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Lenovo K3 Note - Complete Review with Pics

mmadhankumar

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Hi Guys

Thanks for your patience. I made you wait long. Already many have started asking for this via thread, PM and chat. Finally, here I am with the Review of Lenovo K3 Note which I bought recently in the Flash sale on 22nd July from Flipkart. After using it thoroughly for couple of weeks, I am ready for the review now. Let me try to be as fair as possible, this thread is to give a fair assessment of the features of the mobile for future buyers and not to promote or abuse Lenovo. Let’s straightaway get into business.


Build and design

Lenovo K3 Note looks almost similar to its predecessor - A7000. The phone is quite big as it has a 5.5" screen. The left and right sides of the back cover has slightly tapered edges and hence the phone sits in your palm comfortably. The mobile’s spec states its thickness as 8mm but it actually looks and feels slimmer. The backcover made out of plastic that has a matte finish and gladly does not attract fingerprints and smudges. A plus point of K3 Note is that it is considerably light in weight. My only complaint here is the plastic body. Lenovo could have given a metallic touch or even a thicker plastic for durability but I believe they wanted it to be lightweight and also can’t expect more in this price range.

The 5.5-inch display takes up the majority space of the front panel. The 5MP front camera is placed right side of the earpiece. The light and proximity sensors are placed left of the earpiece. There is an LED notification light next to the camera that will blink to notify you of missed calls, unread messages and other notifications.

Below the display, you have the three capacitive touchscreen buttons – Back, Home and Recent Tasks. Although the buttons are very responsive, they are not backlit, making it difficult to use the phone in the dark. However once you’re used to it, you can find those buttons easily.

On the right side, you have the volume rocker button as well as the power/lock button. At the bottom, you have the primary microphone. The microUSB port and the 3.5mm audio jack are placed at the top.

On the top left corner at the back you have the 13MP camera along with dual LED flash. At the top right, you have the secondary microphone and below that, you have the loudspeaker. The back cover is removable which houses the 2900mAh battery. The only disappointment here is that the battery has to be removed in order to access the dual microSIM card slots and microSD card slot. Both sim slots support 4G LTE but only one at a time.

Overall, although it doesn't have killer looks, it is a nice looking phone with a decent build quality and design.


Display

I believe Lenovo K3 Note is the only Smartphone to offer a full-HD display under 10k. The 5.5-inch IPS FHD (1080x1920p) display has vibrant colors and very responsive to touch. The viewing angle is also decently wide. You can choose to make the colors warmer or cooler based on your preference.

However the display is not smudge free as the back cover. I used it without any screen guard for the first two days and my fingerprints were all over it. It required a screen cleaning liquid to wipe it off clean and then stick the screen guard which came in the box.

I have a feel that the protective glass could have been less reflective, as it reflects bright lights making the display to be dimmer in bright conditions. I really miss the Gorilla Glass protection for the display. Anyone who buy this phone, make sure you get a good tempered glass. I plan to get one soon.


Software, UI and Performance

The K3 Note runs on Android 5.0 with Lenovo Vibe 2.0 UI. Vibe UI does not have an app drawer and instead all the apps are placed on the homescreens itself. However the home screens are fully customizable and you can move apps to various pages, add/remove home screens, change position of icons etc.

The mobile comes prelaoded with a bunch of apps and games but thankfully most of them can be uninstalled. Only the Google Apps, Lenovo Apps, Flipkart and Facebook cannot be removed.

There is a Theme Centre app with 6 themes, 12 wallpapers, 7 lockscreen and 2 recent apps list types. But unfortunately we cannot download new themes/lock screens from this app.

It also has some exclusive Lenovo Features which I liked very much. Those features are as follows:

#The phone can be woken up by double tapping the screen.
#Phone can be unlocked by sliding left or right on the bottom of the screen.
#Draw "V" on the screen and it opens the Camera.
#Draw "O" on the screen and it opens Chrome. These two gestures can be used to open any app by changing the settings.
#Double tap on any Volume button to snap a picture.

And remember all the above things work even when the screen is off, you need not wake up the Phone.

You have an option to enable wide touch which is a floating widget that will allow you to set actions for various gestures, quick tools and shortcuts to apps.

We have Smart scene which is a profile switching feature that allows you to set different profiles based on the time and day. Once set, the mobile will switch to those profiles automatically.

Out of the 2GB of RAM, you generally have around 900-1000 MB free with all apps closed and I didnt face any lagging or hanging yet. The phone is powered by an octa-core Mediatek MT6752 1.7GHz processor and multitasking was smooth and easy. I had multiple apps opened in background and tested the speed and RAM, and it didnt lag/hang at that time as well and had a decent amount of RAM available.

There will be one screenshot below where the RAM availability would have been shown with multiple apps in background – that had Flipkart, Contacts, Playstore, Gallery, Gmail, File Manager, Play Music, Wikipedia, Opera Mini, UC Browser, Hangouts, WhatsApp and Slack open – that is with 13 apps in background, the phone manages to have 669MB of RAM available. I would say it’s a great RAM management.

The mobile didn’t heat up during multi tasking or when using wi-fi or GPS or during simple gameplay. However there were some heating up when I played Asphalt 8 for a while, but I need to say that it didn’t lag or hang but just had the temp. go up. I believe its due to the heavy graphics of the game, which is acceptable.

It comes with 16GB of internal storage, out of which around 11.5GB available to user. Those who want extra storage space can also use microSD cards of up to 32GB. There are some reports on web that it can actually support upto 64GB. But I am using only a 32GB card which I had earlier.

Overall, the software is smooth, fast and responsive. It is user friendly, but it could have had the app drawer to make it better.


Camera

The camera app is very simple with some basic settings and few different scene modes. You can capture images in 16:9, 4:3 or 1:1 aspect ratio. As far as the picture quality, the 13MP rear camera is very good in terms of detail and color reproduction, which I feel as the most important feature of any camera. The shots taken with bright sunlight are very good and the colors look natural. Similarly the snaps taken at complete darkness and Zero lighting conditions with the Dual LED, also scores very well. However, when it comes to taking snaps at low light conditions without the flash, the camera struggles.

The 5MP font camera is pretty decent as well. I won’t say it’s very good as I said for the rear camera, because the 5MP images actually look like a 2/3 MP shots. But it’s decent enough to share on social sites. The front cam has the option to capture images by saying "Snap" or "Cheese" or by the "Blink of our Eyes" or using a "Hand Sign" as well.

Unfortunately, I couldn't test the video recording yet. If I get the time, I will check that and update this thread. If there is one negative, I would say that the shutter speed is very slow, hence you need to be steady to take clean shots. So, don’t drink and drive click on K3 Note, you would end up in messy images.

The only feature that I miss is the option to change resolution while taking the snaps. The images are captured in either 9MP or 13MP resolution based the Aspect ratio we choose and both are too big to be shared on forums or social sites. I have to resize it for easy upload and download.


Multimedia

Lenovo did not give any Music App of its own. The default app for music is Google’s Play Music. The loudspeaker is quite good in terms of clarity but the loudness could’ve been higher in my opinion. That's especially to provide a distinct difference when Dolby Atmos is enabled. But the audio quality over headphones is just awesome. There’s good clarity and more than sufficient volume. The Dolby Atmos enhances the sound greatly on headphones and takes music to another level. This along with 5.5-inch Full HD screen makes an awesome multimedia device. I would say, we have a theatre in our hands.


Connectivity

I have checked all connectivity options like GPS, Bluetooth and Wifi and can assure that everything works fantastic. The call quality and signal reception was fine. The voices are clear and loud enough. The K3 Note has dual microSIM slots and both the slots support 4G functionality. However you can activate 4G LTE only on one SIM at a time while the other remains on 2G. The same applies for 3G as well. I used my two 3G enabled Vodafone sim cards and the Sim manager shows only one as 3G and the other as 2G. However we can switch the data connection and enable 3G on second sim if needed, which makes the first sim to become 2G.


Battery

The 2900mAh battery performs really well. It must be noted that the battery is actually 2900mAh and not 3000mAh as stated in few tech sites. It easily lasts more than a day for a heavy user like me. So, what does the heavy usage means - I keep H+ active 24 hours a day, use atleast 4 chat apps for most part of the day, download images/videos via the chat apps, play games for a considerable time, general web/forum browsing, around 20 mins. of calling. The only negative here is that the battery takes exceptionally long time to charge. But there are no heating issues even though it charges for a very long time.


Conclusion

Pros:

  • The Software, UI and Performance are very good.
  • RAM and CPU handling is good providing a smooth and fast experience.
  • The rear camera scores well.
  • The multimedia is at a different level altogether, with its huge vibrant screen and Dolbly Atmos sound.
  • Battery backup is pretty enough for me.
  • Lenovo's Smart features are excellent.


Cons:

  • They could have had a better quality build than this delicate plastic.
  • The loudspeaker could have been louder to distinguish Dolby sound.
  • The camera resolution cannot be changed. Minimum possible resolution is 9MP.
  • Front camera could be better.
  • No LED backlight for the front panel touchscreen buttons.
  • No App Drawer


Verdict

You would certainly love the multimedia experience on this mobile. The mobile is fast, smooth and responsive. At the price of Rs. 10,000, Lenovo K3 Note is definitely a worthy buy. However if you are a Selfie addict, better think twice.


Its now time to look at some screenshots of various settings and features explained above. I have kept the images at last so that you can read the review without distraction. Also i havent embedded the images and instead given only the links, its because to help those with slow networks. If I embedded all these 60+ images, it will take forever to load and also make it a very long thread which already long. Click on the images and check them. Or head over to this imgur album: https://imgur.com/a/4O3u3 and watch them as a slideshow.


The Home Screen: https://i.imgur.com/q47l2yh.jpg
Notification Bar expanded: https://i.imgur.com/hejHTbd.jpg
Home Screen Edit Menu: https://i.imgur.com/geaBCyU.jpg
Home Screen Settings: https://i.imgur.com/4hU8UCn.jpg
Home Screen Transition Animation: https://i.imgur.com/7yYlU8b.jpg
Theme Center: https://i.imgur.com/oWQkExy.jpg
Home Screen Themes: https://i.imgur.com/tLK8odx.jpg
Wallpapers: https://i.imgur.com/2H1KBTI.jpg
Lock Screen Themes: https://i.imgur.com/mzYpJov.jpg
Recent Task List type: https://i.imgur.com/oRXkcll.jpg
Device Info: https://i.imgur.com/iemcAOx.jpg
Storage Space info: https://i.imgur.com/rpdUT2f.jpg
Weather Widget: https://i.imgur.com/IiQbgJt.jpg
Rear Camera Settings1: https://i.imgur.com/o8EW5lp.jpg
Rear Camera Settings2: https://i.imgur.com/VnsWgxX.jpg
Front Camera Settings: https://i.imgur.com/OptZpuM.jpg
Make Colors cool or warm: https://i.imgur.com/NN3QnkK.jpg
Pocket Dial prevention: https://i.imgur.com/nCTIASd.jpg
Dolby Atmos: https://i.imgur.com/UCKwujv.jpg
Wide Touch1: https://i.imgur.com/NePyWGC.jpg
Wide Touch2: https://i.imgur.com/CtyrvhE.jpg
Wide Touch3: https://i.imgur.com/nATmxLW.jpg
Lenovo Features1: https://i.imgur.com/iXAJTwn.jpg
Lenovo Features2: https://i.imgur.com/juli3GO.jpg
Lenovo Features3: https://i.imgur.com/VhWunVO.jpg
Lenovo Features4: https://i.imgur.com/sdfQ30x.jpg
Smart Scene - Profile Changer: https://i.imgur.com/ic0s4J0.jpg
Power Manager: https://i.imgur.com/aiYd5Ei.jpg
Power Cosumption after 9 hours: https://i.imgur.com/aB89OAo.jpg
Power Cosumption after 11.5 hours: https://i.imgur.com/alEUgsW.jpg
Power Cosumption after 14.5 hours: https://i.imgur.com/nnwbyLM.jpg
Check the Standby time with Ultimate Power Saver ON: https://i.imgur.com/hN92Pzk.jpg
RAM usage just after Boot: https://i.imgur.com/yMdpHFj.jpg
RAM usage at a random time: https://i.imgur.com/2C8Dccy.jpg
RAM usage at a random time: https://i.imgur.com/baeGFO6.jpg
RAM usage at a random time: https://i.imgur.com/4mIl9o6.jpg
RAM usage with 13 Apps in BG: https://i.imgur.com/aPQVd2Z.jpg
Received a system update - As per reports it improves RAM and Battery performance: https://i.imgur.com/i143O13.jpg
Connect the device to PC and it installs Mobile Assistant: https://i.imgur.com/iyeKP7U.jpg
Mobile Assistant1: https://i.imgur.com/S5hmtXR.jpg
Mobile Assistant2: https://i.imgur.com/VZT76YY.jpg
Secure Zone: https://i.imgur.com/7wuDfag.jpg
Clone-it App: https://i.imgur.com/HIpU36k.jpg
Share-it App: https://i.imgur.com/NdBvU3p.jpg
Sync-it App: https://i.imgur.com/lfrBUUh.jpg
Speed Test using Vodafone 3G: https://i.imgur.com/XREnR2L.jpg
Speed Test using BSNL BB: https://i.imgur.com/Yxr8TMl.jpg


Some Random screenshots of TS HD channels to check camera quality

https://i.imgur.com/qiF8bnP.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/v5SuRnA.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/uXuin0K.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/4cmBr49.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/1YBxO33.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/Fjcxvoq.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/sIcOuV2.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/ZO182UT.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/OYrv7iE.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/sBRhDvU.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/WQm0de2.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/VfZVRad.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/0WXUuMC.jpg

These two images are taken at 12.30 AM, or should I say midnight, at complete darkness and Zero lighting in the room, using only the Dual-LED flash

https://i.imgur.com/DDHqHXL.jpg
https://i.imgur.com/UiIHjpT.jpg



Thanks for reading. If you really came down to this line, I salute your patience. I know it’s long, and thanks for your patience in reading it. :luv:luv:luv

If you liked the review, please share your thoughts/comments below.
 

wewake

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A good and decent review Madhan bro :tup Good things are its smart screen, woken up by tapping, Dolby atoms sound, storage capacity and Ram with in this price range and Camera quality during night. :tup

As you mentioned volume buttons and lock button on right side of the cellphone. Is no any jack/slot or button available on left panel??

and we can't uninstall Flipkart because of the reason It's exclusively available on Flipkart??
 

mmadhankumar

The Virus razed Humans, raised Humanity💪
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supermachi said:
I heard that mobile becoming so much heat if used for 5 minutes.

I never use it for 5 minutes bro.. I usually use it for long durations only... So I didn't notice heat...


Maveli said:
@madhan As of now Yureka Plus offers 5.5inch full HD screen for Rs 8999 which is the cheapest.

They would give anything, to promote Cyanogen bro... It still in early days... Only then people will buy it...


wewake said:
Is no any jack/slot or button available on left panel??

and we can't uninstall Flipkart because of the reason It's exclusively available on Flipkart??

No bro left side has no slot or buttons... And yeah same reason I thought for FK app..
 

Maveli

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Well I just pointed out because you said k3 note is the only smartphone under 10k to provide full HD.Plus i have seen many people complaining about heating but I have never had any heating issues.Have you tried playing 4k videos ?
 
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