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.
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:[komper pid=90,91 compareform=no]
Newman K2 Unboxing and hands on video
Newman K2 Review
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.
Our white review model features a diamond pattern on the face of the phone.
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.
Taking a look around the Newman K2 we can see that the micro USB and 3.5mm headphone jack are located in the top.
A power/lockscreen button is on the right side of the phone. Volume rocker high up on the left.
And small microphone and small gap to remove the rear shell can be found on the bottom.
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.
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.
The 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.
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.
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.
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.
Vellamo scores are 1289 in HTML 5 and 528 in Metal.
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.
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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.
The K2 needs a lot of light to take a good photo. Sunny days produced pretty good images.
As light is taken away the photos become a lot noisier and grainy.
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.
In lower light, or inside with artificial light the process isn’t quite as simple or rewarding.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
WIFI worked well and was fast, Bluetooth fine. GPS is the same as usual, run this GPS fix and it will be fine.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!