Lenovo K5 Pro Review

A Mid-Range Phone in the Entry-Level Segment

Aside from the Lenovo K5 Play which we reviewed last month, we also received a Lenovo K5 Pro for review. Lenovo Mobile Philippines released these two phones as their initial salvo in their return to the Philippine smartphone market.

Since we recommended the K5 Play for those who need an affordable entry-level smartphone, will we also recommend the K5 Pro for anyone looking for a phone that can perform better but still reasonably priced?

LENOVO K5 PRO SPECS:

OS:Android 8.1 Oreo
Processor:1.8GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 Octa-Core processor | Adreno 509
Display: 2160 x 1080 5.99" Full HD IPS LCD Display
Wireless Connections:LTE, Bluetooth 5.0, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, A-GPS
Memory:64GB Internal Storage expandable with a MicroSD card, 4GB/6GB RAM
Connectors:Type-C USB, OTG
Cameras:16 Megapixels f/2.0 + 5 Megapixels f/2.4 (Main Cameras), 16 Megapixels f/2.0 + 5 Megapixels (Front)
SIM Card Slots:2x Nano SIM Cards required
Battery:4,050 mAh
SRP:P5,990 - 64GB/4GB
P6,990 - 64GB/6GB

THE UNBOXING

A picture of the K5 Pro is seen in the front of the packaging. Is this exactly what we can expect when see the phone inside?

At the back of the box is a logo of Motorola. Motorola has been producing communication equipment for decades and they were already bought by Lenovo several years ago. You can be assured of having Motorola-quality on Lenovo Mobile Phones including the K5 Pro.

Inside the box are the K5 Pro, Type-C USB cable, USB Charger and user manuals. It doesn’t have a pair of earphones, which is quite common with entry-level phones but I’m puzzled that they also didn’t include the silicon case. The K5 Play, priced cheaper comes with a silicon case.

THE LOOKS AND FEEL

First look on the phone and you’ll know that it looks kinda dated. Bezels on the top and bottom are thick, and unlike the box, the bezels on the side are thicker than the image on the packaging.

At 8mm thin, the K5 Pro looks really slick. On the right side of the phone are the power button and volume controls while the other side has the SIM Card/Memory Card tray.

A 3.5mm headphone jack, USB Type-C port and speaker grille are found under the phone.

Found at the back are the dual cameras with a LED flash. There’s also a fingerprint scanner found in the center for security. The review unit I received is in matte black and as you can see in the picture, it can easily attract fingerprints but can be cleaned up with a cloth. Also, it’s the only phone to have a matte finish in the entry-level segment.

There are no sharp edges on the K5 Pro so it feels alright to the hands. It ain’t heavy either to hold and because it’s slim, it wouldn’t bulge in your pants pocket.

THE DISPLAY

The screen display is one of the K5 Pro’s strong points. It has a 5.99″ IPS display with Full HD resolution. Entry-level phones in this price range normally have HD resolution so this is certainly the K5 Pro’s advantage. Too bad its screen size is smaller than its popular competition.

While it doesn’t have a bigger 6″+ screen, the 5.99″ screen size isn’t that bad for streaming videos. In fact, I didn’t complain about it after using for streaming videos for a week. Colors are sharp and viewable under direct sunlight.

THE PERFORMANCE

Another advantage of the K5 Pro is its processor. Normally, processors used in the entry-level segment are from MediaTek, like the Helio P22. The K5 Pro doesn’t have a low-cost processor. Instead, it has a 1.8 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor which was a mid-class type of processor two years ago. The ASUS ZenFone 5 had this processor during that time and it was one of the best phones the brand has released. Having reviewed this phone and experienced its processing power, I already have an idea how it would fare in the benchmarks section. Nevertheless, I did some tests and here are the results:

Antutu benchmark score is higher than what I got with the ZenFone 5 two years ago, but the bigger news here is its a lot better than the benchmark score of the the Helio P22. Let me share the scores I got from previous reviews:

Lenovo K5 Pro: 150,634

realme C2: 77,613

Huawei Y6p: 98,693

Big difference, right? And paired with either 4GB or 6GB of RAM, you’ll have enough space to juggle around all the open apps in the background. It also has 64GB of storage which is considered plenty in this price point, and you can add more with a MicroSD Card.

I played Asphalt 9: Legends on the K5 Pro and it played smoothly in High Quality graphics. I also tried Call of Duty Mobile set to Medium graphics and High frame rate. Despite the smaller screen size, I think mobile gamers would appreciate the processing power of the K5 Pro.

Now while I rave about its hardware, I couldn’t say the same about its software. Being a two year-old device (isn’t it obvious based on its looks and processor?) it still has Android Oreo 8.1 installed. While most apps can still work with this OS version, you’ll be stuck with this OS as Lenovo doesn’t have any plans of updating it.

THE CAMERAS

The K5 Pro isn’t equipped with triple cameras like its competition. Its dual cameras, a 16 Megapixels and 5 Megapixels combo can take really nice images. Since it lacks a third camera don’t expect it to have an ultra-wide angle lens. It can still take bokeh though. Night photos are dismal and couldn’t take any decent photos. While the main cameras lack one camera, its front cameras has two: 16 Megapixels and 5 Megapixels.

Let me share some sample photos:

THE BATTERY

Battery capacity of the K5 Pro is rated at 4,050 mAh which is pretty much the standard in the entry-level segment. The phones lasts me a day with 4 hours of accumulated spotify, web browsing and video streaming in the morning, and social networking apps, 30 minutes of gaming and 2 hours of video streaming in the afternoon / late evening.

Our PCMark Score result shows 12 hours and 14 mins. which is expected for this battery capacity.

DR’S CONCLUSION:

Lenovo could have priced this higher but they want to reclaim their spot in the Philippine smartphone market by offering a mid-range phone at a crazy entry-level price. Despite of its dated design and software, the Lenovo K5 Pro is still one of the best choices for the P5,000 – P7,000 price point. If your priority is the phone’s performance in this price range, buy the Lenovo K5 Pro.

PROS:

  • Qualcomm Snapdragon 635 processor
  • Very slim and lightweight
  • Large Storage and Memory
  • Decent Cameras
  • Performance for an entry-level price tag

CONS:

  • Screen is considered small in today’s standards
  • Outdated OS
  • No wide angle lens
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