Finding a full feature smartphone that also provides that much-needed protection against the elements can often be tricky whilst on a smaller budget; which is exactly where Cubot’s King Kong 3 comes in.
We were intrigued to see just how well the King Kong 3 could stand up to Cubot’s bold claims of ruggedness and so decided to really put it to the test.
What do you get in the box?
- King Kong 3 Device
- USB Type-C cable
- Wall adaptor
- Quick start guide
- SIM Card Tool
So, the main reason that you’ll be looking to purchase the King Kong 3 is probably the rugged experience, so we really tested this out
As is customary, Cubot’s King Kong 3 is IP68 certified, withstanding depths of 1.5 metres for up to 30 minutes. A 10-process sealing method ensures that the device is watertight, creating a water-resistant barrier that we couldn’t break in our hours of drowning, spraying and dunking.
The King Kong 3 also works within a -30 to 60-degree temperature range, meaning it’s as capable of withstanding frozen Arctic conditions as it is coping with blaring sunshine. It’s also fitted with a high-strength polyester shell that promises to protect from accidental drops of up to 1.5m. The device survived 300+ drops in testing and we faced similar results when flinging the King Kong 3 around. It did invariably pick up the odd scrape or scratch, but nothing that affected general use.
- IP68 certified
- Withstands 1.5m for 30 minutes
- 10-process sealing method
- -30 to 60-degree working temperature range
- Survives drops up to 1.5m
So, clearly the King Kong 3 is capable of withstanding some of the harshest environments, but simply as a smartphone, it also impresses.
The device is particularly sturdy in hand and an overall weight of 285g lends to the confidence that we had in the device not breaking when dropped. Overall dimensions of 162.5 x 78.3 x 13.3mm are on the larger side, however for a rugged device and all that that entails, this isn’t too bad at all.
The 5.5-inch display has a pixel resolution of 1440 x 720 at 293-pixels per inch and is pretty respectable but in no way comparable to today’s flagships. That said, this certainly isn’t aimed at media lovers and so it more than excels elsewhere. The display itself has a 1300:1 contrast ratio and has been more than usable in direct sunlight. An 18:9 aspect ratio and 61% screen-to-body ratio rounds the specs off, as well as a draping of Corning Gorilla Glass that helps against scratches and marks.
To look at, this certainly looks like a rugged device. It actually has several screws holding things together for that all-round protection and that orange trim adds a touch of sophistication.
On the rear, there is a fingerprint sensor that takes just 0.1s to unlock and can support up to 5 sets of fingerprints. It has been noticeably quick in the time that we’ve had the device and is also readable for 360 degrees as well as being waterproof, making it efficient even whilst in harsher environments.
- 162.5 x 78.3 x 13.3mm
- 5.5-inch display
- 1440 x 720
- 293 ppi
- 1300:1 contrast ratio
- 18:9 aspect ratio
- 61% screen-to-body ratio
- Corning Gorilla Glass
- Fingerprint sensor; unlocks in 0.1s
When it comes to the camera, the King Kong 3 has a dual lens rear setup, consisting of a primary 13MP Sony IMX135 RS image sensor with an f/2.8 aperture, and a 2MP secondary sensor that’s utilised to create a soft-focus option in blur mode.
Images taken are about what you’d expect for a device like this. Colour reproduction isn’t half bad, but images aren’t particularly crisp. The King Kong 3 also suffers somewhat in low light situations but again, this wasn’t crafted to be a camera phone.
The front camera is a single 13MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and comes with Beauty Mode – which certainly isn’t for everyone. Again, selfies are definitely respectable, but poor lighting situations are again where this camera suffers.
Alongside this, you get video recording of up to 1080p @ 30 frames per second.
- Dual lens rear setup
- 13MP Sony IMX135 RS; f/2.8 aperture
- 2MP secondary for bokeh
- 13MP front lens; f/2.2 aperture
- Beauty Mode
A Helio P23 octa-core processor and 4GB of RAM keeps the King Kong 3 running without any real glitches. Lighter gaming sessions also shouldn’t be a problem, but gaming performance is certainly on the low-end. But again, this isn’t what the device was created to do.
Where the King Kong 3 does excel is in its 6000mAh battery which is just fantastic and should last you 2 to 4 days (or 10 to 12 hours of screen time) without requiring another charge. When it does eventually die, 18W fast charging is supported, giving a 65% charge in 60 minutes and a full charge in 150.
It is a little irritating that the charging port has a flap that needs to be opened and closed for waterproofing, but the large battery means that you do need to do this less than other smartphones.
Alongside this, the King Kong 3 has 64GB internal storage and supports a micro SD card of up to 128GB in the second SIM tray.
- Helio P23 octa-core processor
- 4GB RAM
- 6,000mAh battery
- 18W fast charging
- Micro SD support up to 128GB