Lenovo launched a new battery-centric phone, the K6 Power, in India on Tuesday. During the press briefing, Lenovo talked about a lot of things, but one thing that really stood out was the company’s seemingly open letter to rival OEMs that said and I quote, “jam packing your phone with paper specs does not make your phone better, being different does.” Wiser words have seldom been spoken. And therein lies the K6 Power’s biggest irony. The K6 Power is a classic case of how a company does not practice what it preaches.
Don’t mind me. The K6 Power looks like a pretty fabulous device, at least on paper. In fact, it has all the essentials that make a budget smartphone tick with the audience these days: an all-metal unibody design with a fingerprint scanner, a 1080p display, a potent Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 processor with 3 gigs of RAM and expandable storage option available, good-looking set of cameras and above all a massive 4,000mAh battery that is claimed to offer up to two days of battery life on single charge…all this at just Rs 9,999. A couple of years ago, such specs — at such a price — would have made you go bonkers. Not anymore.
The K6 Power is a 5-inch phone with chamfered edges and physical capacitive keys — which are non-backlit — below the main display area. The fingerprint scanner lies on the rear, so do a couple of stereo speakers that also support Dolby Atmos sound technology, provided you have the content. It sports a 13-megepaixel camera (Sony IMX258) on the rear with phase detection autofocus and LED flash alongside an 8-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear shooter can record 1080p, slow-motion and time-lapse videos. The phone comes with 32GB of internal memory and supports dual-SIM, 4G LTE (VoLTE-ready) and OTG connectivity.
The K6 Power is not so much about hardware specs as it is about smartphone experiences though, according to Lenovo. To emphasise its multimedia prowess, the phone comes with TheatreMax (and Dolby Atmos sound tech over a pair of stereo speakers).
The phone is backed by a 4,000mAh battery — to make all that multimedia usage count — that is claimed to offer up to 13.6 hours of video playback and up to 27 days of standby on single charge. If that wasn’t enough, the K6 Power comes with an ultimate power saving mode that can extend battery life of the phone by up to 3X, by cutting off data and leaving only the essential apps running. The phone also supports reverse charging, like the Asus ZenFone 3 Max, and can be used to charge other devices.
While hardware and looks may not necessarily make the K6 Power stand out (from Xiaomi’s Redmi 3S Prime), its user interface should impress (although, ever so slightly) stock Android fanatics. The phone ships with a near unmodified version of Android, that Lenovo calls Pure UI, with useful additions like the ability to run dual apps and lock specific apps that only you can access. Noted, these are not new and groundbreaking features — in fact, Xiaomi’s Redmi 3S Prime running MIUI is already capable of performing a lot of these functions — but the fact that Lenovo’s phone also runs a near unmodified version of Android inside is something to really look forward to. Just don’t expect the same level of experience as the Moto G4 Play (or Moto E3 Power)and you’re good to go. Xiaomi’s Redmi 3S Prime, although very functional, can also be a little too out there with animations and everything for some users.
The K6 Power, in my brief usage, performed well (mostly) and the screen legibility seemed fairly decent as well. The cameras were quick to focus and shutter speed was also fairly good. Is it any better than the Redmi 3S Prime though, I cannot say for sure, for now. But whatever be the case, the Redmi 3S Prime is a gold standard to beat, at its price. It looks good, feels good, has a neat display, dependable performance, good-enough cameras and killer battery life. More importantly, it’s super cheap. There’s an even cheaper option in the standard Redmi 3S. You’ll get lesser RAM (2GB), lesser storage (16GB) and no fingerprint scanner. But then, it also costs just Rs 6,999. Not bad, not bad at all.
The trouble with Xiaomi’s phone is, it is very difficult to buy. Although, the company isn’t selling the phone via flash sales (which requires potential buyers to pre-register), the company sells them on pre-announced dates. Even on those days, the Redmi 3S Prime going out of stock in seconds is a common sight which can be frustrating for buyers. This is where Lenovo’s K6 Power can step in. It’s practically the same phone, after all.
One of the primary reasons why Lenovo has been doing well in the online space is because its phones are easily available. The K6 Power can easily bank on Lenovo’s online sales strategy to set cash counters ticking for the company. Flipkart has, after all, sold 13,000,000 plus units of Lenovo phones so far since their collaboration, it said. Chances are the K6 Power will also sell like hot cakes. But is it any different from the crowd? No, not really.
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