LG K10 anyone? While not as famous or anywhere as capable as the G or the V power-crammed, elder and much more respectable series, the K10 is billed as the South Korean company’s entry-level model for the budget-conscious in these austerity-prone, penny-pinching days. Except that it’s somewhat and surprisingly pricey when considering that other competing devices packing similar or better specs than it does manage to come cheaper and assuredly much more stylish looking. Available in a slew of variants for different markets, all with different configurations and capabilities, it is the K9 attack dog that LG hopes will savagely launch at and hold fast to your attention.
But, is it any good, a dud or a sadly unappreciated little monster capable of turning tricks aplenty and handling itself in a stiffly and unforgivably competitive environment? Let’s go find out dear folks and brutally pick apart the LG K10 LTE version.
Design and Build Quality
The overall look is so-so and as remarkable as a perfectly normal earlobe. Nothing much stands out, but it is certainly one curvy baby, due to the total absence of sharp edges anywhere. It additionally seems crafted out of one solid piece of plastic with a glossy and pebbly design at the back for a comfortable and secure grip.
On the top sits a headphone jack and a micro-USB 2.0 port. The back is where most of the controls are located with volume rockers, power button and a mono speaker lurking therein. This control placement is certainly unconventional and resulted in accidental button presses aplenty while the device was in my pocket. Most times after riding the metro or a cab to and fro, I took it out to find that it had been taking footage of my pocket and the paltry contents therein! Or was otherwise turned on and wasting precious battery juice, which is irritating to say the least. The overall design looked and felt solid enough, and should be able to take some abuse, as long as you don’t overdo the kinky stuff.
The back at least is removable which is practically an LG trademark, enabling you to swap out exhausted batteries for fresh ones. And giving easy access to the SIM and SD card slots. Weight is a manageable 142 grams, while overall dimensions are 146 x 74.8 x 8.8mm. Available colors are indeed vividly varied and include, indigo, white, and gold.
In the box, you get the device, charger, USB cable, headset and a thoughtful flip case. The latter of which has a transparent front, so you don’t actually need to flip it open to read notifications on your phone. While also serving to protect it from scratches and your clickety-clacking fingernails.
The LG K10 LTE sports a 5.3-inch, 2.5D arc glass IPS display with a resolution of 1280 x 720. This is rather average, but overall is good enough for its purpose, and produces relatively crisp and detailed images, videos and texts. Outdoor usability is average even with the brightness cranked up to the max, and the screen proved to have a troublesomely incestuous and loving relationship with fingerprints. At least you can double-tap on it to wake it up from slumber, but better get ready for smudges aplenty. And keep a cleaning cloth nearby and handy.
These comprise a 13MP rear sensor with LED flash which performs acceptably. However, low light camera performance in anything but ideal conditions for this fella is truly abysmal. And it is also annoyingly slow to focus and shoot.
The front sensor is a 5MP for selfies and other self-gratification tasks, that has grievously little customization, beautification or other personalization options available. Both cameras are additionally capable of shooting HD videos at 30 FPS, but you might as well not bother. And don’t you even dare expect jaw-dropping scenes and footage! The camera performance is one of the most underwhelming features of the LG K10 LTE and is distressing to see on an LG branded smartphone. Oh well…
Performance and Connectivity
OS is the very dated Android 5.1 Lollipop with LG’s custom user interface artfully slapped on top. While still capable, it is practically an old maid and feels like a letdown with the myriads of other cheap devices sporting and rocking the latest OS. No word at present on when the grandfatherly OS will be updated either, but don’t hope on it being anytime soon. Punch power is derived from a quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 CPU that limps gamely along at 1.4 GHZ. This is mated to 2 GB – with 1.4 GB being free- of RAM, while an Adreno 306 GPU choreographs the graphical performance. 16 GB of internal storage is available, which is easily expandable to 128 GB via the SD card slot on the back when you run low on memory.
Connectivity options include: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, FM radio, GPS, and dual SIM/dual standby. With the first SIM being VoLTE capable and the second being restricted to 3G. Overall performance is adequate, but it does get laggy during multitasking or when handling medium graphically-tasking games. Moreover, under the heavy workload, the device can get hot. While not hot enough to iron clothes, it is still something to be concerned about and look out for. Thankfully the K10 LTE ships with almost no bloatware installed, and endlessly varied system optimization/customization options for you to play with.
The sole mono speaker at the back outputs loud audio. But that is the only thing it does well as the bass is lacking entirely and the audio can get muddier than a rice paddy. Call quality during calls was generally ok, with clear voices at both ends, but performance varies depending on your environment and location.
Fueling the LG K10 LTE is a 2,300 mAh battery that is good enough to last around over a day of medium usage. But with no quick charge feature, charging up can take a century plus!
While ostensibly billed as affordable, the LG K10 is pricier than most of its apparent competitors. It is a totally underwhelming design with average to poor performance, looks, and functionality, and thus hard to recommend to anyone, even to die-hard LG fans. If you are in need of a capable yet cheap smartphone, kindly keep looking like the LG K10 is mostly good for nothing much except as an expensive paperweight. Or a toothless attack dog.