LG K10 LTE: A simple smartphone for those stuck on shoestring budgets
South Korean electronics brand LG, which of late launched only flagship devices to compete with the likes of Samsung, Apple, Asus et all, has now announced its second coming in the budget mid-range smartphone segment with the launch of the LG K10 LTE which is currently available for purchase in all important geographies across the world.
The claimed USP of the LG K10 LTE (a HSPA+ variant is also available), apart from its budget segment positioning is the “Pebble” Design which LG states is a flagship-like offering to its mid-range smartphone. This factor, coupled with LG’s intention of foraying into the already crowded mid-range (aka budget) smartphone market after a long time got us interested in the LG K10 LTE which is why we decided to do procure the smartphone and subject it to multiple performance/review tests. Check out how the handset performed, below:
Design and Display
On unwrapping the package, the LG K10 LTE handset impressed us with its looks considering the fact that it incorporates a comparatively slim design and is properly curved at the edges. This curved glass design goes perfectly with the rear that is textured and the handset fits perfectly in the palm. There was no need for us to put in extra efforts to position the handset in one hand.
Also, on the outer side, LG has placed the micro-USB port and headphone jack at the bottom; the differentiator, within the outer design of the LG K10 LTE, is the fact that the volume keys and the power button are present at the rear.
Overall, the outer body is made of hardened plastic and color schemes offered to users are White, Gold and Indigo. The overall design elements of the LG K10 LTE clearly give off the “LG signature design” feeling. The LG K10 LTE impresses with its looks and style, and can be easily carried within pockets even when on the move.
As far as the actual display is concerned, the LG K10 LTE features a 5.3-inch display having resolutions of 720 x 1280 pixels and pixel density of approximately 278 ppi. The LCD capacitive screen is enclosed within a Gorilla Glass 3 protective casing. Multitouch and 16 Million colors are also supported.
During our testing, images rendered were bright but were not sharp as expected. Nonetheless, we could read text quite clearly in outdoor sunlit conditions. In case of image-rich content, the essential colors are highlighted to a great degree; however, there was an overlap of colors and rapid refraction when we moved to newer locations under varying light conditions. As far as image rendering on the screen is concerned, we could not observe lags; but again this factor is dependent on the content.
Processor and Memory
The LG K10 LTE is sold in different variants, that incorporate different SoCs. For our testing, we extensively used the Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 SoC edition that is coupled with 1.5 GB RAM under-the-hood. When we used the handset, in a multitasking and multi app scenario, we could not experience any major glitches in performance and the instruction processing capabilities, save for minor lag which is purely dependent on the apps that are launched at any particular point in time. Video streaming from Netflix turned out to be a hassle, but stored media files played fairly well.
As far as games such as Asphalt 8: Airborne and Dead Trigger 2 are concerned, the loading times are a concern. A proper 2 GB RAM could have offered, those obsessed with mobile gaming, lots to cheer about. The LG K10 LTE offers users a default internal storage of 16 GB that is expandable only up to 32 GB via an external microSD card. This is disappointing considering the fact that smartphones of today are used more for playing stored multimedia rather than for proper calls/internet usage.
A 13 MP camera adorns the rear of the LG K10 LTE with an LED flash unit. We could capture failry good shots of nature and wildlife in daylight. Even the 5 MP front camera (for the selfie generation) captures good snaps but these are restricted to daylight conditions (where there is plenty of light). Low-light photography offered is disappointing and we could observe dominant external noise/grains within the captured images. With the rear camera, it is possible to record 1080p videos at 30 fps, whereas the front snapper offers 1080p video capture capabilities.
Software and Apps
The LG K10 LTE runs Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop) operating system, some variants also run Google’s more recent Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) out of the box. For our testing, we got to review the Android 5.1.1 variant. The smartphone has the usual App Drawer UI which should now be familiar to LG loyalists. A SIM switcher is also offered, and lets users switch between two SIM-cards within any instant. We could not find separate call keys for individual SIM cards. An impressive aspect, as far as apps are concerned, is the SmartWorld application which offers newer customization options including themes.
During our testing, the LG K10 LTE responded effectively to the double-tap which activates the display or puts it to sleep. We could view all the menu contents, within Settings, in a tabbed view format reducing on-screen clutter.
The LG K10 LTE is driven by a 2,300 mAh Lithium-Ion battery which is possible to remove.
During our testing, we could view videos (stored within the handset’s external memory) continuously for more than 11 hours. High-end gaming naturally depleted the battery life substantially; upon restricting the usage to calls and basic internet, we obtained battery life that lasted for more than a day which is impressive considering the fact that the LG K10 LTE is positioned as a budget device to the general everyday users, rather than for those looking at buying smartphones for using as a complementary office device.
However, the smartphone takes long to charge considering the fact that LG has not incorporated the Qualcomm Quick Battery Charging technology.
The LG K10 LTE performed fairly well in our tests, considering its pure mid-range nature. First-time LG buyers (even first-time smartphone buyers as a matter of fact) could find the K10 LTE impressive. However, if you are among the business class preferring secondary device, do give the LG K10 LTE a skip, as it is more of a common man’s device.