Lenovo K6 Note Initial Review: Stiff Competition

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Today Lenovo has officially released their K6 Note, the latest entry into their supposedly budget/mid-range K series of smartphones. We say supposedly because the phone line has successively become more expensive with each entry, with the K6 Note being the most expensive of them all at Php 11,999. It’s unavoidable really – the competition has stepped up their game in terms of features and the materials used in their phones, and it was inevitable that Lenovo had to do the same to compete. The question now is does the K6 Note deserve the higher price that it’s asking for?

Lenovo K6 Note specs

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 octa-processor
  • 4GB of RAM
  • 5.5-inch full HD IPS display, 1920 x 1080 resolution
  • 32GB of expandable storage
  • 16-megapixel rear camera, PDAF, dual CCT flash
  • 8-megapixel front camera
  • Dual SIM
  • 3G, LTE
  • WiFi, Bluetooth, GPS, A-GPS, fingerprint scanner
  • 4000mAh battery
  • Android Marshmallow 6.0

Initial Impressions: Better build, better internals

Lenovo’s previous offering in the series, the K5 Note, had a handsome metal body and sported a new, unified design language that bound all of Lenovo’s lower-tier devices together. It’s not surprising that the K6 Note builds on that design language, sporting a full metal build that sports gentle curves on the top and bottom. The build quality is pretty good, but the phone isn’t entirely made out of metal, since the top and bottom of the device are plastic to facilitate the placement of the antennas.

The phone feels solid in the hands, and the gentle curves give it a very ergonomic feel, making it easier to use one-handed. Build quality is top-notch, with nary a gap or creak to be found anywhere on the phone.

Flipping the phone over you’ll see the camera module that has been shrunk to non-ridiculous levels compared to the previous iteration, as well as the dual LED flash and fingerprint scanner right below it. The power and volume buttons are on the right side while the SIM/microSD slot is on the left side of the phone. The 3.5mm jack is on top while the USB port is on the bottom, flanked by two speaker grilles.

The front of the phone is dominated by the 5.5-inch ful HD IPS display with 2.5D glass. Interestingly enough the phone still uses physical capacitive keys on the chin, which makes the device a little bit taller than your regular 5.5-inch phone. The display looks good enough for the price, is legible under the sun and has generally good color reproduction. Curiously the phone also has the same VR mode that the K5 Note came with that splits the screen into two identical parts for use in VR headsets, though Lenovo didn’t really make a big deal out of the K6 Note’s VR capabilities this time around.

Inside the phone is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 430 octa-core processor paired with 4GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage. The Snapdragon 430 chipset is a known quantity by now, and has become a favorite of sorts for companies in powering mid-range and budget handsets. It’s relatively powerful for its price, has good power consumption overall and is perfectly capable of powering most apps without any issues at all.

The camera in the K6 Note is a big upgrade from last year’s version, bumped to 16-megapixels from 13-megapixels on the K5 Note. Does it deliver? Well, we’ll still have to test it fully ourselves, but image samples taken from the phone look promising.

We’re still not completely sold with the K6 Note. It’s the most expensive entry in Lenovo’s K series of phones so far, priced at Php 11,999. At that price point it’s facing stiff competition from other mid-ranged devices, devices like the 5.5-inch Zenfone 3 Max and OPPO’s F1s to name a few. To help soften the blow, Lenovo is bundling a pair of nice-looking Bluetooh headphones with every purchase.

(unbox.ph, https://goo.gl/cSppOF)

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