Oukitel K8000 Review: Huge Battery, Stellar Performance

Oukitel has taken a formula that works, using a solid mid-range device, and adding on a huge battery pack. That's the K8000. 

Smartphones have been evolving quite quickly over the past 5 or so years, but there is one area where the smartphone has not really changed much, and that's the battery life. Many still remember the days of when flip phones could last days, if not weeks on a charge. But with smartphones, you need to charge them daily, and sometimes a few times a day. Oukitel is looking to get rid of needing to charge your phone everyday. It has already released smartphones with huge batteries like the K6000 and K10000, and now there's the K8000 which has a whopping 8000mAh battery inside, but how's the rest of the phone? Let's see how it stacks up in our review.

Specs

On the Oukitel K8000, you'll find a 5.5-inch 720p AMOLED display here, which gives you 267 pixels per inch, and it is still a 16:9 aspect ratio display. Inside, there is a MediaTek 6750T processor running the show, with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage under the hood. There's also the aforementioned 8000mAh battery, as well as Android 7.0 Nougat, for software.

Camera-wise, there is a 13-megapixel sensor, with a 2-megapixel secondary sensor. Similar to the Honor 7X, the second camera on this phone is mostly for gathering depth information, so the 13-megapixel sensor is the one that really matters. And it sports a f/1.8 aperture and also has a dual LED flash. Unfortunately no phase detection or laser autofocus here. The front-facing camera is a 8-megapixel shooter with a f/2.2 aperture. Wrapping things up with connectivity, the Oukitel K8000 does support WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2 and there is no NFC here. As far as location tracking goes, the K8000 does this with A-GPS, GLONASS and GPS. Finally, there is a micro USB port available for charging.

In the Box

Oukitel includes a few goodies in the box with the K8000. You get the K8000 right on top, which is inside of a clear TPU case. Definitely a nice thing to have included in the box, instead of needing to buy a case for your new phone. You'll also find some paperwork, along with a USB adapter and a micro USB cable. That's not all though, Oukitel has also included a USB-OTG adapter, should you need one. Something you don't see with every smartphone these days, but good to have. Though most people would prefer to see a pair of headphones, which are not included here.

Hardware

There's no getting around it, the Oukitel K8000 is a thick smartphone. Which is to be expected, given that the battery inside is almost 3 times the size of most other smartphone batteries. So it's a good option for those that have been complaining about phones becoming too thin (which is a valid complaint, after all). With the K8000 being so thick, it is also pretty heavy. This is one of those phones that you will know whether it's in your pocket or not, without checking. But this also makes the Oukitel K8000 hard to drop, or slip out of your hand.

Interestingly enough, the Oukitel K8000 is made out of aluminum, which makes this phone feel great in the hand. There are some antenna lines, but most people won't even see them, because they blend in that well. The back of the K8000 is actually really clean looking. You'll find the camera module towards the top, and an Oukitel logo at the bottom, and that's it. This is due to the fact that Oukitel did put the fingerprint sensor on the front of the phone - more on that in a bit. Now the bottom of the phone is where you'll find speaker on the right side with a microphone on the left and a micro USB port in the center. The top houses that 3.5mm headphone jack, while the right-hand side has the volume rocker and the power button. Over on the left side is the SIM and micro SD card slot.

The Oukitel K8000 actually feels really good and really solid in the hand, though the surprising part of the hardware on this smartphone is the camera bump. There is a very slight bump here, so slight that most people won't even notice it, but it is there. It's odd that there is a camera bump, given how much thicker this phone is over others on the market right now. Another surprise is the display, or rather the top and bottom bezels around the display. Now the bottom bezel has to be rather thick due to the fingerprint sensor, but the forehead here is really large. Compared to all the other smartphones launching in 2017, this is a bit surprising, but the main selling point here is the battery and not the display or lack of bezels. So it is a bit understandable.

Display

For a phone that is around $200 USD and has this large of a battery, I was shocked at how good the display actually was. It's a 720p AMOLED display - which is something I noticed as soon as I started using it. The 720p resolution is a bit on the low side, but it still works in this segment of the market, without being too bad on the eyes. It also helps that 8000mAh battery last a bit longer. The blacks on this panel are really deep, of course, that's the main benefit of using AMOLED anyways.

Brightness is another strength for AMOLED panels typically, and it is definitely one here as well. This panel can get very bright, in fact we had no issues seeing it outside. And it also gets pretty dim, great for using in the dark or at night. The auto-brightness worked pretty well, adjusting to the light in the room, the majority of the time. But there were a few instances where it did lag behind. Otherwise, this is a really good panel, especially on a smartphone at this price point. Typically AMOLED panels are not even used on non-flagship smartphones.

Oukitel is using the Miravision suite of tools for adjusting the temperature of the display. So you can choose from the usual presets, like standard and vivid (we had it on vivid for the review). But you can also put it on custom and really get into adjusting the temperature, the contrast and much more for the display. Oukitel does also have the blue light filter available, allowing you to make it easier to use this phone when you are in a dark environment. This can be scheduled on, of course, but it can also be toggled on from the notification shade, which is also a good thing to have.

Performance

The MediaTek MT6750T makes a return here. It gained some time in our hands on some previous reviews we've done, and it didn't fare that well. And now it looks like that was almost entirely due to software not being optimized. As the same chipset (with another gigabyte or RAM though) is performing way better. We had virtually zero issues with the MT6750T on this smartphone. It never lagged behind, nor did it stutter at all. It performed all the tasks we threw at it pretty handily.

RAM is not a problem here, and neither is storage. Oukitel is outfitting this smartphone with 4GB of RAM, which is more than enough for even flagships in 2017, and the same goes for 64GB of storage. Don't forget that there is also a micro SD card slot for expanding that storage, should you need even more space. So definitely good to see these specs here.

Fingerprint Sensor

The fingerprint sensor is actually one of the very few areas where this smartphone disappoints. The fingerprint sensor is not 100% accurate. It will sometimes authenticate us on the first try, but often times it won't, and sometimes we'll have to resort to entering the PIN or password to unlock the phone. The sensor is not that fast either. It does get the job done most of the time, but it's not as fast as others on the market. So once it authenticates your finger, it will take a few seconds before the screen lights up and unlocks. Bottom line here is that you may want to go ahead and not use the fingerprint sensor to unlock the phone, or at least enroll multiple angles of the same finger so that it can authenticate you a bit faster and easier.

Phone Calls & Network

Unfortunately, the Oukitel K8000 does not work at all in the US. It does not support EDGE or even GPRS bands in the US - it was able to recognize our SIM card, but not able to connect to voice or data services. So we unfortunately can't talk much about how good or bad the phone calls were, or mobile data. But we can talk about WiFi. This does support both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi, and speeds were similar to what we've seen on other smartphones, so no real surprises here. There's also no support here for WiFi Calling, VoLTE or HD Voice. Not a huge surprise, given that most unlocked smartphones don't support those features. Those are usually enabled on carrier-specific devices, where the carrier is able to add its own software onto the device.

Benchmarks

On the Oukitel K8000, we ran three benchmarks: AnTuTu, Geekbench 4 and 3D Mark. Over on AnTuTu it picked up a score of 41,688. On 3D Mark it grabbed a score of 384. Finally, over on Geekbench 4, it got a 597 in the single-core score and a 2539 in the multi-core test. These numbers aren't going to set the world on fire, obviously, but given the specs inside the K8000, these are actually pretty good. Remember that benchmark scores do not necessarily translate to real-world usage. Of course, you can see the full results from the benchmarks down below in the gallery.

Battery Life

The battery life on the K8000 is exactly what you'd expect, phenomenal. The 8000mAh battery definitely lived up to its hype. In the battery cycle you'll see below, we had the phone unplugged for almost 3 full days, and it was still at 35%, even after 8.5 hours of on-screen time. Now obviously with a SIM card inside, you'll see slightly different numbers - also depending on your usage, numbers might differ - but this is still pretty impressive. A lot of phones can do 6 or more hours of screen-on time, but a lot of those will be under 20%, and only able to do that in a single day, while this was almost 3 full days. So this is really impressive, and definitely a smartphone made for the power user.

As if the battery life on this phone wasn't already good enough, Oukitel has included a black theme, which can be toggled on/off in the battery settings. This is to take advantage of that AMOLED panel and really get some great battery life out of the K8000. It did help, though the K8000 didn't really need help in the battery department.

Now, when you have a large battery like this, it also means that it's going to take an eternity to charge. And that it does. It took nearly 6 hours to fully charge the Oukitel K8000, which isn't surprising really, but it is one of the disadvantages to having such a massive battery pack here. There's also no form of quick or fast charging included here, so you're stuck with the slow 2A charging. So your best bet is to just charge overnight (which you only need to do it every other day at the most).

Software

On the software-front, it's Android 7.0 Nougat, and a rather vanilla flavor of Nougat at that. This is accompanied by the November 5th, 2017 security patch, which is one of the more recent security patches. It's unclear how often Oukitel will update the K8000, as we did not receive any updates during the review period. So keep that in mind when thinking of purchasing this phone.

As mentioned, this is a mostly stock version of Android 7.0 Nougat. There are a few subtle changes, mostly in the app drawer. This is likely due to the fact that it was compiled using AOSP, and being used in China, where Google services are not available. So you're missing things like Google Now on the left-hand page, or the Pixel launcher. Instead, the app drawer, has all of your apps inside, with a search bar at the top. You can't adjust the layout of the app drawer, unless you change the size of the display. Moving it to be smaller, will bring the app drawer to a 5x7 layout, which looks really good here. Out of the box, the K8000 is set on the largest setting, so you're stuck with everything being super large out of the box. That's good for those that are older and may have trouble seeing, but you are able to adjust that in the settings.

There's not much pre-installed on the K8000, which is really good to see. There is the Facemoji Lite pre-installed, which is part of its default keyboard - and of course you can install a 3rd party keyboard from the Google Play Store and replace it. There's also a pedometer pre-installed here, so you can track how many steps you are taking each day, without needing to get a fitness tracker. Now this isn't going to be that accurate, considering it won't count your steps if the phone isn't with you. So also keep that in mind if you want to use the pedometer for step-tracking.

Software here is actually pretty good, it's mostly vanilla Android, and if you are missing that Pixel Launcher look and feel, you can install it from the Google Play Store. Software runs really smoothly on this hardware, and everything looks great. Of course, that AMOLED panel really helps with that, especially if you have the black theme enabled.

Camera

The camera on the K8000 is a bit plain, as far as features go. You're stuck with just a few modes, including Video, Photo, Facebeauty, Blur, Mono, Panorama and Pro. That is actually likely all that everyone will need. It's really good to see that Pro mode available on the K8000, as a lot of smartphones in this price range do not include a pro or manual mode in the camera. As expected, the Pro mode does give you the ability to adjust the ISO, exposure and even white balance. So it doesn't provide as many options as some other phones out there, like the shutter speed, but the majority of features are there. The camera app is pretty easy to use, you have the shutter on one side with the different modes and a shortcut to the gallery, while the other side has the shortcut for flash, settings and the front camera.

Now the actual pictures from the camera here could use a bit of help. They actually aren't too bad, as the backgrounds are not as blown out as on other phones in this price range. But it still isn't going to compete with something like the Galaxy S8 or Pixel 2 XL. Which is expected, again, given the price. With adequate lighting though, you can get some good looking images from this camera. The mode that really needs some help is the Blur (or Bokeh) mode. You are able to adjust the amount of blur you get, but only before the shot is taken. The sweet spot seems to be about "60". Lower gives you almost no blur, while a higher number makes it look like you edited this with Snapseed. The issue appears to be that it only keeps what is inside the focus ring, in focus. So other areas of the same subject are going to be out of focus here. Which you can see in the gallery down below.

The Good

Phenomenal battery life

Great Display

Camera Quality

The Bad

No US compatibility - network-wise

Heavy Phone

Fingerprint Sensor slow and sometimes inaccurate

Wrap Up

The Oukitel K8000 is actually better than I had expected it to be, when I began reviewing the device. It lived up to all the expectations I had for it and even exceeded some of them. The incredible battery life was expected, but the great display was not, especially with a 1280x720 resolution here. There are definitely some surprises in the K8000 which is good to see.

Should you buy the Oukitel K8000?

If you are not in the US, and are in a country where the bands on the K8000 will work well, then yes, buy it. The Oukitel K800 is a very capable smartphone from Oukitel, with a monster battery life that will last most people days, if not a full week. Of course, that AMOLED panel is definitely a big deal. And the fact that there's no issues with performance is also a big deal.

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