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.
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|
|Others||4G LTE, Dual SIM, Dual Stereo speaker with Dolby Atmos, Lenovo Theatremax|
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.
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.
On the rear side however, the matte finish plastic has been replaced by a metal+plastic back cover.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.