Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus First Impression – Knockout Price, Not a Knockout Phone

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Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus launched today builds up on A6000 and A6000 Plus that were launched last year and marked the start of a very successful online exclusive journey for Lenovo. One year later, when the online smartphone market has grown to whopping 40 percent (figures quoted by Lenovo), the company wishes to refresh its low-end offering. Has it sufficiently evolved for 2016? Let’s find out.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (8)

Also Read: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 First Impression – Xiaomi’s Comeback In India?

Key Specifications and Features:

Model Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
Display 5-inch, Full HD (1080×1920) IPS LCD, Scratch resistant glass
Processor 1.7GHz octa-core Qualcomm snapdragon 616 SoC, Adreno 405 GPU
Internal Storage 16GB, with microSD card
Software Android 5.1 Lollipop based Vibe UI
Primary Camera 13MP, F2.2 aperture lens, LED Flash and 1080p Videos
Secondary Camera 5MP, F2.8 aperture lens
Dimensions and weight 142x71x7.99 mm and 142 grams
Battery 2750 mAh
Others 4G LTE, Dual SIM, Dual Stereo speaker with Dolby Atmos, Lenovo Theatremax
Price 8,499 INR

Uses some metal, but is essentially plastic

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus looks premium from a distance, but up close the corners Lenovo is cutting to accommodate the low price tag become more apparent.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (6)

Since we are now so much accustomed to living with 5.5-inch or bigger display phones, the 5-inch K5 Plus feels surprisingly petite. Right from the launch day it will be available in Gold, Silver and Black color options.

We first tried the black color variant, and on the front it feels exactly same as the yesteryear A6000. It carries forward the same flaws too. The display is very much prone to smudges and underlined with same design capacitive keys, which are not backlit.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (18)

On the rear side however, the matte finish plastic has been replaced by a metal+plastic back cover. Only a small rectangular bit is actually a thin film of metal. Not that it looks bad, but the rest is all plastic, be it the side edges or the top-bottom strips.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (4)

The back cover is removable and so is the battery that lies beneath it. The bottom part is occupied by dual stereo speakers, and thus both audio jack and MicroUSB port have been shifted on the top edge. The bottom edge makes room only for the primary microphone.

Also Read: Should you buy the Honor 5X or LeEco Le 1s? – Comparison, What Matters, What Doesn’t

Among rare few phones that offer Full HD display at this price

The 5-inch display on K5 Plus bumps resolution from 720p HD to 1080p Full HD. That implies densely packed screen amounting to 441 PPI, but in practice the impact of this increased resolution isn’t very well pronounced.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (13)

The display isn’t the brightest one around and add to it a touch class smeared in finger grease and it will be clear why display doesn’t strike as impressive the way it should (None of the popular phones offers full HD at this price point). On the plus side, there is scratch-resistant coating on the display. We will reserve our final verdict on the display quality for later.

Camera and Software

The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus sports a 13MP rear camera (OV13850 sensor) with 5P F2.2 aperture lens and on the front, there is a 5MP selfie shooter. On paper, this is as good as it gets, but these numbers can surely be misleading. The Scarcity of hands-on prototypes available at the launch didn’t give us much time to formulate a basic estimation of camera quality and we are almost clueless in this regards. We will talk more on this after our full review of the handset.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus (16)

The software is similar to what we have been seeing on recent few Lenovo handsets including the popular K4 Note. It is closer to stock Android but with some refinements. At this point of time, when we are already talking about Android N features, Marshmallow based Vibe UI would have been better.

Besides standard suit of Lenovo Apps, the handset also has Theatremax baked in. To know more about the technology you can also read our Theatremax review. This time Lenovo won’t be offering Ant VR 3D headset in a discounted bundle so you will have to buy them separately for 1299 INR. It makes more sense to add that cost to phone budget and buy one of the more compelling options available around 10K.

Performance expectations

Vibe K5 Plus is the cheapest phone to come powered by Snapdragon 616 octa-core processor which comes paired with a very decent Adreno 405 GPU. This is the same chipset which drives full HD display on Honor 5X. The Snapdragon 616 is not without its issues, but is certainly impressive at this price. In fact, we would take Snapdragon 616 over feeble MT6753 present in Lenovo K4 Note.

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Also Read: Honor 5X Review – Surprisingly Good For The Money

The Vibe K5 Plus is being marketed as multimedia first device. To justify those claims there are dual stereo speakers placed on the rear side. It would have been better if the speakers were integrated on the bottom edge, if not on the front, but the rear placement shouldn’t be a deal breaker if the speaker quality is good.

The 2750 mAh battery capacity sounds good enough for basic and moderate usage. Lenovo claims maximum standby time of 265 Hrs and talk time of 15.1 Hrs on 3G.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus Photo Gallery

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Lenovo has definitely managed to keep the price right. At 8,499 INR Vibe K5 Plus might qualify has a worthy recommendation for anyone looking for a familiar brand and strictly restricted by a budget. However, if you are willing to pay extra 2000 bucks, the like of Xiaomi Note 3, Le 1s and Moto G3 will serve you better. It won’t knockout those rivals with ease.

Deepak SinghDeepak Singh
Deepak has more than 8 years of experience in covering technology for several eminent publications in India. He currently leads an enthusiastic team of young writers at Smartprix and tries to uphold the highest quality standards.

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