Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review

Last year, Lenovo came out with their K5 line of devices, and today we are looking at one of them. Bundled with VR goggles and a controller this is our review of the Lenovo Vibe K5 Note.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Specs:

Android 5.1 (Lollipop)
Mediatek MT6755 Helio P10, Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53, Mali-T860MP2
3GB RAM
5.5-inch IPS touchscreen display, 720 X 1280
16GB internal storage, Expandable up to 256GB
13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash + 8-megapixel front camera
Dual-SIM
3,500mAh

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review – Design

At first glance this phone looks simple; a big screen and backlit touch buttons at the bottom. However, it is more than that. Looking closer, the K5 Note has a nice metallic body all around, with shiny metal trimmings and a segmented back portion. The design gives this phone not just a classy look but also a sophisticated appeal to it.

The Lenovo Vibe K5 Note is pretty decent to hold as well. It has a bit of weight to it, but it is light enough even when the crystal case is put on. Although the phone is pretty wide it does not cause discomfort to hold it for a while. On the body of the phone itself – the sides  hold the volume control and screen lock buttons are on the right side. At the bottom is the micro USB port and microphone pinhole. On the left side is the sim tray which can hold two nano sim cards and a micro SD Card. The upper back of the phone holds the rear camera, the flash, the fingerprint sensor, and a microphone pinhole at the top of the rear cam.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review -Display and Multimedia

Meant to give users a “front row” viewing experience, this phone has 5.5 inch IPS HD display. It has a wide 178 degree viewing angle which makes it good for watching videos with friends. I watched Rurouni Kenshin on this phone and I have to say even the darker scenes still had a clarity to it. The contrast on this phone is pretty good. Also the day time fight scenes were a joy to see on this. The colors were bright and vibrant plus you even see it clearly when the characters are sweating and all that.

To match this great video quality, the K5 Note has Dolby ATMOS powered speakers. What that means is that the sounds are not just crisp but also clear. Going back to Rurouni Kenshin, there were smaller sound effects that I noticed that really helped add the whole “front row” experience. Also, where most speakers have a problem when the volume is maxed, the K5 Note even at that had beautiful and crisp sounds. Even with songs, this phone performs well – multi instruments songs are a treat as I was able to focus on specific sounds as I listened.

Overall, I enjoyed the multimedia experience on this phone. If anything, I just wish that the speaker grille was not placed at such a peculiar position. It gets tricky to prop it up, without blocking the speakers. I really wonder why they switched up the speaker set up from the K4 Note, which had two speakers at the front which is perfect for movie watching.

 

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review -Camera

One of the most surprising aspects of this phone is its camera. Sure they may not sound so impressive with the 8MP front camera and the 13MP rear camera, but the quality of the images one can get with these are pretty solid. Again you get crisp images, adjusting to light does not look lagged and the details are pretty solid even when zooming in.

The selfie camera is also pretty good, but what makes it astounding is the beautify function. Even at level 4 (it has 7 levels), there is already a great difference with how the photo looks. That is not to say that the function edits the selfie too much but it really just smoothens the image for a good looking photo.

The video capturing performance was also good. However, indoor light and night time dampens the crispness of the visuals here. But, that doesn’t mean that it is bad, the video is still pretty decent, it just does not totally match the photo quality to me.

100% cropped

sample selfie lenovo vibe k5

This is a sample selfie with the beautify at level 0.

Sample selfie with beautify lenovo vibe

Selfie sample with beautify at level 4

 

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review – Performance and Benchmarks

The Lenovo Vibe K5 Note runs on Android 5.1 Marshmallow and is powered by a 1.8 GHz Octa-core processor with 3GB RAM compared to it’s predecessor (K4 Note) which only sports a 1.3 GHz processor.

The Vibe UI is pretty good looking. Swiping is fast and switching between apps is a breeze. Playing games on the phone is great too. I was able to really enjoy “Tap the Frog” on this device. I also tried Dead Trigger 2 on the phone. The screen is highly responsive and helps with the “fire” button and navigation. Overall, it felt really good playing my favorite mobile games on the K5 Note.

We ran this phone through our usual benchmark tests and here are the results:

Antutu: 46174
Quadrant: 22224
Pc Mark: 2852
Velamo(Chrome): 1714

 

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review – Connectivity

This phone has a lot of the basics down – WiFi, Bluetooth, FM radio and all that. What’s great is that it also has 4G LTE which makes browsing on the phone pretty good on data. It even has USB OTG. If anything, I’m disappointed that it is still on USB 2.0.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review – Battery

I did our video loop test and on maximum brightness and volume this phone lasted close to 10 hours. On mid brightness with casual use I was able to get more than 12 hours from this phone. The battery I can say is more than decent and can last a regular working day.

Still, I am not fond of the non removable battery trend. Of course this phone has that, and as much as I enjoyed the phone this is a turn off for me.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review -VR Goggles and Remote

The Lenovo Vibe K5 came with VR Goggles and a Bluetooth remote. Looks-wise, these aren’t really impressive, I have to say that these even look easily breakable. But they have a matte finish to the plastic so at least they dont look cheesy. Performance-wise on the other hand, I actually liked these devices. I adjusted quickly to the goggles and had a good time trying out VR games. The remote was quick to connect and fairly responsive as well. They may not look much but to set the phone up was easy if not a bit scary. There is nothing holding the phone in except some groves for the phone to snuggly fit in, this might run the risk of the phone falling out accidentally.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Review -Conclusion

Priced at Php 11,999 the Lenovo Vibe K5 Note is a good deal. The phone has power and is a pretty decent upgrade from the K4 Note. However there are some odd choices like keeping the USB port at 2.0 and the placing of the speaker grille. If you ask me, I will definitely recommend this phone for those who love games or really maximize their smartphones.  The cameras are good and the multimedia experience is fantastic.

The Lenovo Vibe K5 Note packs power and function together in a great device.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Note Specs

ModelLenovo VIBE K5 Note
OSAndroid 5.1 (Lollipop)
ProcessorMediatek MT6755 Helio P10, Octa-core 1.8 GHz Cortex-A53, Mali-T860MP2
Memory 3GB RAM
Display5.5-inch IPS touchscreen display, 720 X 1280
Storage16GB internal storage, Expandable up to 256GB
Camera13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash + 8-megapixel front camera
SIMDual-SIM, GSM / HSPA / LTE
Battery3,500mAh
Weight165g
Dimensions152 x 75.7 x 8.5 mm
ColorsPlatinum Silver, Gold, or Gray

More photos of the Lenovo Vibe K5 Note:

         

       

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