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Lenovo K9 Review – Back to reckoning?

two new Smartphones – Lenovo K9 and A5. The former is priced at ₹8,999 and the later is an entry-level budget smartphone at ₹6,999. What you are going to read now is the Lenovo K9 review and let’s dig into to see if this Smartphone makes sense in this crowded sub-10K segment in India.

Box contents of Lenovo K9

Out of the box you get:
  • K9 smartphone
  • transparent back case
  • 10 watts charger
  • USB Type C cable
  • Pin
  • Quick start guide

Lenovo K9 Design and build quality

Glass used to be the choice of premium Smartphones just a few seasons ago but not anymore. Lenovo K9 comes with a neat glass back that immediately add it to the good looks book. The back has a dual camera at the rear placed horizontally and a dual LED flash. A little below at the centre is the fingerprint sensor. The sensor is easy to access with your finger. The corners are rounded and in spite of being a glass back, the phone is not so slippery and fits well in your palms. What really surprised though is the USB Type C port which most phones double its price too give a miss. Apart from the charging port, we have the speaker, mic and audio jack at the bottom. The K9 measures 8mm and weights 155 grams. The right side has the power button and volume buttons. The left side has the SIM tray, its a hybrid slot so you can have two SIMs or one SIM and a memory card. It supports dual 4G VoLTE. While the design is not a sizzler to win by looks at first sight. The glass back and a good ergonomics make it to the top grade in this price segment. The type-C port definitely scores a few more brownies for K9.

Display of Lenovo K9

The K9 features a 5.7-inch IPS LCD display with an HD+ (720 x 1440 pixels) resolution on an 18:9 aspect ratio. The bezels are prominent on the top and bottom thus resulting in a 74.8% screen-to-body ratio. There is no notch in the display which might be a breather for some. There are on-screen navigation buttons, there is a navigation bar setting to interchange the position of back and menu buttons. Talking about the quality of the display, the brightness level is good, so are the viewing angles and sunlight readability. Considering the segment it comes in, the display leaves no room for complaint.

Lenovo K9 Software – Features

Lenovo Smartphones used to come with Vibe UI with many extra features but the K9 opts for a simplified user experience. It runs on stock Android with Oreo 8.1 out of the box and sticks to basics. There are few stuff added like three finger screenshot and gesture actions to quickly launch apps by drawing on the screen. There are a bunch of pre-installed apps like puzzle pets, sonic runner, spider-man games and utilities like SyncIT and UC browser. FM is supported. My major concern would be how much committed Lenovo is with updates. Their track record, unfortunately, has been poorer both with Lenovo brand and Motorola and if they have to regain the market, they have to work on their update schedule. Smartphone users have become increasingly more aware of the security updates, Android schedules and can be demanding. Right now the UI doesn’t show any signs of lag and works fine.

Lenovo K9 Performance

This is where it all boils down right? Before we go past this, let’s be conservative with our expectations and be at ground to the fact that this is an entry-level Smartphone with frugal hardware. The K9 is powered by Helio P22 processor from MediaTek combined with a 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. If this processor rings a bell somewhere, its the same the recently launched Redmi 6 features.  The P22 processor is an octa-core processor with eight Cortex A53 cores running at 2GHz and combines PowerVR GE8320 GPU. The chipset also offers AI processing with its NeuroPilot engine. The processor is one of the better entry level chips out there.  It should run through your basic tasks and social apps like Whatsapp, facebook, twitter etc without any issues. Casual games are playable. PUBG? yes, but under low graphics and the lag would show up. Call quality is good and the speaker is decent. The phone lacks sensors like the gyroscope and magnetic sensor, so VR is ruled out.

Lenovo K9 Camera Performance

Rear: 13 MP, f/2.2, 1/3″, 1.12µm, PDAF 5 MP, f/2.4, 1.12µm, depth sensor Front: 13 MP, f/2.2, 1/3″, 1.12µm, PDAF 5 MP, f/2.4, 1.12µm, depth sensor The K9 features in total four cameras – dual camera at both sides with LED flash included for the selfie too. The maximum supported video capture is 1080p at 60fps. There is portrait mode on both sides. The edge detection might not blow you away but is decent for a camera at this price segment though at few times it’s a hit or miss. Daylight pictures are decent. You can judge by the camera samples below. [gallery link="file" columns="5" ids="14239,14240,14241,14242,14243,14244,14245,14246,14247,14250"]

Battery performance of K9

The K9 is packed with a 3000mAh battery. It does not offer fast charging and it takes about 3 hours to go up from 0% to 100%. The USB Type C port is a surprise addition though. With an HD+ panel and a not so demanding P22 processor, the mobile can last a day on a moderate use.

Verdict

What makes K9 a killer!

  • Clean good looks
  • Glass back
  • USB Type C port
  • Four camera talking point (if not the performance)
  • Decent display

What doesn’t make K9 a killer!

  • Software update concerns
  • few missing sensors
  • slow charging
  • OK-yish camera
Has the killer returned? No. Has Lenovo delivered a decent phone? Yes to an extend. What would spoil the show is while Lenovo was cooling its heads, the segment has become piping hot and competitive with phones like Redmi 6, Realme C1 and Honor 7S out there. The competition is real crazy here and Lenovo to find its place back needs a lot of groundwork to win the faith. If Lenovo can win a small audience with timely updates to K9 and followup models it can regain the past glory, will they do? time will tell.    ]]>

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