Lenovo K12 Pro review: Comeback star

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Lenovo’s K Series makes a comeback in the Philippine smartphone scene. After launching the K12 Note in December last year, Lenovo now brings the higher-specced K12 Pro to the market.

Lenovo hopes to make a great case for the K12 Pro. But does this phone have the potential to be the best budget offering device in its segment? Read on.

Design & construction

The Lenovo K12 Pro stuns with its premium appearance. Our review unit in Metallic Sage looks elegant with the changing green and silver hues (there’s also an Electric Violet colorway available). The textured design of the polycarbonate back reveals metallic highlights when viewed from certain angles, elevating the look of the phone further. It is also water-repellent and less prone to fingerprint smudges. 

Adding to this phone’s high-end quality is its solid build that’s a bit hefty at 221g. Moreover, the K12 Pro is a large phone because of the tall screen and thick profile. The positions of the buttons and ports are conventional. There’s a circular fingerprint sensor and small Lenovo branding at the back. The volume rocker and power/lock key are easily accessible on the right side, while the card slot and a dedicated Google Assistant button sit on the left.

Display & multimedia

You get a lot of screen real estate on the K12 Pro thanks to the 6.8-inch display with slim bezels. The colors are vibrant overall and the whites can get really bright, especially when you have the Saturated mode on. The blacks, however, look a bit washed out. Screen brightness is also good even in harsh lighting conditions. You can also enjoy up to 1080p resolution on YouTube but have to settle for 720p elsewhere. Still, viewing content and playing games on this handset is enjoyable.

Meanwhile, you get decent audio from the loudspeaker at the bottom. At the highest volume, the sound can easily fill a small room—and there’s minimal distortion, too. Wireless or wired (a 3.5mm audio port is available) headphones still give a better audio experience though.

Camera

A square module at the upper-left corner at the back houses the main camera system. It is composed of a 64-megapixel wide lens, a 2MP macro shooter, a 2MP depth sensor, and an LED flash.

Photos from the rear cameras come out detailed under good lighting conditions and with natural-looking colors. You get a dedicated button on the camera app for macro shots,  with decent resulting images. Portrait and macro shots have a good amount of depth that looks natural. The camera also allows up to 8x digital zoom. However, I can’t seem to find an ultra-wide mode/setting.

At night or in low light, you can expect the pictures to have more noise and with less detail. The Night Vision feature should help in capturing better images under such circumstances, but it still requires steady hands to get the best results.

The quality of the videos is comparable to the stills—decent in good lighting, but blurry in low-lit scenes. It’s good that it can record footage up to 1080p at 60fps. Plus, there’s a setting for stabilization that you can turn on and off. 

The front camera also takes good selfies in bright situations. When turned on, the smart beauty mode applies natural adjustments to your self-portraits.

Performance

Under the hood, this model boasts a Qualcomm Snapdragon 662 processor and an Adreno 610 GPU. You also get 4GB of RAM and 128GB internal storage, which is still expandable via the microSD slot. This muscle power ensures smooth and uninterrupted performance most of the time.

Playing games, even graphic-intensive ones, is not a problem. Meanwhile, basic tasks and internet browsing remain hitch-free all the time. The only time you may encounter a problem is when opening a lot of apps at the same time. Switching between tasks will then show some slight delay.

One thing I like about the Lenovo K12 Pro is that it offers a pure Android 10 experience out of the box. This means no excessive bloatware, except for the standard Google apps. The UI is clean and intuitive.

Powering this phone is a large 6000mAh battery, charged through the USB Type-C port at the bottom. It has 20W TurboPower fast charging, which comes in handy if you need to quickly recharge your phone. The 2.5W reverse charging feature lets you juice up small gadgets like wireless earphones, provided you have the right cables with you.

Speed says

The Lenovo K12 Pro offers competitive specs for its P8,490 price tag. It provides decent performance in terms of processor, display, and cameras. Its stand-out features are the massive battery with a fast-charging feature, the pure Android experience it offers, and its premium design.

Words and photos Pat Calica

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