The budget smartphone category has seen an impeccable rise from the past one year with the introduction of devices such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Coolpad Note 3, LeEco Le 2, Lenovo K4 Note, Honor 5X, etc. However, none of them managed to gain as much attention as the Redmi Note 3, which is quoted as the best-selling budget smartphone of 2016.
Xiaomi did not stop with one device as it launched the Xiaomi Redmi 3s in India with a price tag of Rs. 8,999. And, a month later, Lenovo unveiled their K6 series of smartphones at the IFA 2016. Recently, the Chinese tech giant launched the Lenovo K6 Power in India. Priced at Rs. 9,999, the phone is primarily aimed to compete with the Xiaomi Redmi 3s.
Noticeably, the K6 Power comes with the same hardware as its rival with some significant tweaks to the display and other aspects. This makes the smartphone a great competitor to the Redmi 3s. Here's what we think of the K6 Power after using it extensively for a week.
Design: The Lenovo K6 Power Almost Looks Like the Redmi Note 3
There isn't much to speak about the design of the K6 Power as it looks almost similar to the Redmi Note 3. Having said that, if you ignore the Lenovo branding on the rear bottom of the smartphone, you won't notice any difference between both the K6 Power and Redmi Note 3.
However, there are some subtle changes when you look at the phone firmly. The Lenovo K6 Power comes with dual rear facing speakers with the company's Dolby ATMOS technology inside them. They do sound great. In fact, much better than the ones present of Redmi 3s.
Lenovo hasn't done any fancy stuff with the button placements as well. On the front, below the 5-inch display, we have three capacitive buttons for home, back, and for recent apps and they are not backlit as well.
The volume rockers and power button are located on the right side of the phone, and at the top, there are the 3.5mm headphone jack and micro USB port. We feel that these are awkwardly placed.
On the rear, there is the Lenovo branding at the bottom of the phone flanked with two speaker grille on either side. The antenna bands are clearly visible, and they are very shiny as well.
The Lenovo K6 Power houses a rear-facing fingerprint scanner placed within reach of your index finger. Having said that, the fingerprint sensor can be easily achieved due to the smartphone's compact size. Above the scanner, there is a 13MP camera along with a LED flashlight.
The Lenovo K6 Power feels chunky in hands, and this is mainly due to its 4000mAh battery. The phone has a thickness of 9.3mm and weighs only 145 grams, but feels beefy in hand. Lenovo did a great job in designing the K6 Power, but there is nothing new with the smartphone.
Display: The 1080p Display is a Huge Boost
Instead of going with a bigger display, Lenovo chose to keep the screen size small. As a result, the K6 Power boasts of a 5-inch display with a resolution of 1080x1920 pixels. The screen resolution further extends to a pixel density of 403 PPI. In comparison, the Xiaomi Redmi 3s comes with only a 720p screen.
Regarding real world usage, the display fared well in our entire review period. Viewing angles were fine, text appeared crisp, and the colors were natural as well. However, the display struggles a bit under bright sunlight. The screen is reflective as well and as a result viewing angles were affected.
Apart from this, we never faced a single issue with the smartphone's display. And, we are admitting that the screen on K6 Power is way better than that of the Redmi 3s. So, the K6 Power has the upper hand in the screen segment.
Hardware: Snapdragon 430 Holds Great in Real Life Usage
The Lenovo K6 Power is powered by the octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 with a clock speed of 1.4GHz. The smartphone comes in only one variant - 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. For the graphics, the phone is aided with the Adreno 505 GPU.
The K6 Power handled every task with ease, whether it be gaming or day-to-day messaging and chat applications. The phone struggles a bit with graphic intensive games and gets warm on the rear side, which we haven't experienced with the Redmi 3s. It is not heavy, though.
Call quality was above average as well. The phone consistently clocked signal even in indoor conditions where other phones such as Asus Zenfone 3 Max failed to get a good reception. The biggest question before buying a Lenovo phone: Does it have support for VoLTE? Yes, the Lenovo K6 Power comes with VoLTE support out-of-the-box, and we have used the phone entirely with Reliance Jio 4G SIM card installed for one complete week.
Overall, the Lenovo K6 Power is a great phone when it comes to performance, but has some issues with the software, which we will discuss in the next section.
Software: The Re-branded Pure UI Lags a Lot
At the time of the Lenovo K6 Power launch, the company said they are rebranding their Vibe UI to Pure UI, and that's the sole reason why the phone is called as only Lenovo K6 Power and not Lenovo Vibe K6 Power. Speaking much about the OS, it's just a rebranding. That's it. There are no major tweaks with the Pure UI, and it continues where the Vibe UI has left.
The Pure UI on Lenovo K6 Power is very close to stock Android. Lenovo has customized the notification center of the smartphone, and the problems start here. In our entire period, the phone showed signs of lag while opening a standard notification. The situation gets even worse when you try to swipe out a notification as the smartphone lags for two seconds and starts functioning again.
The handset received a software update in our review period, but it hasn't dealt with these issues. That being said, the K6 Power's competition - Xiaomi Redmi 3s has a much better user interface - MIUI and it got much better with the MIUI 8 update. All these issues can be fixed with a software update, but Lenovo has to push the update at the earliest.
The Lenovo K6 Power comes with a 13MP camera on the rear and the sensor used here is the Sony IMX258 Exmor RS with support for PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus) technology and a LED flash. Up front, we have the 8MP camera sensor, which helps in capturing selfies and video calls.
Images captured with the rear camera were always over exposed at the corners. The images shot indoors came out with good details, and the color saturation was decent as well. Nevertheless, the images shot under low-light conditions turned out to be hazy all the time with noticeable lag on both front and back cameras.
With the 8MP front-facing camera, you will end up with good looking shots, and they can be posted on social media sites as well. Regarding video recording, the K6 Power can record 1080p videos with the rear camera, and they are acceptable.
On the whole, the Lenovo K6 Power doesn't help with its camera performance, and it falls behind the competition.
Battery Lasts Long
The Lenovo K6 Power comes with a beefy 4000mAh battery which can easily last you for two days under moderate usage. We tested the phone's battery life with graphic-intensive tasks such as playing games and watching videos continuously for five hours. And with this usage, the phone lasted a complete day, which is a great thing to see.
The phone managed to eke out six and half hours of screen-on time daily in our review period. It's slightly less than what Redmi 3s used to offer us of nearly eight hours of screen-on time, but considering the Full HD display, it's a great battery life.
As said earlier, we used the phone entirely with Reliance Jio 4G SIM card installed and 4G turned on all the time. However, there's a letdown with this USP as well. The phone takes almost three hours to charge from zero to 100 percent even with the bundled charger.
The Lenovo K6 Power is a great phone in terms of battery life, minus the slow charging.
Verdict: A Good Alternative to the Xiaomi Redmi 3s
We spent a week with the Lenovo K6 Power and the smartphone impressed us with its bright and crisp 1080p display and stunning battery life. However, there are some letdowns as well. The camera on the K6 Power is not that great and falls behind when it comes to competition.
Having said that, we think the Lenovo K6 Power is a good phone but is riddled with several software issues. They can be fixed, though. The Snapdragon 430 handles all the tasks with ease, whether it be graphic-intensive or moderate tasks.
Finally, it comes to one word. Get it only if you want a Full HD display and insane battery life. If you don't look at the 1080p screen, then go for the Xiaomi Redmi 3s Prime, which is available Rs. 1000 less than the K6 Power.