I’ve been wanting to get my hands on the Oukitel K10000 for a long time now, ever since it was announced a year or so ago.
After all, how many phones pack a massive 10 000mAh battery? That puts it in “power bank with a phone attached to it” territory.
Then we saw the K10000 Pro being released (available for US$180 via Gearbest), featuring a camera bump and spec upgrade. But otherwise, the headline-grabbing battery size still remained. Of course, with such a massive battery, it’s difficult to make a smartphone with a svelte body…
Unbox the K10000 Pro and you’ve got a really thick smartphone, giving the ungainly Samsung K Zoom a run for its money. Oh yeah, speaking of “unbox”, the packaging is pretty spiffy, including a case, USB OTG cable, charger/cable and leather case of sorts.
In any event, the K10000 Pro looks like the smartphone version of a Transformer, packing a silver strip at the bottom, a welcome faux leather back and a garish silver camera housing complete with fingerprint scanner and four screws around it.
As for input and ports, you’ve got a speaker grille and microUSB port at the bottom, earphone jack at the top, SIM/microSD bay on the left and volume/power keys on the right. Our biggest complaint in this department is that the microUSB port’s recessed nature means you’ll need the longer-than-usual microUSB cable included in the box. Lost the cable? Good luck.
Pick the phone up and you’ll instantly feel its weight. This is one hefty device and, while I didn’t need to switch hands or use both hands every few minutes, I can imagine hand fatigue will be a thing.
You’ll also want relatively large pockets for this phone, although I was able to squeeze it into a slim-fitting pair of jeans. Skinny jeans fans will want to probably get a bag for this.
Let’s get to the main selling point, the battery life. On paper, you’re looking at a smartphone that could last a week, but in practice, three or four days will be the norm.
Streaming video on the likes of YouTube and Netflix is a real joy, as you can enjoy a full day of doing this pretty easily. That’s not to say you won’t notice the drain, but expect a 20-30% drain rather than a dead phone come bed time.
Standby time is pretty fantastic too, as I found out during a recent holiday. I used the phone in flight mode during the two long haul flights (so, roughly 24 hours of travel time) before dropping it in my bag. After four days, I checked the phone, and it still had about 50-60% juice.
I then used the evening to download offline maps and a few apps in preparation for the next day. After a pleasant night’s sleep, I used the K10000 Pro for in-car/on-foot navigation and tourist information all day (pretty much from 8am until 8pm). The result? Well, we ended up at the next city with 20% juice left. Most phones would’ve been dead before the evening, or required battery saving modes to keep functioning. Oukitel’s phone, already at the halfway mark at the start of the day, still had enough juice for at least the next morning.
In saying so, I do feel like those expecting a full week of heavy usage will be disappointed. Stream video, browse the web and check emails and you’ll have enough juice to last between three and four days, I reckon. But you’ll need to manage settings if you want to make it last for a full seven day week. Still, how many phones can do three days even, let alone four or five?
To give you another idea of usage, I’ve been using the phone to mostly watch YouTube clips this week. Starting at 90% juice on Tuesday (connected to WiFi/mobile data and with the ‘intelligent power saving standby’ option enabled — basically a take on Google’s Doze), I’ve watched about three hours of video and downloaded a few apps, with the phone sitting at roughly 70% come mid-afternoon.
Over the week, I then used the phone for more YouTube videos (an average of an hour or two per day at work), downloaded and tested a few games (Injustice 2, Suicide Squad, NASCAR Heat Mobile), installed a beefy 1.2GB update, listened to some locally stored music and generally messed about. The end-result as of Friday (13 October) at 11.19am? Thirty three percent juice remaining and “approximately” one day and 11 hours to go.
We’ll update the review with our looping video playback test — high hopes indeed.
The Oukitel K10000 Pro is decidedly mid-range when it comes to sheer grunt. We’ve got a MT6750T chipset (octacore A53) built on a 28nm process. In other words, it’s generally about as powerful and efficient as a Snapdragon 430, seen in the likes of the HiSense C30 Rock and Nokia 6. Complementing the MediaTek chip is 3GB of RAM and 32GB of expandable storage.
Antutu results are clearly way off flagship territory, even compared to high-end devices from a year or two ago. Featuring a score in the 40 000 range, you’ll notice plenty of slowdown in the more graphically demanding sections of the test. The Nokia 8, this is not. But benchmarks mean nothing if actual performance is great, right?
There are no major complaints to be had about general performance, although I did notice a little judder when closing apps in the multitasking menu, while there was a small delay when launching some apps. There was little in the way of judder when switching between screens or scrolling in apps and GPS navigation, while not super-quick to lock, was fast enough anyway.
The Oukitel K10000 Pro isn’t quite the fastest phone in its price category, it must be said
Switch to the gaming arena and things take an unsurprising dip in speed. Basic titles such as Leap On, Flipping Legend and PinOut run smoothly here, although I noticed a wee bit of slowdown in Super Hexagon.
Advanced titles like Deus Ex Go and FZ9 were very playable too (perhaps owing to the more methodical pace), but the likes of Injustice 2, Suicide Squad and NASCAR Heat Mobile (our go-to powerhouse titles) ran poorly and were a far cry from flagship performance. Heck, Injustice 2 constantly skipped frames in a quest to stay playable, while NASCAR Heat Mobile had a framerate that was more slideshow than anything. It’s clear that the Mali T860 MP2 graphics component and full HD screen combo aren’t exactly great for heavyweight gaming. But it’ll get the job done for more basic fare.
A solid, if Engrish-tinged version of Android
The take on Android is pretty solid, being a somewhat lightly skinned version of Android 7.0 at first glance. Then again, the default icon pack seems to be more Ice Cream Sandwich than Nougat. There were two more themes/icon packs on the phone, with one being silver-tinged and the other offering an iOS-style take. A theme store or more preinstalled themes would’ve been lovely.
Otherwise, you’ve got a near-stock dropdown menu and settings screen, the HotKnot file-sharing feature from MediaTek (I don’t think the chipmaker realised it was a slur over here), a file manager, music player, the now-standard “system manager” suite (for battery management, locking apps, cleaning storage space) and a dedicated system updater app.
In a pleasant surprise for a MediaTek-powered phone from a small company, the K10000 Pro also received a 1.2GB update at the time of writing. It was no incremental update either, introducing more gestures, such as drawing on the black screen to activate features (contacts, camera, music). I’m not sure if the update added more Huawei-style fingerprint gestures either (swiping on the scanner to scroll through homescreens, photos etc), but it’s certainly here now.
The update also fixed a rather annoying bug, which saw the phone displaying 1GB of free storage, despite deleting loads of videos and apps. Then there’s the August 2017 security update, which isn’t the latest but is reassuring to see anyway. The update also removed the aforementioned themes option, sticking with the default icon pack instead. Very weird.
There are a several examples of Engrish/typos throughout the phone too. One of the themes was called “clasical”, the explanation for blacklisting apps (seen above) is borderline gibberish and clearing all apps in the multitasking menu results in a message saying “the release of xMB of memory”. Then there are the gesture explanations, which are in a league of their own. You shouldn’t have any problems with most settings and day-to-day usage, but things haven’t been checked by a native English speaker.
What about photography?
Oukitel K10000 Pro Chin
Oukitel K10000 Pro Antutu
Oukitel K10000 Pro Back
Oukitel K10000 Pro Battery
Oukitel K10000 Pro Engrish
Oukitel K10000 Pro Sample
How bad is HDR on the Oukitel? This bad.
Oukitel K10000 Pro Sample
Have a non-HDR shot. Sure, there's plenty of grain and blown out whites, but it'll get the job done.
Oukitel K10000 Pro Sample
Resolvable detail isn't amazing, but the church still makes it a pleasing shot.
Oukitel K10000 Pro Sample
The sun isn't even peeking directly into the office yet the background is almost completely blown out.
Oukitel K10000 Pro Table
Oukitel K10000 Pro Battery Stats
Don’t expect the K10000 Pro to ace the photography department (click images to view in full resolution). Featuring a 13MP main camera and a 5MP selfie camera, it’s par for the course for a sub-R3000 smartphone, really.
Actual image quality is solid enough during the day, with a good level of resolvable detail and satisfactory colour reproduction. But don’t expect the best dynamic range here, with blown highlights and little detail in the shadows. Turn on HDR and you’d better hope everything keeps still, because ghosting is as bad as the Meizu smartphones. So terrible then.
Night-time is a true test for any smartphone and the K10 000 Pro predictably disappoints here. Expect plenty of noise, dark output and the need for a flash in most situations. In other words, the phone makes its budget nature known here.
Take a look at the 5MP selfie camera and you’ve got a shooter that does a solid job during the day but falls apart in less than ideal conditions. It doesn’t have a wide-angle option or any other fancy options, but it can produce Instagram-worthy selfies in broad daylight.
Otherwise, the camera app is basically the old ICS camera app, so we’d recommend downloading something like Open Camera if you want more options and manual control variables.
Between the unspectacular specs, ho-hum screen and mediocre camera, the Oukitel K10000 Pro is firmly in mid-range territory. Then there are the numerous examples of Engrish to be had. But at under R3000, you’re certainly getting what you pay for (typos aside).
But then we get to the gargantuan battery and that alone makes it worth buying. Sure, the phone is ungainly as hell and could pass as a murder weapon, but has your phone ever lasted for four days of proper usage?
Verdict: The Oukitel K10000 Pro certainly looks and feels like a budget smartphone, and it might not fit in your pocket. Then again, you won’t have to carry a charger or power bank if you’re away from a power point for three or four days.
Score: 8 out of 10