Consumer electronics major Lenovo, after a long hiatus, is back in the smartphone arena with the new Lenovo K9 and A5 series phones for Rs 8,999 and Rs 5,999 respectively in India.
The top-end model K9 comes with decent specs for its price and I had the chance to check out the new K9 model for a few days before the launch. Here's my take on the Lenovo's comeback phone.
Display, design and build quality:
By the looks of it, the Lenovo K9 gives out premium feel not just for the eyes but also when held in hand. My review unit, as you could see, comes with a gorgeous glass enclosure on both back and the front panels. It has a candy bar structure, which gives a good grip for the hand to hold on to the phone.
I appreciate the company for offering the shell cover with the retail box. This will protect the shiny back of the phone and also most importantly, its transparent property allows the user to flaunt the device's glossy back, though it can't protect sweaty smudges left by the fingers.
Another important aspect, I loved about the Lenovo K9 is the implementation of the Type C USB port, which makes it the only phone in its price segment to offer such as user-friendly connectivity option. With Type-C port, the consumers will never have to worry about in which angle, they have to plug the connector. In Type 2 micro USB port, which is common in all phones under Rs 20,000 category, he/she has to be ever vigilant on how they put it or else they risk of damaging the port and end up in the repair shop to get it fixed.
As far as the display is concerned, Lenovo K9 comes with 5.7-inch HD+ screen with 2.5D glass cover. It is bright and crisp. I faced no screen legibility issue while watching videos or reading messages even with bright sunny conditions and with 18:9 aspect ratio, users are guaranteed cinematic viewing experience.
It comes with a dual 13MP+5MP camera setup on both sides. Primary dual-snappers on the back takes good quality pictures in bright light conditions. Even the macro shots (close-up shots) come off decent.
However, in the indoor lightings and low-light conditions, we can see noise creeping in the images and also in the night, the auto-focus tends to lose speed. But, this issue is common in budget phones.
We have to understand, it is not a top-end phone like Pixel or iPhones to expect high-quality images in the low-light. Having said that, photos taken by Lenovo K9's camera are on par with rival brands in the same price range.
Even the front camera takes decent selfies in bright conditions and in the night, thanks to dedicated LED flash. It comes with selfie tools with skin tone smoothening effect and to an extent, it works and makes the photo seem good for sharing it on social media sites.
Lenovo K9 houses a 3,000mAh battery. During the testing period, which included a session (half hour) of social media website browsing, playing video clips (around 15-20 minutes), taking photos and doing other day-to-day chores, the phone lasted a day (active hours: 5:30 am to 10:30 pm).
But, I have to say, the phone's battery tends to drain faster when watching videos with mobile data on and also during the photography session. But, this is not a deal breaker as other phones also exhibit similar behaviour.
Lenovo K9 comes with a 2GHz MediaTek MTK6772 octa-core processor backed by 3GB RAM and 32GB storage, which can be expanded via microSD card. During the testing period, the phone worked smoothly, be it opening apps, loading the camera, switching between multiple apps, browsing or playing videos or other day-to-day chores.
But, don't expect the phone to work flawlessly when playing graphic-intense games, this phone or any brand in this price segment for that matter, they cannot take it as the phones come with A12 Bionic or Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor.
But, one thing is for sure -- Lenovo K9 is good enough for normal consumers who mainly use the phone for communications (calling & messaging), browse web & social media sites and play games such Candy Crush, Angry Birds.
I also like the Lenovo K9's fingerprint sensor; it is fast and accurately recognises finger impression without any fuss.
Final thoughts (3.5/5):
Overall, Lenovo K9 is the decent budget phone and does justice to its asking price. It has a beautiful glass-based unibody design, a good processor, Android 8.1 Oreo with a simple interface and sumptuous RAM and storage to make the phone run smoothly. This will be a good gift option for people who are planning to buy their first touch-screen smartphone.
With just Rs 8,999 price-tag, Lenovo K9 will be giving a stiff fight to Redmi 6 and emerging brands such as Tecno Mobile, Infinix Mobiles, among others in the sub-Rs 10,000 price segment.
- Visually pleasing design language
- Decent camera for its price (under Rs 10,000)
- Type-C USB cable, which no other phone can boast in this segment
- Gesture features
- Hybrid SIM slots; consumers have to choose between extra SIM and microSD card.
- No face unlock feature. Rival brands offer this and considering the fact that K9 as dual camera, we hope the company release software update to activate this security feature.
Key specifications of Lenovo K9:
|Display||5.7-inch HD+ screen with 2.5D glass cover and 18:9 aspect ratio|
|OS||Android 8.1 Oreo|
|Processor||2.0GHz MediaTek MT6772 octa-core|
|Storage||32GB, expandable via microSD card|
|Battery||3,000mAh with 10W charger|
|Network||4G-LTE with VoLTE|
|Add-ons||Hybrid SIM slots (SIM 1+ SIM 2 or microSD card), fingerprint sensor, Type C USB port|
|Dimensions||153.8 x 72.9 x 7.95 mm|