Lenovo has been keeping a low profile when it comes to marketing its own smartphones. This in turn has lead many to assume that Lenovo will step back as the focus shifts back to Motorola. But it seems the Lenovo branded smartphones are not going anywhere. Rather than trying to do things differently, Lenovo seems more keen to strengthen its base and focus on core features; and the result is the K8 Note. Its new smartphone is a refined device, as it runs on stock version of Android; there are two cameras on the back as well.
Lenovo K8 Note specifications: 5.5-inch Full HD display| MediaTek Helio X23 (MT6797) | 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM and 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM| microSD card support (up to 128GB)|13MP main camera + 5MP secondary camera for depth-sensing camera | 13MP front camera |4000mAh battery | Android 7.1 Nougat
Lenovo K8 Note price in India: Rs 12,999 (3GB RAM +32GB storage, Rs 13,999 (4GB RAM +64GB storage)
Lenovo K8 Note Design, Display review
Design-wise, Lenovo K8 Note looks like an ordinary smartphone. It would not be wrong to say that the design of the phone is uninspiring. Sure, it has a metal unibody-clad design but it took me awhile to get attached to the K8 Note. Between Fine Gold and Venom Black, I preferred the latter. The metal chassis feels solid, and the use of 2.5D Gorilla Glass on the front should offer reasonable protection from minor cuts and scratches. Thankfully, Lenovo has supplied a plastic cover inside the box for added protection.
My issue with the Lenovo K8 Note’s design is not that it doesn’t look original, but that it sports a thick bezel that makes typing with one hand hard for most people. Lenovo has opted for a fingerprint scanner on the back which I have always found more logical. The fingerprint scanner on the K8 Note was largely fine during my testing. Like any modern day smartphone, Lenovo K8 Note has a microSD card slot, which will lets users add a further 128GB of storage.
The phone has separate slots for your microSD card and two SIM cards. Lenovo also throws a dedicated music key on the right side of the phone, which can be used used to control music playback. But the same can be configured to control the camera, open the flashlight, take a screenshot for that matter, or open any other app you use frequently.
Lenovo also claims that the K8 Note has a water repellent coating, meaning the phone can survive a splash of water, or unexpected showers. Just keep in mind that Lenovo designed this feature to protect the phone from light splashes of water. Don’t even try the K8 Note to dunk it into a swimming pool, or spill a mug of water. It may damage the phone permanently.
Lenovo has loaded the K8 Note with a 5.5-inch display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. You don’t get pure blacks like you’d get on an AMOLED display, but the K8 Note still offers solid contrast. The display is mostly bright, with excellent viewing angles. All in all, the K8 Note’s screen is pretty good.
Lenovo K8 Note Performance review
By and large, Lenovo K8 Note is a mid-end smartphone. But I’m happy to report that when you combine a deca-core MediaTek Helio X23 (MT6797) processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB storage, you get a decent performance on a smartphone priced under Rs 15,000. In my regular usage I didn’t have any problems with the K8 Note’s performance. Apps loaded within seconds and the phone seemed fluid even when you open multiple browser tabs at once.
Playing demanding games like Asphalt 8: Airborne and Batman – The Telltale Series, the phone took more time to load. The games when loaded did run smoothly, but the phone became noticeably hot during long gaming sessions, but this is expected. Lenovo K8 Note offers reasonably loud listening experience, in spite of having only has a mono speaker. But there’s one big downer: Lenovo K8 Note ships without a pair of bundled earphones. Call quality is solid, though.
Lenovo K8 Note Software review
Lenovo K8 Note comes with Google’s Android 7.1 Nougat out of the box. I’m happy to see that Lenovo has finally ditched its aged Vibe Pure UI to streamline the experience on the phone. It was a menace, and thankfully the K8 Note ships with Android Nougat without any bloatware apps.
Expect the same level of software experience you get on a Motorola smartphone. In practice, stock Android does make a huge difference, especially if the phone boasts impressive specs and performance.
Lenovo K8 Note Battery review
The phone is backed by a 4,000mAh, non-removable battery, which is pretty big for a 5.5-inch phone. It was my primary phone for week; my regular use included browsing the web, playing games on the commute to and from work, checking my Facebook feed, making and receiving calls, and listening to music. Lenovo K8 Note promises to deliver enough battery to last a full working day and a bit more.
Lenovo K8 Note Camera review
Lenovo K8 Note is perhaps the company’s first smartphone to come with a dual-camera setup. The dual-lens system pairs a 13-megapixel primary sensor with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor on the back. The primary camera captures regular images, while the secondary 5-megapixel camera can be used to record depth of field information.
The primary camera produced some stunning shots of the Jama Masjid during my recent visit to the Old Delhi. The phone camera has managed to put a lot of details in the images. I liked the the camera’s ability to capture colours accurately. It works really nice. Even photos taken in low light came out really well. This is likely due to K8 Note’s f/2.0 aperture.
The phone isn’t 100 per cent perfect at creating a bokeh. In my testing, I did notice that the camera stumbles several times to create the best bokeh effect. The camera app is basic but I didn’t notice any significant lag when shooting. There’s a 13-megapixel camera on the front, which does the job done.
Lenovo K8 Note Verdict
The Lenovo K8 Note is no revolutionary product, but it’s a smartphone that feels just right. In my opinion, this is the most mature product Lenovo has ever come up with in this price range. The things that really make the K8 Note stand out are its display, stock Android, superb performance, a dual-camera setup. The design isn’t great, though. But then again every smartphone has a flaw, right?