After a brief hiatus in the first half of 2017, Chinese smartphone maker Lenovo announced three devices in quick succession — K8 Note, K8 Plus and K8 (the K8 would be introduced around Diwali) — in India. K8 Plus looks like a smaller sibling of K8 Note that was launched in August, with a toned down specification-sheet. This is the second smartphone from the handset maker to sport dual primary cameras. Major highlights of K8 Plus are stock Android operating system (OS) and dual camera set-up at the rear.
The smartphone sports a vertical dual-rear camera set-up with 13MP “Purecel Plus” sensor + 5MP depth sensor and f/2.0 Largan Precision 5-element lens. At Rs 10,999, let’s see how this device does in the fiercely-competitive Indian smartphone market. Stock Android, which was once shunned by handset makers for its lacklustre features, has become the most talked-about feature in a smartphone now. Starting with K8 Note, Lenovo did away with its propriety interface “Vibe UI” that was criticised for being a heavy and bloated Operating System (OS). K8 Plus offers smooth performance, thanks to the stock 7.1 Android OS.
The 5.2-inch full HD display (1440 X 1080 pixels) produces vivid colours with decent sunlight legibility. The “oleophobic” coating on the screen prevents fingerprint smudges. This is a good value addition in a smartphone that would be used in a humid and hot country like India. In terms of design language, Lenovo has made the smartphone ergonomic enough for single-handed use. It also feels sturdy at the same time. The rear side of K8 Plus has a smooth metal finish and the venom black coloured unit we received for review looked great. The 13MP + 5MP dual camera at the rear was able to capture decent images with details in daylight. That being said, we found the auto focus more accurate on this smartphone than that on Lenovo K8 Note.
The dual sensors on the rear add to the camera’s performance and clicks good photographs with decent colour reproduction. Unlike the K8 Note, this smartphone does not have a rear camera bump. The 8MP selfie camera with LED flash is also capable of capturing good self portraits. Lenovo K8 Plus is powered by MediaTek’s Helio P25 chipset. The Octa-core chip is clocked at 2.6GHz coupled with 3GB RAM that results in smooth overall performance. There is 32GB storage on-board that can be further expanded up to 128GB via a dedicated MicroSD card slot.
The company had claimed that the 4000mAh battery powering the device would last up to two days. During our review, it lasted for more than a day-and-a-half with moderate usage such as browsing the Internet, watching videos and using WhatsApp. There is a dedicated music key on the left that can be customised according to the user’s needs.
What does not work?
Lenovo K8 Plus misses out on the NFC feature which a cheaper Nokia 3 supports. The primary camera struggled in low-light conditions and the images had a bit of noise. Conclusion: The smartphone is the first one in the budget segment that features dual camera set-up at the rear. K8 Plus has put Lenovo on the right track of innovation and affordability.