[nextpage title=”Ui and Performance” ]
These days, smartphone manufacturers spare no efforts in launching powerful handsets that can compete with their rivals’ offerings. As soon as a company launches a new smartphone, another brand comes up with an even more capable device to compete with it. Xiaomi recently launched the Mi A1 (also known as Mi 5X) in India to take on Lenovo’s K8 Note, which launched just a few days before the A1.
Part of Lenovo’s Note line-up, the K8 Note falls in the same price segment as the Mi A1 (Both smartphones are priced under Rs 15,000). And since they have a similar set of specifications as well, we decided to compare the two.
Both smartphones are beautifully crafted and have full metal unibody designs, but the K8 Note is 15g heavier than the Mi A1. That said, we don’t think it’ll matter if one gets used to it. In terms of other dimensions like height and weight, the smartphones are almost identical. Both can be easily handled with one hand and even users with small palms will be able reach every corner of the screen(s) without issues.
The Mi A1 is sleek and stylish, while the K8 Note’s design is somewhat similar to Lenovo P2. Mi A1 is also thinner as compared to K8 Note.
One thing worth mentioning is that Lenovo K8 Note comes with a dedicated key that can be used to execute various actions, as mentioned below:
- Music: Long press to play/pause, double click to jump to next track, triple click to return to previous track
2. Turn on flashlight
3. Open camera
4. Take screenshot
5. Launch any app (user configurable)
Summing it up, the Mi A1 definitely has a lead in terms of style and sleekness. On the other hand, the K8 Note has the dedicated key which can come in really handy at times.
[nextpage title=”Display and Performance” ]
Both Mi A1 and K8 Note have 5.5-inch Full HD displays of 1080×1920 pixels resolution and a pixel density of around 401ppi.
We found the displays on both handsets to be bright and vibrant. They don’t reflect much under direct sunlight and produce realistic colors. That said, Mi A1’s display is a bit brighter as compared to that of K8 Note.
Talking about the sensitivity of the touch panel, both smartphones work like a charm. I generally type quite fast and had no issues in entering the input on both devices. To further check the accuracy, I even resized the keyboard to its minimum size but the response was great.
In this section, there’s no clear winner as both smartphones provide an equally amazing experience.
Xiaomi Mi A1 is powered by a 2.0GHz octa-core CPU, embedded into the Qualcomm Snapdragon 625 chipset. On the other hand, Lenovo K8 Note has a MediaTek Helio X23 SoC with a 2.3GHz deca-core CPU. The K8 Note comes in two variants – 3GB RAM/32GB storage and 4GB RAM/64GB storage, whereas the Mi A1 just has 4GB RAM/64GB storage version.
As the specs would have you believe, the K8 Note is a slightly more powerful than the Mi A1. During our benchmark tests, it scored almost double than Xiaomi Mi A1. The following screenshot illustrates the test results:
While both smartphones handle multi-tasking nicely, K8 Note took a lead during our testing. I ran more than 12 apps and found switching between them to be easy. This wasn’t the case with the Mi A1, which stuttered here and there.
Coming to the graphics, both handsets offer good experience when playing heavy games, even though the Mi A1 does it a little better. I felt that K8 Note struggled in this department.
Both smartphones started heating up in about 15 minutes after heavy gaming.
As the Helio X23 isn’t a power efficient chip, the K8 Note consumes more power than the Mi A1.
In this department, there’s no clear winner. If you’re looking for a powerful handset that can handle heavy games and multitasking with ease, the K8 Note is what you need. But if you’re looking for a smartphone with balanced performance, the Mi A1 is a good choice.
The USPs of Xiaomi Mi A1 are its dual rear camera setup and ‘Portrait Mode’. Comprised of two 12MP modules, it also gives the smartphone an effective 2x optical zoom. One module has a 26mm lens with f/2.2 aperture, while the other has a 50mm lens with f/2.6 aperture. Coming to the Lenovo K8 Note, it also features a dual-camera set up – a combo of 12 and 5 megapixel rear cameras with f/1.7 aperture and dual-LED dual-tone flash.
I won’t talk about subsections like Daylight images quality or HDR performance, and the reason is disappointing. All images clicked by the K8 Note have a kind of White layer on them. Whether it’s daylight conditions or HDR, K8 Note’s images look overexposed and are just not as good as those of the Mi A1.
Coming to low-light photos, the K8 Note is good but again, not better than the Mi A1. Pictures clicked by the K8 Note have more noise and less details than those shot from the Mi A1. It seems that Lenovo has included a dual camera setup at the back just for enhancing the overall appearance.
Note: Xiaomi Mi A1 also comes with some rare camera features – 2X Optical Zoom and Portrait Mode. Since the Lenovo K8 Note doesn’t have any of these, we haven’t discussed them in this article. To see the samples of 2X Optical Zoom and Portrait Mode, you can check our previous article.
In this department, Xiaomi Mi A1 is a clear winner.
Xiaomi Mi A1 features a 5MP selfie shooter, whereas the Lenovo K8 Note boasts a 13MP front-facing camera with LED flash.
The Mi A1 clicks good selfies, but they are not better than those from the K8 Note. Selfies taken from Mi A1 have some kind of White filter and details seem to be missing when the photos are zoomed in. The Lenovo K8 Note, on the other hand, clicks selfies with realistic colors and good details. And the front-facing flash light is another plus for selfie lovers.
In this section, Lenovo K8 Note gets the crown.
[nextpage title=”Battery and Conclusion” ]
The Mi A1 is backed by a 3,080mAh battery with fast charging feature, whereas the K8 Note has a bigger 4,000mAh battery with turbo charging technology.
While there is a difference of nearly 1,000mAh between batteries of these two handsets, the usage statics showed similar consumption during our testing. Check them out below:
|30 minutes of usage||Lenovo K8 Note battery level drop||Xiaomi Mi 5A battery level drop|
Note: Video and Music were played online. During the testing, both phones were set at full brightness, full volume and connected to Wi-Fi.
Despite having a bigger battery, Lenovo K8 consumes more power than expected. This, as discussed in the performance section, is due to its MediaTek processor being built on the 20nm architecture, which is not as power efficient.
If we talk about normal usage, both handsets easily last a day on a single charge. Coming to the charging test, the Lenovo K8 Note took 20 minutes more than the Mi A1 to completely charge its battery. The Mi A1, on the other hand, was fully charged in 2 hours and 1 minute.
In this section, there’s no clear winner.
Xiaomi Mi A1 comes with simple on-board acoustics, yet it provides a good blend of bass and treble. The sound volume is not that high, but not that low either. Overall, it provides a good experience.
Coming to the K8 Note, it has Dolby Atmos-enhanced Audio. In this segment, I’ve seen very less smartphones having this feature. The handset’s sound output is better than that of the Mi A1 and it provides users with a better experience.
Note: None of the two smartphones comes with a bundled headset.
In this section, Lenovo K8 Note is winner.
Both Xiaomi Mi A1 and Lenovo K8 Note have fingerprint sensors placed on their back, below the camera. Both phones also have 360-degree fingerprint recognition support, which means you don’t need to place your finger straight to unlock the device.
Talking about the Mi A1 first, its fingerprint responds faster than the Lenovo K8 Note. Not only this, it’s extremely accurate and any registered part of your finger unlocks the phone quickly. The Lenovo K8 Note’s fingerprint sensor, on the other hand, takes more time to respond. I also noticed that it isn’t as accurate as Mi A1.
The Mi A1 wins here.
While the Mi A1 seems to be the undisputed king in this price segment, the K8 Note can also be a good choice. Talking about the Mi A1 first, the smartphone is an all-in-one package in this segment, with rare camera features like 2X Optical zoom and Portrait Mode. It has a decent performance and a stunning design.
The Lenovo K8 Note, on the other hand, boasts a design identical to previous devices in its Note series. Its camera quality is decent and the performance is very good. This smartphone is good for pro users who do a lot of multitasking and for selfie lovers too. Its 13MP front camera produces good selfies.
The choice is yours but if you ask me to choose between these two, I would go with the Xiaomi Mi A1 as it’s overall a little better.