If you frequent tech circles, that is the million dollar question these days. Whether to go with the new Killer Note coming from a familiar brand or to trust a new entrant trying to make a powerful statement with its pilot launch (Company has already registered 530,000 buyers for first flash sale). Now that we have spent quality time with both K4 Note and Le 1s in our own space, we are better equipped to enumerate strengths and drawbacks of both.
Key Specifications and Features:
|Model||Le 1S||Lenovo K4 Note|
|Display||5.5-inch full HD (1920x1080p) IPS TFT LCD display with 401ppi, Gorilla Glass 3||5.5-inch full HD (1920x1080p) IPS TFT LCD display with 401ppi, Gorilla Glass 3|
|Processor||64-bit class 2.2 GHz Mediatek Helio X10 Octa-Core CPU, Power VR G6200 GPU (700 MHz)||64 bit MediaTek MT6753 Octa core, Mali T720- MP3|
|Internal Storage||32GB, No MicroSD card support (25.53GB Free)||16GB (10GB Free), 128GB MicroSD card support|
|Software||Android Lollipop based EUI||Android 5.1 Lollipop based Vibe UI|
|Primary Camera||13 MP Isocell sensor, LED Flash, PDAF, F2.0 aperture lens||13MP ISOCELL Sensor, F2.2 lens, Dual Tone Flash, PDAF|
|Secondary Camera||5MP Front-Facing Camera, F2.0 aperture lens||5MP, Wide angle lens|
|Dimensions and weight||151.1×74.2×7.5 mm and 169 g||153.6 x 76.5 x 9.2 mm and 158g|
|Battery||3000 mAh, Fast charging||3300 mAh|
|Others||Dual SIM (Nano + Micro), 4G LTE, Fingerprint sensor, USB OTG, USB Type C port||4G LTE on both SIM, TheaterMax, 2 x 1.5W Dolby Atmos front speakers, USB OTG, Fingerprint sensor|
|Price||Rs. 10,999||11,999 INR/ 12,499 INR (With ANTVR headset)|
Points in favor of Le 1s
- Better performance, K4 Note lags
- Better video recording
- Fast charging support
- Better build quality with premium chamfered metallic side edges
- IR Blaster is an added advantage, Universal remote works great
Points in favor of Lenovo K4 Note
- Better display, Le 1s display is dim
- Better camera performance, Le 1s doesn’t trail by a margin here
- NFC support
Design and Display
Le 1s is metal (except for two strips on the rear), K4 Note is plastic (yes all of it, including the side frame). Use of metal isn’t synonymous with good design though. So let’s elaborate further. The Le 1s is slimmer, looks more premium thanks to its neat, chamfered metallic side edges and feels more compact than Lenovo K4 Note (though dimensions aren’t much different) but it is noticeably heavier.
Lenovo deserves some credit for fitting in dual frontal speakers rather elegantly, but as far as design goes, Le 1s feels better.
Display panels of both K4 Note and Le 1s have their flaws. The Le 1s display has blue tints (unless you are using soft mode) and is quite dim, which makes indoor scenes in videos look unnaturally darker. The display is however sharp and crisp, and color calibration is good as well. The K4 Note display on the other hand has very warm color tones and appears soft while you are navigating through the UI. However, the display on K4 Note is quite good for consuming multimedia content. Out of the two, we would say the K4 Note display feels better.
Fingerprint Scanners and Audio
Fingerprint sensor has finally become a mainstream feature. The Le 1s and Lenovo K4 Note both have rear-mounted fingerprint sensors which are fast and accurate, but still, the fingerprint sensor on K4 Note has slightly better accuracy. The difference is minute one and shouldn’t affect your usage experience. But the software implementation will make a difference.
The K4 Note allows you to scan and store maximum 2 fingerprints. So if you want to keep index finger of both hands (which is a pre-requisite for me) there is no option to provide access to any other trusted acquaintance. K4 Note also allows you to set tap action on fingerprint sensor as back-key (or home key), but that has only been an inconvenience so far because of accidental touches. (Except for when I am using Theatremax).
The Dolby Atmos on speakers isn’t of much practical relevance, but still the dual frontal speakers on K4 Note are louder and audio sounds a bit better when compared to Le 1s. Le 1s doesn’t trail far behind as far as audio quality and loudspeaker loudness goes, so this shouldn’t be a very important deciding factor either.
Performance and Software
As far as performance goes, Le 1S is clear winner. The EUI is well optimized with Helio X10 and together they deliver a snappy performance. Multitasking feels better too. Lenovo K4 Note in comparison feels mediocre. After 5 to 6 days of usage, it often stutters even with routine activities and High-end gaming shows heavy lag.
The Vibe UI feels a bit overwhelming and tacky as compared to EUI. The EUI, on the other hand, takes some getting used to, but the effort put in is worth it. Talking of software, Lenovo has provided with Theatremax feature which is something new and fun. Theatremax creates illusion of big theater screen using a Ant-VR headset.
Call quality is good for both handsets. As far as battery back-up goes, we are getting slightly more mileage with K4 Note, but fast charging on Le 1s makes it more convenient option in day to day usage.
The camera performance of both Le 1s and K4 Note is quite close. The Le 1s clicks 4:3 aspect ratio images (at 13MP) and the K4 Note shoots 16:9 images by default. With K4 Note, more grains creep in when lighting is inadequate, but color reproduction is more faithful. The Le 1s compromises on details to keep noise at bay. Checkout the some samples below. With still photography, we would say Lenovo K4 Note performs better.
With video recording, Le 1s gives you more options, including the option to record slow-motion videos (120 fps) and 4K videos.
We have listed the difference which should matter your buying decision. Since I am a heavy user, smooth performance in the long run is top priority, which makes me more inclined towards Le 1s. The K4 Note is capable of rendering decent experience (we only wish it had a better processor), and if you are a basic or moderate user, your inclination might understandably be different. If you have any more questions regarding the two, ask us in the comment section below.