After weeks of teasers, Lenovo today finally took wraps off the K4 Note. The new Lenovo phablet is a follow up to the K3 Note, which in our opinion was one of the hottest smartphones of 2015. During the launch event, Lenovo made it clear it didn’t want to get into specifications war, but wanted to focus on user experience as well as building a good hardware – a combination it believes is going to dominate the smartphone trend in 2016.
The indication was very clear that the Lenovo K4 Note won’t be building on the K3 Note, but will be propositioned as a standalone device with new features. So if you compare specifications of the K4 Note with the K3 Note, you won’t call it a major upgrade. But there are some subtle additions like the Dolby Atmos integration, fingerprint scanner and the bundled ANTVR headset coupled with TheaterMax VR software.
While there are some software additions and improvements, the K4 Note follows different design language from the K3 Note, and seems closer to the Lenovo Vibe S1 launched last year. Lenovo has gone ahead with removable panel which underneath houses the microSD and SIM slots. The K4 Note has curved metallic sides, which is reminiscent of Motorola’s design language that we had seen in the Vibe S1 as well.
Lenovo says the design has been especially optimized for multimedia watching. At 158 grams, the smartphone feels light enough to carry around. The slimmest edge is 3.8mm whereas the thickest edge is 9.1mm. The Dolby integrated speakers on top and bottom do remind us of HTC phones. Overall, while the K4 Note doesn’t give you a premium feel with its plastic back cover but doesn’t look cheap either. It feels compact for a 5.5-inch device.
Lenovo had claimed that the K4 Note will be coming with killer display. Many, including me, had anticipated higher resolution. Well, evidently that’s not the case. Lenovo has improved the 5.5-inch display with features such as with 178 degree wide angle viewing at 450 Nits brightness, and a pixel density of 441ppi. Flexibility to tweak the color balance is quite a nifty addition.
The launch event had very bad lighting conditions therefore we will reserve our comments on the display and camera quality. During our brief usage, the performance of the phone felt smooth enough. The Vibe UI looks very subtle and familiar.
The main highlight of the device is TheaterMax VR software and the ANTVR gear. The VR box has a plastic body with pads for comfortable fit on the forehead. The software ran fine during the brief usage, though we need to spend more time to test it out thoroughly.
So far, the Lenovo K4 Note looks to be a promising device and perhaps symbolizes Lenovo’s growing focus on user experience rather specs war. Priced aggressively at Rs 11,999 (or Rs 12,499 if you buy the ANTVR Bundle), the K4 Note could already become a contender for one of the best mid-range smartphone for 2016. But everything will depend on how well it performs, which we will find out in our detailed review. Stay tuned!