The Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 has long been known as the budget smartphone king thanks to its crisp full-HD display, top of the line specifications, premium metal design and killer price. Now Lenovo has launched the K8 Note -- the first ever smartphone from the company to come with a dual camera setup at the back and run on a near stock build of Android Nougat.
The biggest achievement of the Redmi Note 4 is that the smartphone manages to rise above its price point and feel like a much more expensive device than it really is. The K8 Note aims to compete with the formidable Note 4 on the basis of its fluid software, imaging prowess and multimedia capabilities. Let's see how the new king on the block compares against the current budget smartphone champion - the Redmi Note 4:
- On the design front, the Lenovo K8 Note is constructed entirely out of metal and as a result looks quite premium. Although a bit chunky, the device looks subtle and classy, particularly in the menacing Venom Black color. What lets the K8 Note down is that the smartphone is a bit too wide and the design looks a bit generic from certain angles. The Redmi Note 4 also looks very premium and polished thanks to its full metal body. In fact, it was Xiaomi that initially transformed the design of budget smartphones much before the Lenovo K8 came along. All in all, while both smartphones look very sleek, it is the Note 4 which has the slight edge when it comes to design.
- The build quality of both the Redmi Note 4 and K8 Note is top notch. Both smartphones feel built to last and do not exhibit any creaks or rattles upon daily use. In the Lenovo K8 Note, the front is protected by 2.5D Corning Gorilla Glass 3. In the Redmi Note 4, while there is some sort of scratch protection on board, Xiaomi has not revealed its manufacturer or specifications. This is what Xiaomi has to say about the same - "For protective glass, we use multiple suppliers and can't comment on which exact one, but its quality is up to what you'd expect from the premium competition". The screen, in the case of the Redmi Note 4, is also curved (2.5D) much like it is in the K8 Note.
- The Lenovo K8 Note comes with the 20nm deca-core MediaTek Helio X23 processor, a 5.5-inch full-HD display, the Mali T880 GPU, 3/4GB of RAM and a 4,000mAh battery with TurboCharge support. The Redmi Note 4 on the other hand comes with a Snapdragon 625 processor, the Adreno 506 GPU, 2/3/4GB of RAM, a 5.5-inch full-HD display and a 4,100mAh battery. Both smartphones come with 32/64 GB of internal storage which can be expanded via a micro-SD card.
- While the MediaTek Helio X23 processor with its ten cores outscores the Snapdragon 625 in pure benchmarks, MediaTek processors in general are not very well known for their power management and efficiency. As a result, the Redmi Note 4 is as powerful and in many instances faster than the Lenovo K8 Note.
- The ace up the Lenovo K8 Note's sleeve is stock Android. While the K8 Note runs on a relatively untouched version of Android 7.1.1 Nougat, the Redmi Note 4 is still languishing on Android 6.0 Marshmallow which is almost two years old at this point. This version of Android is also heavily skinned (MIUI) which can lead to lags and slowdowns in the long run. However, some people may like the custom features present in MIUI 8 such as the one-handed mode, second space, the powerful theme engine and so on.
- On the imaging front, the Lenovo K8 Note comes with a dual camera setup at the rear - a primary 13MP rear camera paired with a secondary 5MP sensor. Both cameras have an aperture of f/2.0 and work together to capture images with depth of field effects. On the front, there is a 13MP sensor with a 'Party Flash'. The Redmi Note 4 comes with a 13MP rear camera with an aperture of f/2.0 and a dual-LED flash and a 5MP front shooter with an aperture of f/2.0 for selfies.
- In our Redmi Note 4 review, we said "The phone captures some good-looking photos -- with occasional softness -- in good light with good amount of detail and mostly spot-on colours. However, Low light photos are prone to noise." While we are yet to fully review the K8 Note, in our quick review we noted that the rear camera "seems to produce quite good images in well lit scenarios with good detail and dynamic range." Thus, when it comes to the primary camera, it is a surprisingly close fight. However, if someone is a fan of bokeh shots, then the K8 Note is the smartphone to go for as the Note 4 does not come with a secondary sensor at the back.
- Both smartphone come with a few special features of their own. As the K8 Note is a multimedia focused smartphone, it comes with a few goodies like Dolby ATMOS support and Theatre MAX 2.0. Dolby ATMOS audio provides a nice surround sound effect while Theatre MAX 2.0 makes it seem as if you are watching content on a large screen (when viewed through a VR headset). The Note 4 also has a few nifty tricks up its sleeve. It has a reading mode which acts as a blue light filter and reduces strain on your eyes. It also comes with an infrared sensor that allows you to use the smartphone as a remote for your TV or DVD player.
- The Lenovo K8 Note is available in two variants - one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for Rs 12,999 and one with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage for RS 13,999. It will go on sale exclusively via Amazon India on August 18 at 12 noon. The Redmi Note 4 is available in three variants - one with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for Rs 9,999, one with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage for Rs 10,999 and the highest-end variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage for Rs 12,999.