Lenovo finally managed to launch the Vibe K5 Note in India yesterday at a special event in New Delhi. Update to the Vibe K4 Note, which was quite successful, the new smartphone once again comes with VR compatibility with Theatre Max, Dolby Atmos Surround sound and new hardware to take on its competition.
We played around with the handset at the launch event and here is what we think of the device.
Build and design
It seems that having a metal body in this price range has become a norm nowadays. Not that we are complaining. The Vibe K5 Note has a solid build and feels a bit like the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 with its curved metal back. Lenovo has also focused on bringing symmetry to the design and the company mentioned how the distance between the rear camera and LED flash is same as the distance between the LED flash and the fingerprint scanner.
Up front you have a 5.5-inch full HD display and has the usual set of sensors, the earpiece and the front camera sitting above it. Below the display you get capacitive Android navigation buttons which are sadly not backlit. Going around the edges, the power and volume keys are on the right, the 3.5mm headphone jack is on the top, the left edge has the dual-SIM card hybrid tray and at the bottom is the microUSB port and the microphone. At the back there is a 13MP camera with a dual LED flash, a fingerprint scanner and a speaker grill at the bottom.
The display panel is an LTPS IPS LCD panel measuring at 5.5-inches with a full HD (1920×1080) resolution. The 401 PPI makes it sharp and even the colours look good. We tried using the smartphone out in the open and apart from having some reflections, we didn’t see a lot of issues. Viewing angles are actually quite good and Lenovo has put an extra effort for this to improve the experience when used with the ANT VR headset.
The smartphone is powered by a MediaTek Helio P10 chipset having an octa-core processor clocked at 1.8GHz along with a Mali-T860 GPU. There are two variants of the device, one with 3GB of RAM and the other with 4GB of RAM. The internal storage is 16GB which is expandable up to 128GB using a microSD card. The performance felt smooth and UI felt quite fluid, but of course we only tested it for a few minutes. It is also worth noting that there aren’t many smartphones in this range offering 4GB RAM. On the connectivity side you get dual SIM card slots, 4G LTE support, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, FM Radio. The company has also managed to squeeze in a 3,500 mAh battery in a substantially slim body.
Lenovo, like many other brands, has slimmed down on its UI making it lighter and less resource consuming, well at least that’s how it felt. Running on Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the menus and apps loaded smoothly and didn’t show any signs of lag. The UI is cleaner and lighter and offers some interesting features like customisable quick toggles in the notification shade and a secondary storage solution called ‘Secure zone’ which basically looks a lot like running another user account with separate apps. This is somewhat similar to what Xiaomi and even LeEco is providing on their UI.
The rear camera on the smartphone comprises of a 13MP sensor with PDAF or phase detection autofocus along with a dual-LED flash and on the front there is an 8MP module to take selfies. Both the cameras are good but not impressive, probably just above average. The focusing and processing speeds looked fair and even the camera app offered some standard features which can be useful for consumers.