Koolnee K1 Specifications and Price
Another brand jumps into the Chinese smartphone market. With an Samsung Galaxy S8 inspired smartphone at a budget price. The first thing I said when I heard the news was: Just what we needed. Another one. But there was something different here. Something that I started to notice was the fact Koolnee is not trying to hide the edges of their Koolnee K1 in their advertisement. Something I’ve seen a lot of other budget brands do, do disguise the fact their phone isn’t entirely bezelless. Now let’s explore the Koolnee K1’s specifications and look at its price. Is this the ultimate budget S8 alternative? Is it worth buying?
DESIGN AND SCREEN
Like stated before, it’s obvious where the design of the Koolnee K1 is inspired on. A quick look makes it clear they had Samsungs S8 in mind, and that’s okay. In fact, if you like that design but don’t want to spend over 800 euro on a smartphone, the design of the Koolnee K1 looks very satisfying. The overall building quality is actually quite decent. Screen and body fit perfectly and the backcover looks premium. It has a light-breaking coating that gives a stunning effects under changing light. Now the screen: it’s a full HD 6 inch screen. Not bad for a budget device. And it’s the next best thing to curved. The screen reaches the edge completely and the glass is curved. In fact: The Koolnee K1 has the best curved effect of all the S8 inspired phones I’ve seen so far.
The Koolnee K1 is not a powerhouse. But since the competition is using the same chipset that’s alright. The K1 runs on the MTK6750-T octa core processor. Clocked on 1.5 GHz one can say it’s a decent midrange chipset. Apps run relatively smooth. Most jobs you trow at the K1 it will handle well. The fact that there’s 4GB of RAM onboard makes multitasking childsplay. The graphics are supported ny the ARM Mali T860 chipset.
This means some games will run smoother if you set the graphics to medium. No biggie considering the price of the K1, but I would’ve prefered the T880 here.
SOFTWARE AND STORAGE
The Koolnee K1 will not let you run out of storage anytime soon. It packs 64GB internal storage and it also offers the possibility to extend this with an SD Card (up to a 128GB max.). The interface of the K1 is close to stock Android 7.1 Nougat and there even are OTA updates and patches. In all fairness, I do not expect it to get an Oreo upgrade.
The camera’s on the Koolnee K1 are on par with most 2018 budgetphones. It has a 16 megapixel main camera on the back accompanied by a 2 mp secondary camera. Now what it is that this second camera does exactly is not really clear to me. But the bokeh effect is definitely software generated so that can’t be it. However the shots taken with the main 16 mp camera are decent. The pictures have a good colour reproduction but the dynamic range could be better. The lowlight quality is not the best out there. But I’m sure a software update in the future could improve the camera. Now the frontcamera according to Koolnee is an 8 mp sensor. Looking at the pictures I honestly think its a interpolated 5 mp sensor though. Again, keeping the price in mind it is sufficient to make pictures and videos for social media.
The Koolnee K1 sports a 3190 mAh battery, that is charged to a standard micro-USB connection. Ofcourse we would’ve prefered a USB-C here. On paper 3190 mAh is not bad and should be able to get you through (most of) the day. However, I suspect a lot of energy goes to that gorgeous screen since the battery life is not that impressive. And that wouldn’t be a hassle if the K1 would support fast-charging. Unfortunatly that is not the case, and it takes about 3 hours to fully charge the K1 from 0 to 100%.
PRO’s AND CON’s
Now to sum it up, the pro’s of the Koolnee K1 are:
- FHD Resolution
- Great looking, very responsive edge-to-edge screen
- Responsive fingerprint scanner
- decent main camera
Now to the con’s
- Software optimalisation : Apps take slightly longer to load than on other devices running the same chip
- mediocre front camera
- the lack of fast charging technology that makes it take 3 hours to charge this phone
As a debute device the Koolnee K1 certainly doesn’t dissapoint. On the other hand, it doesn’t blow you away either. If design is important to you then you’re going to love the K1. It’s a gorgeous looking smartphone that without any doubt, is the most bezel-less of all the S8 inspired devices out there. In fact I dare to say this is the closest to an actual curved screen I have seen so far. Now there might be better phones out there for the price, but will there be prettier phones amongst them? I doubt it. I give the Koolnee K1 8 points out of 10. Great job Koolnee!
I have seen the Koolnee K1 costing between 139 qnd 169 euro depending on the seller. As I understood most stores are re-stocking the K1 at the moment since they sold a lot of the first batch. However since the restocking means you have to wait a little longer for your order to arrive. This also means you can get the device at a lower price! My friends at Banggood offer the Koolnee K1 for 139.- euro instead of 155.- euro now.