Lenovo K3 Note is one of those devices, which became immensely popular as soon as it hit the market. Lenovo sold around one lakh units on the first two sales. Yet, thousands of consumers are looking forward to the next big sale on Wednesday.
There are real reasons behind the popularity the model enjoys, we found. Priced at Rs. 9,999, Lenovo K3 Note offers features that other brands provide for a fortune. Though Chinese smart phone maker Elephone is about to launch its P8000 model, which offers almost similar specifications, it will find it quite difficult to beat the brand value of Lenovo.
Design and Build
Not surprisingly, the K3 Note features an identical design like A6000, A6000 Plus or A7000. All four devices feature a matte finish polycarbonate back cover, removing which you will get access to two 4G SIM and micro SD slots. It also retains the same button layout of its predecessors and houses the volume rocker and power button on the right. The micro USB and Audio port are on the top.
Below the display, there are three capacitive buttons. But since they are not backlit, it is a tad difficult to use it 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.
The Lenovo K3 Note is quite an interesting device. Going with its earlier strategy, Lenovo priced K3 Note just Rs. 1,000 more than its predecessor Lenovo A7000. For that price it packs a 1080p display by comparison with A7000's 720P display. Featuring a 1080P display also sounds a bit superior for its price as all its closest competitors including ASUS ZenFone 2, Meizu M1 Note or Xiaomi Mi 4i are either available for higher price or packs a 720p display. Though ordinary users won't be able to differentiate between a 720P and a 1080P display, the 1080P or FHD display gives a better experience during normal usage as well as while watching videos and playing games.
Lenovo K3 Note boasts of a 5.5-inch, 1920x1080 pixels, 401PPI display that is sure to impress big screen lovers. The only smart phone that comes close is Meizu M1 Note, which offers similar resolution and pixel counts. However, it is priced Rs. 2,000 higher than K3 Note.
The display, though it offers ample brightness with decent viewing angles, lacks the Corning Gorilla glass protection. But we found the display pretty solid and scratch resistant. For the skeptics, Lenovo has bundled a scratch guard also.
Operating System and Interface
Lenovo K3 Note runs on Android 5.0 Lollipop overlaid with a home-baked customised interface, Vibe UI 3.0. Though Lenovo didn't announce the latest Android 5.1.1 yet, it has improved the UI a lot. For example, you can switch the Wi-Fi data network from one to another directly from the notification interface. The notification and security features are much improved and there are lots of themes in Lenovo's theme store. However, we missed the App Drawer, which gives a lot of options to manage apps and widgets. The model also packs essential proprietary apps like Spam Cleaner, built-in antivirus, SHAREit and CLONEit.
K3 Note packs a powerhouse specification for the price. It has a MediaTek MT6752 SoC (System on Chip), a 1.7GHz Cortex A-53 octa-core processor and a Mali T760MP2 GPU, which have been aptly backed with 2GB RAM and 16GB in-built memory.
In our test, we found that of the 16GB, the OS consumes only around 4.8GB of system space, leaving around 11GB for users. For those who prefer large memory in their handsets, Lenovo features a micro SD card slot for appending a 32GB card.
Earlier in our hands-on with the device, we had mentioned that the K3 Note's AnTuTu Benchmarking score surpassed that of many other high-priced phones.
As a part of the review process, we ran all the essential benchmarking suites. In AnTuTu Benchmarking 5.7.1, Lenovo K3 Note managed to score 46,375, which is quite impressive. With the score, it beat mid-budget and flagship devices such as Xiaomi MI4, OnePlus One and ASUS ZenFone 2.
In the GeekBench 3 Suite, the K3 Note scored 810 in single-core and 4,049 in the multi-core test. With the Basemark OS II and 3DMark IceStorm Unlimited Benchmark, K3 Note scored 764 and 7,730.
In our real life test, K3 Note also stood well by performing smoothly during our entire usage session. It handled several apps and tabs together, without a stutter or chugs. We also played resource heavy games like Asphalt 8: Airborne and Batman Arkham and didn't find any visible delay.
K3 Note packs a 13MP rear camera with auto-focus and a 5MP front camera for selfie snapping. To impress the selfie-addicts, Lenovo has added several gesture-based controls.
We also conducted a dedicated camera review where we minutely analysed the camera interface and the performance in detail. The stock camera interface has been neatly designed with optimum manual controls and filters to snap decent quality images.
We found that the rear camera was fast and the focus was accurate. The colours in the images are finely balanced and don't have any visible tints. However, in a challenging lighting environment, it produces visible noise.
[Read More: Lenovo K3 Note Camera Review]
Battery and Storage
The model packs a 3,000 mAh battery, which lasted around a day during normal use. In our stress test, it could last for 18 hours, which is good. In our video loop test, the Lenovo K3 Note survived around seven hours and 20 minutes.
For the price, the main competitor of Lenovo K3 Note would be ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE550ML, Meizu M1 Note and Xiaomi Mi 4i. All the devices were priced at least Rs. 2,000 or Rs. 3,000 more and had equal or inferior benchmarking scores.
The Lenovo K3 Note is available exclusively through Flipkart via Flash sale. For just Rs. 1,000 more, Lenovo K3 Note is a worthy upgrade to its own predecessor A7000. For the price, it offers a better display, better processor, double the storage and a good rear camera.
After the comprehensive tests, we have come to the conclusion that K3 Note is the best device available for the price.