7.5
Score

Pros

  • Robust Build
  • Nice Display
  • Pure Android Experience
  • 4GB RAM & 64GB ROM
  • Dedicated SD Card Slot and SIM Slots
  • Good Front Facing Camera
  • Extra Hotkey for Music & Apps

Cons

  • Lacklustre Rear Camera
  • No LED Illuminated Buttons
  • Side Firing Speakers
  • Fingerprint Magnet

It’s been a while since I followed Lenovo’s very own smartphone division. Ever since Lenovo acquired Motorola from Google, they’ve been giving their all. So much so that I totally forgot about Lenovo’s very own smartphone. Good thing is that it’s here to stay. It’s still a device that’s considered in the market. Following it’s predecessor, Lenovo announced their K8 Note a while back. It does not feel anything like previous Lenovo Smartphone. I’ve been using it as my daily driver for a while now and let’s find out is it any better than their previous generation in this complete review.

Design & Build Quality

1/9

The Lenovo K8 Note features a geometrical design that resembles more like a note with curved corners. In fact, it looks like it’s predecessor, the K6 Note. The front is covered with Corning Gorilla Glass and the body is constructed in aluminium. The K8 Note I used during my review time is the black variant. It has a stealthy look and an amazing finish. This shows how much Lenovo device has been improved in terms of design.  It’s a fingerprint magnet but not that intense, which is alright.

The moment you pick the device in your hands, it feels solid and robust, like everything should be at the right spot. The weight is balanced and it won’t fall of your hands that easily. The buttons on these device feels clicky, tactile and responsive. The power button is textured and it’s easier to identify. It also comes with button called Music Key, which I’ll talk about it in a bit. But overall, the device feels amazing in the hands.  Just that when you hold it in your hands, some might feel it’s huge because of its huge bezel on the top and bottom.

Only thing missing is that the capacitive buttons on the front isn’t LED Illuminated, which is kind of a bummer.  But the order of the button has been changed.

Specification & Benchmark

The Lenovo K8 Note is powered by Mediatek Helios X23 Deca core processor under the hood, followed by 4GB of RAM and 64GB of Internal Storage. This is pretty amazing for a device like this. You can also check out the benchmark scores below. Do take note that the Benchmark performance does not add up to daily usage.

1/3

Display

The Lenovo K8 Note packs a 5.5″ Full HD Display on the front with 441 pixels per inch. At first glance, it looks good and packs a punch in terms of colors. The higher ppi sure does make the viewing experience a lot interesting. Thanks to the 178 degree viewing angle, it does not compromise the quality of the content. Watching contents from iflix and netflix is decent enough and enjoyable. Under bright sunlight, the display is visible except when the day gets brighter than usual. This is totally normal.

Performance

The previous K6 Note was powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 430. This time, they went for a MediaTek Processor. It’s surprising to see how Mediatek processors has come so far. With deca-core clocked in at 2.23GHz, it performs really well. Lenovo K8 can handle most of the daily task such as browsing the web, checking Social Network and playing decent game titles like Need for Speed: No Limits, Kingdom Rush and many more. Thanks to the 4GB of RAM, the memory was amazing. Most of the time, it was possible to go back to an app where I left. Also, 4GB of RAM is considered ideal when it comes to today’s standard.

The K8 Note was able to even run Photoshop but there was a huge delay in launching of sorts. None the less, the device still was able to handle other graphics intensive application pretty decent.

Battery Life & Charging

One of the key feature of this device is the battery. It comes with a 4000 mAh battery and hands down, this device has the best performance in terms of battery. Under a day of active usage, I was able to end my day with 40 percent of battery with usual tasks like browsing, social network, using PowerPoint. On stand by, the phone battery lasted for 2 and a half days. This is definitely the kind of phone that I’ll be bringing for camping or a long distance journey. In fact, I was able to walk out of my home with out even worrying about carrying a power pack. With a huge battery like that, expect the SoT to be around 5-6 hours.

Some company includes a huge battery, but forgets to add features like fast charging which is essential and makes life a whole lot easier. Lenovo included a 15W Rapid Charge mode that can charge the device from 0-60 in 45 minutes. I was able to charge charge the device completely within 2 hours. Not too bad, I have to say.

Camera

Rear Facing Camera

Lenovo K8 Note jumps into the dual camera bandwagon along with other companies. The primary sensor comes with 13MP Purecel Sensor whereas the secondary camera comes with a 5MP Sensor. The second camera acts as an depth sensor that gives bokeh effect to objects and people.

The 13MP Camera takes decent shots under bright light. But the exposure when it comes to taking picture under bright light is just ridiculously overblown. Something that needs to be tinkered in the next update. The details tends to get lost because of the uneven exposure. The colors in pictures looks saturated and nice to the eyes. When you zoom into a picture, the details are sharp enough and does not look like its post processed heavily which I like personally. Under low light, the camera suffers from balancing the light and it’s grainy. Moving on to the Depth Sensor, the bokeh effect isn’t great.

1/13

Front Facing Camera

The 13MP Front Facing camera will not disappoint anyone because pictures look great. Packs a punch, doesn’t lose any color and also, if you’re one of those selfie lovers, this device does get the job done for real.

UI & OS

The Lenovo K8 Note runs Android 7.1.1 and has no skin on top of it. This means, you get a pure android experience out of the box. I’d say, Lenovo made the right move to go pure because this will allow user to get the best experience possible. Setting up the phone with no bloatware gives a lot of room to download applications you love and use it with no glitches. Good news is that the Lenovo K8 Note will receive updates over time. In fact, during my time using the K8 Note, I actually received an update to solve bugs and improve the experience.

Other than the OS, you also get the best of android such as Google Assistant, Split Screen and many more from Google Play Services. The only added application you’ll see is the inclusion of the Microsoft Office Suite, which is an icing on the cake.

Dolby Atmos & Music Key

Lenovo K8 Note also comes with the Dolby Atmos support, just like the K6 Note. This particular Dolby Atmos allows the phone to provide a huge sound stage while gaming or watching your favorite video content. This does not only improve the quality with the built in speakers, it also improves when you connect a good pair of headphones. Now the speaker itself sounds loud, sometimes distorted at maximum level. But the moment you enable Atmos, it increases the vocal and also gets louder. In headphones with the Atmos turned off, the music sounds rather flat and more emphasis on the vocals. Once you turn it on, it gets dynamic. The music gets wider and you can hear it from all directions. This is the whole point of having Dolby Atmos, to give the immersive experience possible. If the K8 Note had a Stereo setup, the Dolby Atmos would have been better.

It also comes with a Music Key. This is an extra button on the side that let’s you control your music without turning on the display. You can also reprogram these buttons to do what ever they want to, like turning on flash light or launch a specific app. Nice inclusion if you ask me.

Conclusion

The Lenovo K8 Note is two steps higher than its previous iteration. The switch from a Snapdragon processor to a MediaTek processor might sound absurd to some, but we think it’s a smart because it gives users the performance the crave for a mid range device and also not have compromises in any sort of way. Now that the K8 Note comes with the purest version of android and also packed with features, The Lenovo K8 is a device that I’d gladly recommend to people who is looking for an affordable smartphone that does everything. Some of the device counterparts has to be improved with software, especially the camera department.

Be sure to like my page on facebook by clicking here for more interesting content like this. For those who’s planning to grab their hands on one of these device, Lenovo has announced the price for 12.12 and you can get yours for RM 999 (Original RRP is RM 1,299). Click here to get yours right away.

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