Lenovo K3 Note Review
Last month, we provided you a first impressions of the Lenovo K3 Note – a phablet that packs a 5.5-inch Full HD display, MediaTek 64-bit octa-core CPU, dual-SIM with LTE, 3,000mAh battery, and Android Lollipop. Now we’re back with the Lenovo K3 Note review to show you how much this device has to offer at under Php8K.
Editor’s Note: This is not the official release of the K3 note in the Philippines and, as such, might have different configuration when the official one arrives.
Design and Construction
The K3 Note sports a 5.5-inch IPS Full HD display at 401ppi on the front. It has relatively thin bezels on the sides which helps in flaunting the device’s large screen. Above it are the earpiece, 5 megapixel camera, and the notifications light. Down below are three unlit capacitive buttons for navigation.
On the right are the textured physical keys with chrome finish for the volume and power/lock. Found right up top are the microUSB port and headset jack, while down at the bottom is a pinhole for the microphone.
Flip it on its back and you’ll see the white removable cover, 13 megapixel camera, dual-LED flash, secondary microphone, the Lenovo branding, and speaker that is placed on the right-hand part just like the Lenovo A7000.
On hand, the K3 Note feels light as it only weighs 150g and it’s relatively thin too at 7.6mm. Design-wise, the K3 Note has curved sides at the back (similar to the design of the Xiaomi Mi Note) which also aids in gripping. It is also attractive thanks to the pearlascent coating with matte finish.
Display and Multimedia
The K3 Note sports a 5.5-inch screen with Full HD resolution for a good 401ppi. The display is crisp and vibrant with good viewing angles thanks to IPS. When used under direct sunlight, legibility degrades but the display is capable of producing enough brightness for it to be still usable.
The speaker, which is located on the right hand side at the rear, can produce good sounds with the right amount of bass and treble. Although sound quality is good, it could use some boost when it comes to loudness. To sum it up, the K3 Note is also a good multimedia companion for those who want to enjoy movies and music on the go.
OS, UI, and Apps
The K3 Note has Android 5.0 Lollipop out of the box with Vibe UI skin on top which uses multiple home screens instead of an app drawer. The OS is one of the strengths of the K3 Note as some of Lenovo’s phones (at this writing) are yet to receive the Lollipop upgrade.
Since the unit came from China, the phone is pre-installed with apps like DU Speed Booster, UC Mini browser, TouchPal keyboard, Baidu Browser, and Clean Master (the last two can’t be uninstalled). One of our favorites is the Lenovo Music app which lets you stream and download music for free. As for your app needs, no need to worry as it comes with Google’s Play Store.
As for its storage, the K3 Note starts with 16GB of internal storage with around 11GB as usable as the system takes a whopping 5GB. The good news is it has support for microSD cards up to 32GB and USB OTG.
Handling the K3 Note’s imaging department 13 megapixel rear camera with dual LED flash and a 5 megapixel front camera. The front camera will suffice for solo and group selfies thanks to its wide-angle lens.
The rear camera is capable of producing photos with good colors and details especially in bright conditions. However, colors sometimes appear washed out or have a bluish tinge. In low-light, noise and focusing is an issue.
[fancygallery id=”218″ album=”261″]
As for video recording, it can record videos at 1080p at 30fps in MP4 format. Check out the sample video below:
The clip is very clean and crisp and always on focus. Contrast is not that good but color saturation is spot on.
Performance, Benchmarks, and Call Quality
Powering the K3 Note is a 64-bit MediaTek MTK6752 octa-core processor clocked at 1.7GHz, Mali-T760 GPU, and 2GB RAM. Performance is good in all tasks including gaming. Stutters sometimes occur while playing games but only when you have lots of other apps running in the background. Make sure clear those up before playing a game.
* AnTuTu – 44,685
* Quadrant Standard – 15,707
* Vellamo – 1,147 (Vellamo), 1,919 (Multicore), 3,017 (Chrome)
* 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited – 10,613
* Temp while gaming – 41-degrees C
As for call quality, we didn’t encounter any problems as voice calls were loud and clear. Network compatibility is not an issue as it supports local 4G and 3G networks.
Do note though that 4G and 3G connectivity is only available on SIM slot 1 while SIM slot 2 can only accommodate 2G. Both SIM slots support 4G and 3G connectivity although not simultaneously – one will use 4G/3G while the other will use 2G. You can assign which slot will utilize 4G by going to Settings –> SIM management.
Providing juice for the K3 Note is a 3,000mAh battery. On PCMark’s battery bench it scored 6 hours 24 minutes of battery life. With our usual test which includes playing a 1080p video on loop in Airplane mode at 50% brightness and volume with headset plugged in, the result is 9 hours and 15 minutes of playback.
The K3 Note is a strong offering from Lenovo that packs a good set of hardware and software with an affordable price. It has a great display, very capable processor, LTE connectivity, and Android Lollipop out of the box.
At Php7,990, it will be in a stand-off between the Lenovo A7000, Alcatel Flash Plus, and ASUS ZenFone 2 ZE500CL. Its biggest disadvantage is that it’s not officially offered yet in the Philippines so you don’t have Lenovo’s local support. But if it’s something you don’t mind, the K3 Note is still a great phone to have.
Lenovo K3 Note (K50-t5) specs:
5.5-inch Full HD IPS display, 401ppi
1.7GHz 64-bit MediaTek MTK6752 octa-core processor
16GB internal storage
Expandable up to 32GB via microSD
13MP rear camera w/ LED flash
5MP front camera
4G LTE, 3G HSPA+
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0, A2DP, LE
GPS, A-GPS, GLONASS
Android 5.0 Lollipop w/ VIBE UI
3,000mAh removable battery
152.6 x 76.2 x 7.6mm
What we liked:
* Good design and display
* Solid build quality
* Good performance
* Great battery life
* Affordable price
What we didn’t like:
* Unlit navigation buttons
The Lenovo K3 Note (K50-t5) is available at Widget City for Php7,990. See listing here.