Following the success of A6000, A6000 Plus and A7000, Lenovo has launched another power-packed budget smartphone (under ₹10,000). Priced at ₹9,999, Lenovo K3 Note has enough hardware features to compete with other smartphones available in its price bracket.
Launched last week, the phone was made available for purchase on 8 July, 2015, for the first time in India through pre-registered flash selling process via Flipkart. For the first sale, 47,440 of the close-to-5 lakh pre-registered buyers were able to purchase K3 Note in 5.2 seconds.
Luckily, we managed to get our hands on K3 Note and here is our first impression of the device:
Design & Build
K3 Note features an identical design seen on Lenovo A6000, Lenovo A6000 Plus and Lenovo A7000. The matte finished back cover comes with rounded corners and a flat back, making it decent to hold in hand. The dimension of the device might feel little big to regular smartphone users, but phablet lovers will simply adore the design. Though the cover is prone to fingerprints and smudges and feels a bit fragile when taken off the phone, it feels pretty rugged.
Removing the back panel reveals the dual 4G SIM slot, which is appreciable as only a handful of devices in its price come with the same. Besides, there is a micro SD card slot for expanding the memory up to 32GB.
K3 Note retains the same button layout of A7000 and A7000 and features the volume rocker and power button on the right and the Micro USB and 3.5mm audio at the top.
Below the display, there are three capacitive buttons, but it doesn't feature backlight hence a tad difficult to use in the dark until you get used to it. The rear camera sensor and dual tone flash has been housed at the top right corner.
Lenovo K3 Note flaunts a 5.5-inch, 1920x1080 pixels, 401PPI display that is sure to impress big screen phone lovers. For this price, there is no other smartphone available that offers 1080P display onboard. The only smartphone that comes close in that matter is Meizu M1 Note, which offers similar resolution and pixel counts, but is priced ₹2,000 higher than K3 Note.
The display offers ample brightness with decent viewing angles, but lacks the Corning Gorilla glass protection for added protection. But, we found the display pretty solid and can get away from usual scratches. For the sceptics, Lenovo has bundled a scratch guard too.
Lenovo K3 Note packs an octa-core 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6752 SoC, the same SoC in the Meizu M1 note. Lenovo A7000 features MediaTek MT6752M, which is octa-core but offers less clock speed resulting in less performance than K3 Note. The device also packs standard 2GB RAM for delivering optimum performance.
To get a quick overview on the performance of K3 Note, we ran Antutu Benchmark and the device managed to score 46,375 by beating several popular mid-budget smartphones, including OnePlus One and ASUS ZenFone 2. That clearly states Lenovo K3 Note is quite capable of handling multiple apps and tabs simultaneously. We will come up with more on this in our final review of the device.
Lenovo K3 Note packs 16GB built-in storage along with memory expandability up to 32GB. In comparison, the closest two competitors, Xiaomi Mi 4i and Meizu M1 Note, packs similar storage but skips the expandability support. It's true that poor performing cards sometime degrades the performance of the phone, but voracious users still prefer as much storage as they can get for the price.
In our test, we found that out of 16GB, the operating system occupies 4.8GB, which means it leaves almost 11GB for the user.
OS & User Interface
Lenovo K3 Note runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop overlaid with Lenovo coded Vibe UI interface. Though K3 Note features the identical operating system version featured in A7000, the interface features several new utilities, including user mode and a handful of new gestures. For example, you can switch the data connection from one network to another right from the notification screen.
Lenovo K3 Note packs a 13MP auto-focus rear camera with Dual LED flash and a 5MP front snapper for clicking decent images. Lenovo has designed the stock camera interface really well, which feels quite easy to use. The camera app features several effects and includes detailed level of manual controls.
To impress selfie-addicted consumers, K3 Note features several gestures like clicking images through voice instruction, tap, eye blink, making a v finger gesture and a self-timer of 3 seconds.
At ₹9,999, Lenovo K3 Note positions itself on the top of the sub-₹10,000 league for its price-to-specification ratio. The phone packs an amazing display, capable processor, decent storage and usable camera for making it an all-round device and a better buy for its price.