Tuesday 1 September 2015

Lenovo K3 Note

Lenovo recently launched their brand new phablet the K3 Note, the beefy elder cousin of the A7000. The first “Note” device from Lenovo is a powerhouse of performance and great value for money.

Design, Display & Hardware :

The K3 Note is a lookalike of the A7000 from Lenovo, so don’t be surprised if you can’t spot the difference between them . It’s design is simplistic with the dimensions of 76.2x152.6x8 mm & weighs 150gms, which is just a tad more than the A7000. The screen size is 5.5”, which is rather distinctive with prominent bezels. The back is soft to the touch and removable with 3 colour options; Onyx Black, Pearl White and Laser Yellow. Inside the K3 holds a  2900 mAh battery with dual 4G enabled SIM slots.

The screen is improved from the 720p A7000 offered, as the K3 bumps that up to 1080p. With 16 million colours and a PPI of 401 on the capacitive touchscreen, the K3 looks great though the glass is very reflective and might not work great in bright sunlight. The front facing camera is on the right of the speaker grill, while the proximity scanner is on the left at the top. The 3 capacitive buttons are not backlit but thankfully do offer haptic feedback . The volume rocker and power button are on the right, with no additional buttons on the left. Finally, the audio jack and Micro USB charging ports are on the top edge of the phone.

The core of this phone has a MediaTek 6752 SoC, with 8 ARM Cortex-A53 cores all running at 1.7GHz, and integrated Mali-T760 MP2 graphics. There's also 2GB of RAM and 16GB of built-in storage, with support for 32GB microSD cards.

Camera :

With a 13MP rear camera and dual LED flash you can expect detailed photos at 16:9 , 4:3 and 1:1 aspect ratio options. Auto ISO is the default option and takes bright light pictures very well. HDR mode takes a couple of extra seconds to capture the image but they won't disappoint you. OIS (Optical Image Stabilisation) is strangely missing so shaky images/videos are very much a reality here. Videos can be shot at 1080p and 30fps from the rear and front cam as well. The front facing 5MP camera offers a Beauty mode for those flawless selfies using capture options like a hand gestures, timer, tap, voice commands or  blink. 

Software :

The K3 Note has Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box with the Vibe UI skin on top which is similar to Xiaomi’s UI without the App Drawer. I personally don’t like it since adding widget’s  increases the number of Home screens. 

New features include Wide Touch which is an iOS style Accessibility button permanently on screen having shortcuts for apps, camera , music etc.  Smart Screen is for auto switching Sound profiles, power off etc at a given time during the day. Secure Zone lets you run/hide apps and notifications in a secure zone that can’t be traced. SYNCit, CLONEit and SHAREit are Lenovo developed apps which feature on all their phones & Tablets. Bloatware is omnipresent with free apps from the Play Store & Ubisoft Demo games.

Gaming & Multimedia :

Asphalt 8 & FIFA 15 worked like a charm but GTA did make it a bit sluggish. AnTuTu benchmark scored an impressive 45069, and Quadrant scores were at 20566 which are comfortably over Xiaomi Mi4i of the same range & HTC Desire 820 which is a few  grades higher in terms of price.

Dolby Atmos was a great experience with my Beats in Ear  (which you can buy from CeX  since the phone doesn’t come with a pair) but the same can’t be said about the loudspeaker. There’s no Music player though, it comes with Play Music but the Dolby app let’s you tweak, enhance voice, volume etc.

Conclusion :

The K3 beats almost every phone in it’s price range & has a big screen, good audio and decent battery life going for it. The simple design and reflective screen could be a problem for some though... and also best avoid it if you have small hands!

The Lenovo K3 Note gets a 4/5.


Pritesh Khilnani 

Lenovo K3 Note at CeX

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