Lenovo K8 Note is the latest smartphone from Lenovo under the Note series after announcing K6 Note (review) towards the end of last year. The K8 Note is a substantial upgrade over the previous device and comes with 5.5 inches Full HD display and is powered by Helio X23 Deca core processor and is coupled with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. The phone also features dual camera set up and it has a 13MP+ 5MP combination with a 13MP front camera. There are quite a few dual camera set ups in this segment including Cool 1 (review) and Honor 6X (review). So how does the K8 Note stack up against the competition? Let’s find out in the detailed Lenovo K8 Note review.
Here is the video review.
Design and Build:
In the design department, Lenovo hasn’t done any substantial changes to K8 Note. It is more of a refined design when compared to K6 Note and there are also some resemblances to Redmi Note 4 in the design. The phone comes with a dual camera set up on the rear panel and a dual LED flash alongside it. The fingerprint scanner is placed below it and you also see the Lenovo branding at the bottom. The front panel houses the 5.5 inches Full HD display, front 13MP camera and front flash. Below the display, you get the three capacitive touch buttons, but unfortunately, they are not backlit. The left side houses the SIM and micro SD card slot followed by a dedicated music key. The power and volume keys are on the right side. The micro USB charging slot and the speaker unit are located on the bottom while the 3.5mm audio jack sits on the top panel.
The antenna bands are on the rear panel and they blend into the design. Lenovo K8 Note will be available in Fine Gold and Venom Black. The build quality is very good with a sturdy build with metal unibody construction. At 180gms it is not the lightest device in this segment and you actually feel the weight when using it.
Lenovo K8 Note comes with 5.5 inch Full HD IPS LCD panel with 1080p resolution. The display also has a 2.5D curved glass along with Corning Gorilla glass protection included. The display is crisp, sharp and offers good colors and also good viewing angles. The sunlight readability is adequate and you won’t have any issues using the device outdoors. The touch response is also good. The display is easily one of the best we have seen in this price segment.
The addition of a display protection is something which most of the OEMs skip in this price segment. Overall, the display on the Lenovo K8 Note is good.
Lenovo K8 Note comes with Android 7.1.1 out of the box and has stock UI. Lenovo has moved away from Vibe UI on the Lenovo devices and adopted stock UI similar to Moto devices. But unlike Moto phones, the additional Moto app like features are missing in the UI. Since the UI is stock, you get the default settings in the UI, so there are no options like dual apps or secure zone in the device. Lenovo is also promising upgrade to Android O and also security updates till 2018 end which is indeed a good move.
The notification center and quick toggles are exactly as in stock UI. The phone comes with app drawer similar to the other Moto phones. The phone comes preloaded with Dolby Atmos app which is quite good for music lovers. There is also support for VR and Theatremax, which is immersive multimedia experience with VR.
Since the phone has stock Android, there is no bloatware included other than the Microsoft apps which can be uninstalled. The phone also comes with split screen multitasking and Google assistant.
Lenovo K8 note is powered by Helio X23 Deca Core chipset coupled with either 3GB or 4GB of RAM. It comes with 2 cores Cortex A72 and 8 cores Cortex A53 making it one of the most powerful chipsets in this price segment and this really shows up in the performance. In day to day tasks, the K8 Note was extremely responsive and performed tasks without any issues. Even if you push harder with multiple apps opened in the background it performed pretty well, but the RAM management could have been better on this device.
The gaming performance of the device was also smooth and we tested the performance with heavy graphic rich games like Asphalt 8 and N.O.V.A 3 and the overall performance was smooth and there was hardly any issues. The phone did get a bit warm with extended gaming, but the maximum temperature was just 40 degrees. The phone supports dual SIM cards with 4G LTE and VoLTE. There is also a dedicated SD card in case you want to expand the storage. The phone has 32GB and 64GB storage options. The speaker performance was good and was loud enough and with Dolby Atmos app you get better overall output, but the speakers do not have stereo output. The call quality of the device is good and we did not have any issues with signal strength and Jio calls also worked perfectly.
The fingerprint scanner on the device is located on the rear panel and does a really good job in unlocking the device. It is fast and responsive in unlocking the device. The phone also comes with nano water repellent coating.
Lenovo K8 Note is one of the few phones offering a dual camera in this price segment. The phone packs a 13MP primary and a 5MP secondary rear camera with F/2.0 and dual LED flash. There is also a 13MP front camera with flash. The camera interface is similar to what we have seen on Moto devices and comes with just basic options like panorama, photo and video modes. The video recording is limited to 1080p and there is no 4K support. Lenovo has also skipped Slo-mo in the phone, but it should be available with September update.
The daylight shots taken with the device came out well with good detailing and excellent sharpness levels. The color reproduction is also quite good and there isn’t anything to complain in the daylight captures. The close-up images also came out well with good detailing. The low light images also had some good detailing for a phone in this segment with noise kept to a minimum. The depth enabled mode of the dual camera is the new feature to produce Bokeh effects in close up images. While it does a decent job in producing blurred background, it is not consistent and edges of the subject often blur out. Lenovo should be working on an update to fix this issue. The front 13MP selfie camera does a good job with selfies and there is also a LED flash for low light selfies. Here are some of the images taken with the device.
Lenovo K8 Note packs a 4000mAh battery with 15W Turbo charging. The phone’s battery performance was quite good enough and you can easily get slightly more than a day of usage on a regular use. The screen on time we got was around 7 hours and 20 minutes and on an average, it could be around 6.5 hours. While battery performance is good, it is not as good as the Redmi Note 4. The phone takes 2 hours and 10 minutes to charge with the Turbo charging.
The Lenovo K8 Note is a good all-round device with a good build, display, stock Android, excellent performance, decent camera and also good multimedia experience. The K8 Note is priced Rs 12,499 for 3GB RAM and Rs 13,999 for 4GB RAM and at these prices, Lenovo K8 Note is a great overall package and brings in a lot of additional features like Dolby Atmos, VR, Water repellent coating and more. There are some minor issues with the device including the dual camera depth enabled mode and also the lack of 4K and Slo-mo recording.
Overall, Lenovo K8 Note is a great upgrade to Lenovo K6 Note and it is definitely a good device to pick in the sub 15k price segment.