We go hands-on with Lenovo’s K4 Note!
Aside from the more expensive Vibe X3, Lenovo also launched their affordable K4 Note in the PH today. First unveiled in India, the K4 Note tries to capitalize on the success of the K3 Note (A7000 Plus in the PH) released last year. While it’s significantly more expensive, Lenovo’s thrown in a couple of new features and functions in the K4 Note to make up for the price difference, which inlcudes the novelty of VR.
Lenovo K4 Note specs
- 1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor
- 3GB of RAM
- 5.5-inch full HD display, Corning Gorilla Glass 3 protection, 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 16GB of internal storage, expandable via microSD up to 128GB
- 13-megapixel rear camera with phase detection AF, LED flash
- 5-megapixel front facing camera
- 3G, LTE
- WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, Fingerprint scanner, Dolby Atmos Sound
- 3,300mAh battery
- Android 5.1 Lollipop
Initial impressions: Solid mid-range offering with affordable VR bundle
First things first: the K4 Note looks nothing like the previous iteration. That’s a good thing – we knocked the A7000 Plus for its generic slab looks, and we’re happy that Lenovo’s taken steps to make sure that the K4 Note manages to stand out against the competition. Instead of a boring plastic shell, Lenovo’s now gone with a more premium, slate grey metal frame.
The back of the phone is curved for better grip, though the phone employs a removable plastic back cover instead of the metal build on the more expensive Vibe X3.
That redesign makes the K4 Note easier to use and hold one-handed, despite the phone being a little bit taller than your typical 5.5-inch device. Just like the Vibe X3, the K4 Note has the same dual front-facing speaker setup, which gives better sound than phones without it.
The phone uses physical capacitive keys on the front, and while the chin and top bezels are quite large, you really don’t notice it too much thanks to the black coloration on the borders.
The volume and power rocker is on the right, while the 3.5mm jack and USB port is on the top and bottom, respectively. Flip the phone over you’ll see the fingerprint scanner on the back, a first for the series, as well as the 13-megapixel rear camera and dual-tone LED flash.
Internally the K3 Note sports hardware that we’ve seen a hundred times before, specifically a MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM and 16GB of expandable storage. It’s a decent enough processor, though some people may balk at the idea at paying more than 10K for a phone that’s powered by MediaTek’s most prolific processor to date.
One thing we did like about the K3 Note is the fact that Lenovo did not go overboard with their Vibe UI overlay. It still looks like a traditional Android UI, with an app drawer much like stock Android. Speaking of Android, Lenovo’s promised to deliver a Marshmallow update later this year, though you’ll have to wait a little longer since it’s slated to arrive sometime in Q3.
The K3 Note and the Vibe X3 comes with an Ant VR headset with every purchase. The headset folds into a small package when not in use, which makes it ideal for travel use. There’s index points in the VR headset where you put either the Vibe X3 or the K4 Note.
There’s no side protection for the Ant VR headset which makes it more susceptible to light leak when you’re viewing content on it, though we didn’t experience any during our tests.
There’s a dedicated VR mode on the phone that splits the phone’s display in two, allowing you to view both VR and non-VR videos while wearing the headset. The Ant VR headset is completely passive though, since there’s no buttons on the thing so that may be an issue for some VR content.
That’s it for this hands-on. The Lenovo K4 Note is priced at Php 10,699. If you purchase the phone this weekend (8-10) you get Php 5,000 worth of freebies which includes a Skullcandy headset.