There is no official release date and price for the device yet. Our guesstimate is that Vibe K4 Note or A7010 with 3GB RAM will retail for about Php11k pesos official SRP including a VR headset (to be confirmed).
With a more expensive pricing than its successor, is the new Vibe Note worth an upgrade? Will it deliver a better camera or faster hardware? To answer these questions, let’s move on to our full review of Lenovo Vibe K4 Note (A7010).
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Unboxing: What’s in the box of Lenovo A7010?
The contents inside the retail package doesn’t include the VR headset or cardboard gear we’ve seen from other countries like India and Saudi Arabia. There’s also no headset accessory found.
- Unit in black color (white option) with sealed 3300 mAh battery
- 2.0 Power Adapter / Wall Charger
- USB data cable
- Papers and guides
Design and build
There’s a lot has changed in the new Vibe K4 Note design and build over the K3 Note. More radical changes are can be found on the outside look. The side is now rounded and has a metal finish, but still made from plastic.
Adding a new attraction is the stereo speaker on the front with a rubbery finish back cover. The side is now rounded and has a metal finish, but still made from plastic. Right at the bottom is still the same microUSB, so no USB type-C port here.
More on the back cover, behind it is access to micro dual-SIM and microSD card slot, but the 3300mAh battery is now non-removable.
Pairing just below the 13MP camera and dual-tone LED flash is a fingerprint scanner. It works fast and accurate for about 80% of the time.
Handling the K4 Note feels bulky in hands though not heavy as other 5.5-incher slabs. It’s thick yet the rounded corners provide better grip. I really liked the soft matte textured on the back and it’s prone to smudges and fingerprints, in the case of our black variant unit.
Despite built from plastic, the new Vibe K4 Note or Lenovo A7010 is a big departure in looks and style.
Rocking a 5.5-inch IPS LCD Full HD or 1080p resolution, we’re looking at exact screen size and technology from the previous K phone. But, what we noticed is a more vibrant screen on the A7010. The reddish tint is no more and the screen remains bright enough in outdoor viewing. Worth adding into the spec is a Gorilla Glass 3 protection.
Daylight shooting on the 13MP camera of Vibe K4 Note has improved, shots are slightly brighter and white balance is now more accurate. Sharpness level, however, didn’t really improve that much to consider a change.
Daylight, outdoor shooting, HDR mode
The 13MP camera, however, still struggle in night shooting as to the K3 Note and Xiaomi Mi smartphones. Shots are underexposed or too dark. Only the lights are visible, most of the subjects are always covered with darkness.
Low light, with flash, night shooting
Accompanying the primary camera is 5MP selfie snapper that produces over-enhanced yet bright selfie shots worth sharing in Facebook or Instagram.
The video mode is stuck at 1080p, still not a big deal-breaker as most mid-range phones these days offer the same standard shooting quality. But what didn’t find is the OIS for video.
Performance and benchmark
Expect no speed upgrade in the internal hardware. At its core is a MediaTek 6753 octa-core chip and 3GB RAM (2GB version for A7010 model). It handles easy tasks easily and smoothly, but the Lenovo K4 Note stutter and lags a bit in heavy gaming and full HD or 1080p movie playback.
There’s a solution to its performance issues and that’s lowering the graphic settings from the game menu and sorting to just 720p or HD movies instead.
Running on Android 5.1 Lollipop OS and planned to be upgraded to Android 6.0 Marshmallow, the software experience is richer and more flexible. There are tons of ways to customize the user experience on the Lenovo Vibe K4 Note and it’s available right out-of-the-box.
One big UI feature I wanted to highlight is the switching between Vibe UI and Android launcher. You have a choice to activate app launcher or stick with the non-launcher, all-apps layered in your home screen style.
There are still areas to polish in this Lenovo’s Android 5.1 offering. But for now, this update is really satisfying and very fluid experience.
The non-removable 3300mAh battery is a step up from the 3000mAh juice of K3 Note. Battery life is around a day and with a 4-hour screen-on time in a single charge. This is above average and makes the device a reliable smartphone. Though charging time is a bit slow at 2 hours from 0% to 100%.
Speaker and Hi-Fi Dolby Atmos Headset Support
The stereo speakers on the front produced an average loudness and a bit tinny audio quality. The bass did stand out a bit than the vocals at max volume, but we didn’t hear the solid and crisp output. Don’t get us wrong, this is, at least, better than we have reviewed on most mid-range Android phones.
What we enjoyed is the rich and effective Dolby Atmos audio enhancer when an audio jack is plugged in. The sound quality is really better than most non-HiFi Android phones that amateur audiophiles will appreciate.
Price and Verdict
Despite priced a little higher than the Lenovo K3 Note (A7000) on its launch, the new Lenovo Vibe K4 Note (A7010) with 3GB RAM is still a highly recommendable Android smartphone.
Lenovo didn’t fail to deliver a feature-packed Android at a budget price. Overall, the K4 Note wasn’t just an upgrade, but it’s more than that. It’s a worthy replacement to any mid-range Android phone in the market.
There is no official release date and price for the Philippine market yet. But you can already buy the A7010-a48 model for Php 11900 pesos thru Widget City online stores, sans the cardboard VR headset. If you have any comparison and follow-up reviews for requests, hit us in the comment.
Reasons to buy
- Clear and bright display
- Stereo speakers and HiFi audio via Dolby Atmos
- MicroSD card
- Decent battery life
- Fast fingerprint scanner
- Rich software feature
Reasons not to buy
- Plastic build
- Night shooting is unreliable
- No USB type-C
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note specs, PH price, features
- Display: 5.5-inch 1080p FHD LCD display, 441 ppi
- Design: Rubber finish back cover
- Chipset: MediaTek MT6753 chip, octa-core CPU at 1.3GHz speed
- Graphics: Mali 720MP2 GPU
- Memory: 3GB of RAM (Lenovo A7010-a48), 16GB of ROM, microSD card up to 128GB
- Sensor: Fingerprint sensor
- Audio: Stereo Speakers front-facing, Dolby Atmos via headset
- Camera: 13MP rear shooter, phase detection autofocus, f/2.2, 1080p video + 5MP selfie shooter
- Connectivity: dual microSIM 4G LTE, WiFi ac, BT 4.0, GPS
- Port: MicroUSB 2.0
- OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop
- Battery: 3300 mAh, non-removable, no quick charging
- Release date: April 2016 in the Philippines
- Official price: Php 10,900 pesos SRP (with VR headset via Lenovo PH)
- Where to buy: Unit bought from WidgetCity