Today, we have a smartphone that’s not just your run-of-the-mill device. It’s the Cubot KingKong 8, and it’s a beast in its own right. I’ve had the pleasure of testing this rugged phone for a while now, and I’m here to explore every aspect of it and give you the lowdown on whether it’s worth investing in this rugged smartphone. First things first, This smartphone is unique, and that’s evident from the get-go. It’s a rugged powerful designed to withstand the toughest challenges.

The KingKong 8 boasts some unique features that set it apart from the competition and carved a niche for itself by offering an impressive array of features at an unbelievably affordable price point. This rugged smartphone has been designed to withstand the harshest of conditions while delivering solid performance. Notably, it comes equipped with double LED flashlights that can illuminate your surroundings with a staggering 5,000 Lumens of brightness. In this detailed review, we’ll dive deep into the various aspects of the Cubot KingKong 8, exploring its design, performance, camera capabilities, battery life, and much more.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

Cubot KingKong 8 Features

  • Rugged Body & Premium Design
    • LED Light Module
  • Latest Android 13
  • 6.5″ FHD+ Display
  • 48MP Main Camera
  • 12GB RAM (6GB+6GB Extended) & 256GB ROM
  • MT8788V/WAOcta-Core
  • 10600mAh Battery & 18W Fast Charge
  • IP68 And IP69K
  • NFC, Fingerprint, Dual 4G Network

Unboxing and First Impressions

The unboxing experience of the Cubot King Kong 8 is impressive, reflecting Cubot’s attention to detail. Opening the box reveals a well-organized array of essential items. At the center of it all is the smartphone itself, immediately capturing your attention with its substantial size and rugged build. Alongside the device, Cubot includes a thoughtful thank you card, a small but appreciative gesture. The practicality of the package becomes evident with the inclusion of a 18W USB-C charger. The provided USB-C to USB-C charging cable. For easy setup, a sim ejector tool and a quick start guide are included.

Design and Build Quality

Cubot has consistently been a prominent player in the rugged smartphone market, known for producing devices that marry durability with striking aesthetics. The Cubot KingKong 8 is no exception to this trend. From the moment you lay your eyes on this smartphone, it becomes evident that it is a robust powerhouse designed for extreme conditions. The phone boasts a design that exudes strength and power. Its size alone is impressive, and its rugged build reinforces this image. When holding the smartphone, you can’t help but feel like you’re equipped with a formidable tool. The name “KingKong” is well-suited to its design philosophy, which prioritizes robustness.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

On the front of the smartphone, you’ll find a 6.5-inch HD+ panel, and the bezels around the screen are neat, but with prominent edges. This display stands out with its vibrant colors and natural color calibration. This level of color accuracy is somewhat unexpected for an LCD panel. Additionally, the display can achieve impressive brightness levels, while still maintaining deep blacks.

One of the standout design features of the KingKong 8 is the rear camera module. It’s not just a mundane camera setup; it’s giving the phone a distinctive and somewhat robotic appearance. Three camera sensors are neatly arranged, including a 48MP main sensor, and a dedicated sensor for macro photography.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

Cubot has always adhered to high-quality materials in the manufacturing of their smartphones, and the KingKong 8 is no exception. The smartphone features a robust metal frame, and the side rails are reinforced with metal, ensuring it can withstand the harshest conditions. This rugged device is engineered to endure the toughest challenges. One common concern with rugged smartphones is their ability to survive accidental drops. Cubot addresses this concern by reinforcing all four corners of the phone. This reinforcement provides extra protection against accidental drops and bumps. To put its durability to the test, the smartphone was intentionally dropped from heights of nearly three meters, yet the top-facing flashlight remained intact, demonstrating its resilience.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

Speaking of flashlights, A standout feature of the KingKong 8 is its dedicated flashlight button. Located on the side of the device, this orange-accented button provides quick and easy access to the double LED flashlights on the top of the smartphone. With an impressive 5,000 lumens of brightness, these flashlights are incredibly powerful and serve as a valuable tool in various scenarios, making them an invaluable tool in low light and emergencies. Cubot has added an orange accent to this button, ensuring it’s easily distinguishable even in challenging conditions.

On the right side, you will find a dedicated flashlight button with an orange accent, followed by the power button, which also acts as a fingerprint sensor, It’s responsive and accurate, allowing for quick and secure unlocking. On the left side of the smartphone, you’ll find the volume rockers and the SIM tray.

At the bottom of the device, you’ll find a USB-C port. This USB-C port serves multiple functions, including charging and data transfer. Given the rugged nature of the smartphone, the USB-C port is well-protected to prevent dust and water from entering.

Durability – Cubot KingKong Star

Rugged smartphones, one of the first things that comes to mind is durability. These robust devices are built to withstand the harshest conditions and unexpected mishaps. The Cubot KingKong 8 is not just tough on the outside but also fortified against the elements. With an IP68 and IP69K rating, it offers an impressive level of water and dust resistance. This means the device can survive submersion in water up to a certain depth without any adverse effects. It can operate seamlessly in temperatures ranging from -35°C to 75°C. Such resilience makes it an ideal companion for adventurers and professionals.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

Display Quality

The KingKong 8 boasts a 6.53-inch screen, which, while not top-of-the-line, benefits users with visual impairments or those who prefer larger text and icons for easy readability and navigation. The screen resolution is 1,612 x 720 pixels, which may not be considered high by today’s standards, but it still deliver a visually pleasing display experience. Despite being an LCD panel, the KingKong 8 achieves natural color calibration comparable to some of the best displays in the rugged smartphone market. The colors are true to life, and there is no oversaturation commonly seen in consumer-grade devices.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

One of the most commendable aspects of this display is its brightness. It can go remarkably bright, making it easily visible even in direct sunlight. This is a crucial feature for those who often find themselves working or using their phones outdoors. On the other end, Contrast is another area where this smartphone’s display shines. The KingKong 8 manages to achieve deep black levels, contributing to a high contrast ratio. This means that not only do you get bright and vivid colors, but you also get rich and well-defined dark areas on the screen. The result is a display that is not only clear but also capable of showing rich, true-to-life colors.

Playing Content

Playing the content on YouTube, was very smooth. You can play videos at a maximum of 720p at 30 FPS without any problems or lag, And this is the highest quality you can get. My major issue however is the lack of Widevine L1 certification which restricts the video resolution on most streaming services to a mere 480p. While this does not become an immediate deal breaker, if you like watching your content on your smartphone, this might be an issue. This level may be difficult to find in many Chinese smartphones without exaggeration.

Audio Quality

The Cubot KingKong 8 offers a unique audio experience that’s worth noting. While many smartphones place their loudspeakers at the bottom or top, this device features a rear-panel loudspeaker, which initially seems like an unconventional choice.

However, don’t let its position deter you; the audio quality from this loudspeaker is surprisingly impressive. Despite its rear location, it delivers a clear and robust sound output and is well-balanced, with clear mids and highs. While it may not match the stereo speakers found in some flagship smartphones, it outperforms expectations for a rugged device. The placement of the loudspeaker might take some getting used to, but it’s an unconventional choice that works surprisingly well.

Camera Capabilities

The camera on the Cubot KingKong 8 is quite impressive, featuring a 48MP main sensor that serves as the backbone of the camera system. With this high-resolution sensor, users can expect detailed photos that capture subjects well. The f/1.75 aperture, combined with HDR Plus processing, produces good results, with pictures exhibiting sharpness and contrast. Considering the device’s price range, the camera performance is surprisingly commendable. Additionally, the KingKong 8 includes a macro lens, although its performance in capturing close-up shots may leave something to be desired when compared to the other cameras on the device.

Dedicated Macro Camera

Beyond its impressive main and night vision sensors, the Cubot KingKong also caters to photography enthusiasts who love exploring the world up close. Macro photography is all about getting close to your subject, revealing its beauty, patterns, and textures that often go unnoticed.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

16MP Front Camera

Don’t forget about the selfies! The KingKong 8 features a 16MP front camera that’s perfect for snapping self-portraits and video calls. This camera performs admirably in various lighting conditions, ensuring that your selfies look great whether you’re under the sun or in a dimly lit room.

Video Recording Capabilities

In addition to its impressive photography features, the Cubot KingKong 8 offers noteworthy video recording capabilities. Is equipped with high-definition (HD) video recording capabilities, allowing you to capture your experiences in vivid detail. With a resolution of 1080p, your videos will have the sharpness and clarity that can make every frame come alive.

One of the challenges in smartphone videography is maintaining stable and shake-free footage, especially when recording on the go. The phone addresses this concern with its built-in stabilization features. Stabilization technology helps counteract unwanted camera movements, resulting in smoother and more professional-looking videos.

Performance and Gaming

At the heart of the Cubot KingKong 8 lies the MediaTek MT8788V/WA SoC. This octa-core processor is a noteworthy inclusion, especially considering its mid-range positioning, which strikes a balance between power efficiency and performance, making it a well-suited choice for a rugged smartphone. With its octa-core architecture, the processor ensures that the device can handle a variety of tasks with ease. From everyday multitasking to more demanding applications, the KingKong 8 doesn’t break a sweat. While it may not match the processing prowess of mid-range smartphones, it is more than capable of handling the demands of the average user.

Memory and Storage

One of the standout features of the KingKong 8 is its generous memory and storage configuration. It boasts a total of 12GB of RAM, which is a substantial amount for a smartphone in this price range. This memory is divided into 6GB of onboard RAM and 6GB of expanded RAM, providing ample room for running multiple apps simultaneously without experiencing slowdowns.

When it comes to storage, KingKong 8 doesn’t hold back either. With a capacious 256GB of storage space, you’ll find it difficult to run out of room for your apps, media, and files. This large storage capacity ensures that you won’t constantly be juggling files or worrying about deleting content to free up space.

Benchmark Performance

To gauge its performance objectively, the Cubot King Kong 8 was subjected to the Antutu Benchmark test. It scored an average of 230,000 to 250,000 points. The results were commendable, showcasing its capability to handle various tasks efficiently. While it may not achieve the lofty scores of smartphones in the same category, the price has a huge role. Benchmark scores aside, real-world performance is what truly matters to users. This phone excels in this aspect. However, the KingKong 8 positions itself as a strong contender among rugged smartphones.

Gaming Performance

For users interested in gaming, the KingKong 8 offers a decent gaming experience. It’s important to clarify that this smartphone is not designed for running resource-intensive games like Genshin Impact. However, for casual gamers, it performs admirably. Games like Real Racing 3, Shadow Fight 3, or Call of Duty run smoothly, particularly at lower graphics settings.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

Thermal Performance

Overheating can be a concern for many smartphones, especially when subjected to prolonged usage or demanding tasks. The Cubot KingKong 8 thermal performance is noteworthy. During testing, it remained cool even during extended gaming sessions. This suggests efficient heat dissipation and contributes to a more comfortable and worry-free user experience.

Battery Life & Usage

Cubot KingKong 8 boasts an impressive 10,600mAh battery, making it a standout feature in the rugged smartphone category. To put this into perspective, most flagship smartphones typically feature batteries in the 4,500mAh to 5,500mAh range. The KingKong 8 battery capacity is over double that of many mainstream phones, and this significant difference delivers a host of benefits to users.

This mammoth battery is designed to keep you powered up for extended periods, and it lives up to its promise. In standby mode, the phone can last an astonishing 1,251 hours, although it’s a rare scenario to leave your smartphone untouched for such an extended duration. In real-world usage, this device demonstrates remarkable endurance. During our testing, we were unable to significantly drain the battery, even with continuous usage. You can expect up to 76 hours of talk time, and 42 hours of music playback this device offers. Video playback is where the KingKong 8 truly shines. While the official claim is 17 hours of video playback, we managed to squeeze out 19 hours of continuous video streaming over Wi-Fi, which is quite impressive.

But we are not done yet, this phone has a 18-watt fast charging capability. This means that when it’s time to recharge your device, you won’t have to wait around for 2 hours on end. The combination of a massive battery and fast charging capability ensures that you spend less time tethered to an outlet.

Software and User Interface

The software experience on the Cubot KingKong 8 is refreshingly straightforward and clean. This rugged smartphone runs on Stock Android 13, and that’s a significant advantage, especially in a market where many rugged devices come with heavily customized Android skins. Cubot’s choice of keeping the interface close to stock Android is a wise one. The user interface is familiar to anyone who has used Android devices before. It offers a seamless and intuitive navigation experience, making it easy to find settings and apps. The absence of bloatware or unnecessary pre-installed applications is a breath of fresh air. You won’t be bombarded with apps you never use, giving you the freedom to customize your device according to your preferences.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

One of the standout features of the KingKong 8 user interface is its responsiveness. The smartphone handles tasks smoothly, and app launches are swift. Android 13 brings several performance optimizations and privacy features, ensuring that your device runs efficiently while keeping your data secure. Updates are also more accessible with Stock Android, as you’re likely to receive prompt software updates and security patches directly from Cubot.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight


In terms of connectivity, the Cubot KingKong 8 supports Bluetooth 4.2, allowing you to connect wirelessly to various peripherals such as headphones, speakers, or smartwatches. It also supports Wi-Fi connectivity on both 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, ensuring fast and stable internet access. NFC (Near Field Communication) is another connectivity feature supported by the phone, enabling convenient contactless transactions and interactions with compatible devices. However, it’s important to note that the device does not have a built-in FM radio, which may disappoint users who enjoy listening to traditional radio broadcasts.

Final verdict and value

The Cubot KingKong 8 is a rugged smartphone that stands out in many aspects. With its unique features, robust build quality, and impressive performance, it offers a compelling option for those in need of a rugged smartphone that doesn’t compromise on performance or essential features and certainly won’t break the bank. The design of the KingKong 8 is not just rugged but also aesthetically pleasing. While it may not be the ideal daily driver due to its size and weight, it excels in specialized use cases where durability and resilience are paramount. Also, One standout feature is the powerful flashlight, offering up to 5,000 lumens of brightness. It’s a handy tool for various situations and adds an extra layer of utility to the device.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

The display quality is surprisingly good for a rugged smartphone, with vivid colors and impressive brightness levels. It’s among the good LCD panels you’ll find in this category. The camera setup, while not the primary focus of this rugged smartphone, still performs admirably. The 48MP main sensor allow for decent photography, even in low-light conditions.

Performance-wise, it’s equipped with the MT8788V/WA SoC and ample RAM and storage, delivering a smooth and responsive user experience. It handles tasks and gaming with ease, making it suitable for both work and play. Also, The massive 10,600mAh battery is a standout feature, providing exceptional endurance. While the KingKong 8 may not suit everyone due to its size and weight, it excels in specific scenarios where resilience and durability are paramount. It’s crucial to remember that this phone doesn’t aim to compete with mainstream flagship smartphones. Instead, it caters to a niche audience that values rugged features and durability. If you find yourself in this category, the KingKong 8 is a compelling option.

Cubot KingKong 8 Review: A Rugged Smartphone with an Extremely Bright Flashlight

The Cubot KingKong 8 is a rugged smartphone that enters the market with a promise of affordability without compromising on performance. The official price of the KingKong 8 falls below $135 on AliExpress. It’s important to note that while affordability is a significant factor, Cubot hasn’t compromised on essential aspects like performance, battery life, and features. This makes this phone a compelling option for budget-conscious consumers who refuse to settle for less.