Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review: Phabulous

Phabulous

GSMArena team, 18 March, 2016.

Telephony and loudspeaker

The Lenovo Vibe K4 Note is a dual-SIM device. It's a nice touch that you can set different ringtones and message tones for each SIM. You can pick the preferred card for calling, texting and data. The data SIM will switch into 3G/4G mode while the other one will stick to 2G/EDGE.

The dialer - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Call log - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review All contacts - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
The dialer • Call log • All contacts

The dialer is split into several tabs. It supports Yellow pages integration, but it has been moved into the More tab (this feature performs a search for local businesses and is probably best geared for the Chinese/HK market). You have a Call log that can be filtered by received/missed/outgoing calls, but not by SIM card.

The More tab also holds call and message blocking options (blacklist/whitelist by phone number). You can also enable Automatic call recording (it starts as the call connects), but keep in mind this feature isn't legal in some regions of the world.

More features: Yellow pages - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review More features: Call blocking - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review More features: Block list - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review More features: Call recording - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
More features: Yellow pages • Call blocking • Block list • Call recording

The stereo speakers of the Vibe K4 Note can be quite loud - as loud as the Nexus 6P - though it doesn't perform as well when it comes to music playback quality. This is why it scores a Good rating, beating the Xperia Z5 (by a lot), but trailing the Nexus due to the Pink noise/Music test.

Speakerphone testVoice, dB Pink noise/ Music, dB Ringing phone, dB Overall score
Sony Xperia Z5 65.1 62.3 66.3 Below Average
Sony Xperia C3 Dual 66.2 61.1 75.3 Average
HTC One (E8) 65.8 65.7 75.7 Average
Lenovo K3 Note 65.7 66.6 76.5 Good
Motorola Moto X Play 69.8 66.6 75.7 Good
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note 74.7 66.6 72.3 Good
Huawei Nexus 6P 74.7 77.8 72.1 Very Good
OnePlus 2 75.7 73.5 80.7 Excellent

You can enable Pocket mode, which uses the proximity sensor to detect when the phone is in your pocket and it boosts the loudspeaker volume temporarily.

Text input

The Lenovo Vibe K4 Note came with the standard Google Keyboard. It offers autocorrecting and gesture typing and you can pick different themes - dark and light in Material or Holo flavor. The keyboard can sync your custom dictionary between multiple devices for a more seamless experience.

Other apps

The Lenovo Vibe K4 Note came with a richer app package than normal, perhaps anticipating use in China or similar regions where people can't rely on the Google services.

A prime example is the Route 66 navigation app, a blast from the past. You only get a free 30-day trial for voice-guided navigation and considering a license is €30, you'd probably stick with Google/Bing Maps or similar.

Route 66 navigation (30-day trial version) - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Route 66 navigation (30-day trial version) - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Route 66 navigation (30-day trial version) - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Route 66 navigation (30-day trial version) - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
Route 66 navigation (30-day trial version)

You get Skype out of the box, but not the rest of Microsoft's usual Android package. Actually, you get WPS Office, a competing document editor hailing from China (and, naturally, Google Drive is preloaded).

WPS Office: Main app - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review WPS Office: Document editor - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review WPS Office: Spreadsheet - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review WPS Office: Slideshow - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
WPS Office: Main app • Document editor • Spreadsheet • Slideshow

The Step counter app needs you to press the "Start" button before it begins keeping track of your walks, making it less useful (but perhaps more battery efficient) than the always-on apps.

Step counter - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Step counter - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Step counter - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
Step counter

The Lenovo Companion is a mobile trouble-shooter. You can search for walk-through's for your device (in written or video form), you can check for firmware updates (with data back up included) and diagnosing all the hardware of the phone (e.g. testing the vibration or the loudspeaker).

Lenovo Companion can help you find and correct issues - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Lenovo Companion can help you find and correct issues - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review Lenovo Companion can help you find and correct issues - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
Lenovo Companion can help you find and correct issues

The File browser makes it easy to find files of a specific type (e.g. documents or photos), it will even handle ZIPs. Of course, you can browse the full folder structure of both the internal storage and the microSD.

File Browser with built-in FTP server - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review File Browser with built-in FTP server - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review File Browser with built-in FTP server - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review File Browser with built-in FTP server - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
File Browser with built-in FTP server

A handy feature lets you wirelessly manage your files through your computer browser (as long as both the computer and phone are connected to the same network). This functionality is based on SwiFTP also available on the Play Store as FTP Server. It's better to use a proper FTP app, though, your browser offers only limited functionality.

SYNCit allows you to backup Contacts, SMS and Call log to the Lenovo cloud. If you don't want to set up an account, you can backup to the SD card.

SYNCit backup: Contacts - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review SYNCit backup: SMS - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review SYNCit backup: Logs - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review SYNCit backup: Other tools - Lenovo Vibe K4 Note review
SYNCit backup: Contacts • SMS • Logs • Other tools

Reader comments

I installed a MIUI 10 rom from xda developers. The phone is functioning well so far, much better than the previous VIBE UI of lenovo, even if certain features (like double tap to wake) are not available. However, the overall experience is good.

  • Krish

Bro, I am still using this phone in 2021 and it's screen is still perfect... I also use this phone for extremely heavy duty gaming as I love a 3.31GB game called Call Of Duty Mobile... Also, I have replaced it's battery like four times and ...

  • Varma

Good phone