Newman K2 Review

newman k2 review
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The Newman K2 will go on sale later this month but we have been testing a sample of the new phone ahead of release! Read the full Newman K2 review here.

Newman K2 Specification

Newman will launch 2 versions of the Newman K2 later this month. Both will feature a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, quad-core 1.5Ghz MT6589T processor, 13 mega-pixel rear camera, 5 mega-pixel front camera 3000mAh battery and run Android 4.2.1.

DSC 0050 Newman K2 Review

As is the fashion now for Chinese phones both a Basic version and Advanced model will be available. The Basic model (the version we have for review) features 1GB RAM and 16GB memory and the Advanced 2GB RAM and 32GB memory.

Full Newman K2 specifications below:

Newman K2 Basic

Newman K2 Advanced

General
ManufacturerNewmanNewman
ModelK2 BasicK2 Basic
Release DateJuly 2013July 2013
Display
Size5.5-inch5.5-inch
ResolutionFHD 1920 x 1080FHD 1920 x 1080
ProtectionLaminatedLaminated
OtherOGSOGS
Features
OSAndroid 4.2 Jelly BeanAndroid 4.2 Jelly Bean
ChipsetMediatek MT6589TMediatek MT6589T
CPU1.5Ghz quad-core MT6589T1.5Ghz quad-core MT6589T
GPUPower VR SGX544MP 357mhzPower VR SGX544MP 357mhz
RAM1GB2GB
Battery3000mAh3000mAh
Other
Cameras
Rear camera13 mega-pixel13 mega-pixel
FeaturesF/2.2 ApertureF/2.2 Aperture
Video1080p1080p
Front camera5 mega-pixel5 mega-pixel
Memory
Internal16GB32GB
SD cardYes, 64GBYes, 64GB
Network support
Dual-simYesYes
WCDMA
GSM
Body
Dimensions (mm)153 x 78 x 9.8mm153 x 78 x 9.8mm
Weight (g)
ColoursWhite, BlackWhite, Black
Purchase info
Review URL
PriceTBATBA
Where to buy

Newman K2 Unboxing and hands on video

Newman K2 Review

Design

The Newman K2’s styling is a mix bag. From one side you can see that this is still very much a Samsung inspired handset, and quite a thick unit, but Newman have given the phone a larger than average display and narrower (but not the narrowest) bezels to keep the over all size down.

DSC 0647 Newman K2 Review

Our white review model features a diamond pattern on the face of the phone.

DSC 0628 Newman K2 Review

The rear is your standard white plastic removable shell with spaces for the 13 mega-pixel rear camera, LED flash and rear speaker. There are no CE marks on this phone, and the actual finish if the rear isn’t up to the same standards as say the Neo N003, but it is a pre production sample.

DSC 0629 Newman K2 Review

Taking a look around the Newman K2 we can see that the micro USB and 3.5mm headphone jack are located in the top.

DSC 0626 Newman K2 Review

A power/lockscreen button is on the right side of the phone. Volume rocker high up on the left.

DSC 0625 Newman K2 Review

And small microphone and small gap to remove the rear shell can be found on the bottom.

DSC 0624 Newman K2 Review

The layout is similar to most Chinese Android phones and it works well. The physical controls are easy to reach and although the K2 has a larger screen than the Neo N003 there is very little difference in width and the phone feels comfortable to hold.

DSC 0632 Newman K2 Review

One handed operation isn’t quite as easy on the Newman as a smaller phone. It isn’t impossible, but the thick body can make operation a little tricky. If you have large hands then you shouldn’t find the size an issue.

DSC 0640 Newman K2 Review

DSC 0641 Newman K2 ReviewThe chin of the K2 where the capacitive buttons make their home. Non of the buttons have markings, but they do light up when you press them. Speaking of the backlit buttons, the light does leak from around the icons and the LED notification light also suffers from leakage.

Newman K2 display

The display on the K2 is a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 unit. The viewing angles, and clarity are spot on and I don’t notice any difference between the panel used on the K2 or a 5-inch 1080 phone.

DSC 0645 Newman K2 Review

That’s to say I don’t see any benefit of the larger display. There will be those of you out their who will say you can see a world of difference between 5-inch and 5.5-inch, and then there will be people like me who would be just as happy with either.

DSC 0635 Newman K2 Review

Brightness is great and the K2 can be used in almost any condition, but bright sunny days are the enemy of glossy screens and no matter the output of the panel you can’t really compete with the sun.

Newman K2 Performance

The specification of the Newman K2 is almost the same as the Neo N003, 1.5Ghz CPU 1GB RAM etc the only real difference is the size of the display.

Screenshot 2013 09 10 12 54 25 Newman K2 Review

Running Antutu we expected the Newman K2 to reach a similar score to the N003 and we weren’t all that surprised when it got a score of 13,026 which is a little less than the N003 which scored 13,323.

Screenshot 2013 09 10 11 56 23 Newman K2 Review

Vellamo scores are 1289 in HTML 5 and 528 in Metal.

Screenshot 2013 09 10 11 45 07 Newman K2 Review

Nenamark 2 was ran on the K2 a number of times. The lowest the phone scored was 24.5, but the average was 33.8fps which is a little lower than the N003.

In our original hands on video of the Newman K2 we noticed a similar lag on the home screen which we had found on the N003. On the N003 installing a different launcher solved the issue, his wasn’t needed on the K2 though. After a restart and the lag was present again and we have been unable to replicate the issue.

Gaming on the K2 gives a the same performance as the N003. Games run well but the special effects such as water splashes, light reflections etc just seem to run a little slower than we would like.

Again we would have to recommend the 2GB version of the K2. Not only will it give a little performance boost but the larger memory is great to have even though there is space for a SD card.

Newman K2 Camera

The rear camera on the K2 is a 13 mega-pixel unit, but it isn’t quite as good as the camera on similar phones.

IMG 20130910 104901 Newman K2 Review

The K2 needs a lot of light to take a good photo. Sunny days produced pretty good images.

IMG 20130910 104917 Newman K2 Review

As light is taken away the photos become a lot noisier and grainy.

IMG 20130903 104540 Newman K2 Review

On a day with good lighting you can use the K2 as you would any phone camera and be confident that the image it capture is useable. Focus is quite fast and in these conditions it’s just a matter of point and shoot.

IMG 20130910 105057 Newman K2 Review

In lower light, or inside with artificial light the process isn’t quite as simple or rewarding.

IMG 20130910 104804 Newman K2 Review

IMG 20130910 104812 Newman K2 Review

As you can from the samples above the indoor images taken from the same position and same conditions are a little hit and miss. Often photos end up dull with a greenish tint to them. If you were to just snap away at an indoor event with the K2 you will likely be disappointed with the results.

IMG 20130910 105005 Newman K2 Review

IMG 20130910 105008 Newman K2 Review

Take a little time though and you can get better results, but then again phones like the N003 and even Xiaomi Hongmi are much more capable with less user input.

Newman K2 Video sample

We tested the Newman N2 last year. That phone produced great photos but video was terrible due to the focus. We had the same issue with the UMi X2 and JiaYu G4, so would the Newman K2 be any better?

Unfortunately no! The K2 still hunts around for focus! Not quite as bad as the N2 but it is hardly great.

Battery Life

I tested the Newman under the same conditions as the Neo N003. WIFI on, GPS on, 3G on, emails pushed at a regular basis etc.

DSC 0639 Newman K2 Review

The end result is that the battery in the Newman K2 lasts just as well as the one in the Neo despite the larger display.

Having send that, I did find myself using the camera much less on the K2 due to the poor results which may have helped the Newman along a little, but I don’t believe it has made to much of a difference.

DSC 0638 Newman K2 Review

Like all the phones we have tested so far your milage will vary. If you are a gamer or watch a lot of video over 3G the K2 might need a top up towards the end of the day, but most users should get a day (or possibly) more.

Connectivity

WIFI worked well and was fast, Bluetooth fine. GPS is the same as usual, run this GPS fix and it will be fine.

DSC 0637 Newman K2 Review

Our sample kept showing “Invaild IMEI”, which we will put down to it being a sample, and we assume won’t be an issue for anyone who chooses to buy the K2 once it is in production.

Conclusion

Please keep in mind that this is a sample of a phone which is not yet available, so many of the issues we have mentioned may well be fixed once the retail version is on sale.

DSC 06241 Newman K2 Review

On paper the Neman K2 is a fantastic device. It offers a large 1080 display, up to 2GB RAM, 1.5Ghz quad-core processor, 5 mega-pixel front and 13 mega-pixel camera, and it’s not bigger than a 5-inch phone.

Performance is what we expected of a 1GB RAM phone, and the OS is smoother out of the box than it is on the Neo. The screen is great, although I would say a 5-inch panel is as equally good, and battery life is spot on.

DSC 0074 Newman K2 Review

What let’s the phone down though the rear camera and poor video capture performance. Newman has proven it can make a phone with decent rear camera so what happened this time?, the video issue is annoying as it appears they haven’t got on top of the issue although last year’s flagship phone had the same issue.

DSC 00681 Newman K2 Review

It’s hard for me to not compare the Newman K2 with the Neo N003 as they have the same hardware, both were released at similar times and I tested them back to back.

DSC 0065 Newman K2 Review

For me though the N003 is clear choice. Perhaps Newman need to take it back a notch and make a stellar 5-inch quad-core, 1080 phone before trying super-sizing things!

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Andi Sykes is the founder and editor of Gizchina.com. He is a huge technology and gadget fan with a soft spot for hacking devices to do what they were not intended for. Follow Me! Linkedin

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  • http://thanks chukumaru

    that a plus for me.

  • Harald

    I really don’t see a single reason to buy this phone. Bad looks, bad quality… overall this phone seems very dated, almost like from half a year ago.

  • Greg

    Thanks Andi : )

    I think Newman have done well to make their new device slightly narrower than the old Note 2, and I don’t think the K2 looks that bad. Unfortunately by the time it’s available from resellers in Europe I bet it would cost more than I’m willing to pay. I still haven’t taken the plunge on a Chinese phone yet in spite of being in the market for one since January of this year.

    For those wondering if a 5.5″ screen is too big for them, you need to think about your usage habits. Based on spending a few months using a Note 2 (before I broke the oh-so-expensive to replace screen), I quickly discovered how much I like to use a phone one-handed, especially for quick text messages and stuff. By the time I broke the Note 2 I was almost relieved! The larger screen size is great, especially for browsing and games, but overall I now know a device in the region of 65-70mm wide is my comfortable limit. I guess if you have bigger hands or your lifestyle means you can always use a device two-handed, go for a large screen :)

  • http://www.malleshop.com louis450

    newman k2 is very good,i want to know this phone if support NFC?

    • http://yash3339@gmail.com yash3339

      Nope!

  • Jan Komos

    HI Andy, thanks for great review. I was struggling which one to choose, either Newman or NEO. I decided for NEO and I do not regret. After reading your reviews of both these phones I am very happy I chose NEO. Well done Andy, keep going with the reviews.