Lenovo today announced the company's latest budget handset- Lenovo K8 Note in the global launch event that took place in the capital city New Delhi. The successor to the last year's Lenovo K6 Note, the smartphone will be available in two variants- 3GB RAM + 32GB internal storage and 4GB RAM + 64GB internal storage at Rs. 12,999 and Rs. 13,999 respectively on Amazon.in.
Lenovo K8 Note marks a shift in company's software strategy and brings the stock Android experience for Indian consumers. The company says that the new K8 Note is two generation ahead of the previous Note device and takes care of all basic things such as storage, connectivity and software experience.
Lenovo K8 Note runs the stock Android 7.1.1 and comes with a dedicated microSD card slot. Another highlight feature is the 13MP+5MP dual-lens camera setup to offer bokeh effects.
With all such features Lenovo K8 Note seems like a worthy option in the sub Rs. 15,000 price-point. But is it the best handset in its respective price segment? We try to answer this with the first impressions of Lenovo K8 Note.
Design: Premium and ergonomic
While there's not anything special about the design of the new K8 Note, the handset will not disappoint you in terms of look and feel and ease of use. It looks quite premium and brings a sturdy design. The smartphone is mostly made out of metal and glass, 6000 Series Aluminium to be precise. The round edges and corners make sure you don't struggle with one-hand use.
The power button and volume rockers are place on the right side while the left side is used for SIM card tray and a dedicated microSD card tray. Moreover, you also get a customizable hardware key on the left side that can be used to launch a particular app, flashlight, camera, play/pause music, etc. You can also use this key to change music tracks. The 3.5mm headphone jack is placed on the top.
The rear side of the handset follows a symmetrical design where the microphone, dual-lens camera module, fingerprint scanner and the Lenovo log are placed in the centre. The speaker units are placed at the bottom along with the microUSB charging port. It is worth mentioning that only one of the two speaker units is functional. The one on the left is placed to add symmetry and to house a microphone.
Lenovo also says that the handset has an oleophobic coating and is also splash-resistant. However the company also mentions that liquid damage is not covered under warranty.
Overall, Lenovo K8 Note is a premium looking budget handset with a sturdy design.
Display: Full HD screen with Gorilla Glass protection
Lenovo K8 Note sports a 5.5-inch Full HD screen. The display offers a resolution of 1080x1920p and churns out a pixel density of 441ppi. The display is very responsive and offers vibrant colours. It is also protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 3 and has a 2.5D curved glass to make for good viewing angles.
Moreover the display also has an oleophobic coating to offer protection from scratches and smudges.
Camera: Dual-lens rear camera setup with real-time Bokeh effect
Lenovo K8 Note features a dual-lens rear camera setup. The smartphone sports a 13MP+5MP rear camera and has a depth mode that allows you to change aperture value from f/1.2 to f/1.8. The 5MP secondary camera is provided to capture depth information in the images you capture.
For selfies, Lenovo K8 Note has a 13MP front facing camera with CMOS sensor and f/2.0 aperture. The front camera is also accompanied by an LED flash light.
Lenovo has kept the camera app quite minimal and it also offers Pro mode, interestingly both for rear and front camera.
The rear camera captures good detailing and accurate colours that look quite vibrant on the 5.5- inch Full HD screen. The 5MP secondary camera is able to capture a good depth information which is also customizable in real-time from within the camera app.
The Bokeh effect that the dual-lens combination creates is good but you have to be a little patient to get the desired results. This is because the camera app does not always offer the desired results and you have to spend a little time to make the most out of the dual-lens camera module. We will evaluate the camera's full potential in our detailed review of the handset.
Hardware: First smartphone with the new Deca-core MediaTek X23 chipset
Lenovo K8 Note is the first smartphone to feature the MediaTek Helio X23 chipset. The deca-core CPU comprises of four A53 cores clocked at 1.4GHz, another four A53 cores at 1.53GHz and two A72 cores running at 2.2GHz to manage strenuous tasks.
On being inquired about the thermal efficiency of the new chipset, Lenovo told us that the new CPU is very efficient in managing the heat and there will be no alarming scenarios in everyday usage. The company also says that the CPU performance with the new chipset is double of what we have seen on the previous K6 Note and users will also experience a bump in the graphics performance while playing 3D games. The graphics performance is handled by ARM Mali T-880 MP4 GPU.
I have played some light games on the handset and the graphics performance is impressive. We will evaluate the complete potential of the handset and the above mentioned claims made by the company in the coming week while reviewing the handset. The chipset is paired with 3GB and 4GB RAM options to manage multitasking.
Another important feature that we would like to highlight is the dedicated microSD card. Besides the 32GB and 64GB inbuilt storage, you also get a dedicated microSD card slot so that you don't have to compromise on storage and battery. The smartphone can be used to run two nano SIM card and one microSD card at the same time. The internal storage can be expanded by up to 128GB via microSD card.
For audio, you get Dolby Atmos that is said to deliver a virtualized 360 degree surround sound impact.
Software: Stock Android 7.1.1 Nougat experience
One of the biggest changes that you will notice in the latest Lenovo smartphone is the new stock Android UI. Lenovo says that the company has made the important software changes based on consumer's feedback. The other reason is to offer one image across all the products where it becomes easy to manage bugs and offer software updates if all the devices are running one uniform software layer.
It's a right step to move towards the stock UI as the pure Google UI makes the overall software experience much more fluid and responsive. Lenovo's latest handset offers just that.
The new UI is much more smooth and feels responsive than the company's previous Vibe UIs we have tested in past. The home screen icons resemble the ones on Moto handsets and the company has also cut down all the gimmicky stuff to offer a seamless lag free everyday performance.
There are no unwanted pre-loaded apps and users can simply download the applications they use from the Google Play Store. The screen navigation and app's response is instant and the overall user interface feels much more polished and intuitive.
The software on the handset also offers Google Assistant, Split screen, MS office suite if apps, etc.
Lenovo K8 Note also comes equipped with Theater Max technology that allows you to view all the content on your device on a VR headset.
Battery and Connectivity: Big 4,000 mAh battery unit and all required connectivity features
Lenovo K8 Note is backed by a non-removable 4,000 mAh battery unit. The company is also shipping a 15W Turbo charger in the box to quickly recharge the big battery unit.
As far as connectivity is concerned, Lenovo K8 Note offers dual-SIM, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, FM and GPS as connectivity features.
Lenovo K8 Note is a feature packed Android smartphone. It offers everthing that you would expect from a mid-range handset in the camera, software, hardware and battery department. The stock Android Nougat and a dedicated micro SD card slot are certainly the plus points here. Besides, the company has also stepped up the game by integrating a dual-lens camera setup.
The smartphone is bound to give a tough competition to Honor, Xiaomi, Coolpad and Samsung handsets in its respective price point.
Stay tuned for our detailed review of Lenovo K8 Note on GIZBOT.COM.