Lenovo K8 Note Review: Two cameras, two takes
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Lenovo K8 Note Review: Two cameras, two takes

Introduction

Lenovo unveils a powerful mid-range device, the K8 Note on the Philippines. The device is a 5.5-inch smartphone that currently sells for P13,999, after the P8,999 sale price during the Lazada’s Online Revolution, which is an absolute bang-for-the-buck cost. Its robust features make the phone as one of the best handsets today. The top-notch features here are the chipset, battery, and audio, but how about the other details?

We have the Fine Gold color for the full review. Let’s start.

lenovo k8 note

Key specs:

  • 5.5-inch FHD IPS LCD display, 1920 X 1080 resolution, 401 ppi
  • Android 7.1.1 “Nougat”
  • Dual-SIM, dual standby
  • 2.3Ghz 64-bit MediaTek Helio X23 deca-core processor
  • Mali-T880 GPU
  • 64GB internal storage
  • Expandable microSD slot up to 256GB
  • 4GB RAM
  • Dual 13-megapixel and 5-megapixel rear cameras, f/1.7 aperture with phase detection auto-focus, and dual-LED flash
  • 13-megapixel front camera, f/2.0 aperture with LED flash
  • 1080p at 30fps of video recording
  • Dolby Atmos
  • IP53 splash resistant
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • 4G LTE (Category 6)
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth v4.2
  • GPS, with A-GPS
  • FM Radio
  • USB-OTG capable
  • microUSB 2.0 connector
  • 154.5 x 75.9 x 8.5 mm
  • 180 grams
  • 4,000 mAh non-removable battery, Turbo Charge

Unboxing

Aside from the unit itself, the retail package ships in a green/black plain-looking box with the big Lenovo logo on the right side. It includes the usual charger adaptor, microUSB cable, warranty paper, quick start guide, sim ejector tool. The missing here is a pair of earphones, but considering the price, it’s okay for us.

lenovo k8 note

Display & build

The Lenovo K8 Note packs a 5.5-inch screen with FHD display and has a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It comes with a Corning Gorilla Glass panel in its 2.5D glass screen that covers the front. The oleophobic coating helps the screen in preventing fingerprint magnets. Overall, the phone is bright at 450 nits and can be used for outdoor, but not under direct sunlight.

lenovo k8 note

The capacitive keys here are non-illuminated but has haptic feedback when pressed, while the bezels are quite fine. Moving to the different parts of the device, the customizable music key, sim card and microSD card trays are located on the left. The two-volume keys and the power button can be found on the right. At the top resides the 3.5 mm audio jack, while on the base lies the two speakers and the microUSB port for charging and transferring files. Lastly, the back panel of the phone are consists of the dual-cameras (which will be explained below), a microphone, the fingerprint scanner and the dual-tone flash.

lenovo k8 note
The music key, microSD card, and the two sim-card trays
lenovo k8 note
The power button and the volume rockers
lenovo k8 note
3.5 mm headphone jack
The two cameras, dual-LED flash, a microphone and the fingerprint scanner

Audio quality

The speaker on the K8 Note can play relatively loud. We really enjoy listening some pop songs and the bass can be easily heard. Same as the audio jack, it functions flawlessly. To get us more satisfying, the Dolby Atmos sound technology really helped a lot for a more immersive audio experience. We can choose different equalizer settings on the pre-installed Dolby Atmos app: voice, music, games, and movies.

lenovo k8 note

Software & UI

The current Android version used here is the 7.1.1 “Nougat” and it is completely a Moto-like stock Android version. According to the company, the K8 Note is expected to upgrade to Android 8.0 “Oreo”. In the home screen, just swiping up the screen to reveal the applications installed on the device. “VR mode” can be enabled by clicking the power button in just 2-3 seconds, with “Restart” and “Power off” options.

Pre-installed applications are available, like the Microsoft apps including Excel, PowerPoint, Word, and OneDrive. Other usual apps here are, of course, Google-owned. Storage-wise, there’s a 64GB of storage (50GB are usable) that can store huge amount of files, movies, documents, and songs. The fingerprint sensor at the back is fast and accurate. Users can add up to five fingerprints.

lenovo k8 note

lenovo k8 note

Performance

The MediaTek MT6797D, or most commonly known as the Helio X23 SoC is manufactured using an outdated 20nm process, consisting of three cluster cores: ARM-A72 boasting at 2.3Ghz and two ARM-A53 cores, clocked at 1.85Ghz and 1.4Ghz, respectively. It can handle multiple apps at the same time without any lags and most games in high graphics, thanks to 4GB of RAM and Mali-T880 GPU. However, using the K8 Note for a long time tends to be heated so quickly! By the way, kindly check out the scores from the different benchmark applications.

Antutu:         74,964
Geekbench:
Single-core           1,215
Multi-core           4,522
Renderscript           3,475
Vellamo:
Multi-core           3,514
Metal           2,194
Ice Storm Extreme:          10,218
Sling Shot Extreme:               976
Quadrant:          57,440

Camera

The cameras at the back of the K8 Note are made up of a primary 13-megapixel sensor with f/1.7 aperture, making it the brightest smartphone in its price segment, and a secondary 5-megapixel sensor that helps in-depth processing. On the other hand, the front-facing camera has a 13-megapixel too. The results are great, but not superb. It impressed us, especially the HDR that really helps the images with nice dynamic range and saturation. It does look good at all. Details can be appreciated a lot. Photos taken in low-light are acceptable but have significant noise. For selfies, the shooter able to captures decent photos.

Rear camera

Auto
Flash on
Outdoor
Food (indoor)
Indoor (non-HDR)
Indoor (HDR-enabled)
Chandelier
Foreground
Sunset
Low-light
Night
“Bokeh”
Panorama

Front camera

Indoor
Beautify mode
Flash on (so BRIGHT!) ^_^

Connectivity

The Lenovo K8 Note supports GSM quad-band 2/3/5/8, WCDMA tri-band 1/5/8 and LTE bands 1/3/5/7/8/40. It is also equipped with WLAN 802.11 b/g/n, which means that the 2.4Ghz band is only supported, Bluetooth 4.2 and GPS, with A-GPS and GLONASS. All-inclusive, the smartphone’s reception are quite good.

lenovo k8 note

Battery Life

The 4,000 mAh battery capacity is a non-removable lithium-polymer. It does indeed deliver a good standing runtime that will last for up to one-and-a-half day in a single charge for casual activities. In addition, the K8 Note can be re-charged in 2 hours thanks to Turbo Charge.

lenovo k8 note

Verdict

The Lenovo K8 Note is one of the best mid-range smartphones that offers a lot of value in an affordable price tag. The physical side comes a solidly built quality and has some nice commodities like Dolby Atmos for audio enhancement, dual-cameras and dedicated microSD for storing many large files. We came in a surprise that some of the features are normally found in much higher priced smartphones, such as f/1.7 aperture on its camera, and a 10-core chipset used. Another good thing is that Lenovo now implements stock-Android OS, instead of the previous proprietary OS that received lukewarm responses from the users. The one that we should criticize? It gets really, really HOT when we used at a prolonged time. Hoping that the company will fix this issue soon.

lenovo k8 note

Pros

  • Clean UI
  • Dedicated microSD card tray
  • Large amount of RAM
  • Storage is huge
  • Music key
  • Audio quality
  • Nice camera
  • Loudspeaker
  • FM Radio
  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Battery

Cons

  • So hot!
  • Slow capturing images

  • Display4.0
  • Performance4.3
  • Audio/Loudspeaker4.8
  • Camera4.3
  • Battery Life4.0
  • Price4.5
4.3Overall Score

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