Gadget Talk: Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus Review
So when this phone came to me for a review, we clearly set up a deal: If I liked it, only then I'd review it. And then I'd keep it on me for actual usage because that's what liking a device means - you want it in your life. Standard industry practice for gadgets is to review it, get paid and send the device back. I don't agree with that (unless perhaps you're a dedicated gadget blogger in which case I wouldn't know the dynamics), because you can give something an artificial positive review, accept compensation for it, send it back and not actually care. Since this is my first gadget review and I hope to do more ethical ones in the future, I thought I owed it to you guys to set that straight (cos we're in love, I hope you know that).
Now let's talk how I'm going to be doing this.
The internet is flooded with fantastic technical reviews of everything. I don't know that much nor do I look for everything that those reviews talk about when buying a phone. I'm the end-user, I'm fairly basic and only want the phone for two things: functionality and fun. So my reviews are going to be that: non-technical reviews for the layman. I will however have a short snippet from N at the end, whose geek levels are embarrassing in general but handy at this point, and I'll let him talk about a couple of things he liked about the phone as well.
I know there are people like me who don't care if their phone can clone sheep or make rotis (actually that might be a wanted feature, hmmm). They want basic features and we're going to talk about those.
So come on, Lenovo. Let's do this.
But first: This is an affordable phone. It's not going to compare with a flagship phone (the expensive high-end phones of any brand). This is a purchase for someone who's conscious of the price-point or wants an affordable option while having access to great features and isn't super finicky. It's a low to mid-tier level phone so better than the dirt-cheap variety but also superior in some features to it's price competitors, like the Samsung J7.
Now there are a few basic needs I have from a phone and if it can deliver on those, I'm sold. Those are:
1. Full HD screen
4. Battery life
5. Photo editing software
6. App performance
The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus gets a 4.5 from me on 5 of those things. Let's talk how.
1. Full HD Screen
I use my phone liberally for checking out stuff like Instagram, Snapchat, blogs with high-resolution images. Doing this stuff is downtime for me and so I like to have the right experience when I can sit down and spend a few minutes checking out visually entertaining content. The screen on the Lenovo K5 Plus is FAB and actually comparable to my current flagship phone (LG G4).
I don't know if this is a significant enough decision when purchasing a phone for a lot of people but this is a HUGE factor for me. I love my LG G4 but even after installing different keyboards the typing experience is just not the best. I really, really like the keyboard on the K5 Plus (and actually was the first thing I checked). I mean, how can you WhatsApp and send terrible jokes to your loved ones with the right amount of passion if the keyboard is not touching your soul?
3. Battery Life
I use my phone a lot, particularly more so because of my work, and a bad battery life is like poison in my blood (I'm proud of my dramatics). The K5 Plus has a decent battery life and even with apps like Snapchat which practically suck the soul out of your battery, it survives. I don't know how to calculate battery life but you can check out the review that I've linked right at the end of the post that gives exact numbers on battery usage for continuous video play, phone calls, etc. I also like that it charges fairly quickly.
|Picture taken with the Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus|
Everyone needs a camera on their phone these days so this is an important one. The K5 Plus has a 13MP camera and photographs pretty great in daylight and has decent settings to adjust color, contrast for wherever you are before taking a picture. It's not a kickass camera (again, not a flagship phone) but picture quality is good. There's a slight green-blue tinge to pictures you take but the photo editing software is SO good on this (see next step), you have nothing to worry about. It's average for low light images but somehow I'm not one to photograph at night really (I like bright, well-lit images) so this didn't bother me that much. The front camera (for your selfies) is 5 MP and is surprisingly good in daytime. The image above taken with the Lenovo Vibe K5 plus.
|Editing with Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus' Photo Editing Software|
5. Photo-editing software
I no longer use photo editing software on my phone (I've graduated to more higher level pc software because of my work) but if I consider someone like my niece who takes pictures incessantly, the software would be her favorite past-time. It color corrects, edits, so well. I love this. Check out the image above, where the left one is prior to editing and the right one is post-editing with Lenovo's own editing software. Takes about a second to do this and the results are terrific.
6. App Performance
The phone doesn't die if you have multiple apps running together. I liked how it wouldn't get stuck or work with a lag (which is currently the fastest way to develop a heart condition). Smooth, easy, breezy, thanks.
Other bonuses for me:
Dual sim: You can have two sims plugged in at the same time and simply have both running together or toggle between them. If you're a frequent traveler or like to maintain two numbers (work/personal), this is the best.
|Protective back cover and shameless self-promotion all in one multi-tasking image|
Protective back cover: I was happy that it came with a protective back cover which most phones don't.
Looks good: While the body is mostly plastic, it doesn't look that way at all and has pretty decent looks.
Micro SD slot: So awesome that you can slip in your SD card and access all your data. Especially if you're working between two phones.
|Look at that screen, boys. Beaut.|
N had a bunch of geek facts but I didn't want to clutter this review so I censored like a ninja. I chose the basic ones that people like me would understand and appreciate and here they are:
1. 2 GB RAM - other phones in the same price bracket come with 1 GB. So no hiccups when running apps.
2. Very decent specs for the price bracket it sells in (so all the technical gibberish people talk about is decent enough in this)
3. On-the-go OTG enabled so you can actually plug in external devices like a keyboard and work on-the-go (he thrives on this stuff)
Is it the best phone in the market within it's price range? Maybe. Is it a really great all-rounder? Definitely.
The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus is selling in Pakistan for PKR 23,500.
Here are the full set of specifications:
Also, since this is my first gadget review, I'd LOVE it if you tell me if you enjoyed it, what else you'd like to me to talk about if I did another, how your life was incomplete before reading this review, stuff like that. Feel free to share.