gaming, Lenovo has managed to keep the heating issue under control when compared to the K4 Note but in terms of performance it is not completely fluid and lag free. There is quite a bit of lag in high graphic games which is evident while playing games like Asphalt 8, it was the same with the 3GB RAM variant and the 4GB RAM variant.
You will get decent performance from the device which will not disappoint you in everyday use, but do not expect to start playing graphic heavy games with it.
This is one of its strong points, the camera on the Vibe K5 Note is a 13MP rear camera with Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and comes with dualLED flash; the front camera is an 8MP shooter. The rear camera was quite impressive while capturing photos in outdoor conditions with good color reproduction and saturation.Focus was decent in still subjects but with moving subjects, the focusing took some time.
The rear camera is not that great when it comes to indoor or low light conditions, there was quite some noise visible in the photos. The details in the photos taken under well-lit conditions are quite impressive on zooming in as well. There is HDR option available which gives good shadows without taking the saturation out of proportion.
Focus was decent in still subjects but with moving subjects, the focusing took some time. The rear camera is not that great when it comes to indoor or low light conditions, there was quite some noise visible in the photos. The details in the photos taken under well-lit conditions are quite impressive on zooming in as well. There is HDR option available which gives good shadows without taking the saturation out of proportion.
Check Camera Samples: Link
Lenovo has provided some customization options like filters which help in improving the camera experience in the stock camera app. You can shoot 1080p video footage with the 8MP front facing camera while the rear camera is capable of shooting 1080p videos at 30fps with average color reproduction and stability wise it performs decently while capturing footage while walking. Overall a decent camera for outdoor captures and a pretty bad one in low light conditions.
The Vibe K5 Note comes with a 3,500mAh non-removable battery which is decent, as my primary device for the past seven days I have charged it for about 8-9 times which shows how well the battery is optimized, almost every time the screen on time was around 5 hours. The battery lasted for a whole day with WiFi and 4G enabled in turns.
The charger supplied is a 5.2V, 2 amp capacity AC Adapter and there is no Quick or Fast Charging support for the device. The charging time is not as good as fast charging, but I could charge my device from around 105-15 percent to 100% in about 2 hours approximately which is quite good for a device without fast charging support, and it might take around 30 minutes more to charge from 0-100%.
Lenovo has included the much-hyped TheaterMax technology similar to its predecessor which surely help in increasing or bringing you VR and immersive experience at this price range. For those who like to get eh full-fledged VR and immersive experience, the company is offering a specialized TheaterMax Bluetooth controller for Rs. 999 and the Amkette Gamepad Pro 2 controller for Rs. 2,800.
For helping in getting a VR-like experience with the phones display which supports TheaterMax technology, you can get an ANT VR headset which gives the split-screen rendering on your smartphone screen, and the ANT VR headset helps in improving it. It can be used with VR supported Games, Apps, and Videos. The Lenovo Vibe K5 Note is priced at Rs. 11,999 for the 3GB RAM variant and the 4GB RAM variant is priced at Rs. 13,499.
The Lenovo Vibe K5 Note is a good value for money device with good performance, decent camera performance and great design and build. But it lets you down with the bloatware and low light camera performance. Gaming is not a thing to be proud of, with the amount of competition in the market Lenovo has introduced a decent device but it lacks in some aspects to it competition like the Moto G4 has a much better camera while the Redmi Note 3 and LeEco Le 2 have a better display at offer.
If you are someone interested in the VR experience which is a plus in this device thanks to the TheaterMax technology, the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus is a capable device in this price range which is an option to consider.