With a big screen and a massive battery the K3 is a great option for those who value battery life over other features
OUKITEL, a Chinese smartphone company that puts out quite a few Android smartphones each year, has another new handset that has recently been released and brings with it some decent hardware features. Whether or not this is a device worth considering will depend on what you are personally looking for in a smartphone but, like most white box smartphone brands OUKITEL hasn’t outfitted the K3 with a lot that is too different from other devices from different brands let alone those in its own lineup. Still, for the cost, which is currently $150 during its flash sale price, the OUKITEL K3 does have some value as it not only comes with a 5.5-inch display but dual cameras on both the front and the back and a rather large battery to keep it powered on all day and then some. Let’s take a closer look at the K3 and see how it stacks up.
The OUKITEL K3 may be a budget phone but that shouldn’t immediately discount it from being a decent device for those who want a more entry-level phone. It does come with a 5.5-inch display which is plenty big in terms of size for whatever your needs on a smartphone may be, whether it be browsing the web, reading emails, reading books, playing games, or watching video. In addition to the display, the K3 has a rather large 6,080mAh battery which OUKITEL boasts can charge from depleted to full in just two hours and forty minutes.
Besides the battery, the other inside components are comprised of a MediaTek 6750T octa-core processor complete with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of internal storage space, which is also expandable with the use of a microSD card if 64GB isn’t quite enough. For the cameras, the K3 is using the same exact sensors on both the back and the front. This includes a 13-megapixel main sensor, as well as a 0.3-megapixel secondary sensor both interpolated to 16-megapixels and 2-megapixels respectively. It’s also equipped with dual SIM, a fingerprint sensor for unlocking the device and it comes running on Android 7.0 Nougat software out of the box.
In The Box
Typical of many white box brands the K3 comes with a few extras. Inside the box you’ll find the phone on top, then under it you will get a backup screen protector (there is one already applied to the display), an OTG cable, the charger, and a hard shell case which is also already on the phone. There’s no earbuds or any other extra accessories but you do get a few items which is nice.
Hardware & Design
With a beefy battery it’s likely not too surprising to find that the K3 comes with a sort of beefy design. Granted this isn’t the thickest phone you’ve probably ever seen, but it does have some nice weight to it. The design of the device is a closed case meaning you can’t remove the battery as OUKITEL has used a unibody design, which uses a metal frame, and what looks like glass on the back but it’s actually plastic so that should help with some durability in the event the phone gets dropped.
On the front of the device the dual cameras are on the right side in the top bezel, and on the bottom you’ll find the fingerprint sensor/home button, along with capacitive keys for the recents button and back button. On the left edge of the frame there are no buttons to speak of as you’ll find all of these on the right side, including the volume up and down and power buttons, as well as the SIM card tray where you’ll the dual SIM slots and the microSD card slot. On the bottom of the device you’ll find the micro USB charging port and a single speaker, and on the top you have a 3.5mm audio port. Overall it’s an ok looking device for a budget phone, but it doesn’t look as nice as some of the more expensive flagship devices from popular brands.
Budget phone usually tend to give off the impression that they won’t have decent performance, but that isn’t always the case, especially when you have a device that, despite having lower-cost hardware, still comes with decent specs. The K3 may be a budget phone but it still has 4GB of RAM and it still uses a decent processor with the MediaTek 6750T which is an octa-core CPU. Now this isn’t the first device to utilize these components so it’s not like the results of a performance tests would be anything new, but it is a new device that we haven’t used so we did still put it through its paces. This included running multiple apps at once in the background to see how it would handle multitasking, and it did this just fine even when we had YouTube running in the background. We also checked out how it would handle playing games, and while we didn’t test out a ton of different games we did pick one that was particularly demanding in the graphics department and to be quite honest the K3 was able to play it better than expected, with little lag or noticeable stuttering and not too much of a loss in the frame rate department. Overall the K3 won’t win any awards for best performing smartphone on the planet but it wasn’t too shabby either, and that’s a good thing for anyone who likes mobile gaming but doesn’t have a whole lot to spend on a new device.
The most noticeable thing about the display is of course, the size, but it’s also Full HD so the resolution is pretty good. While it might not be suitable for those who prefer the Quad HD standard at this point, there was nothing wrong with the display on the K3 in terms of resolution or quality that we could find. It has a decent sharpness to it so graphics for things like icons and other visual components look just fine. The colors are not the most accurate but they are not too far off, so when looking at games or pictures that have lots of different color contrasts you won’t find colors are too muted or too saturated.
There didn’t appear to be any issues with light bleed which is great as this can be an issue with less expensive. The screen responsiveness was also pretty good as I never really ran into any issues with the screen not recognizing my touch, which to be honest is the most important part as no matter how good the screen might look, it would all mean nothing if it had trouble with touch responsiveness. When it comes down to it this is a good display. There’s no issues with light bleed, no real issues with color, and no issues with touch response, so really it functions just as it should, and that’s a good thing.
This is one area where the phone is going to shine, and quite brightly I might add. With a battery capacity of 6,080mAh, the K3 is no slouch in the battery department and while it might be a bit of a heavy phone, not to mention a big phone that has a pretty decent sized footprint, that battery is going to last you for quite some time before you end up needing to charge it back up again, and once it does need a charge it’ll only take two hours and forty minutes to get to a full charge from zero percent. During our use of the device we were able to use the phone for about two days before needing to put it back on the charger. Mind you this isn’t screen on time, this was using it throughout the day with plenty of time in between browsing social feeds and the occasional game where the screen was asleep. Still, a couple of days is great compared to the 5 or so hours I get on my Google Pixel these days with the same kind of use habits. For screen on time, the K3 was impressive as well, lasting for about 14 hours which is really quite good. This means if you play a lot of games or just generally use the phone with the screen on a lot, or watch videos continuously, say, on plane rides, then you should have no issues with battery life here.
Phone Calls & Network
Unlike the last couple of phones we reviewed from Chinese white box brands he OUKITEL K3 is a 4G device, meaning it will support 4G LTE networks as well as 3G and 2G, though it’s worth keeping in mind that this is still a phone which doesn’t support 4G LTE in the U.S. so we not only couldn’t test its call quality, but it wouldn’t be a suitable device for someone to use as a daily driver within the country. It would however, work as a device which could be used for traveling in other regions. If you’re interested in knowing what the supported network frequencies are you can find them down below.
4G LTE: 2100/800/1800/2600/900
As far as fingerprint sensors go, the sensor used on the K3 is pretty darn accurate. It only have ever had one hiccup in recognizing my thumb print, which is really good, though it’s also worth noting that many smartphones are coming with fingerprint sensors these days and fingerprint sensors are getting a lot better even on these lower-cost phones. That said, the fingerprint sensor on this phone is so slow to unlock I couldn’t use it. It was simply quicker to hit the power button and enter my PIN, which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the fingerprint sensor in the first place as it’s supposed to be a faster method of unlocking the phone. Unfortunately that isn’t the case here and it feels like it takes a couple of seconds for the phone’s display to wake from a sleep state, which in many cases could be much too long for most users. It’s good that it works and works well, but it needs to be faster.
With just a single speaker the K3 isn’t anything to write home about but it gets the job done. It’s plenty loud when it needs to be and it doesn’t sound too muffled our tinny, at least most of the time. The audio does end up sounding a little lower quality when you turn the volume up towards the maximum level which is something I tend to do when playing games or watching videos on YouTube, so unfortunately it was more noticeable to me. There are some users who may not care so much though for numerous reasons, whether it be due to the fact that they simply don’t turn the volume up very high or because they tend to plug in headphones or connect the phone up to a speaker when they want better quality and louder sound. The short of it is that the OUKITEL K3 has ok sound quality but it won’t be beating out many other devices.
We’ve already established that the K3 would do well with performance despite it being a more entry-level phone with lower specs, but that doesn’t always come forth in the benchmarks. That said the benchmark tests are really only there to serve as a means of showing you what you may be able to expect from real-world performance. If you’re interested in seeing the results of those benchmarks you can see the screenshots from each test in the gallery down below, as we ran it through AnTuTu, Geekbench 4, and 3DMark for the graphics.
On the software side of things the K3 is as basic as it gets. There are pretty much no extra features to speak of that you won’t find on any other device which has a user interface which is based on AOSP as the K3 is. Not even gestures to wake the display and launch certain apps or shortcuts, which is a surprise as many Chinese devices do have gestures even if they’re the only extra feature the device comes with. Here, OUKITEL has used what looks like a completely stock AOSP UI build, with nothing extra except a feature called Hotknot, which is basically just for allowing the user to exchange data between phones when it touches another device, similar to how you would NFC to swap data back and forth. Besides this one feature, everything else looks and feels just like any other AOSP-based phone, which could be both good and bad for the user as it means a simpler user experience if they’re used to devices like this, but it also means no additional functionality, which is kind of a shame. The phone does run on Android Nougat though, which does mean better doze mode features for improved battery life and it has Google Assistant which is always a plus.
The camera on the K3 felt hit or miss, as there are a few nice features but nothing too extraordinary that would make it stand out from other devices in its category, or any category for that matter. Truth be told the camera features are pretty minimal which isn’t the worst thing in the world as many users will simply want good quality images, and while the K3 isn’t going to be the best-rated smartphone camera out there it does put out a decent image for its price range and there’s something to be said for that.
The images do come out looking like the reproduce color pretty accurately and details are fairly sharp without too much loss due to noise. It does ok in lower-light situations but the camera is definitely at its best when there is plenty of light. There are a few different modes to use, which include the standard photo mode, the beauty mode, the panorama mode, and the SLR mode which essentially gives you a blurred/bokeh effect on your images, as well as video capture mode for recording video. You have an HDR button for the standard photo mode if you want more color contrast in images, and you can also add different color effects to your photos before you take them, such as sepia, mono, negative and more. For the most part that’s pretty much it, so the camera should suffice for those who aren’t looking to their phone to have the best camera and the most functionality.
Really long battery life
Full HD resolution
3.5mm audio port
Decent build quality
Camera could be better
Really basic UI with no extra features
No USB Type-C
Sound quality wasn’t great
Once again OUKITEL has launched another phone that while not too different from many of the others it offers, still has some stuff going for it. Most notably is the battery which comes in at a staggering 6,080mAh to help prevent from having to charge the device too often. It’s also dual cameras on both the front and back, so while it may not have the best cameras on the market it does provide you with some better features than some other phones in this price range. At around $150, the OUKITEL K3 is an ok phone that will do just fine for anyone who just wants a phone that works and offers some decent features, but doesn’t need the best of the best
Should you buy the OUKITEL K3?
If you live in the U.S., no, not unless you plan to use this as a Wi-Fi only device or as a phone for travel. If you live outside of the U.S., and if the network frequencies are supported for your country, then it would be a pretty decent phone especially for the cost. With a big screen and a massive battery the K3 is a great option for those who value battery life over other features.