Lenovo recently launched three new devices in India. These include the Lenovo K10 Note, A6 Note, and the Z6 Pro. Of these, the Lenovo K10 Note comes with a starting price of Rs 13,999 (4GB RAM+64GB storage). The top model, with 6GB RAM+128GB storage), costs Rs 15,999.
Lenovo is making a comeback to the Indian market with a mid-range device at a time when competition is ruthless. Brands like Xiaomi, Realme, Oppo and Vivo as well as South Korean technology giant Samsung already offer competitive products in this price bracket. I have been using the Lenovo K10 Note base model for the past few days, and here’s my review.
Lenovo K10 Note Design
At first glance, the thing that hits you is the simplicity of Lenovo K10 Note’s design. Although it sports a big 6.3-inch display, it feels compact and easy to hold. Up front, the device comes with a dewdrop notch display with almost no bezels on the sides. However, it does have a slight chin at the bottom. It also features a shiny plastic back panel with a vertical triple-camera setup. Besides, it also houses a fingerprint sensor at the top center.
Ditching the textured design that most smartphones come with these days, the K10 Note has chosen durability. That said, this plastic panel is prone to attracting fingerprints. So most of the times, you will end up wiping it.
The K10 Note flaunts 6.3-inch FHD+ display with 1080×2340 pixels resolution, and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The LCD panel comes with HDR10 support, which is quite impressive considering the price range. The display offers vivid and punchy colors, and works fine in outdoor light conditions. However, reading text may be a bit problematic in extreme sunny conditions.
To overcome this, Lenovo includes several color settings – Warm, Standard and Cool. There are also two Saturation settings – Vibrant and Standard. If you are a movie freak and love to watch videos on your phone then this is the device for you. However, the thin bezels near the notch and thick chin at the bottom will keep you away from full screen entertainment feel, but the overall experience may prove to be a fantastic one.
Hardware and performance
The K10 Note get its power from a Qualcomm Snapdragon 710 SoC. It is an octa-core processor built on a 10nm process. This chipset comes with Adreno 616 GPU, which we have already seen on the Realme X.
Lenovo’s smartphone comes in two variants – 4GB RAM and 6GB RAM. While the former offers 64GB internal storage, the latter comes with 128GB storage. The internal storage is expandable using a microSD card. The smartphone performs comfortably, and handles moderate multitasking well. Furthermore, it does not take much time in loading applications either. The Snapdragon 710 SoC offers decent gaming performance as well as energy efficiency. My only grouch is how the device heats up after an hour of continuous gaming.
The smartphone comes with a single speaker, but with Dolby Atmos support. This improves the overall audio performance. Users also have the option of tuning the sound output as per their listening habits. For best audio experience, I would recommend the use of earphones.
Lenovo’s smartphone is backed by a 4,050mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging. It managed to charge the battery to 30 percent in about 30 minutes. As for overall battery life, this one’s not for heavy duty use. With heavy usage, you will need to plug the device by the end of the day.
For testing, I fully charged the phone used the phone for a stretch of five hours. During this time, I listened to music for about an hour, used some social media apps (Facebook, Instagram) and even played PUBG Mobile for approximately 50 minutes. At the end of this period, there was still about 45 percent battery left.
Lenovo K10 Note Camera performance
The smartphone features a triple-camera setup at the back. This includes a 16-megapixel primary camera sensor, an 8-megapixel telephoto lens with 2x optical zoom, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor. Interestingly, not many smartphones offer optical zoom in this price range. This does give the device an upper-hand over its rivals. However, there is a significant difference in the quality of photos captured using optical zoom.
Performance of the 16-megapixel primary camera is good. Images captured during the day are of a good quality. Background colors too come out quite richly in the pictures. However in some cases, the photos may lack natural colors and look overexposed.
Without ruling out the capability of the triple camera setup of clicking good pictures, I would only say that somewhere down the line it does lack software optimization. Proper fixation of this part is something we all should expect in the upcoming software update by Lenovo. Furthermore, the AI scene detection enhances the performance of the camera, providing sharp and vivid pictures.
The night mode in the smartphone comes in handy in low light conditions. It manages to capture the subject even in the dark. However, due to over sharpness in pictures taken in night mode, you’ll find some distortion around the corners. One thing about the camera that has left me impressed is the speed at which it focuses on the subject. It perfectly detects the edges of the subject and generates nice bokeh effect in the pictures.
For wide angle photographs, it also has ‘Dual’ mode feature, which is used for clicking landscape pictures or group photos. The smartphone can record video at up to 4K UHD resolution. Image stabilization helps the camera produce a stable video by removing mild shakes.
For selfies, the K10 Note comes with a 16-megapixel camera which offers decent quality. Dual mode comes in handy while taking group selfies. The mode also blurs the background perfectly in the selfies, giving portrait effect to a group photo. The camera app also contains a large variety of beautification features and filters.
Lenovo K10 Note runs Android 9 Pie based ZUI 11. As soon as you turn on the smartphone, you will find an app drawer filled with bloatware. Of these, some apps can be uninstalled. But others (like the battery draining Truecaller) cannot be uninstalled. You can however disable these apps. Lenovo has also added a feature called 4D U-Touch, which enables gestures by replacing the navigation button of the phone. If you have used stock Android before, then you will face some difficulty initially. Buy you will soon get used to these customized navigation.
Verdict: Should you buy the Lenovo K10 Note?
The Lenovo K10 Note is available at a starting price of Rs 13,999. There is no doubt that the Snapdragon 710 SoC, 18W fast-charging 4,050mAh battery and a capable triple camera setup at this price make this smartphone a good option to buy. However, its rivals cannot be ignored.
The recently launched Realme 5 Pro is also available in the Indian market from Rs 13,999. This smartphone comes with Snapdragon 712 chipset, a 4,030mAh battery with 20W VOOC flash charge 3.0 support, 48-megapixel quad-rear camera setup, UFS 2.1 supported storage and 90.6% screen-to-body ratio. On paper at least, the Realme device seems better than Lenovo. However, if you want an HDR10 supported device for entertainment purposes or a lightweight device with near stock android experience, then the K10 Note is the one for you.