An unknown brand called GOME recently launched its latest device under the name “K1”. As soon as you open the packaging, you immediately notice the attention to detail. Let’s take a closer look.
Gome K1 10

Design

The packaging says “Design Award 2017”, which does not seem to be an empty promise.
The packaging is very high-quality and elaborately designed. The Gome K1 fits perfectly in a soft plastic and can be pulled out of the packaging via a fabric band. I immediately noticed the aluminium body of the small 5.2 inch device. It extends almost seamlessly around the entire device. High-quality transitions are located in the upper and lower part of the back. The Dual-LED flash is embedded perfectly in the device and the camera does not protrude from it either. Rarely have I had such a high-quality processed smartphone in this price category. When it comes to processing, Gome doesn’t fool anyone! On the front is the 2.75D glass, which is beautifully embedded in the perfected aluminum body. On the upper side are camera, light sensor, notification LED, iris scanner and loudspeaker. A barely visible homebutton/fingerprint is attached behind the glass at the lower end.
Gome K1 2 Gome K1 3Gome K1 6

With dimensions of only 145 x 71 x 7.7mm, the smartphone is rather small. The narrow visible width makes the device look very slim and it is really super handy. The Gome K1 weighs 155g without cover.

In the beautiful packaging there is a wide range of accessories next to the smartphone: A Chinese manual, a Chinese power adapter, a 0.5m short USB-C charging cable, an AUX to USB-C plug, a USB-Mini to USB-C adapter, a SIM eject-tool and the perfect silicone case.

Gome K1 11

Unlocking and operation

Gome is advertising with an iris scanner, which from my point of view is a bit tiresome. As with the Samsung S8 and the new S9, an infrared scanner for iris recognition has been installed here. This works about as badly as with the two Samsung devices mentioned above. The iris is only successfully identified when the eyes are fully open, at the correct distance and after an intermediate waiting period. Fortunately, a fingerprint scanner has been integrated, which also serves as a multifunction button. With the fingerprint the device can be unlocked very well and I had no error detections while using it.
There is also an extra button below the volume keys. When pressed for a long time, it opens a “security system” which probably serves as a “locker” for sensitive data, such as images or banking apps. Briefly pressing the same button turns the screen on and off. Unfortunately, no further functions can be set. On the right side of the device there is another button which is responsible for switching the screen on and off.
Gome K1 12 Gome K1 1

Display

The rather small but therefore very handy 5.2 inch screen has 1920×1080 pixels and thus Full-HD resolution. The display works with IPS technology. The screen is protected by a hardened 2.75D glass. Unfortunately, the glass is not anti-reflective and has a very high mirror effect. The viewing angle stability is excellent, no matter from which perspective you look on the display, the colors remain the same. The brightness captivates with a maximum setting of 610 lux and is therefore sufficiently bright to remain legible even in the sun. Unfortunately, the touch screen recognizes only two touches at the same time. But the detection is very accurate and I was never limited in the operation. Colours and contrasts are displayed beautifully on the screen and the pixel density is also sufficient for very sharp optics.
Gome K1 7

Performance and System

Let’s get to the disappointing point on this device: We will have to fight with Android 6.0.1 in 2018 again. In addition, no Gapps can be played on the device at the moment! (Google Store, Google Contacts, etc.) We received a program from the manufacturer. This should allow us to rewrite the device and pick an update which should allow Gapps. Unfortunately I couldn’t do anything with the Chinese manual and the program I didn’t know. Thus we have continued with the alternative Playstore Aptoide. This makes it easy to install most popular apps on the device.

Our GOME K1 comes from Efox-Shop.com. Our contact told us that we have received an early batch of the smartphone without gapps. All devices sent from now on all have a pre-installed Playstore.

We have to rely on this statement. I really like Gome’s customized Android, except that there is no appdrawer.

Screenshot Gome K1 2Screenshot Gome K1 1 Screenshot Gome K1 3

The software is powered by a MediaTek Helio P20 processor, which is a 2.3Ghz Octa Core CPU and is supported by 4GB RAM. Our test model has 128GB internal memory and offers enough space for all apps and photos. The Gome K1 is also available as 64GB version. For a price of only 160 USD this is a very decent equipment, which one rarely finds on the market. The device runs accordingly pleasantly fast.

Antutu Result Geekbench Multi Result Geekbench Single Result

I had noticed some little laggs when starting some games. After that, however, everything ran smoothly and without interruption. Unfortunately not all games are playable without Gapps. The performance seems to be sufficient for today’s apps and multitasking works as expected. Unfortunately the use of Multiwindow on Android 6.0.1 is not supported and therefore only one app can be displayed on the screen.

Gome K1 AnTuTu Bench 1 Gome K1 A1 SD Bench

Camera

Gome K1 5

The main camera used is a 16MP PDAF sensor with a aperture of F/2.0 and a 0.1 sec autofocus. The focus works very well and is really fast! Even in low light it is still possible to focus an object correctly and take a reasonably sharp picture of it. Unfortunately images become somewhat grainy in low light. For the low-budget segment, however, the camera is above average. In daylight, nice sharp and colorful pictures are shot and also fast movements of my cats could be captured very well.

The selfie camera equipped with an 8.0MP sensor is also convincing and takes recognizable photos even in dark room light. In daylight the contrasts are very good with both cameras and also the sharpness with the Selfiecam is great!

The autofocus during filming is rather sluggish and does not always detect the change from macro to distance shooting immediately. But if the focus is right, the shot is very sharp and really great for this price range. Generally, the camera surprised me positively.

Konnektivität und Kommunikation

Das Gome K1 supports the following Network frequencies:

GSM 900/1800/1900MHz
UMTS (3G) 850/900/1900/2100MHz
FDD-LTE (4G) B1/B3/B7

I had a very good connectivity. As with most Chinese devices, the SIM slot is a hybrid slot and therefore suitable for dual SIM or SIM+MicroSD.
Also the GPS reception is sufficient, partly I had some trouble in buildings. However, the satellites were always found outdoors and navigation was no problem.
The microphone works perfectly, my counterpart never had any problems to understand me on the. The built-in speakers are also acceptable. But you only hear them really well from about 75%, underneath they are unusually quiet. At 100% the speakers sound relatively loud and it is enough to understand a phone call or watch a youtube video beside the traffic.

The smartphone has various sensors and is well equipped with gravitational, gyroscope, distance, light sensor and e-compass.

Battery

Gome K1 Geekbench 4The K1 has a 3500mAh battery. This can be charged with 5V / 5A via the USB Type-C plug and Quick-Charge. Even with more intensive use, the battery could get me through the day. Only if you have a display-on-time of more than 5 hours you will have to charge the phone before evening. Charging the battery with Quick Charge takes approx. 2h. When playing a one-hour Youtube video, the Gome K1 uses about 11% of the battery. In the battery test the Gome K1 lasted 6.5h.

Battery lifetime Result Unit: hours

Conclusion and alternative

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Michael Schweizer:

All in all, I am very satisfied with the affordable Gome device. I like the design very much and the built quality is really incredible! It’s a pity that there are no gapps on our test device, but according to the online shop these should be added now. Sometimes it seems a bit bumpy when opening more complex apps and games, but afterwards it runs quite smoothly. The performance is absolutely convincing for the low price.I find the camera very appealing for the low-budget price segment too.  However, the old Android 6 system is clearly a disadvantage of the device.

79%
  • Design and build quality 100 %
  • Display 70 %
  • Performance 70 %
  • Camera 80 %
  • Communication and connectivity 85 %
  • Battery 70 %

Price comparison

ShopPrice 
106 USD * 
CommendedOnly 95 USD * 
106 USD * 
106 USD * 

* Prices include shipping and customs duties. Intermediate changes of prices, ranking, delivery time and costs possible.

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Jaypee

Nice review! The only downside i see is the charging time thought it would only take an hour and a half to charge the phone although screen on time of 5+ is more than ok. But for the price its justifiable given it has a lot to offer. In my country this phone ships with global rom stock android which i think would be better without those chinese bloatwares

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