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Lenovo K8 Note – Empty barrel kills nothing (Review)

Lenovo K8 Note is the first mobile from Lenovo to move from a Skinned UI to Stock Android. From Vibe UI, leaned towards a stockish UI with Vibe Pure UI, but now the transition is complete. The K8 Note has got the latest stock Android running on it. Since Lenovo acquired Motorola, we have seen Motorola mobiles get the DNA of Lenovo, but this is the first Lenovo mobile to get influenced by Motorola. Let me share my thoughts on the Lenovo K8 Note.

Lenovo k8 note

In the box

Mobile
Clear hard back case
15W Turbo Charger
USB to Micro USB cable
User Manuals

Lenovo k8 note

Design

Lenovo K8 Note has got a very similar design like many other mobiles in this segment. It has a metal body and comes in two colors, Soft Gold and Venom Black. The Venom Black is a finger print magnet, but it looks neat. The mobile comes with a back case. It has a dedicated SD card slot apart from the dual SIM card slots. There is a hardware music key. This key can be used to control your music app. But it can also be configured to open flash light, screenshot or any other app of your choice. The mobile has got nano coating to protect it from water splashes, but not a completely water proof mobile. It is a sturdy mobile and feels good in the hands. The mobile does not have unique aesthetics, but in this price segment, we have to see if the mobile is a good value for money.

Lenovo k8 note

Lenovo k8 note

Lenovo k8 note

Display

K8 Note has a full HD 1080p display with IPS LCD 5.5 inch screen. The display is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass. There is nothing special about this display. It is decent under most light conditions. Color reproduction is good, if not vibrant. It has good viewing angles. Overall it is a decent display and fits the bill.

Lenovo k8 note

Camera

K8 Note has got a 13 MP + MP dual camera setup at the back and a 13 MP camera on the front. The camera UI is basic with bare minimum functions. The app is laggy. It takes a while to open and also takes a bit of time between shots. There is no image preview and that is irritating at times. The photo quality from the 13 MP rear camera is good under low and daylight conditions. Thanks to the wide 1.7 aperture, the low-light shots have less noise compared to other mobiles in this segment. The image has good details and is sharp. Color reproduction is natural. The dual camera setup is more of a marketing gimmick. The focusing is slow and the background bokeh effect is artificial. Shots taken in this mode can be edited to have selective focus, black and white background or replaced the background. It works at times, but the user has no control the selection.

Lenovo k8 note

The front camera is nothing special, just an ordinary camera. But it has got a wide angle of coverage. The front camera also has a manual mode. The mobile can shoot only 1080p videos with no form of image stabilization. The footage is shaky, but colors are good and exposure adjustment is fast. Mic for recording voice is weak and does not have noise cancellation.

The camera on the K8 Note does not disappoint me with its quality, but there could have been a bit more features apart from the manual mode. Considering the price point of this mobile, I am willing to overlook its flaws, but still, the dual camera setup is pathetic.

Hardware and Performance

Don’t rely on benchmark scores. The real life performance is what matters. The Lenovo K8 Note is the first mobile with MediaTek X23 processor. The mobile has 3 GB or 4 GB RAM and a 32 / 64 GB storage. The Mali T880 MP4 GPU is the Achilles heel of this mobile. Graphics quality is good and game play is smooth for basic games, but in resource intensive games, the mobile starts stuttering. Frame drops and lag is clearly evident. Also, the UI lags at times. Even Chrome browser or WhatsApp apps show lag. The mobile heats up to 45 degrees on continuous gaming, but it also heats up to 42 degrees on using camera or browser. It does not have NFC or IR sensor. It has gyro sensor and FM radio. The fingerprint sensor is fast and accurate.

Lenovo k8 note

Software

The mobile runs on the latest version of Android and it has stock UI. Due to this, the mobile may get timely updates, but it will get boring in a week. It does not have any features and even basic functions like blue light filter need an app to be installed. It does not have any bloatware and technically the UI must not lag. But it does lag at times and overall not a pleasant experience using the K8 Note.

Lenovo k8 note

The mobile has Lenovo’s TheaterMax to convert any content on the mobile into VR ready content. To aid TheaterMax, it also has Dolby Atmos. Sound quality over headphones (not provided in box) is impressive. The speakers are loud, but not impressive in quality.

Battery

K8 Note has a 4000 mAh battery and it comes with a 15W Turbo charger out of the box. The charger is impressive. It charges the mobile from 0 to 30% in 15 minutes and a full charge takes about 90 minutes. The battery life is consistent. Whenever the mobile heats up, the battery drain is fast and it dies in a day. But on normal moderate usage, the mobile can last for 2 days on a single charge.

Lenovo k8 note

Verdict

Lenovo K8 Note is priced at Rs 12999 for the 3/32 GB variant and Rs 13999 for the 4/64 GB variant. For this price, you get a sensible design, average display, and camera, stock Android with average performance and battery life. It has a better camera than Redmi Note 4, but the Note 4 has got better performance and battery life. The dual camera implementation is better on the Honor 6X. It is expensive than the Moto G5 Plus. If your preference is performance and battery, you must go for the Redmi Note 4. If the camera is a major priority, then the K8 Note is marginally better than the G5 plus and Honor 6X. I would not recommend this mobile and in this price segment, the Redmi Note 4 is a better choice.

Lenovo K8 Note

Design - 8
Display - 7.5
Performance - 7.5
Camera - 7.5
User Interface - 7.5
Battery - 7.5
Value for Money - 7.5

7.6

Gadgetdetail score

User Rating: 2.38 ( 2 votes)

About Giridhar

A Technology evangelist, Giridhar reviews gadgets and mobile applications. He is also a passionate photographer and a user experience designer by profession.

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