Not everyone can afford a high-end smartphone, yet almost everyone wants the latest and greatest features on a handset that fits their budget. This is, in our opinion, the main reason why mid-range smartphones are so popular with consumers because it has the makings of a decent smartphone at a third (sometimes even a quarter) of the price of a flagship smartphone.
Lenovo Philippines is banking on that aforementioned idea when they released their two new mid-range smartphone last week, the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note, and its pricier counterpart the Lenovo Vibe X3. We’ll tackle the latter on a separate post, but for now we’ll take a closer look at the successor of the A7000 Plus.
One of the corners that brands usually cut to keep the price of their devices down is design. Oftentimes, you’ll come across a decked out smartphone with a powerful engine setup and peppered with features but it looks a heap of plastic with a bit of copper and glass that’s bundled together to look like a phone.
To a certain degree, that notion holds true for the Vibe K4 Note on the grounds of not having premium materials for its construction. Do note, however, that this smartphone doesn’t look like a run on the mill handset. On the contrary, it looks very respectable despite the lack of top-of-the-line materials used for its chassis.
At 9.2mm, it’s obvious that the Vibe K4 Note isn’t going for a svelte look, but more of a stocky handset that gives out an impression that it could take a fair amount of beating. The smartphone feels very nice in the hand which is in part thanks to the slightly curved back panel and its 158g heft.
The matte texture of the thin removable plastic back cover of the Vibe K4 Note also provides an added flare to the overall look of the handset, as well as creates a traction that makes one-hand operation easier.
We’ve always been a huge fan of front-mounted speakers, not only because its veers away from the typical design language of most smartphones, but also it makes the sound coming out of the loudspeaker more audible since the speakers are facing the user.
This kind of speaker placement, however, does require extra headroom at the top and bottom sections of a handset, making the smartphone slightly longer that it has to be. Although with proper implementation, like what Lenovo did on the Vibe K4 Note, that small predicament can add a few style points to a device.
What used to be a feature that was limited to flagship devices, fingerprint scanners are slowly making its way to cheaper devices. In the case of the Vibe K4 Note, its biometric sensor is placed just below 13-megapixel rear camera with silver accent to make it stand out from its barren posterior.
There is also a small cut out on the removable back cover for the dual-LED rear flash that is situated at the right side of the main camera.
The flimsy back cover can be removed by lifting it from the small opening near the bottom right side of the handset.
Once it’s off, it reveals the Vibe K4 Note’s non-removable battery pack, the SIM 1 card slot at the top left that takes MicroSIM card, and another SIM card slot at the top right just below the microSD card slot.
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note specs:
|OS||Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)|
|Processor||1.3GHz MediaTek MT6753 octa-core processor|
|Display||5.5-inch IPS display, 1080 x 1920|
|Storage||Expandable 16GB on-board storage|
|Camera||13-megapixel rear camera with phase-detect AF and LED flash + 5-megapixel front camera|
|SIM||Dual-SIM (micro + micro), 4G/LTE|
|Dimensions||153.6 x 76.5 x 9.2 mm|
|Others||Fingerprint scanner, NFC, USB On-The-Go, 802.11 Wi-Fi AC, Bluetooth 4.0 LE with A2DP, Dolby Atmos, Wolfson WM8281 HiFi DAC|
For a smartphone that is almost entirely made of plastic, the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note looks and feels well put together. It is a perfect example that one doesn’t need expensive materials to make something look good.
It’s not a going to take home any design awards by any means, but users would certainly not be ashamed to pull this bad boy out of their pocket.