Lenovo launched its ultra-affordable Vibe K5 smartphone on Monday, putting it in the league of best-selling budget devices in the price-conscious market of India. Launched at Rs. 6,999, Lenovo Vibe K5 meets stiff competition from emerging rivals such as Coolpad Note 3 Lite and Swipe Elite Plus, but the company's brand name certainly has an edge over others.
With the continuous rise of competition in the smartphone market in India, buyers evaluate which smartphone offers better specifications at lower price. So it is no longer a fight where companies with good brand recognition steal the show. Here's a good comparison of such a battle, where Lenovo, a well-known brand, faces less-popular brands such as Coolpad and Swipe. We are comparing three smartphones, Coolpad Note 3 Lite, Swipe Elite Plus and Lenovo Vibe K5, to see which handset offers better value for money.
Before getting started, it is worth mentioning that all three smartphones are priced at Rs. 6,999 and available exclusively online. The Elite Plus is available exclusively on Flipkart, while Coolpad Note 3 Lite and Lenovo Vibe K5 are sold through Amazon India.
Design and display
In terms of design, all three smartphones have unique identities. Swipe Elite Plus features a new ergonomic arc design with premium jacquard polycarbonate body and thin metal frame for a firm grip. Lenovo Vibe K5 also has metallic design using lightweight metal. Finally, the Coolpad Note 3 Lite comes with plastic build, which feels low quality when compared to the other two phones here.
All three phones have same display sizes, measuring 5 inches diagonally. While the Note 3 Lite and Vibe K5 have HD 720p resolution, Swipe Elite Plus takes the lead with its Full HD 1080p screen resolution, which is a significant upgrade for the same price as others.
Lenovo Vibe K5 and Coolpad Note 3 Lite feature a 13-megapixel primary camera with LED flash and a 5MP front snapper. Swipe Elite Plus has a 13MP rear-facing camera with f/2.0 aperture, LED flash and a much-improved 8MP front snapper for selfies.
We reviewed the Coolpad smartphone and found its camera pretty decent for a budget phone. We haven't had the chance to review the other two phones yet, but the Elite Plus' on-paper specs seem better than those of the other two smartphones.
Processor, RAM and storage
Lenovo Vibe K5 is powered by an octa-core 1.4GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 415 chipset and 2GB RAM. Swipe Elite Plus uses a slightly powerful 1.5GHz octa-core Snapdragon 615 processor and same 2GB RAM. Coolpad Note 3 Lite, however, uses a MediaTek MT6753 quad-core processor, clocking speeds at 1.3GHz, and 3GB RAM. All three handsets have 16GB onboard storage with microSD card support for further expansion.
By the looks of the setup, the Elite Plus seems to offer better performance while the Note 3 Lite could handle multi-tasking with much ease.
Swipe Elite Plus has the largest battery of all, which is a 3,050mAh unit, but the Note 3 Lite isn't too far behind with its 3,000mAh battery. Lenovo Vibe K5 also has an impressive unit of 2,750mAh. In our review of the Note 3 Lite, the handset delivered up to 14 hours on average usage, but the runtime of other two phones is unknown at the moment. Swipe claims its Elite Plus can last up to 2 days, which is quite challenging.
Software and add-ons
All three smartphones are powered by Google's Android. Coolpad Note 3 Lite runs Android 5.1 Lollipop based Cool UI 6.0, Swipe Elite Plus runs Android Lollipop based FreedomOS and Lenovo Vibe K5 runs the most recent Android Marshmallow out-of-the-box.
As for the extras, all three phones have dual SIM, 4G LTE support, but the Vibe K5 has Dolby Atmos integrated twin speakers for enhanced audio and TheatherMax support for virtual reality content. Swipe Elite Plus also offers improved sound as it has a dedicated amplifier. Coolpad Note 3 Lite beats the other two rivals with its fingerprint scanner, which makes it the cheapest smartphone to have a biometric sensor. When we reviewed the handset, the sensor worked seamlessly well and unlocked the handset in micro-seconds.