After more than a year of waiting, Lenovo has launched the latest smartphone under their Killer series. It succeeds Lenovo K8 Note that was launched in August last year and is aptly named the Lenovo K9. Why such a long gap one may ask? Well, that’s because they got busy with launching devices under the Motorola marquee, and maybe decided to put on hold the main brand. But now, they want it resurrected. Literally, the Killer waking up from the dead. But is it still capable of the metaphorical ‘killing’? I try to find out.

 

Design

Lenovo K9 impresses with its thin and curved design. The smartphone gets a premium look thanks to the 2.5D glass body on both the front and the rear. But this makes it prone to fingerprint smudges, something one can live with for the looks. The frame is made up of plastic.

The front houses two cameras on the left of the top chin, and a dedicated LED flash. The earpiece lies in between the cameras and the flash.

 

The dual camera setup at the rear is placed horizontally on the top left, enclosed in a curved oval frame. Beside it is the dual tone LED flash, with the secondary microphone housed between the two. The fingerprint sensor sits in the middle of the top half, while the Lenovo branding is at the bottom.

The USB-C charging port is in the middle at the bottom, with either side having a 3.5 mm headphone jack along and the speaker grille. The primary microphone lies in between the headphone jack and the charging port.

 

The right side of the smartphone contains separate volume rocker buttons and a textured power button.

The box also contains a transparent case, a SIM ejector tool, and a charging adapter with a USB Type-C cable.

Display

Lenovo K9 boasts of a 5.72-inch HD+ screen with a resolution of 1440×720 pixels. With an aspect ratio of 18:9 and great viewing angles, the display does not fail to impress. The best part about it – there is no notch. Even though the top and bottom chins are thick, I prefer not having the notch. I understand that this is a matter of preference, but I am glad to know not all brands want to jump on the buggy notch train.

The side bezels are small.

The display is bright and vivid – it works as expected even under direct sunlight. The only caveat is with the buggy ambient light sensor. In poorly lit conditions, the auto-adjust brightness feature enters the phase of a ‘break dance’, adjusting itself every couple of minutes. This can get annoying at times, and one ends up going back to the manual brightness option.

Conclusively, the display of the Lenovo K9 is the standout feature according to me. Buy it for the display.

Camera

Lenovo K9 sports a dual camera setup (13 MP + 5 MP) on either side. The rear has dual LED flash, while the front has a dedicated LED flash as well.

Edge detection in bokeh mode is not up to the mark – clearly proving that increasing the number of lenses is not enough and that software post-processing is required to produce wonderful images. Moreover, the colors appear to be a bit faded.

The front shooter captures decent selfies in daylight, but the photos lose sharpness as the lighting conditions degrade, and the dedicated flash doesn’t help much.

Everything said and done, the dual camera setup fails to live up to its expectations.

Hardware

Lenovo K9 runs on the MediaTek Helio P22 chipset. It is supported by 3 GB RAM, and 32 gigs internal storage which is expandable via the hybrid SIM slot.

The phone doesn’t show any signs of a lag when used to run a few social media apps, along with a few basic games and a few other applications simultaneously. No heating issues were observed as well – decent enough for an entry-level device.

The unlocking speed of the fingerprint sensor is impressive. The speakers are good at this price, but the unavailability of dual LTE is a minus.

Software

Lenovo seems to have dumped its custom Android skin, the Vibe UI. For the stock Android aficionados like me, this is a welcome move. If only they also drop the bloatware still shipped with the device will it truly offer the stock UI experience? The smartphone runs Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box.

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Battery

Lenovo K9 is powered by 3,000 mAh battery. On moderate usage, it easily lasts for a day. Heavy users get a little more than half-a-day out of it (day being 8 hours), so you might have to carry the charger with you if you fall in the latter category.

Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Vibrant display
  • Stock Android
Cons
  • Dual-camera setup fails to impress
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