It didn’t take long for Lenovo Philippines to announce a new set of mid-range Android smartphones after the launch of Levono Vibe K4 Note and Theatre Max VR segment earlier this year. With the most affordable price and decent specs from the series, is the Lenovo Vibe K5 a worthy option in the market of budget smartphones? Let’s find out in our full review and in-depth test of the Lenovo Vibe K5.
Along the unit in gold is a set of accessories including the 1.5A power adapter or charger, USB data cable, some papers, and the tempered glass. As expected, there’s no stereo headset. The VR headset is also bundled only to the Vibe K5 Plus and Vibe K5 Note.
Design and build
Surprisingly, Lenovo managed to improve the construction and aesthetics of their budget Vibe series this time–true to the Vibe K5.
The new Lenovo Vibe K5 is built with a mixed of metal and polycarbonate materials. Its back is encased in a removable metal cover with the top and bottom chin made from plastic. Meanwhile, the front glass is scratch-resistant and surrounded by a glossy metal rim.
In terms of ports and card slots, the navigational keys up front are non-backlit and across to the screen is an ambient light sensor, earpiece, and 5MP selfie camera. There’s also a LED notification at the corner but it’s static. The access to the dual-SIM and microSD card slots are under the removable back cover. But you’ll need to remove the battery before you can insert or swap SIM cards.
Just below the battery is a Dolby Atmos-certified dual-speaker, which sounds impressive considering the size of the phone.
If there’s one hardware feature we’re looking for, perhaps, it’s the fingerprint scanner. The sensor is also missing from the Vibe K5 Plus. Nonetheless, it’s understandable for a budget phone and it’s better for the company to exclude it rather than putting a sluggish one.
Available in gold or silver, the Vibe K5 looks gorgeous in either of those color variants. Overall, the phone is one of the best-looking budget smartphones with a solid build we’ve encountered.
Display and VR
Sporting a 5-inch HD IPS LCD panel, there’s nothing special on the display of the Lenovo Vibe K5 aside from it’s efficiently bright and clear output while supporting the Theatre Max Virtual Reality mode.
You can easily enable VR mode by going to display settings and selecting VR thru pressing the power button. Of course, you will be needing a dedicated VR glass or headset for its experience. There’s also a new VR controller for you to pair but it is only bundled on the Vibe K5 Note.
The main camera on the back is a 13MP sensor which records up to 1080p Full HD video. For still quality, it’s middling in details but has some pleasant color reproduction.
The hanging performance requires a steady hand in taking photos, especially in selfie mode using the 5MP snapper. An option to toggle beautification mode is available, however, most selfie shots are noticeably overexposed. Again, this is a budget shooter so we cannot complain that much for the camera department.
Software and UI
Running on Android 5.1 Lollipop, most parts of the OS feel dated and boring. Luckily, this can be remedied by installing 3rd party launchers. After all, Lenovo Philippines promises to update all Vibe K5 models to Android 6.0 Marshmallow including the Note and Plus by the end of August or September this year. We just hope to have some more vanilla experience after updating.
Performance and benchmark
Internal hardware includes the Snapdragon 415 chipset paired with a 1.4GHz octa-core processor, 2GB RAM, and Adreno 405 graphics.
In terms of the benchmark, we scored about 25,000 on Antutu and played NBA 2K16 at low graphics settings.
The actual performance is a bit hanging and slow in most areas, especially in camera. Overall, the hardware still handled multitasking and graphics-intensive tasks such as playing Full HD video without giving some alarming hiccups on user’s experience and system.
Battery and charging
Powering the hardware is a 2750mAh user-replaceable battery. The battery life is expectedly average by basing to its capacity. Our endurance rating shows a fairly good battery life with up to 3.5 hours screen on time and about 26 hours endurance rating.
Charging the device takes a little longer with around 2 hours and 20 minutes charging time from 0 to a 100% using its 1.5A adapter.
Audio and Dolby Atmos Dual-Speaker
Right on the back are two firing loudspeakers. They are not stereo and do not support built-in high-res audio upscaling inside but these speakers are loud and produce impressive treble output.
Pricing and verdict
Retailing at P6,990 official price, the Lenovo Vibe K5 sufficiently does the job. The improved build, impressive speakers, and noticeably better design make up for some dated software experience. But overall, if you’re looking to buying a budget Android phone, the Vibe K5 is definitely a compelling choice.
Pros and cons of Lenovo Vibe K5
+ Attractive design
+ Replaceable battery
+ Gyroscope and VR support
+ Dual Speakers
– No fingerprint scanner
– Sluggish camera speed
Lenovo Vibe K5 Official price, Full specs, and Philippines Release date
- Display: 5-inch 720p HD IPS LCD, 297 ppi, VR support
- Design: Metal frame
- CPU: Snapdragon 415 octa-core processor, 1.4GHz speed
- GPU: Adreno 405 graphics
- Memory: 2GB RAM, 16GB internal storage, 32GB max microSD card
- Camera: 13MP main, 1080p video, LED flash
- Selfie: 5MP front-facing
- Connectivity: 4G LTE, Dual-SIM, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS, WiFi n
- Audio: Dolby Atmos dual speakers (back), FM Radio
- Port: microUSB 2.0, UBS OTG (on-the-go)
- Security: N/A fingerprint reader
- Battery: 2750mAh, removable
- OS: Android 5.1 Lollipop, upgradeable to Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- Colors: Gold, Silver, Dark Gray
- Price: P6999 or $150 USD in the Philippines
- Availability: July 2016 release date in the Philippines