Lenovo has been known for producing some high-quality phones at affordable prices. Although the K6 Note has been already announced at IFA 2016, I wanted to take a look at the K5 Note. It is a phone that costs just $150 but it brings quite a lot to the table. Learn more in our full review.
Thanks to Gearbest for sending Lenovo K5 Note for a review.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: VIDEO REVIEW
Lenovo K5 Note Review: UNBOXING
The phone comes with all the usual stuff you would expect to come with any smartphone and there are no extras included.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: SPECS
5.5″ 1080p (Full-HD)
Mediatek Helio P10, 64-bit, octa-core (up to 1.8GHz)
8MP Front/13MP Back
Bluetooth, 3G, 4G, GPS, WIFI, GSM,EDGE, GPRS, UMTS, HSPA, HSPA+, dual-SIM.
3.500 mAh (non-removable)
152 x 75.7 x 8.5 mm / 165g
32GB (expandable via microSD card slot up to 256GB)
Lenovo K5 Note Review: DESIGN and DISPLAY
When it comes to the design of the phone, the K5 Note does not sport any exceptional looks that would differentiate it from other phones.
The device is well-built and it uses a metal backplate. However, the top and bottom parts, the buttons and the entire chassis are made of plastic, which is kind of a letdown considering the fact that even some super cheap phones use metal.
On the other hand, the Lenovo K5 Note comes with the LED notification light and backlit capacitive buttons that some of the cheaper phones lack.
We have a 5.5” 1080p display, which is great. The panel is sharp, bright and you can adjust the color temperature to your liking in the settings menu.
As for optics, we have a 13MP shooter with f/2.2 aperture and a single LED flash.
The fingerprint sensor works fine. It is fast, accurate and you can unlock the phone from the standby mode. Also, there are some other ways to use the fingerprint scanner, e.g. long press it and it works as a home button.
The loudspeaker quality is one of the best you can find on a $150 phone.
The quality of sound via the headset jack is one of the best in class and that is thanks to the built-in Hi-Fi audio chip.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: HARDWARE and PERFORMANCE
Lenovo K5 Note ships with an octa-core Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10 chip with the max. clock speeds of 1.8GHz, 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.
I’ve never been impressed with the Helio P10 chips when it comes to the 3D gaming and the K5 Note is no exception.
You can only play Asphalt 8 on medium graphics to avoid stutter and lag. On the other hand, games like Nova 3 and Modern Combat 5 run quite well.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: BENCHMARKS
Lenovo K5 Note Review: USER INTERFACE
Speaking of the day-to-day user interface performance, the phone is fast, fluid and I didn’t have any issues with it. I’m quite disappointed that the phone ships with the outdated Android 5.1 with the Lenovo’s skin on top of it. It’s is not a deal-breaker for a budget phone but there are plenty of cheap phones that already have the Android 6.0.
On the other hand, I like the Lenovo’s skin as there are quite a few features and customization options to play with. Just to name a few, you can quickly launch the camera straight from the standby mode, draw a letter C to trigger one-handed operation mode or use a few gesture controls that work great. You can also select from a variety of themes, change transition effects and so on.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: CAMERA
The pictures taken with the 13MP camera look quite nice. There is a good amount of detail and the colors look natural. However, the camera is inconsistent with the dynamic range adjustment and I got a few shots that were out of focus.
As for low-light image quality, $150 phones have never impressed me and the K5 Note is no exception. Well, the phone has one of the better cameras in its class but all the low-light images will look grainy and noisy.
The 1080p footage does not look horrible but it could be definitely better and look sharper. See a video review for a video sample.
An 8MP front-facing camera is actually pretty good and you can take some decent-looking selfies with it.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: CONNECTIVITY
The K5 Note comes with a hybrid dual-SIM card tray, which can take either 2 SIMs or 1 SIM and the microSD card.
The call quality, signal reception, GPS, Wifi and all other connectivity options work just fine.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: BATTERY LIFE
The phone ships with the 3500mAh battery that performs well. It will definitely get you through the day or even 2 days, depending on the usage.
On my usage, I could get over 5 hours of screen-on time, which is a good result.
Lenovo K5 Note Review: CONCLUSIONS
So, there you have it, a $150 Lenovo K5 Note. It is one of the best phones in this price range but it is definitely not perfect.
The phone sports a good build quality, nice and sharp display, user interface that has a lot of features, pretty good cameras, and Hi-Fi audio via the headset jack. Also, the K5 Note has an accurate fingerprint sensor, a good loudspeaker and some little features that some of the cheap phones lack – a notification LED light and backlit capacitive buttons.
On the other hand, the phone does not have a metal trim as it used plastic instead. It is a letdown considering the fact that even the cheapest phones use metal frames in its construction.
Although I enjoyed the user interface performance, the phone runs on the outdated Android 5.1. Finally, the Helio P10 chip is not the best option for you if you enjoy playing the latest 3D games.
At the end of the day, the Lenovo K5 Note is still a solid phone for the price and it definitely has more pros than cons. However, you have to consider if the previously mentioned shortcomings are important to you or not.
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Lenovo K5 Note is still a solid phone for the price and it definitely has more pros than cons. However, you have to consider if the previously mentioned shortcomings are important to you or not.