Lenovo s K Note series smartphones have been quite popular in the mid-range segment. And the company s latest smartphone, the K8 Note, is a big step up from its predecessor, the K6 Note. With prices at Rs 12,999 for the 3GB/32GB variant and 13,999 for the 4GB/64GB option, the smartphone brings some nifty improvements to the table. It will be available to purchase exclusively via Amazon India. I was at the launch event in Delhi and after using the smartphone, here are my first impressions. Also Read - Amazon School from Home store live in India: What's newAlso Read - Lenovo Legion gaming laptops with updated Intel 11th Gen H series processors launched
Design wise, there aren t any drastic changes to the K8 Note, compared to last year s K6 Note. The front is dominated by the 5.5-inch full-HD display, with the earpiece, sensors, front-camera and LED flash sitting above it. Below the display, you have the capacitive Android navigation keys for home, back and task switcher. Sadly, they aren t back-lit. Also Read - Lenovo Yoga Slim 7i Carbon Review: Stylish, Slim, Super Performer
Turn to the back and you have the dual-camera setup with dual-LED flash and a fingerprint sensor sitting below it. The 3.5mm audio jack sits on the top, whereas the microUSB port for charging and data transfers is at the bottom. On the right, you have the volume rocker and a power / sleep button, whereas on the left, you have a separate microSD card slot and a dual nano-SIM card tray. This is a good move as you don’t have to choose between the second SIM or expandable storage.
On the left, there is also a dedicated music key to play / pause music and skip tracks. The key can also be configured to quickly start the flash light, take a screenshot, or open an app that you frequently use. ALSO READ: Coolpad Cool 1 camera review
Among the core changes, Lenovo is finally doing away with its custom Vibe UI and has opted for pure stock Android instead. The company says that stock Android will help in delivering security patches and major updates faster. You get Android 7.1.1 Nougat with the July security patch out-of-the-box. The only customizations Lenovo has added to the smartphone are custom icons, TheaterMax VR and Dolby Atmos.
In terms of pre-installed apps, you get the Microsoft app suite which includes Excel, PowerPoint, Word, Outlook, Skype, OneDrive and OneNote. For those who don t want these apps, you also have an option to uninstall them. Lenovo has also replaced the stock gallery app with Google Photos, and mail app with Gmail. For the brief amount of time that I used the smartphone, I did not come across any lag at all. But I will reserve my verdict until I review the smartphone. ALSO READ: Honor 6X Review
Under the hood, the smartphone is powered by the 64-bit MediaTek Helio X23 deca-core chipset. There are two variants to choose from – 3GB RAM with 32GB storage and 4GB of RAM with 64GB storage. The microSD card slot lets you expand the storage further up to 128GB. ALSO READ: Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 Review
Now, the second highlight of the smartphone, the cameras. The Lenovo K8 Note comes with two cameras at the back a 13-megapixel primary sensor for clicking photos and a secondary 5-megapixel sensor to capture depth information. Together the cameras let you capture photos with DSLR-like bokeh effects.
The mode works fairly well, and you can actually see the live bokeh effects at work, even before capturing a photo. You can also refocus the photos after they have been shot. Up front, you have a 13-megapixel sensor with aperture f/2.0 to capture selfies and make video calls. There is also an LED flash to let you capture better photos in low-light scenarios. I clicked a few photos using the front and rear cameras on the smartphone and the quality looked good. However, I will reserve my judgment until I review the device.
To keep things ticking, Lenovo has added a 4,000mAh battery with support for fast charging. Apart from that, connectivity options on the smartphone include Bluetooth, 4G LTE with VoLTE, Wi-Fi and GPS. The smartphone also comes with a fingerprint sensor for biometric authentication and water repellent nano coating to keep the smartphone safe from accidental splash of water.
The Lenovo K8 Note has nearly everything it needs to give a tough competition to smartphones in its price range. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 comes with a single rear camera, whereas the Coolpad Cool 1 dual and Honor 6X both sport dual cameras at the back. Lenovo has a bit of advantage with stock Android, Dolby Atmos and water repellent features which is missing from the competition. It will be interesting to see if Lenovo can outshine its competitors. We will soon be coming up with our in-depth review of the Lenovo K8 Note, so stay tuned for that.