Featuring a slim, premium design, the Konka R8A is a budget smartphone that looks a lot more expensive than it actually is.
Like all Konka's smartphones, the Konka R8A is an affordably-priced handset suitable for folks who don't need bleeding-edge features such as professional-grade cameras or AI-powered processors. However, unlike many of its competitors, it's been styled to look a million bucks, despite its low-bucks price.
Looks a lot more expensive than it actually is.
Android 7.0 is a robust and feature-packed operating system.
There's no denying it: the Konka R8A looks incredibly slick for a budget smartphone. Not only does the 5-inch IPS screen stretch from edge to edge with no wasted space given over to bezels, the phone itself is just a svelte 7.7mm thick and weighs only 135g. This makes it considerably lighter and slimmer than your average budget handset. Smooth corners and a metallic finish round out the design, producing a look typically reserved for handsets of a much higher price range.
Beyond the sleek design, the R8A delivers on all the standard features expected of a modern budget smartphone. Screen resolution measures in at 1280 x 720 pixels which, although not Full HD, is adequate for a phone at this price point. There is 16GB of internal storage to play with, and you can expand this by as much as 128GB with a microSD card.
If you like to use your phone as a portable media device, the Konka R8A defies current trends by continuing to include a 3.5mm headphone jack as well as support for wireless headphones via Bluetooth 4.0. It also has an FM radio tuner built in for users who prefer the airwaves to the World Wide Web. For those who don't, support for 4G connectivity as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n networks should provide sufficient entertainment.
Konka's decision to ship the R8A with the Android 7.0 "Nougat" operating system ensures that the phone has plenty of software features. In addition to supporting millions of apps available from the Google Play store, Android 7.0 introduces key features such as the ability to open two apps on the same screen and run them side-by-side, as well as the means to interact with notifications without having to open up their associated apps. The only downside is that Konka has yet to release any updates to later versions of Android for the R8A, so you'll have to stick with Android 7.0 for the time being.
Average camera specs for a budget smartphone, but still sufficient for basic photography.
Beauty mode could be a selling point for selfie lovers.
If style is a driving factor in your smartphone purchase, odds are you'll also want a decent camera for snapping photos while you're out and about. On paper, that's exactly what you'll get with the R8A, as Konka has equipped it with an 8-megapixel (MP) camera at the back and a 5MP camera around the front. Standard specs for a budget smartphone in 2018, but capable enough to produce clear photos under the right conditions.
The phone comes with a few different shooting modes: for selfie lovers, there's a "Beauty" mode that applies facial enhancements on the fly; for overly bright or underlit scenes, there's an HDR mode that adjusts light levels accordingly; and for intrepid explorers, there's a panorama mode that allows you to take wide-angle shots by sweeping your phone from side to side.
The MediaTek MT6737 is a capable budget processor.
1GB of RAM can be a significant bottleneck for many applications.
Given the focus on style, it's a pleasant surprise that the Konka R8A doesn't neglect performance by packing in the solid MediaTek MT6737 quad-core processor. Clocked at 1.25GHz, the low-power chip is a popular component of many budget smartphones, and has proven itself capable of handling basic tasks such as browsing the web and running standard apps without issue. The only catch here is that the R8A comes with just 1GB of RAM, which limits its capacity to multi-task, or run complex apps and 3D games.
The 2,200mAh battery is on the smaller side for these specs.
A full day of battery should be feasible under light use.
As attractive as the R8A's slim design might be, it comes at a slight cost to battery capacity. Most competing budget smartphones of similar specs include 2,400mAh battery power or more, whereas the R8A's battery weighs in at 2,200mAh. That might not seem like a huge difference, but for a power-efficient handset, 200mAh can translate to as much as an hour of battery life.
Konka doesn't provide battery life estimates for the R8A, but we can get a good idea of how long it should last based on other budget handsets with similar specs. The LG K8, for instance, is capable of delivering all-day battery life with its 2,500mAh battery, so it isn't unreasonable to expect the R8A to survive a full day under light use. If you're making lots of calls and watching videos, obviously you'll chew through more battery power than if you're mainly just texting.
Pricing and availability
Premium style on a budget
If you're after an affordable smartphone that doesn't look cheap, the Konka R8A has you covered.
Matt Sayer is a writer for Finder, covering all things technology and telecommunications. Along with reporting on events like CES and Mobile World Congress, he has produced comprehensive guides for popular products like smart speakers and graphics cards. He has a Bachelor of Computer Science from RMIT University and is passionate about helping Aussies leverage technology to better their lives.
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