Lenovo K3 Note Reviews say good display, not so great camera, SAR levels; Phicomm price cut


Today’s Lenovo K3 Note sale, which should involve another 50,000 or so units, is half over, with all black models being sold out within seconds of the sale starting at 12 pm. Another bunch of Notes will be sold at 3 pm today, all with white backs.

UPDATE: Meizu has launched its M2 Note, with better specifications and looks compared to the K3 Note, in India at just Rs 9,999.

UPDATE 2: Phicomm Passion P660 – which was launched in India for Rs 10,999 – is available for Rs 6,999 for three days from Oct 7 to Oct 9 (Friday) under a special scheme. The phone is almost exactly the same as the Lenovo K3 Note.

The Lenovo K3 Note is the most value for money smartphone in India right now, and offers unmatched value for Rs 9,999. But what do the customer reviews say?

The phone comes with a 5.5-inchfull HD display, a MediaTek octa-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, 4G LTE, 3Ah battery, 16 GB of internal memory and support for MicroSD card.


The phone was put on sale last week, and close to 50,000 users snapped it up in 5 seconds even though not a single phone had been sold in India before that — showing an incredible amount of trust in the Lenovo brand. Part of the reason has been the stellar trackrecord of the phonemaker with its Lenovo A6000 and A7000 series.

However, for the careful, the ongoing second of flash sale offers another chance to get their hands on this piece of hardware.

As of today, about 545 people have given it a rating on Flipkart, implying that about 1 in 9 buyers left feedback.


Out of the 545 ratings, 300 have given the phone five stars, while 134 have given it 4 stars. 44 users have given it 1 star out of five.


Many of the users seem to be familiar with Lenovo’s previous phones – the A6000 and the A7000 and not surprisingly, many  have compared the Note to those handsets.

And that is just as well too, as, according to customer feedback, the Note belongs to the same family in terms of build quality and looks.

However, before we explore negative aspects, lets look at the positive aspects.

There are two areas where most reviewers are very happy – power and performance and display quality.

DISPLAY — 4.5/5.0

The K3 Note comes with a full-HD screen and it seems to deliver the goods, according to reviewers. Even those who have given the phone a 1 rating have praised the screen.

“I didn’t expect the display to be good. But, it is vivid and pleasure to use though the contrast can never be compared with AMOLED display. This is the best part of K3 Note,” said certified buyer Krish.

A user called Amandeep Gujral pointed out that the display looks good, despite it being an value-for-money proposition.

“It’s a cheap panel — it still looks good! Maybe because its one-glass solution that popups everything, like on a nexus 5,” he pointed out in his review, which gave 4 stars out of 5.

“The RGB pixel payout is strange! like the ones we see on an amoled, a green sub-pixel repeats itself. Thus the green color is more prevalent in every image . Lenovo played smart, they gave a calibration tool for the user to play with. Dial down those over saturated hues if one wants too, but still it doesnt match a good-ole HIGH QUALITY FULL HD RGB PANEL,” he added.

“This K3 note display have smaller loosely packed pixels and one can easily see those if tried to. Trying looking it through a magnifying glass, you will understand why this is a very different display then offered by HTC or LG,” he added.

Still, overall, it would be fair to say that not even the detractors had anything really bad to say about the display.


The overall build quality is comparable to that of the A7000 and A6000. In other words, it’s ok — not bad, but not great either. Some said that even though the K3 Note is a budget phone, it doesn’t really feel that way. No one has complained of plastic flex or anything of the sort, though one user mentioned that the buttons were not very tight.

At the same time, the Note cannot be compared to an HTC One phone for example. For one, it doesn’t come with Gorilla Glass or anything similar. As a result, users who are careless their their phones may be in for some disappointment. Again, overall response has been positive.


There are several aspects of the phone that can be called mediocre – neither great not too bad. These include sound quality, RAM memory performance and so on.

Many users have complained that Android Lolipop eats up around half of the 2 GB RAM provided on the handset. In comparison, Android KitKat consumes only around half a GB ‘at rest’.

This has been a mild irritant for those who bother about such things (and most users don’t.)

“RAM available is less in K3 compared to a7000 (though this never affected the performance),” noted Mangesh Jha.

There were some who were disappointed to find that the phone is not exactly geared towards gaming, despite Antutu scores of 45,000 plus.

Pointed out Rutvik Mehta: “While running the apps the phone is not fastest. It hangs a little bit. So performance wise it’s not the fastest no matter how much it scored on Antutu.”

However, user Srinivas Potnuru tested the gaming credentials by running Modern Combat 4 and found “no noticeable stutter/lag.”

Overall, it would be wise to say that the phone is perhaps just above average when it comes to gaming.

SOUND — 3.7/5.0

On sound quality, most users are happy, though there are the occasional malcontents.

“I can say that voice quality over the earpiece is better than oneplus one. the rear speaker is good too, better than Mi4I and has good depth of voice. there is no distortion of sound. loudness is lower than oneplus and A6000 plus but better than M1 Note from meizu and Mi 4I,” said Rahul Anand.

In fact, Rahul’s sentiments largely match with those of most users. Among those who are not happy is Priyank Luthra. “My experience with Sound is not so good on K3. With Sennheiser Cx 275 earphones, the sound quality is abysmal with K3. With Moto G2 the quality of both earphones and inbuilt speakers is better than the K3.”

BATTERY — 3.4/5.0

Again, battery life is what you’d expect from an average smartphone. You can get a day’s worth if you are careful, and that is what you get from most smartphones anyway. If you really want a big-battery phone, try the Gionee Marathon series, which come with 4 Ah batteries and upwards.

Battery life was not mentioned as a weak point in any of the consumer reports.

“The device gets powered by a 2900 mAh battery (not 3000 mAh as Flipkart initially announced) which is very slim and lasts for more than a day with moderate to slightly heavy usage on WiFi and 3G,” pointed out Sreenivas Potnuru.

RADIATION — 2.0/5.0

Among the disappointing bits are the cameras and the high SAR levels (specific absorption levels or radiation).

“SAR ratings are the highest on any device seen in recent times, its almost at the allowed limit. allowed limit in India is 1.6 w/kg and K3 note has 1.59 w/kg. very high. Don’t get this device if you talk a lot on your cell phone,” pointed out Rahul Anand.

Our Take: Frankly, it’s always a good idea to use a wired headset or bluetooth to make calls when using a headphone, whether it is with this phone or another. If there are health risks associated with microwave radiation, it’s not going to be avoided by using phones of lower SAR value, but rather by the use of headsets.

CAMERA — 1.5/5.0

The second disappointing aspect is the camera. Many have noted the cameras to be the weakpoint of the K3 Note in their reviews.

“The disappointing thing in the phone is that i expected a better camera. The camera is just above average. Other than camera everything is awesome in this phone,” noted Manoj Prashant.

“If anyone is confused b/w k3 and mi4i then k3 beat in every department expect camer,” said Deepak Yadav.

People were particularly unimpressed by the front camera compared to the rear camera. “5 megapixels maybe, but slow, blurry and unable to capture a decent still image even with the slightest of movement. No sharpness to speak of, and I’m sure my face isn’t all that blurry,” said Uvais Chinoy.


Going by user reviews, the Lenovo K3 Note should appeal to anyone who is on the lookout for a decent handset for under Rs 10,000. The only areas of concern — selfie quality and lack of Gorilla Glass protection — are unlikely to be deal breakers for most users. However, if you want a great selfie-phone, the K3 Note is probably not it. For others, it’s really difficult to beat at at any price less than Rs 14,000.
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