Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus review: Positive vibes

Positive vibes

GSMArena team, 25 April, 2016.

5-inch FullHD display in a $130 phone

The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus sports a 5-inch FullHD IPS display - pretty impressive at its price point. For the money, 720p is more than reasonable at this size, and the Plus has a 1080p panel with a pixel density of 441ppi.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus review

Our test saw the Vibe K5 Plus' screen as a good overall performer. With a maximum brightness of around 440 nits, it's right on par with its more expensive sibling, the K4 Note, and marginally brighter than the K3 Note we tested a while back. The Redmi 3 does go higher, though.

With a contrast ratio around 1000:1 it's still behind the Redmi 3. Other displays in the entry level hover around the same value as the K5 Plus, so it's nothing to complain about.

Display test 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus 0.44 441 998
Lenovo Vibe K4 Note 0.47 442 940
Xiaomi Redmi 3 0.42 520 1238
Oppo F1 0.46 408 897
Meizu m1 note 0.65 562 867
Meizu m2 note 0.42 473 1108
Xiaomi Redmi 2 0.58 561 974
Xiaomi Redmi Note 2 0.492 467 953
Lenovo K3 Note 0.24 432 1793
Moto G 3rd gen max manual 0.43 430 1009
Moto G 3rd gen max auto 0.53 539 1017

Color accuracy is good enough, but far from exceptional, with whites leaning slightly towards blue. Then again, with an average DeltaE of 5.2, it's got more accurate colors as a whole than not only the Redmi 3, but also the Mi 4S and the LG G5 flagship.

In bright sunlight there's only so much that can be achieved with an LCD panel, and the Vibe K5 Plus does pretty well with what it's got. Its sunlight contrast ratio is better than what the K4 Note is capable of, though not quite as good as the Redmi 3. The K5 Plus fares noticeably better than the Moto G (3rd gen) though.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+
    4.615
  • Samsung Galaxy S7 edge
    4.439
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
    4.376
  • HTC One A9
    4.274
  • Samsung Galaxy A3
    4.241
  • Samsung Galaxy S6 edge
    4.124
  • Samsung Galaxy Note5
    4.09
  • Huawei Nexus 6P
    4.019
  • OnePlus X
    3.983
  • Oppo R7s
    3.964
  • Samsung Galaxy A7 (2016)
    3.918
  • Samsung Galaxy A5
    3.895
  • Samsung Galaxy J7 outdoor
    3.879
  • Samsung Galaxy J2 outdoor
    3.873
  • Samsung Galaxy A8
    3.859
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Microsoft Lumia 950XL
    3.837
  • Samsung Galaxy A9 (2016)
    3.817
  • Motorola Moto X (2014)
    3.816
  • Samsung Galaxy A5 (2016)
    3.789
  • Apple iPhone 6s
    3.783
  • Meizu Pro 5
    3.781
  • Microsoft Lumia 650
    3.772
  • Vivo X5Pro
    3.706
  • Apple iPhone SE
    3.681
  • Samsung Galaxy A7
    3.679
  • BlackBerry Priv
    3.645
  • Apple iPhone 6s Plus
    3.53
  • Acer Jade Primo
    3.521
  • Microsoft Lumia 950
    3.512
  • Oppo R7 Plus
    3.499
  • Samsung Galaxy J7
    3.422
  • Meizu MX5
    3.416
  • Oppo R7
    3.32
  • Samsung Galaxy J2
    3.235
  • Motorola Moto X Play
    3.222
  • Huawei P9
    3.195
  • Lenovo Vibe Shot
    3.113
  • LG Nexus 5X
    3.092
  • Huawei Mate S
    3.073
  • Microsoft Lumia 640 XL
    3.065
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Huawei Mate 8
    2.949
  • LG G5
    2.905
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Sony Xperia Z5
    2.876
  • Microsoft Lumia 550
    2.851
  • Sony Xperia Z5 compact
    2.784
  • LG V10
    2.744
  • Xiaomi Redmi 3
    2.735
  • Sony Xperia M5
    2.69
  • Xiaomi Mi 4i
    2.641
  • Xiaomi Mi 4c
    2.574
  • Microsoft Lumia 640
    2.563
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • Oppo F1
    2.528
  • Sony Xperia Z5 Premium
    2.525
  • Sony Xperia M4 Aqua
    2.503
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus
    2.473
  • Huawei G8
    2.471
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Huawei Honor 7
    2.406
  • ZUK Z1 by Lenovo
    2.382
  • Meizu m1 note
    2.362
  • HTC One E9+
    2.305
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • Lenovo Vibe K4 Note
    2.254
  • Sony Xperia C5 Ultra
    2.253
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 (MediaTek)
    2.249
  • Sony Xperia C4 Dual
    2.235
  • Motorola Moto G (2014)
    2.233
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Huawei P8
    2.196
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note 2
    2.166
  • OnePlus Two
    2.165
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • LG Aka
    2.145
  • Archos 50 Diamond
    2.134
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Huawei P8lite
    2.078
  • Moto G 3rd gen max manual
    2.026
  • Sony Xperia E4g
    1.972
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • BlackBerry Leap
    1.892
  • Meizu m2 note
    1.892
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • ZTE Nubia Z9 mini
    1.759
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Asus Zenfone Selfie
    1.68
  • Motorola Moto E (2nd Gen)
    1.675
  • ZTE Nubia Z9
    1.659
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Xiaomi Redmi 2
    1.311
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Meizu MX
    1.221

Connectivity

The Vibe K5 Plus is a dual-SIM smartphone and it takes microSIMs in both slots. Both are 2G-capable, but only one gets the 3G/4G treatment. LTE is Cat. 4 for theoretical transfer speeds of 150Mbps down and 50Mbps of upload. It has a dedicated microSD slot - so no quandaries over extra storage or an extra SIM.

You get Wi-Fi b/g/n (no ac) with hotspot support, GPS with A-GPS, Bluetooth v4.1, and an FM radio receiver. There's no NFC or an infrared port, though.

The microUSB 2.0 port is USB OTG enabled, and you also get a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus battery life

The Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus packs a 2,750mAh battery, which is the same as the power pack inside the non-Plus Vibe K5 - a phone with a lower-res display and an inferior chipset. You can see then why we might have been worried about the Vibe K5 Plus' battery endurance. In the end, while the K5 Plus is no marathon runner, its results aren't all that bad.

Certainly not if 3G voice calls dominate your smartphone use - with an excellent almost 32 hours of talk time this Lenovo phone places around the top of our all-time chart in this respect. The Xiaomi Redmi 3 with its 4,100mAh battery (pretty much exactly 50% higher capacity) can only go an hour longer.

With the display on, and the processor doing some number crunching, things aren't looking that great. Still, about 9 hours of web surfing over wi-fi is a decent longevity, average we'd call it. It's video playback that is a bit of a letdown, with just 7 and a half hours before the K5 Plus call it quits. The Redmi 3 does show its strength in both of these disciplines, with about 15 and 18 hours respectively.

Update (09 Aug 2016): While in the process of reviewing the Lenovo Vibe K5 (non-Plus), we stumbled upon some significant discrepancies when comparing its battery life to the Vibe K5 Plus. Analyzing the results led us to the conclusion that we had wrongly carried out the call test of the Vibe K5 Plus on a 2G network, instead of the usual 3G. We duly retested the K5 Plus, and the updated scorecard is now featured below.

Lenovo Vibe K5 Plus review

The battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you're interested in the nitty-gritties. You can also check out our complete battery test table, where you can see how all of the smartphones we've tested will compare under your own typical use.

Reader comments

  • Anonymous

This phone is very very bad battery is very very bad

  • k5 plus

i use k5 plus and the battery life is very good, the camera is medium at day and wake at night, the performance is very good usually

  • radec

So proud that Blaupunkt Soundphone S2 really looks like K5 plus