When talking about the sub Rs 15,000 category , Xiaomi’s Redmi Note 3 and 3S Prime are ruling the roost in that segment just as Samsung and Apple are king of the flagships. Muscling its way into this company is Lenovo’s K6 Power smartphone. On paper, the phone offers a quite reasonable package and seems like a compelling alternative to Xiaomi’s budget kings. Here’s our review. Even though the phone is selling for Rs 9,999, I’m still disappointed with the build quality. The back of the phone is metal and the matte grey finish isn’t bad.
The all-metal body gives the K6 Power a premium feel. Having said that, it also makes the phone a bit slippery. It could slip out of hands if not held carefully. However, it was easy to use with just one hand thanks to the manageable 5-inch screen. We liked some of the UI additions made by Lenovo such as the shortcut of double-pressing on a volume button to launch the camera app quickly. This works even when the phone is locked.
Strangely, the micro-USB port is placed at the top, alongside the 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll find the power and volume buttons on the right while the SIM card slot is on the left. The Lenovo K6 Power’s price places it rather awkwardly in the budget-smartphone line up.
The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 offers a Snapdragon 650, which is at least 30 percent faster than the K6 Power. The Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime is cheaper and offers the same performance and way better battery life, though with a lower-resolution screen. The Lenovo K6 Power sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with a Sony IMX258 sensor, PDAF, an LED flash, plus an 8-megapixel front camera with a Sony IMX219 sensor and a wide-angle lens. The K6 Power's rear camera can lock focus quickly thanks to the PDAF technology. The camera took some decent close-up shots that exhibited good colour accuracy. However on zooming in we found noise towards the corners. The feature I liked the most about the camera is its speed. It’s really quick to adapt to changing lighting conditions and focus distances.
The biggest problem with the camera on the Lenovo K6 Power is that it requires a good
amount of light around. Low-light shots tended to have a lot of noise, and unfortunately, even the otherwise helpful Smart Composition tool couldn't fix that. The K6 Power's rear camera struggled to capture objects in motion well, something we also experienced with the Lenovo Vibe K5. This smartphone can record videos at full-HD resolution and these looked reasonably good. The front camera took decent selfies in well-lit situations though a screen flash would have helped in darker situations.
The non-removable 4000mAh battery on the K6 Power managed to last for 14 hours and 30 minutes in our video loop test, which is not too bad for a battery of this size. The Redmi 3S Prime with a slightly larger 4100mAh battery managed 14 hours and 50 minutes under the same conditions. However it's worth noting that the K6 Power sports a full-HD screen while the Redmi 3S Prime has a lower-resolution. With heavy usage, the Lenovo K6 Power managed to last over a day, which was impressive.
There's also an Ultimate Powersaver mode which extends battery life by disabling all functions other than calls and SMS. The ability of the K6 Power to be used as a power bank comes handy in emergency situations. We however wish that the device supported fast charging as it took nearly three hours to get the handset fully charged.
It’s interesting to notice that the battery tends to drain very fast the moment I run some
intensive app, like a high end game. This is expected, but the drain is a bit faster than I’ve
experienced on other Android devices.
At Rs.9,999, the Lenovo K6 Power is a smartphone which offers a lot of promising
features. The metal body feels premium, and the fingerprint scanner is a bonus. The light
Vibe UI was smooth throughout the review process and the Snapdragon 430 processor
turned out to be enough for our everyday tasks. We however felt that the camera on the
Lenovo K6 Power is not up to its competitor's level. The battery life and display are no doubt the notable features of the K6 Power. Those looking for alternatives can consider the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime, if they like the MIMU more and need a better camera.