Motorola acquisition is finally starting to rub on Lenovo the right way. Today, at the K4 Note launch, the company clearly expressed its aversion to ‘bumping up specs’ or even talking about specs, and instead talked about the essence of K4 Note. So, how Lenovo wishes to market the killer K4 Note? Well, it’s a smartphone designed to satiate your multimedia appetite, period.
We are reluctant to compare K4 Note to its very successful predecessor, the K3 Note, because it is a different phone altogether. Though Lenovo claims it has first brought Lenovo K4 Note to India, this is the same Vibe X3 Lite or a variant of A7010 (Model no. A7010a48) which was earlier launched in China and which also heavily emphasized on – take a guess – multimedia experience. We briefly examined the K4 Note and here is what we felt.
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Key Specifications Of Lenovo K4 Note
|Model||Lenovo K4 Note (Model no. A7010a48)|
|Display||5.5 Inch Full HD display, 10 point multi touch, Gorilla Glass 3|
|Processor||64 bit MediaTek MT6753 Octa core, Mali T720- MP3|
|Internal Storage||16GB, 128GB MicroSD card support|
|Software||Android 5.1 Lollipop based Vibe UI|
|Primary Camera||13MP ISOCELL Sensor, F2.2 lens, Dual Tone Flash, PDAF|
|Secondary Camera||5MP, Wide angle lens|
|Dimensions and Weight||153.6 x 76.5 x 9.2 mm and 158g|
|Sensors||Gravitation, Proximity, e-compass, Light|
|Others||4G LTE on both SIM, TheaterMax, 2 x 1.5W Dolby Atmos front speakers, WiFi a/b/g/n/ac|
|Price||11,999 INR/ 12,499 INR (With ANTVR headset)|
A Well Designed Phablet
The Lenovo K4 Note avoids sharp edges and is entirely carved out of plastic. The metal like side frame which folds on top and bottom, and further extends as dual frontal speaker mesh is also plastic. But considering the price tag, and the fact that the design is quite ergonomic and appealing, we have no qualms about choice of material being used.
It’s not a slim phone by any yardstick and the stated minimum thickness of 3.8 mm sounds misleading (even if it’s true), but its easy to handle and quite compact for a 5.5-inch display device. Interestingly, you can peel off the back cover and replace it with 5 different wooden back panels, which is a great design victory for Lenovo.
The dual frontal speakers have been tastefully implemented. This is also the first time a company is using Dolby Atmos in speakers, but more on that later. Right above the bottom speaker mesh rests three silver capacitive navigation keys which are not backlit.
A fingerprint sensor is placed right below the camera module and, in our brief testing, felt fast and accurate. Also, Vibe UI allows to assign different actions to ‘Tap’ and ‘Press and Hold’ on the rear finger sensor. You can also program it to click images.
Lenovo K4 Note Photo Gallery
Display is vibrant, albeit prone to smudges
Lenovo has given us some good quality LCD panels in the recent past and the one used on K4 Note is among the better ones. Lighting at the event was very poor, so we are not confident enough to state any definite conclusion, but yes, blacks felt good, colors felt vibrant and whites were leaning towards warmer side. The software permits tweaking color balance as well. The spec-sheet lists 450 Nits of brightness, and if true, that should translate to reasonable outdoor visibility too. The touch glass however, attracts finger grease rather easily.
TheatreMax and Dolby Atmos
To make a solid statement as a multimedia-first device, the K4 Note relies on two ‘Killer’ features. The TheatreMax and Dolby Atmos.
Keeping the fancy-shmancy title at bay, TheatreMax does what other Cardboard apps do. That is, it splits the screen in two (Long press power key>> hit split option). This in turn allows for a VR like/ theatre like immersive experience while playing video in any player app, even YouTube. The ANTVR headset which you can get bundled with K4 Note for an extra 500 bucks seems to work better than all Google Cardboards I own (clearer, less harsh on eyes), but I am still not convinced that you will be using this very often.
Besides immersive video, Lenovo K4 Note also makes provision for immersive audio. The Dolby is included on device speakers for the first time ever (In earlier devices, like K3 Note, you needed headphones to experience it). We recently talked about Dolby Atmos as something which can be overlooked. You need Dolby Atmos supported content for this thing to work and still the difference on a smartphone is hardly noticeable, so yeah we are not particularly enthusiastic about its inclusion.
Will immersive audio and immersive video together make a well pronounced difference? We will only know after thorough testing.
Spec junkies won’t find any major overhaul here, but the camera (lighting was poor, but selfie camera performance seemed quite decent), chipset, battery and other hardware on K4 Note is reasonable on paper. Since its MT6753 on board (Damn it, Helio X10 would have been so much better), we will be watching out for how efficiently the handset handles high end gaming, but there is enough for all basic needs. We will thoroughly test the K4 Note soon and will share our findings in our full review.
Lenovo K3 Note was immensely successful and it owes a great deal of that success to the fact that it offered the best possible specifications compared to all other major handsets at the time of its launch. It was one of the first to offer a full HD display for under 10K and included MT6752 octa core chip which was enjoying a great run post Snapdragon 615 being widely discredited for its heating issues.
However, the K4 Note is not playing the specs game anymore. It improves on the shortcomings of its predecessor and distinguishes itself with what matters more. Our first impression of K4 Note is largely positive, and we believe that the K-series (which is now a part of Vibe series) has evolved in the right direction.