The major news before the announcement of Lenovo’s K8 Note was the company’s discontinuation of the Vibe UI on its smartphones, and using Pure Stock Android on all its models starting from the latest release. This move only further blurs the line of differences between Lenovo and its acquisition Motorola’s Smartphones.
India’s Smartphone market has many divisions within different price segments. However, the most intense competition as of now is in the segment of Smartphones costing between Rs. 10,000-14,000. The Redmi Note 4 has been the undisputed king in this price range, even beating the likes of Honor 6X which features a dual-camera setup.
With the K8 Note, Lenovo intends to dethrone Redmi Note 4 from its top position and stake its own claim at the price bracket. Lenovo’s current offerings in the mid-range through Motorola don’t exist within this price bracket, with the G5 Plus being placed in a price bracket over Rs. 15,000. Lenovo’s upcoming offerings, the G5S and the G5S Plus might be priced even higher.
First, let’s have a look at some of the keys specs for the Lenovo K8 Note:
|CPU & GPU||MediaTek Helio X23 & Mali T880 MP4|
|RAM & Storage||3GB/4GB & 32GB/64GB|
|Slots||Dual Nano Sim, Micro-SD Card(dedicated), Micro-USB, 3.5mm jack|
|Audio||Dolby Atmos Sound|
|Display & Design||5.5-inch Full-HD IPS LCD Display covered with 2.5D Gorilla Glass 3 in a metal body (Fingerprint Scanner at the back)|
|Camera||Primary Dual Camera Setup with 13MP+5MP Sensors (f/1.7) & Dual LED Flash, 13MP Secondary Camera (f/2.0) with LED Flash|
|Software||Android 7.1 (Pure Stock)|
The stock Android implementation on the K8 Note might make creating updates a bit easier for Lenovo as there is no overlay on top. However, this still won’t mean that the Smartphone would be kept updated for a long period of time since Lenovo has been known to provide late updates, or not update phones at all in rare cases.
To take on the Redmi Note 4, the K8 Note has a dual Camera setup, on which the secondary camera is used for an enhanced depth of field for better bokeh effect on Photos. The overall camera quality clearly makes it better than Xiaomi’s Smartphone. Unlike the Redmi Note 4, the Smartphone doesn’t have a Hybrid SIM Slot, which would allow storing two Nano SIMs and memory card all at the same time.
Coming to the design, despite the metal display on the K8 Note, its looks seem to be quite generic and don’t have any unique element to brag about. There is, however, an extra hardware key other than the customary Power button and Volume Rocker, which allows easy access to music by default. Though it is termed as the ‘Music Key’, the button could be customized to launch any other app present on the smartphone.
Now coming to another key element, which is the processing power. The K8 Note is equipped with the MediaTek Helio X23 processor which seems to be capable of delivering a good mid-range performance. For some, a MediaTek processor is an immediate deal breaker as Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoC’s are usually considered the best in terms of processing ability.
Comparing with the mid-range Snapdragon 625 present in devices like the Moto G5 Plus and the Redmi Note 4, the 10-core MediaTek processor is equal on many aspects of CPU performance against the 8-core Snapdragon model. However, the GPU performance on the Adreno 506 on devices like Redmi Note 4 is better than the K8 Note’s Mali T880MP4 GPU.
For the verdict, it would be safe to say that the K8 has got some aspects better than the Redmi Note 4. The dual camera setup and the dedicated micro-sd card slot are two key advantages of the smartphone over its main rival. The abilities of the processor are debatable, though one could expect the gaming performance on the K8 Note to be slightly inferior to the Redmi Note 4.
There are no real deal-breakers in the K8 Note, and the inclusion of stock Android only makes the deal even better. Pricing of the K8 Note at Rs. 12,999 & 13,999 makes it compete along the lines of the Redmi Note 4, which costs 10,999 (3/32GB) and 12,999 (4/64GB). The variants of both the Smartphones have a difference of Rs. 1000.
So it’s totally up to the potential buyers. If the advantage of a dedicated micro-sd card slot, a better primary camera, and an extra hardware key are important, then the Lenovo K8 Note would be a great deal for an extra Rs. 1000 compared to its rival. However, if gaming performance is a priority, and for some reason, a person likes the MiUI on Xiaomi smartphones, then the money would go to the Redmi Note 4.