Readers may remember that back in 2015, I wrote a review about a $150 smartphone I picked up from Amazon called the Cubot H1. This unit was a cheap Chinese phone, running a low-end quad core SoC and paired with a low resolution screen, which was designed to excel in a single area: battery life. Having a smartphone that could last almost a week was great. Since then, I had never come across the brand at a show, until this year at IFA, where they had a small booth to try and expand into Europe with their new devices.

There were two main devices on display: the Power, which is somewhat of a successor to the H1, and the King Kong 3.

King Kong 3

Unfortunately Cubot did not have this device on display, but this is going to be their new flagship: a high-end Mediatek MT6763T processor (8xA53), IP68-rated device with a 6000 mAh battery and simultaneous dual 4G LTE. This builds on their first generation King Kong (for some reason there isn’t a King Kong 2), with a ruggedized design focusing on the ability for construction workers to drop the phone and for it still to work, hence the King Kong name.

Here are some images of the King Kong (1), as they did have that on display. The King Kong 3 is expected to have a similar design.

If we head on over to the Cubot website, you’ll notice that the webpage for the King Kong line is full of standard King Kong imagery – in actual fact, what looks like direct imagery from the King Kong movie from 2005, just flipped left to right. Now the name is a bit odd (I guess it kind of fits with a durable phone) but it was my understanding that someone holds the license for the King Kong brand? I’d be highly surprised if Cubot was licensing the brand with those rights owners.


So here’s a device that’s more up my street. It looks like a high-end smartphone, with a 6-inch full-screen display running at 2160x1080. It uses the same MT6763T SoC as the King Kong 3, but it offers a 6 GB DRAM and 128 GB storage. It also mirrors the KK3 in that it has a 6000 mAh battery, but it's without the rugged design, so it is actually easier to hold and use on a day-to-day basis.

There is a bit of a sneaky design on the rear, as it looks like it has two cameras, but one of those spots is just the LED flash. The rear camera is a 20MP unit, while the front camera is 13MP. The device does support two SIM cards, although only one can be in 4G mode. Meanwhile there is also a microSD card slot that can support another 256 GB of storage.

The Power is set to hit the street at around $260, which is considerably more than the H1 I purchased back in the day. At the minute I carry around my LG V30, which handily has wireless charging, and an Honor phone for its AI camera, but both of them struggle to get through a full day of my ‘active’ use without charging. I wonder if I can make do with a high-capacity mid-range phone again without all those bells and whistles?

Related Reading

Comments Locked


View All Comments

  • serendip - Monday, September 17, 2018 - link

    How about a Mi Max 2 or 3 from Xiaomi? The 2 has a 6.4" 16:9 screen with 5200 mAh, the 3 has a 6.9" 18:9 in the same chassis size but with a 5500 mAh battery. These are less likely to blow up as a cheap Chinese no-name device. They also run midrange Snapdragons so power efficiency is much better than Mediatek junk. They're not ruggedized but a good armor casing should offer enough protection.
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    Those wouldn't be bad as such, but they fail with the competition.

    Essentially the 636 is an 820 with 0.5 GHz and probably some GPU power removed.
    I have several 820 based LeEco Le Max2 running in the family, they are totally fine in terms of CPU/GPU power, but with 3000mAh batteries I feel the battery itch. As a former high-end phone, they have great ROM support but unfortunately even the last leftovers, which were down to €200, are gone now.

    But the 820 based Le Max2 at €200 vs. the 636 based Mi Max3 €300 proves to me that it's not a good deal, even with double battery capacity, because now I can get 835 based 'lefovers' like a Xiaomi Mi Mix2 also for €300 and those maintain 820 performance levels, but essentially double the battery life.

    But more importantly, it has LineageOS support and can be rooted, both of which I consider very important, but very hard to get for middle-class phones.

    The Max series are designed for Chinese women, maximum screen size, total attention lock-in for a 14-hour day, media consumption, not a lot of game power. ROM programmers might buy them for their girl-friends but not to build ROMs for them: They reserve that for the smaller but more powerful phones they run themselves.

    I wouldn't mind running such a big women's phone, because my eyes are getting older and I prefer gaming on PCs, but not when the price does't fit and I cannot control the phone like all my other computers.

    Basically the one year delay of the middle class SoCs against their flagship cousins currently just means they have to compete with last year's high-end, a battle that's hard to win.
  • abufrejoval - Thursday, September 20, 2018 - link

    Yeah, and I got long fat fingers, which is why I want EDIT!
  • jabber - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - link

    I dont see an issue with a 4000mAh and an extra 1mm of depth to be honest.

    I reckon 4000mAh is the sweetspot for most folks needs.
  • benedict - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - link

    I got a Motorola moto e4 plus specifically for the big 5000 MAh battery. With light use it easily lasts a week.
  • yhselp - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - link

    King Kong ain't got shit on me!
  • djayjp - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - link

    "...a high-end Mediatek MT6763T processor (8xA53)..."

    You definitely mean low end....
  • Santoval - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 - link

    A 8xA53 SoC is considered "high-end" in late 2018? Seriously?

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now