Lenovo, over the years, has put out solid smartphones one after the other, securing them a spot on the smartphone leaderboard. The company takes pride in its mid- and budget-phones, which are superior to many competing smartphones within its class. This month, we take a look at Lenovo’s wallet friendly yet impressive smartphone, the Vibe K5 Plus.
DESIGN 4.0 / 5.0
The Vibe K5 Plus is a 5-inch smartphone that may not have bells and whistles that’ll make you go wow, but does look great. It flaunts a nifty form factor that feels light and is perfect for single-handed use thanks to its reasonable size. The back panel of the K5 Plus is a metal panel surrounded by plastic that is coated with gold paint. If you need to access its removable battery, micro-SIM and –SD card slots, the rear cover comes off easily. Note that it’s a bit flimsy, so you would have to handle it with a bit of care. The back of the device also houses the main camera along with the LED flash on its upper part and Dolby-Atmos equipped twin speakers on its bottom part. A volume rocker and power/lock button are positioned on one side, meanwhile atop the device are its audio jack and micro-USB port.
On the front of the K5 Plus is a stunning Full-HD IPS display. For a device tagged as budget-friendly, the resolution and performance its display offers is beyond impressive: color reproduction is quite commendable, images are sharp, and viewing angles are good. All these elements make for a device not just for communication but also for satisfying entertainment needs.
HARDWARE 3.5 / 5.0
At the K5 Plus’ heart is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 616 processor with 8 cores that is paired with 2GB of RAM. These two work together to handle the device’s functions, and get the job done without much difficulty. You shouldn’t expect this phone to run heavy tasks on top of several running in the background, though. It should be capable of chugging along with not so graphic-intensive games, internet surfing, and video streaming just fine.
Among the underscored features of this device is its Dolby Sound-infused speakers, which promises enhanced audio able of blowing the competition out of the water. In use, audio out put does sound great and is clear and crisp, just like you’d expect it. The battery is a 2750 mAh Li-Ion pack that powers through the day with moderate use.
USER EXPERIENCE 3.5 / 5.0
For me, first impression sets the tone for the rest of the review. I wasn’t expecting much from the phone initially, but it’s true what they say, never judge a phone by its appearance. The K5 Plus did a 180-degree turn from “meh” to nice in just a day.
The device sports the usual Vibe UI but there’s an option to switch to Vanilla Android, which I did since I’m a minimalist. I used the review unit as a secondary phone, and it handled the tasks I threw at it without a hitch. It ships with Lenovo-native apps which unfortunately can’t be uninstalled. There are also pre-installed apps such as Skype, Twitter, and WeChat among others which you can choose to remove to free up space.
The 13 MP rear camera renders findly-detailed images in well-lit conditions, and low-light shots are also quite decent and can be improved with editing. Also, brownie points to Lenovo for the camera’s quick focus on subjects. On the other hand, the front camera is quite lacking for what it promises. Shots are grainy and zoomed in, but that isn’t much of a problem if you’re not into taking selfies.
Lenovo has been focused in pushing virtual reality in their devices of late. With this, the K5 Plus comes bundled with Lenovo’s own VR headset and TheatherMax Bluetooth controller for immersive content viewing.
VALUE 4.0 / 5.0
The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus isn’t astounding but it delivers on its promises rather remarkably. This budget friendly smartphone flaunts a very nice HD display, good main camera, and premium build that hits the right spot.
The Vibe K5 Plus is more than meets the eye.
Also Published in September 2016 Issue
Words by Mia Carisse Barrientos