Lenovo Vibe K4 Note Review - Affordable Multimedia Master

For the past year, I have tried several midrange phones and it was not frequent that I was floored by how great a phone was. One of the few that I thought were great for its price was the Lenovo A7000. The successor, the K4 Note is here and I think that even though the price went up. Let's see if it's worth the premium mid tier price tag.
Lenovo K4 Note review
Lenovo K4 Note review

Disclaimer: This review unit was provided by Lenovo Philippines for an honest review


Display Quality

10 point multi touch
10 point multi touch

The 1080p resolution used on the display on the K4 note is good because showed sharp details and vibrant colors. It also has a bright display, but there are some noticeable glaring, reflection from direct sunlight may cause some annoyances though.

Then it has 10 points of multi touch that's great for navigating and even games.

Battery Life

Battery benchmark of K4 Note
From our standard benchmarks, the K4 Note looks like it can handle quite a bit

In our real world test where I use the K4 Note as my daily driver where I use it for calls, texts, social media, instant messaging, email, minor productivity and an hour of Youtube viewing, I saw the phone from full charge at 8 AM to 3 PM with a little over twenty percent. This is good considering the specification of the phone. The results may still vary depending on a person's needs.

Charging time is around 120 - 140 minutes which has average speed.

Audio Quality

The audio quality is superb because of the two speaker's loud volume, above average sound stage, clear notes and wide range. The Dolby ATMOS feature that we were skeptical with with the K4 Note's predecessor is much better this time around because of those front facing dual speakers where the software processing can really shine. We were very happy with the huge jump in quality!

The inclusion of Wolfson's WM8281 HiFi DAC is quite impressive for a phone that produced audiophile acceptable type of sound with a warm tune. Lows are evident, but not overpowering, mids are silky smooth and lovely and highs has decent sparkle.

Soundstage also widened with the use of Dolby ATMOS making it shine. The refined software has improved it noticeably albeit slightly.

Camera

The simple camera UI of this phone
The simple camera UI of this phone

With the world now centering on pictures and video, a camera can make or break a phones selling potential. You'll be happy to here that we liked both the primary and the secondary camera, mostly anyway. It is good but it has flaws.

With bright lighting conditions, the camera is sharp and can render images wonderfully but with noticeable noise and pinkish discoloration on shadow or darker parts of the picture.

For low light, the camera performs better. There is noise, but it is expected as near the levels of its competitors; however, the pinkish discoloration remains. The motion blur was because of my shaky hands, even though it did shake, the images came out better than expected.

The secondary camera is noticeably less sharp. The colors are okay and there is no pinkish discoloration. It's just not that detailed up close even under bright conditions.

Rear Camera Samples

Daylight
Daylight
Macro
Macro
Normal vs HDR
Low light
Low light 

Selfie Camera Samples

Daylight selfie
Daylight selfie
Lowlight selfie w/ screen flash
Lowlight selfie w/ screen flash

Performance

Antutu and geekbench score
Antutu and geekbench score

The K4 Note on paper boast hearty specs that includes a 1.3 GHz 64 Bit MT6753 octa core processor, Mali T720 and 3 GB of RAM.

As a result, the phone breezes through apps and YouTube streaming and is fun to use. With the lighter Lenovo skin, everything just feels faster and with these benchmarks above, they tells us that the K4 Note is not a slouch.

Casual gaming experience is brilliant for the specs, there's minimal frame drops, lags, graphics looks good and heat is bearable. On games with heavy graphics its playable and smooth at times on normal settings.

It just gets noticeably hot when charging and using LTE with apps like Waze and YouTube especially on the fingerprint scanner part.
The clean new Vibe UI
The clean new Vibe UI

The K4 Note comes with a VR headset that is from my experience bare bones. When you press and hold the power button, an extra button appears called VR Mode which when turned on splits the screen into two identical image boxes that move in unison. 
AntVR attached
AntVR attached

The VR headset on the other hand is made of mostly plastic with an elastic head band and soft cushions. At the Phone dock you will find two lenses meant to be in sync with the two image boxes that your phone produces while in VR Mode.
AntVR in action

When we viewed 360 videos on YouTube, the integration was seamless. Our angle of view would change as our head tilted in all direction. There was no lag or stutter and it was a good experience. 

Our only gripes were that there was no direct audio interface with our ears and a huge portion of the left and right outer most periphery of the VR headset is an open space that at times breaks the immersion of the experience. This could ruin the experience for some but not all. 

It is as we said bare-bones because it does not have superior immersion and superior audio interface and an anti motion sickness feature found in the Oculus rift.

ProsScreen is sharp and vibrant, audio quality is one of the best in its price point, battery life lives up to its spec sheet, kenovo Skin is mostly stock!
ConsScreen can catch a lot of glare, lenovo made stock apps are not as great as their google equivalents, selfie camera isn't great, heating when LTE is active

Verdict

Lenovo has stepped up their game in the competitive mid range market with the new K4 Note. The spec sheet is ambitious and is able to live up to most of it with its great audio quality, above average camera image quality and large battery!

GIZ Rating: 4/5 Stars
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