Lenovo K6 Note Review


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Lenovo wrapped up its 2016 with the launch of its mid-ranger K6 Note smartphone in the Indian market. In fact, this is the first smartphone under K-series to be available through offline channels. While its predecessor (K5 Note) is indeed a big hit in the market, this new K6 Note is ought to carry some responsibility to live up to its expectations.

The K6 Note in India comes in two variants, and is priced at Rs. 13,999 for the 3GB RAM variant and Rs. 15,499 for 4GB RAM. Does it enjoy its existence among others in the mid-range segment? Let’s check it out.

Unboxing

We unboxed the K6 Note recently, check out the video here.

Box contents

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  • Lenovo K6 Note smartphone in Golden color
  • SIM ejector tool
  • Headphones
  • MicroUSB cable
  • 2-pin Power adapter (5.2V-2A)
  • Instruction manual

Design, Hardware, and Display

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In terms of design language, the Lenovo K6 Note is stunningly similar to Redmi Note 3 smartphone. Keeping this aside, the looks of the smartphone is not so exceptional and also boring to an extent. Despite its monotonous design, this smartphone looks premium, is sturdy and feels good to hold. It is available in Dark gray, Gold and Silver colors.

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The smartphone has a glass front and a metal back with plastic top and bottom separated by the fine layer of metal faux. Talking about the placements, the device has an 8MP front-facing camera, earpiece and a proximity sensor on the top.

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It has three capacitive buttons (without backlit) on the bottom.

Up top, it has a 3.5mm audio jack with a secondary microphone, and at the bottom, it has standard USB port for charging with two speaker grill either side. Moving on to the right, the device houses a power button and volume rockers and on to the left, it has Hybrid Dual SIM (nano + nano/microSD).

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Moving on to the back, it has 16MP rear camera with dual-tone LED flash, fingerprint sensor just below it and Lenovo branding at the bottom all in one single line. The smartphone measures 151 x 76 x 8.4 mm thick and weighs around 169 grams.

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On the front, the Lenovo K6 Note dons a 5.5-inch (1080 x 1920 pixels) Full HD IPS display translating into a pixel density of 401 ppi. The display is bright, vibrant and provides decent color reproduction. The glossy display doesn’t attract fingerprints and offers sufficient readability under sunlight if not great.

Under color mode, it offers two options — Normal and Vibrant, just to adjust color and saturation as per user wish. It also has brightness protection, which is Lenovo’s “Night mode” feature.

Performance

Moving on to the internals, the Lenovo K6 Note is powered by Octa-Core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with Adreno 505 taking care of graphics department. In terms of light performance, the Snapdragon 430 chipset keeps the device smooth and snappy.

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When tried to multitask using apps like Google Maps, Chrome browser, and WhatsApp, in the interim, we faced slight performance issues including freezing and a bit of heating. Moreover, the mobile tends to get warm, when put through some heavy games like Asphalt 8 and Need for Speed, but it doesn’t get too hot to handle.

Apart from this, we faced issues on a touch display with the late response when we tried to unlock the phone sometimes with the PIN number. So the performance is not impressive. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

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In 3DMark Ice Storm Unlimited, the Lenovo K6 Note scored 9480 points.

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In AnTuTu Benchmark 6, K6 Note is placed above its younger sibling K6 Power with a score of 44513.

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In Geekbench 3 Multi-Core test, the K6 Note scored 2913 points.

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In Geekbench 3 Single Core, K6 Note is placed itself above Phab 2 Plus with 660 points.

Camera

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In terms of the photography department, the Lenovo K6 Note rocks a 16MP rear camera with dual tone LED flash and 8MP front snapper on board.

First off, the camera UI is simple with toggles for the front camera, flash, settings, features and video options. Moreover, the app offers various features including Pro, Panorama, Art nightscape, Artistic HDR, Fast motion and Slow motion. The settings option allows the user to adjust the White Balance, ISO, photo resolutions and much more.

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Moreover, it also has smart composition feature, that helps us to enhance the photos. To be honest, we didn’t find any difference and useful either. The daylight shots are satisfactory with a good amount of details. Macro shots came out good and auto focus is quick as well.

To our surprise, the K6 Note captures well in low light than we expected. The front snapper captures well under good lighting conditions as well. Colors are sharp and vibrant, and it also a beautify mode, which helps in enhancing the image to a limited extent.

Check out some camera samples (Click the image for full resolution sample).

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Artistic HDR

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Front camera

It can record videos at 1080p videos at 30 fps and can also record slow-motion (960 x 540 pixel resolution) and fast-motion (1280 x 720 pixel resolution) videos. Check out the sample videos below.

Software

Moving on, the Lenovo K6 Note runs on Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow on top of Pure Vibe UI. Just like Second Space on Xiaomi smartphones, the K6 Note has ‘Secure Zone’ that allows the user to configure the apps, accounts, wallpapers and much more. You can access it on the notification bar, once swiped down

It also has a wide touch option that lets you create a floating bar for accessing frequently used apps like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and more. You can also enable the ‘Knock to light’ from the settings to enable double tap to wake the screen up when it’s locked.

There is a ‘Fingerprint Snap’ feature, that acts as a shutter button to snap a picture. The Micro Screen feature lets you bring one-handed micro screen when letter ‘c’ is drawn on the top edge of the screen to the bottom edge.

In terms of storage, Lenovo K6 Note offers 32GB of inbuilt storage, out of which user will get around 24GB of free space. If needed, you can also expand the storage up to 128GB via MicroSD card slot.

Just like other Vibe smartphones, the Lenovo K6 Note comes with TheaterMax technology for an immersive VR experience when combined with a VR headset.

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In order to experience it, you need ANT VR headset which was initially launched with the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note. This VR headset actually allows the users to experience anything including media like movies, games, and much more with a 100-degree field of view. It’s worth mentioning that you need to buy ANT VR separately if you don’t have one.

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To enter VR mode, hold on to the power button and tap on VR mode. Right after this, the display will turn into two equal halves (keep your display in landscape mode) dividing it into left and right. Now place the K6 Note into Lenovo’s AntVR headset and the image blends into a single one.

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On the whole, the Vibe UI is smooth and snappy with minimum bloatware.

Apps, Music Player, Call quality

In regards to applications, this smartphone comes with some pre-installed apps including Theme center, Google apps, utility apps, and McAfee Security. It doesn’t have a dedicated music player, so you have to use Google Play Music.

Further, the calling experience and voice quality is good without any issues on the clarity and reception.

It has 4G support with support of 4G LTE bands (TDD B40 2300MHz, FDD B3 1800MHz and B5 850MHz) for India and has support for VoLTE for Reliance Jio. Both the SIMs support 4G, but you can enable 4G only in one SIM at a time, while the other goes to 2G. You can set the default SIM for voice call, messaging or data connection. It has Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS and USB OTG support.

Battery

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The Lenovo K6 Note is juiced with 4000mAh built-in battery offering a very good battery life. In our usage, we made it through one full day with casual usage including phone calls, Youtubing and sporadic Facebooking and video calling. However, the lack of fast charging technology can be a deal breaker. It takes good 2 hours to charge up the battery from 0 to 100%.

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In our, One Charge rating it achieved 13 hours and 45 minutes, which is good. Check out the complete set of battery life test results here.

Verdict

Overall, the Lenovo K6 Note is a decent smartphone with good build quality, decent display and of course the VR support, but the performance is just average. Suppose if you are a strict offline buyer, considering the lack of options, you can go with K6 Note as it is one of the best smartphones in the price range for offline buyers.

If in case you prefer online shopping, stop right there. You have lots of options including Moto G4 Plus, Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, LeEco Le 2 and much more to consider.

Pros

  • Build quality
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Software

Cons

  • Processor
  • Camera
  • Price
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