Lenovo’s latest smartphone, the K8 Plus, is still another step in its travel with stock Android. Looking at the requirement for smartphones running on vanilla Android, including its own Moto lineup, Lenovo has chosen to ditch its Vibe UI. The Lenovo K8 Note (Review) was the first phone to have this therapy, and to further strengthen its stand, Lenovo has now added the K8 Plus to the list.
While the K8 Plus is not a part of the Android One family like the Xiaomi Mi A1 (Review), it many of the same boxes in terms of software. But is the the only interesting thing about the K8 Plus? Let’s find out.
If you have utilized Lenovo smartphones then the K8 Plus will look and feel familiar. Like the majority of other options in the marketplace, the K8 Plus includes a metal body. The K8 Plus slots in between the K8 and the K8 Notice, making it comfortable for one-handed use. It has a 5.2-inch display with capacitive Android navigation buttons below it. Lenovo has opted to get non-backlit buttons instead of on-screen ones, and we found them difficult to hit in the dark.
The power and volume buttons are all on the right, and the power button has a different texture which makes it effortless to distinguish. On the other side there is another physical music button which is set by default to play/ pause music and switch tracks. The button can be remapped to additional functions like taking a screenshot or launching a program, which makes it easy.
The Lenovo K8 Plus is a dual-SIM device which has a tray on the left side. There are slots for two Nano-SIMs as well as a dedicated slot for a microSD card.
In the back, the K8 Plus has 2 cameras and a dual-tone LED flash. Here these is the fingerprint scanner which is easy to reach. It is quite responsive and we did not have trouble when unlocking the phone. The phone has a Micro-USB port at the bottom with grilles on either side, while a 3.5millimeter headphone jack is positioned on the top.
The K8 Plus is relatively thick, measuring 8.99diameter and weighing 165g, which might feel awkward to some people. One reason is the 4000mAh battery which Lenovo has jammed into this phone.
The Lenovo K8 Plus sports a 5.2-inch full-HD display with Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection. Viewing angles are great and color reproduction is adequate. If you like punchy contrast then you have the option to switch the colour mode of the display. Brightness is good enough indoors but you might need to avoid direct sunlight at times to see things clearly outside.
At the heart of the hardware is a MediaTek Helio P25 processor, which is an octa-core chip clocked up to 2.5GHz. The K8 Plus gets 4GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage. A dedicated microSD card slot allows you expand the storage by up to 128GB.
The Lenovo K8 Plus has one 13-megapixel camera and yet another 5-megapixel camera at the back. The latter is used to measure depth. At the front, there is an 8-megapixel selfie camera along with a selfie flash. In terms of connectivity, the smartphone includes two Nano-SIM slots also supports 4G as well as VoLTE on both.
Android enthusiasts will be satisfied with the stock UI which is clean and brings a few unity to Lenovo’s lineup of Motorola phones in addition to its own. Other than a few preinstalled Microsoft Office apps, this phone is pretty much free from bloatware. Lenovo does give you the option to install programs from a list during installation if you like. However, there is no explicit promise of Android updates like there is for Android One phones.
Lenovo has selected good hardware to your K8 Plus, which is quite evident in the standard tests. This phone was able to score 64,617 in AnTuTu, as well as 855 and 3745 in Geekbench 4 single-core and multi-core tests respectively. We had the 4GB RAM variant for review and it can multitask easily with different apps running in the background. For day-to-day tasks, the phone has sufficient power to deliver without any lags or stutter. The phone does get warm after a long gaming sessions, but it didn’t get too bad in our experience.
The Lenovo K8 Plus packs in a 4000mAh battery which is largely responsible for its thickness and weight. Battery life is good and the phone will operate for a day and a half with regular use. During our review period the phone was able around one-and-a-half days of casual use and 7 hours of screen-on time with ease. In our HD video loop evaluation, the phone lasted 13 hours and 49 minutes which is fairly good. The bundled 10.4W charger take a little more than two hours to charge the phone completely.
Lenovo has gone with a pretty basic camera app which is easy to use. The HDR and camera style toggles are easily accessible. You receive Panorama and Professional modes plus the default still manner. Video recording tops out at 1080p 30fps for both the cameras.
Landscape photos taken with the K8 Plus are decent but lacked the sharpness we were expecting. Night-time shots are great and the camera does figure out how to maintain noise under control if the place is lit well enough. Macros are quite nice and the camera was able to capture good detail in daylight in addition to low light conditions.
Depth mode is easy to enable and the output has quite excellent separation between the background and the subject. However we discovered that the camera would lag after taking a couple of photos in this manner. The 8-megapixel front camera has a beautify feature which can be set manually or switched to auto. Photos taken with the the front camera are good and can be employed on messengers and social networking apps. Additionally, the front flash is handy in dark areas.
Tap to see full-sized Lenovo K8 Plus camera samples
Lenovo is aiming for popularity by simply choosing stock Android and balancing attributes and price quite well. The Lenovo K8 Plus is well equipped and handles day-to-day tasks extremely well. Battery life is good enough to take you through more than a single day of usage. There is enough storage for ordinary buyers, and also the dedicated microSD card slot does not force you to choose between a second SIM and additional storage. Double cameras are an attractive attribute right now too. Camera performance might have been improved in landscape mode, but there need to be some tradeoffs with budget phones. If stock Android and decent battery life appeal to you, then the Lenovo K8 Plus does seem like a fantastic choice.