Deliver more for your hard earned cash, that’s what the Lenovo Vibe K5 is all about. Mind you, we’re not talking about the Vibe K5 Plus we already reviewed a while ago. This time it’s the base Lenovo Vibe K5 – no Plus or Note in the model name means fewer add-ons and therefore an even lighter price tag.

So it’s even cheaper than the K5 Plus, we hear you ask? Indeed it is, and the price is one of three downgrades (not one to complain about) compared to the K5 Plus. The other two are the display resolution (720p vs. FullHD, but 5 inches nonetheless) and the chipset (Snapdragon 415 vs 616). That’s that. The model designation for the K5 is A6020a40, while the K5 Plus is A6020a46.

The rest of it is shared between the K5 and K5 Plus and that includes the metal back (on a decidedly entry-level phone), 13MP/5MP camera combo, 2GB of RAM and 2,750mAh of a swappable battery.

Lenovo Vibe K5 key features

  • Dual-SIM support
  • 5.0-inch IPS LCD of 720p resolution, 294ppi
  • Snapdragon 415 chipset: Quad-core 1.4 GHz Cortex-A53 & quad-core 1.0 GHz Cortex-A53, Adreno 405 GPU, 2GB of RAM
  • Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
  • 13MP rear-camera, f/2.2, autofocus, single-LED flash, [email protected] video
  • 5MP front-facing camera, f/2.8
  • 16GB of storage, expandable by up to 32GB via microSD (dedicated slot)
  • LTE Cat.4 150 Mbps, Wi-Fi b/g/n, GPS/GLONASS, Bluetooth 4.0, FM radio
  • Removable 2,750mAh Li-Ion battery
  • Noise cancellation with a dedicated secondary microphone, rear-firing stereo speakers, FM radio

Main disadvantages

  • Limited regional availability, vastly different pricing in different parts of the world
  • No Marshmallow
  • Effectively 48GB of maximum storage
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We pointed out the very same list of disadvantages in the Vibe K5 Plus, and they hold true for the K5 as well. For the most part, at least – the Vibe K5 seems to be more widely available, both alongside the Plus in certain markets and on its own in others.

Lenovo Vibe K5 press images - Lenovo Vibe K5 review Lenovo Vibe K5 press images - Lenovo Vibe K5 review Lenovo Vibe K5 press images - Lenovo Vibe K5 review Lenovo Vibe K5 press images - Lenovo Vibe K5 review Lenovo Vibe K5 press images - Lenovo Vibe K5 review
Lenovo Vibe K5 press images

Swapping microSD cards when you run out of storage is not a deal-breaker for most of the prospective buyers, but we figured we’d mention it nonetheless. At least the battery is replaceable.

The dated Android then remains our main gripe with the Vibe K5, as that’s likely what the phone will spend its entire life on, given the usual update policies for budget models. Again, weighed up against the K5’s price, that’s another one we could pretend we didn’t see.

We did see the phone though, and handled it too, and that’s what the next page is all about. The design and handling chapter follows right after the break.