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Review: Lenovo K6 Power is the best damn budget phone in India

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Budget smartphones are available dime a dozen in India. And there are a lot of choices as, over the last few years, the quality of these phones has improved, leaps and bounds. Only a couple of months ago I had reviewed the Xiaomi Redmi 3S prime which was easily the best phone on the market for less than Rs 10,000 and shockingly, in only 4 months we have a new kid in the market which is arguably better. It is the new Lenovo K6 Power, which is going on sale on December 6 for Rs 9,999 on Flipkart, and as I have used the phone over the last few days, I can tell you how amazed I am at some of these new budget phones and their capabilities.

The new K6 Power is Lenovo’s attempt at not only snatching market share away from Xiaomi’s budget darling, but it is also its last big release for the year. And they have created a very good smartphone which is affordable while being almost the perfect budget smartphone.

The Good

The Lenovo K6 Power is a great phone and it does many things very well.

It is a pretty fast phone for the price and you get the new Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 eight-core processor coupled with 3GB RAM and 32GB storage. These specs may not mean much to you, but this means that the phone is going to be quite responsive and it will be able to handle multitasking well at the same time.

While using the phone, I felt the same as I could use all the mains apps and services just the same way I would on my iPhone 7. Obviously, the level of fluidity wasn’t on the same level as the iPhone 7, but it was good enough.

Gaming too was quite nice and I could even play heavy duty games like Modern Combat 3 and I didn’t face any major frame rate blips. While at it, the device also didn’t heat up a lot.

One of the most impressive things about this phone is its battery. I think that’s where it derives its ‘Power’ nomenclature from. This phone has a humongous 4,000mAh battery which is the same size as the Xiaomi Redmi 3S Prime and in use, the battery life is also quite similar.

I received the phone on Friday evening and till Monday morning I managed to use the phone on a single charge with light to medium use. This was amazing and the battery life was on par with the Xiaomi.

One of the star attractions of the phone is its Dolby Atmos enabled dual stereo speakers. These speakers are loud and clear, and if you plug in headphones and you have access to Atmos compatible content then you can experience a simulated Atmos-like directional sound, which again is quite amazing considering the price of the phone.

Topping up the experience is that the phone has one of the sharpest screens around for the price point. You get a very decent 5-inch full HD screen which has nice colours and decent viewing angles. This is great for watching videos and reading the text at the same time and this killer combination makes this ideal for the multimedia junkie.

The phone is also very well built using metal. It also has chrome accents around the rear camera and fingerprint scanner.

The phone comes with several other things as well – full 4G VoLTE support including band 40, Wi-Fi, a full suite of sensors and dual nano SIM slots and a provision for the user to install a microSD card slot.

The Bad

As one would imagine, the imaging gear on the phone isn’t perfect. Well, that’s true for any phone in the segment and the 13-megapixel camera is only slightly better than the one on the Redmi 3S prime. It takes decent photos in daylight, but don’t expect anything share-worthy from it during the evenings.

Similarly, the videos it takes are quite shaky, but again that’s a symptom you’ll find on most phones in the segment. The problem is that if you are like me and like to shoot video during parties or concerts you’ll find the audio to be very distorted too at the same time.

The front facing 8-megapixel selfie camera is also quite decent, but again if you’re like me and often pub hop with friends after work, those drunken selfies wouldn’t show much.

Lastly, this phone is quite chunky at 9.3mm and 145 grams. Clearly, this isn’t a light phone and it is quite thick at the same time.

The Ugly

While Lenovo has cleaned up its Android interface a lot and has massively cut down on duplicate apps and useless third party solutions, the K6 Power can’t be forgiven here, as it is using an operating system which is more than a year old. Yes, Android Marshmallow replete with the Vibe UI, which isn’t the prettiest thing on the planet.

Lenovo says that an update will be issued, but there’s no answer to when. The only saving grace here is that unlike Mi UI on Xiaomi’s phones you get full Marshmallow functionality.
The 4,000mAh battery too rears its ugly side as it takes a long time for the phone to get fully charged. In my case, it took me more than 2.5 hours to go from 4 percent to 100 percent. Sigh!

The Verdict

Remember the price of the phone. It costs only Rs 9,999 which means it will not be perfect, but for what it is this a bloody good device. For anyone looking for a great phone under Rs 10,000, this is an easy buy. It will also make for a great backup phone for a person like me who uses an iPhone. Just remember, its camera isn’t that great and it runs old software.

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