Lenovo K8 Note
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The Lenovo K8 Note is a very exciting smartphone — it is not only Lenovo Mobile’s first big launch in India in quite a long time, it is also the first phone from the company’s stable to ditch the slow and heavy Vibe UI in favour of stock Android.

The Lenovo-Motorola two-brand strategy has been working pretty well for the Chinese smartphone maker in India. And while the company has released a number of smartphones such as the Moto C, Moto G and Moto Z-series in the past one year, Lenovo didn’t see much of action. After launching the K6 Power and K6 Note last year, the company took a pause, and has now released a new smartphone in the K-Note series. Called the Lenovo K8 Note, the new smartphone brings in major upgrades to the range.

Lenovo K8 Note specifications:

5.5-inch Full HD display| MediaTek Helio X23 (MT6797) | 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM and 4GB RAM + 64GB ROM| microSD card support (up to 128GB)|13MP main camera + 5MP secondary camera for depth-sensing camera | 13MP front camera |4000mAh battery | Android 7.1 Nougat

Lenovo K8 Note price in India: Rs 12,999 (3GB RAM +32GB storage, Rs 13,999 (4GB RAM +64GB storage)

Design and Display

Design-wise, Lenovo K8 Note looks like an ordinary smartphone. It would not be wrong to say that the design of the phone is uninspiring. Sure, it has a metal unibody-clad design but it took me awhile to get attached to the K8 Note.

Lenovo-K8-Note Display

Lenovo has supplied a plastic cover inside the box for added protection.The Lenovo K8 Note comes with a 5.5-inch fullHD IPS LCD display, which is fairly decent for the price. The colours are nice and punchy, viewing angles are on point and it’s nice to see Lenovo not skimp out and equip the K8 Note with a 720p panel.

The phone has separate slots for your microSD card and two SIM cards. Lenovo also throws a dedicated music key on the right side of the phone, which can be used used to control music playback. But the same can be configured to control the camera, open the flashlight, take a screenshot for that matter, or open any other app you use frequently.The micro-USB port for charging and data transfers sits in the bottom, while the 3.5mm audio jack sits on the top.

Software review

Starting with the K8 Note, Lenovo is ditching the custom Vibe UI and going for the near-stock Android launcher instead. The strategy has worked well for Motorola – besides keeping the interface light, it also helps in delivering software updates faster. And for those who prefer customization, there are a lot of themes and launchers available on the Google Play Store to download.

The K8 Note runs on Android 7.1.1 Nougat with the July 2017 security patch. Being near-stock Android, you get all the Nougat goodies such as split-screen view, 3D Touch-like quick app shortcuts, battery life improvements and more. Lenovo has added some customizations though – you get custom app icons, and a couple of software additions.

Lenovo K8 Note Battery review

The phone is backed by a 4,000mAh, non-removable battery, which is pretty big for a 5.5-inch phone.  Regular use included browsing the web, playing games on the commute to and from work,  making and receiving calls, and listening to music. Lenovo K8 Note promises to deliver enough battery to last a full working day and a bit more.

Lenovo K8 Note Camera review

Lenovo K8 Note is perhaps the company’s first smartphone to come with a dual-camera setup. The dual-lens system pairs a 13-megapixel primary sensor with a 5-megapixel secondary sensor on the back. The primary camera captures regular images, while the secondary 5-megapixel camera can be used to record depth of field information.

The camera quality is average to be honest. In bright outdoor lighting conditions, the photos look decent, with enough details. Indoor shots are inconsistent, and when there is artificial lighting the quality tends to take a hit, with some grain is visible too. Close-up shots look good at times, and at other times they are completely off in composure.

The dual-camera setup seems like work-in-progress. The depth effect often looks artificial – the depth sensor and software algorithms aren’t able to determine the edges properly, and smudging is easily noticeable. In the images below, if you notice the edges around the hair, you will be able to see the smudging.

Our Verdict

On the whole, the Lenovo K8 Note is a decent smartphone in its price range that has a few hits over misses. The smartphone comes with a good design and build quality, the TheatreMax technology is worth talking about, and Dolby Atmos is a good addition.

However, I’m disappointed with the performance of the dual-camera setup, especially when it is the USP of the smartphone. And if you don’t need the dual-camera setup, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 remains our favorite smartphone at under Rs 15,000.

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