Leagoo S8 Review: not-another typical Galaxy S8 clone

It’s the era of dual camera, full-display, 18:9 smartphones guys and the Chinese industry is full of them, I’m sure you have figured it out by now. Leagoo is no stranger to us, we have been reviewing their smartphones for years now, but this specific model is one of their largest bets in the market. It’s called Leagoo S8 and obviously it’s being sold as a typical Galaxy S8 clone with a very affordable price, decent specs and a typical 18:9 full display design.

leagoo s8

It’s not a phone that made me lose my sleep over its performance, nor a device that I will remember for years to come. Leagoo however aims high with this model and I believe that it can give them the momentum they need in the low-end/mid-range segment of the market. 

At this point, you all know that this year’s fashion is the non-beveled screens. This trend, inaugurated by the LG G6 and Galaxy S8, has been unequally tracked among smartphone manufacturers. But in China, where this market is clearly booming, they have been delighted by the idea and have thrown themselves into it. Leagoo was one of the first to dive in and they recently launched their own “S8” model, packing a 5.7-inch with 18:9 aspect ratio, offering quite adequate performance, running on Android 7.0 Nougat, along with an MT6750T chipset, 3GB of RAM and quad cameras (two on each side). It’s available at an affordable price – when compared to its specs- and can easily become one decent alternative for all of you out there who wish to delve into the competitive market with out risking too much money. Let’s take a close look at its features and functions.

Leagoo S8 – Technical specifications

  • Display: 5.72” HD+ IPS, 1440 x 720 Pixels, 282ppi
  • CPU: MT6750T Octa Core, Frequency: 1.5GHz
  • 28nm technology
  • System: Android 7.0
  • RAM + ROM: 3GB RAM + 32GB ROM
  • Camera: 8.0MP + 2.0MP front camera (OV8856) + 13.0MP +2MP back camera (SONY:IMX258)
  • Sensor: Accelerometer, Ambient Light Sensor, Gravity Sensor, Proximity Sensor
  • SIM Card: dual SIM dual standby. 1 Micro SIM card + 1 Nano SIM card
  • Feature: GPS, A-GPS
  • Charger:  USB 5V/2.0A
  • Network: 2G: GSM 850/900/1800/1900MHz – 3G: WCDMA 850/900/2100MHz – 4G: FDD-LTE 800/850/900/2100/2600MHz TDD-LTE B40

Leagoo S8 review: Design and general appearance

The overall design of the phone is quite attractive. It comes with a dual-curved back panel that fits well on the metal framed with a CNC crafting. Thanks to them the device fits greatly into the hand and provides a comfortable grip. As it happens with most phones with “glossy” back, the device is a pure fingerprint “magnet”, attracting a lot of unnecessary smudges, so you may end up polishing it with… your clothes all day 🙂

If first impressions matter the most, then the Leagoo S8 made a… typical one. The device’s display is made by Sharp but… it seems yellowish if you look at it from certain angles. It’s size is 5.7-inches and it offers a typical HD+ resolution (1440 x 720 pixels) for the average user, but seems smaller even than a 5.2-inch. The main reason for this is the width of the screen that has remained unchanged, and only the length has increased. The advantage is that without sacrificing grip handling experience, the display area is now bigger, fitting for one hand operation. The contrast ratio is 1500:1, while the phone comes with a 282 ppi pixel density.

Leagoo aims at the low-mid segment of the market with this phone, yet they still provided it with 153.5 × 70.7 × 9.1 mm dimensions that lead to an impressive usability index. On the front there’s a dual selfie camera and 3 soft keys (no home button), on the back side, it has another dual camera setup, LED flash light and a quite snappy fingerprint sensor. It can unlock the phone in less than 0.1 second with almost 97% success rate. It can basically store up to 5 different fingerprints and can recognize them all from 360 degrees, something that’s a standard nowadays. 

I have to say it again: the colors of the display may seem rather washed, but the images are decent (given its low resolution for such a display size), with good viewing angles and a fully responsive panel if I may add. All in all it’s a decent display – the kind you’d expect from a smartphone on this price range. 

Leagoo S8 main features

  • Android 7.0 Nougat OS
  • Fingerprint Id sensor lock with 360-degree readability
  • 4G/VoLTE network (LTE Cat 6 Protocol).
  • Quad Camera. Dual Camera on both sides
  • 1440 x 720 HD+ display
  • Fill display with just 1.8mm thin Bezel.
  • 5V2A Quick Charge (micro-USB connector)

Hardware & Performance

When it comes to hardware, the device comes equipped with a MediaTek MT6750T SoC, that specifically runs at 1.5 GHz (4 ARM Cortex-A53 cores), while 4 more of the same cores run at a lower speed (1GHz). The integrated graphics card (Mali T860MP) runs at 650MHz, but the total 3GB of RAM and the 32GB storage capacity combine to offer a decent performance for a phone that costs just 125,99$. Oh, you’ll be happy to know that the phone’s storage memory can be expanded by an additional microSD card to a further 128GB.

According to my tests, the available RAM seems plenty enough for you to run all your day to day apps smoothly, and the gaming performance is decent if you play games like Asphalt 8 on medium graphics. Still, you should expect some skipped frames but no significant lag during app usage. One thing you might face however is some lags with the default launcher and the fluidity of the animations that Leagoo has chosen, meaning that it’s a software related issue. If you use another launcher however, the performance of the device is much smoother.

Gizchina News of the week

To confirm our deductions, do have a look at the benchmark results of the device as they appear above, showing the Leagoo S8 scoring 41865 points in AnTuTu. 

The Leagoo S8 comes with dual-4G connectivity due to the chip that integrates a Cat. 6 LTE radio modem (FDD/TDD, DC-HSPA+, TD-SCDMA, CDMA2000, EDGE) with both 802.11n WiFi and Bluetooth. On the modem side, the MT6750T covers the worldwide 4G spectrum and enables advanced 4G LTE Cat-6 (LTE FDD/TDD R11) features with 2x Carrier Aggregation, along with capability for VoLTE, ViLTE, VoWiFi, RCS Fast data transfers.

One of its plus features is the performance of its GPS/A-GPS receiver, and this is where the device really shines. It can connect to more than 11-12 of the available satellites every time, offering impressive geo-location performance, while navigating with Google Maps, or checking in using Facebook and other apps. 

Leagoo S8 is a 4G/LTE smartphone with good performance when it comes to LTE networks, achieving average data speeds of 45-55Mbps that surely offer a decent feeling when you use it, along with great performance in everyday use. It has good GSM/WCDMA/LTE signal reception with flawless handovers and no dropped calls – during my tests that is.

Camera performance

No, nothing to see here guys. Despite what some of you might expect from a camera smartphone, its imaging features are really good for the amateur user or someone who likes taking photos for social media sharing at the most. Note however that the Leagoo S8 is the world’s first 18:9 full-screen quad-camera handset. This basically means that there are dual-camera sensors on the back as well as on the front. The back carries a 13+2MP camera with a Sony lens and an aperture of f/2.0. They are placed vertically in the upper middle part of the phone. The flashlight is above them, while the fingerprint scanner with a square shape is below them.

not its best feature but it will do the job

It’s relatively easy to capture decent photos in daylight conditions, panoramic images with a helpful assistant that shows the way to do it correctly and the same goes for video capture. However when the sun goes down problems appear, such as VERY low ISO, increased digital noise in photos and reduced framerate in videos. 

The autofocus feature works OK, it’s fast and can take a shot in just 0.1 seconds. The front 8+2MP OV dual-camera comes with 4P lens, f/2.0 aperture and its own soft-flash that can be useful in low-light conditions. 

All of the above however are typical for this type of phones, and the final verdict is that using the Leagoo S8 you will be able to capture decent photos in daylight conditions but not that impressive photos during low light conditions.The LED flash works OK in close ups or distances up to 70-80cm but it won’t do you any good if your subject is a bit further. 

Have a look at our photo samples by clicking on the image below:

Battery consumption

The battery of the device offers a capacity of 2950 mAh which is just adequate for one day of intensive usage. The claimed approximation of battery life is 8 hours of video play, 20 hours of continuous calling, 36 hours of regular use and… 10 days standby. Obviously these are the times that Leagoo provides, so we can opt not to believe them. 

During our tests, the Leagoo S8 managed to get almost 18 hours of usage, until its battery reached 1% and… was put to sleep. What’s interesting though is its charging speed, that can bring this beauty from 0% to 100% in approximately 39 minutes which is really good I guess if you’re in a hurry and want to get some “juice” as quickly as possible. We all have the 5V2A Quick Charge compatibility of the device to thank for this, ok?

Conclusion – Our thoughts

nice design, affordable but… something is missing

Well… I cannot say that I was impressed by what I saw from this beautiful device from Leagoo. On one hand you get a pretty impressive looking Galaxy S8 clone, with good quality build, decent storage and typical everyday performance but… on the other hand there are things that could disappoint you. 

Take the UI for example. Leagoo has used their own launcher, theme, animations, turn off displays, and it doesn’t seem as “fluid” as one would expect from a phone with 3GB of RAM and a decent SoC. Sometimes the small lags will annoy you if you’re an experienced user or if you try to open more than 8-9 apps simultaneously.

The camera performance is typical for a Chinese smartphone in this price range, but the bokeh photos have room for improvement. The same goes for the HDR photos, Panorama shots and videos.

Equipped with 3GB RAM, 32GB of storage, Android Nougat, but an average chipset from Mediatek (MTK6750T), Leagoo S8 could be (possibly) what every amateur user is looking for. No need to spend a small salary to buy an expensive flagship if you’re into a typical everyday use. This could be a good alternative if you ask me, but there are better devices out there  – at the same price range – definitely.

You can get Leagoo S8 from most retailer shops at an average price of 125,99$ at the time this review was published.

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  1. Assefa Hanson
    December 4, 2017

    I always liked leagoo they have potential

  2. Assefa Hanson
    December 5, 2017

    I always liked leagoo they have potential

  3. MBison
    December 5, 2017

    Great review. Maybe next time you can include some information about weight, how it feels in the pocket and how it feels when using it one handed.

  4. fido futte
    December 5, 2017

    Got the Leagoo S8 , and it is an OK buget phone with good Sony camera- not bad, but very standard phone , but not as smooth as Bluboo S8- maybe because of the Leagoo launcher

  5. MBison
    December 5, 2017

    Great review. Maybe next time you can include some information about weight, how it feels in the pocket and how it feels when using it one handed.

  6. fido futte
    December 5, 2017

    Got the Leagoo S8 , and it is an OK buget phone with good Sony camera- not bad, but very standard phone , but not as smooth as Bluboo S8- maybe because of the Leagoo launcher

  7. Shad8x .
    December 5, 2017

    Great review. I love the writing on the back of it: “stylish mobile phone”.

  8. Shad8x .
    December 5, 2017

    Great review. I love the writing on the back of it: “stylish mobile phone”.

  9. Ayodeji Oweme Abimbola
    March 22, 2018

    Please could you recommend a better phone in the price range?