Konka R2 Review: Not-so-good Good Old Days

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If you are wondering why this Konka R2 review is qualified with the “good old days” phrase, just pause for a moment and take a look at the branding on the box in the photo below. What does it remind you of? Does it ring any bell?

Konka R2 review - the box

I remember that moment when I first set eyes on it at the Ntel office. My first impression of the name was “Nokia”. For a second, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me. And it wasn’t just me; almost everyone else who came in contact with it for the first time mis-read the name as well. Whose fault is that?

Konka; Nokia. Gorrit? If it doesn’t strike you that way, don’t worry about it. It isn’t important. In case you missed all the earlier goodies, here are the full Konka R2 specificationsKonka R2 photos and first impressions, as well as Konka R2 performance tests. And on we go to the Konka R2 review proper.

Konka R2 review: logo on the back

PS: I have affixed a rating to each feature category in this review. All ratings reflect the standing of the device in its category and not how it stands against every smartphone out there.

Konka R2 Review: Design

Konka R2 review: top

I am not a huge fan of squarish looking gadgets. As such, the subtly curved edges of the Konka R2 plays just nicely to my fancy. The body presents a grey, faux metallic-rim around the screen. The colour makes it seem like it has a metal body, but don’t get it wrong; it is plastic all round. But plastic with some finesse. Again, this reminds me of the Nokia devices back in those days. The rear cover is textured, which I think was a good design consideration so it isn’t slippery (unlike some slippery snakes we know of). We have seen some really slippery phones here, trust me. Rating: 7/10

Konka R2 Review: Screen And Multimedia

The Konka R2 isn’t a high end smartphone. Neither is it in the budget range. It sits somewhere in the mid-range class. I think the screen quality is just fine for its class. I have seen some more expensive devices with lower quality screens. The colours come out beautifully too. However, one needs to crank up the brightness well above 50% to be able to work under direct sunlight.

The Konka R2 does just fine in the multimedia department. There is nothing special to see or experience here. Neither audio nor video is bad, but neither is outstanding either. Rating: 7/10

Konka R2 Review: Battery Performance

Konka R2 Review bottom

Surprisingly, the Konka R2 holds well with battery usage. For a device that runs 4G LTE network service, I’m impressed. One of the fears I had when considering it for my primary device was the battery life. So far, I haven’t been disappointed. Squeezing out its juice with work while hotspotting, a full battery charge typically takes me from 5 am till 12 noon. That may seem like a short time but consider that the device is being used as a hotspot and it is pegged to 4G. Not so bad, if you ask me.

But then comes the annoying question, Why does it take forever to charge up? Why didn’t the manufacturers infuse Fast Charging into the device? Honestly, any OEM designing for the Nigerian market should consider this feature seriously. The Konka R2 unfortunately takes eternity to charge to its full capacity and this can be absolutely frustrating especially if you are always on the go like I am. Rating: 6.5/10

Konka R2 Review: Network Reception

This is a huge sour point for the Konka R2. I am lost for words as to how to express my disappointment. Right from the first day of use, the Konka R2 hasn’t displayed any special abilities in finding the Ntel 4G LTE network. During the course of this Konka R2 Review, we observed this in several locations within Lagos and Abuja. For the areas with great coverage, the reception was good. However, when in areas with not-so-great coverage, one would expect the Konka R2 to hold up. Alas, other devices beat the Konka to this. Sad, innit? Rating: 4/10

Konka R2 Review: Perfomance

The Konka R2 is equipped with a 5.5-inch screen, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal memory and a Quad-core Cortex processor clocked at 1.3 GHz. In everyday use, it doesn’t seem to lag behind in the performance department. I recently switched from using a similar range device and I don’t feel like anything is missing in the performance department. Here are the benchmark test results that we got off it:

  • AnTuTu: 32,477
  • Geekbench 3: 420 Single-Core: 1,191 Multi-Core
  • Quadrant: 11,996

Not bad. Rating: 8/10

Konka R2 Review: Photography

Konka R2 Review - camera

The back camera comes with a 13 megapixel label, but I must say that the pictures it churns out are no where near the kind of quality you would expect from a 13 megapixel camera. We know that megapixels are not everything, but pictures from the Konka R2 camera do not reflect the level of details you would expect from that specification. The selfie camera is an 8 megapixel unit. It produces good selfies in natural light, but falls behind in poor lighting. I will publish some photos comparison in a subsequent post. My rating for photography: 4/10

Konka R2 Review: Conclusion

Konka R2 review on desk-min

The R2 disappoints on many levels. One could argue that at it’s price range I shouldn’t expect any better from the Konka R2, I have seen and used other devices within the same price range and gotten a better deal.

The Konka R2 is a good device for those who need a 4G LTE work smartphone, especially where there is good network coverage. It holds its ground well in terms of performance and getting things done. It has no software glitches that I can tell of. Should you need a device for both work and entertainment, you might want to look elsewhere.

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