Lenovo Vibe K4 Note

Build and Design: 6.5/10. The K4 Note features a curvy design, compared to its predecessor. The design aimed at better ergonomics ensured a firm grip. In fact, we quite liked the looks. The company did boast of a metal body during the launch, but the device seems to get only a metal frame and the rest is all plastic. That doesn’t mean the device looks cheap, rather we loved the looks. However, we doubt we’d say the same about its build quality.
The front side stares back at you with a 5.5-inch display, similar to what we’d seen in the K3 Note. Stereo speakers take position above as well as below the display, and you will also find three touch buttons that do not illuminate. Then there’s a front camera and a notification LED on the upper right corner. The right edge shows the power and volume buttons, upper edge has audio jack, lower edge gets the microUSB slot and the left edge is smooth sans any buttons or slots.
Turn the device around and you will find the rear snapper and right below it is the fingerprint sensor. The removable plastic back shows two SIM slots and a microSD card slot. The device dosen’t feel bulky at 156 grams (thanks to the plastic) and measures 153.6 x 76.5 x 9.2 mm dimensions. The company has bundled a back cover, again cheap plasticky, but you won’t find any bundled headphones. Unlike the 5.5-inch handsets we’ve got to spend time with lately, the K4 Note offers better one hand use. Also, in terms of looks and build quality, it seems better than the recently reviewed 5.5-inch Coolpad Note 3 that falls in a similar price bracket.
Features: 7/10. The Lenovo K4 Note has maintained the same 5.5-inch fullHD display as its predecessor, with a pixel density that goes up to 401ppi. It gets a layer of Corning Gorilla Glass 3. The dual SIM device supports 4G and comes powered by an octa-core Mediatek MT6753 processor clocked at 1.3GHz, and coupled with 3GB RAM. We have got a unit with 16GB onboard storage, out of which roughly around 9GB was available for use. However, the expandable slot supports up to 128GB to ensure you get the device loaded with all your data.
It runs Android Lollipop along with a layer of the company’s Vibe UI on top. The device gets a 13MP rear snapper and a 5MP front-facing camera. The company also includes fingerprint scanner, making it fall among the handful of devices adopting the feature in this price range. We prefer this position of the sensor, which is just below the rear camera module, making it easier to unlock using the index finger. The connectivity options include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G, GPS with A-GPS and NFC. Finally, a 3300mAh battery completes the package.
Display: 7/10. The Vibe K4 Note sports a 5.5-inch display with Full HD resolution, just like the K3. The company had touted it to be a killer display with 1000: 1 contrast ratio, 450 Nits brightness, user controlled color balance and a layer of Gorilla Glass 3.
There is no evident change in the display that would distinguish it from some other 5.5-inch devices with Full HD display. But the viewing experience and display quality seemed good, and there is nothing much to complain about. The display is bright and reproduces vivid colours, ensuring legibility even in bright outdoors. We had taken to reading a few quick e-books, and it was quite a good experience, be it while travelling in bright light or in dim light just before hitting the bed.
Software: 7/10. The K4 Note runs rather older Android 5.1 Lollipop with a layer of the Vibe UI on top. Following in the steps of most its fellow Chinese vendors, there is no dedicated app drawer and apps are strewn across pages. However, it does give you the option of an Android launcher that offers an app drawer. Adding to it, there are some neat themes to choose from the Theme Center.
The user experience is pretty slick and fluid. What may annoy you is the ample bloatware present. It includes some apps like Amazon Shopping (though, we love this one), Shareit, Skype and so on, that you won’t be able to uninstall. Like other Chinese vendors, the notifications section has been spruced up for more handy shortcuts. Moreover, you can decide which shortcuts you want to view in the notifications bar. It includes an option called Secure zone that allows you to set certain apps in the secure zone that can be accessed only with a different pin/password. You can also opt for an all-time onscreen button that lets you switch with between secure zone and open zone.