Lenovo’s latest smartphone, the K8 Plus, is yet another step in its travel with stock Android. Looking at the demand for smartphones running on vanilla Android, including its very own Moto lineup, Lenovo has chosen to ditch its Vibe UI. The Lenovo K8 Notice (Review) was the first phone to have this treatment, and also 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 Exact boxes in terms of software. But is the the only interesting thing about the K8 Plus? Let’s find out.

Lenovo K8 Plus design
If you’ve utilized Lenovo smartphones then the K8 Plus will feel and look familiar. Like most other options in the marketplace, the K8 Plus includes a metal body. One of the first things that will strike you about this phone is its small size. The K8 Plus slots in between the K8 along with the K8 Note, making it comfortable for one-handed use. It has a 5.2-inch display with capacitive Android navigation buttons under it. Lenovo has chosen for non-backlit buttons instead of onscreen ones, and we found them difficult to hit in the dark.

The power and volume buttons are all on the right, along with the power button has a different texture which makes it easy to distinguish. On the opposite side there is another physical music button which is set by default to play/ pause music and switch tracks. The button may be remapped to other functions such as taking a screenshot or launching an app, which makes it useful.

There are slots for two Nano-SIMs in addition to a dedicated slot for a microSD card.

At the back, the K8 Plus has two cameras and a dual-tone LED flash. Below here is the fingerprint scanner which is simple to reach. It is quite responsive and we did not have difficulty when unlocking the phone. The metal back is a fingerprint magnet which was very evident on our Venom Black review unit. The phone includes 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 bulky to a number of people. One reason is that the 4000mAh battery which Lenovo has crammed into this phone.

Lenovo K8 Plus specifications and software
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 certainly have the option to switch the color mode of the display. Brightness is great enough indoors but you might have to avoid direct sunlight at times to see things clearly outside.

In the heart of the hardware is a MediaTek Helio P25 chip, 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 lets you expand the storage by up to 128GB.

The Lenovo K8 Plus has one 13-megapixel camera along with yet another 5-megapixel camera at the back. The latter is used to measure thickness. In the front, there’s an 8-megapixel selfie camera together with a selfie flash. In terms of connectivity, the smartphone includes 2 Nano-SIM slots and supports 4G as well as VoLTE on both.

Android enthusiasts will be pleased with the stock UI which is clean and brings some unity to Lenovo’s lineup of Motorola phones as well as its own. Aside from a few preinstalled Microsoft Office programs, this phone is pretty much free from bloatware. Lenovo does give you the option to install apps from a list during setup if you like.

Lenovo has selected great hardware for your K8 Plus, which is quite evident in the benchmark tests. This phone managed to evaluate 64,617 in AnTuTu, also as 855 and 3745 in Geekbench 4 single-core and multi-core tests respectively. We had the 4GB RAM variant for review and it could multitask easily with several 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, however, it didn’t get too bad in our experience.

Battery life is great and the phone can operate for a day and a half with routine 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 require a little more than two hours to charge the phone completely.

Lenovo has gone with a pretty basic camera app which is not hard to use. The HDR and camera style toggles are easily accessible. You get 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. HDR style adds a weird tinge in daylight photos, and is hit-or-miss in most cases. Night-time shots are good and the camera does figure out how to maintain noise under control if the area is lit well enough. Macros are quite good and the camera managed to catch decent detail in daylight in addition to low light conditions.

Depth mode is simple to enable and also the output has quite good separation between the background and the topic. However we discovered that the camera would lag after taking a few photos in this mode. Photos taken with the the front camera are great and may be utilized on messengers and social networking apps. Also, the front flash is useful in dark areas.

Tap to see full-sized Lenovo K8 Plus camera samples

Verdict
Lenovo is aiming for popularity by choosing stock Android and balancing features and cost quite nicely. 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 average buyers, along with also the dedicated microSD card slot doesn’t force you to choose between a second SIM and additional storage. Double cameras are the attractive feature right now too. Camera performance might have been better in landscape mode, but there need to be some tradeoffs with budget phones. If stock Android and good battery life appeal to you, then the Lenovo K8 Plus will look like a good choice.

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