|Operating System||Android v6.0 (Marshmallow)|
|SIM Slot(s)||Single SIM, GSM|
|Network||4G: Available (supports Indian bands)|
|Screen Size||5.0 inches (12.7 cm)|
|Screen Resolution||HD (720 x 1280 pixels)|
|Pixel Density||294 ppi|
|Display Type||IPS LCD|
|Screen to Body Ratio (calculated)||66.51 %|
|Processor||Quad core, 1.3 GHz, Cortex A53|
|Internal Memory||16 GB|
|Resolution||5 MP Front Camera|
|Image Resolution||3264 x 2448 Pixels|
|Settings||Exposure compensation, ISO control|
|Shooting Modes||Continuos Shooting, High Dynamic Range mode (HDR)|
|Camera Features||Digital Zoom, Auto Flash, Digital image stabilization, Face detection, Touch to focus|
|Video Recording||1280x720 @ 30 fps|
|Network & Connectivity|
|Network Support||4G (supports Indian bands), 3G, 2G|
|Wi-Fi Features||Mobile Hotspot|
|USB Connectivity||microUSB 2.0|
|Audio Jack||3.5 mm|
|Other Sensors||Light sensor, Proximity sensor, Accelerometer|
The LG K8 (2017) is a decent offering from LG and is an open example that company is trying to up its budget segment game by including the hardware that can compete with current top sellers. That said, LG K8 isn’t there just yet, the camera is the biggest disappointment so is the high-end performance. The build quality is good, but the design is quite old and has nothing exciting to offer. So, if a phone from LG that comes with an excellent display, decent software experience, and acceptable performance is your primary requirement, then the K8 is a worthy option to look out. But we would strongly suggest you phones like the Lenovo K8 Plus, Redmi Note 4 that is a better offering in this prime segment.
LG mobile division was never able to be in the limelight because of Samsung and Apple’s continuous domination. Be its flagship series, mid-range segment or the budget phone segment, LG has always been the last in the race if we consider the market share and reach the mass audience. Having that said that, LG flagship phones are excellent, the G series or the V-series but will remain as the most underrated phones. With flagship segment aside, the budget segment is another segment where Markets like India should matter considering it is one of the biggest markets in the world now. Brands like Xiaomi, Lenovo, Huawei have realized the fact and started focusing more in this segment in India, but tier-one brands like LG which have been around for a while are still figuring out a way. Anyway, the LG K8 (2017) is the latest entrant in the company’s K-series and in today’s review let’s take a closer look at the device and see what it is.
The LG K8 sports a 5-inches HD (1280 x 720 pixels) 2.5D curved glass in-cell touch display and is powered by the MediaTek MT6735 SoC clocked at 1.25GHz Quad-Core processor. It packs 2GB RAM and 16GB Internal memory that is further expandable up to 32GB. The device runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with LG U.X on top out of the box.
In the camera department, there is a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 1/3″ sensor, f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter on the front. There is also a Fingerprint sensor present on the rear side. Connectivity features include 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.1, GPS. A 2500mAh removable battery is on board for all the battery requirements.
The LG K8 (2017) gets a complete plastic build. We are in times where even Samsung is also adopting metal unibody designs, but LG is still stuck to the age-old design that looks boring every which way. Though we like the fact that the battery is removable, it doesn’t change the fact that the build quality feels a bit cheap for the asking price. At 5-inches size, the K8 (2017) is a perfect fit for one-handed usage and also the edges are curved at all corners which makes for the good in hand feel and doesn’t hurt much. The rear panel is also curved to the sides which gives an impression of curved edge design. The frame running around the device gives it dual color contrast and offers better look and feel. The back panel has this textured finish which is the only good thing in our opinion.
Moving along, on the front, there is the 5-megapixel front camera, main earpiece, sensors and down below, you just have the LG logo. The capacitive keys are placed within the display; hence they take up some part of the screen. The volume and the power buttons are placed on the left, while there is nothing on the left. The rear is where you find the 13-megapixel rear camera, Fingerprint sensor, LED flash, speaker grills, and LG branding. The top has the 3.5 mm audio jack, and the bottom is where the microUSB port is present. Overall, the design and the build quality of the LG K8 (2017).
The LG K8 (2017) sports a 5-inches HD display (1280 X 720) 2.5D curved glass with no protected glass on top. Though there are phones like Redmi Note 4, Lenovo K8 Plus in the same price range that offer Full HD 1080p panels, a 720p screen coming from an LG in this budget is a good deal. Moving along, the In-Cell panel offers excellent color reproduction both in indoors and outdoors. Though it is nowhere close to AMOLED screen, the color reproduction is vivid, and there is an option that lets you change the display temperature.
The sunlight legibility is also on point, as we never had issues using the phone under broad daylight. The only problem being is the reflectiveness of the panel that some time will make it a problem accessing outdoors. The 2.5D curved glass on the front is nicely curved to the edges and doesn't hurt your hands while holding the phone in landscape mode.
As the display doesn’t come with any protected glass on the top, we suggest you install a tempered glass for better security of the screen. Overall, we are quite satisfied with the screen, though there is pixelation when zooming in images and text, it isn't a big deal.
The LG K8 (2017) is powered by the MediaTek MT6735 SoC clocked at 1.3GHz Quad-Core processor with 2GB RAM. Talking about the performance, for general day-to-day use cases like browsing, streaming videos, casual photo editing, checking social media, etc. work without any significant lag and apps even open up quite quickly. We never faced any lag nor stutters in the U.I nor the general U.I transitions. Being a MediaTek phone, the processing speeds are a bit slow when compared to the same level chipset from Qualcomm Snapdragon, but that doesn’t affect the overall user experience much.
There is also an international variant that comes with Qualcomm chipset; it would have been nice if LG had launched the same model for the Indian market as well. Not that we are complaining about the current chipset, but it would have been a much better offering. There isn’t much lag in the interface, and you can do slight multitasking as well with it. But, once you start putting pressure on the device, it starts acting up. The phone significantly slows down and becomes unresponsive, the age-old chipset combined with the heavily themed interface are the real culprits. There is no heating issue that we noticed, except for slight warmth at the back on continuous usage. The Fingerprint sensor present on the rear side is accurate and is also fast in recognizing fingers.
Moving to gaming, we tried out games like the Temple Run 2, Riptide GP 2, Asphalt Nitro, Super Mario. All these games were playable in medium graphics setting, but if you are expecting a smoother gameplay, you will be disappointed with its mediocre gameplay. Overall, the performance of the LG K8 (2017) is decent and can only suffice the needs of a casual user, but for heavy and power users, they are better off considering alternatives like the Redmi Note 4.
The LG K8 features a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash, 1/3″ sensor, f/2.2 aperture and a 5-megapixel selfie shooter on the front. The camera performance in daylight and good lighting conditions is pretty good with close to natural colors and a decent amount of details. But one particular issue with the camera is that the images shot even in good lighting conditions have dull moments which makes the whole picture soft to our liking. The macro shots are pleasantly good with nice bokeh background effect, but you will to patiently wait for the correct focus which isn’t accurate at times. Focusing is yet another issue, and sometimes it takes very long to fix the lock, and if you quickly move the device while clicking, the image turns out blurry.
The low-light performance, on the other hand, is yet another flop show. The images lack details, nor the output is usable. However, the HDR mode brightens the surroundings to some extent. It can record 1080p videos in Full HD resolution, and the output is a letdown with the constant hunt for focus and lack of sharpness, but this is what you will get in a smartphone at this price. The front 5-megapixel does a decent job in clicking good selfies where the surroundings are well-lit. In the low-light like any other budget phone, the LG K8 too suffers from poor results. Overall, the camera performance of the LG K8 is not the best thing about the device, and there is a scope for a lot of improvement.
The 2500mAh battery on board is removable and is a good thing, but it doesn’t come with any fast charge support which is a bad thing. The battery backup for casual to moderate users is pretty good, on a single charge with regular tasks like taking calls, sending text messages, browsing the internet, occasional photo clicking you can easily expect one day’s backup without sweating much. That said, considering the low-capacity unit, it wouldn’t be an ideal choice if you are a power user. The idle battery drain is very less, and it helps preserve some battery. On continuous to heavy usage, you will have to carry the charger with you all the time to refuel it when it’s running low.
Due to the lack of any fast charge support, the device takes 2.5 hours of time to charge it completely which is a lot considering the low-capacity unit. Overall, the battery department too is average with nothing unique to offer.
The device comes with a speaker grill present on the rear and the 3.5 mm audio jack present on the top. Though the 3.5mm jack placement is good, the speaker grill placement gets in the way while you are playing a game or watching a movie holding the phone in landscape mode. The sound even gets muffled when placed on a flat surface. However, the sound quality and loudness via the speaker grill is good and can get quite loud enough for you not to miss a call or message.
The company didn’t bundle any earphones within the box, so you will have to invest some more in a good pair of earphones for better audio video experience. The 720p HD panel has no issues playing or streaming HD clarity videos. We installed MX player, and it was able to play any format video without any issue. Overall, the audio and video department does a fair job in handling your multimedia requirements.
The LG K8 (2017) runs on Android 6.0 Marshmallow with LG U.X on top. The interface is entirely different from stock with all the app shortcuts, widgets placed on the home screen with no traditional app drawer, but LG gives you an option to enable it from system settings. You can like or hate the interface depending on your taste, but as for us, we would prefer stock Android any day. LG’s U.I has come a long way, and it now feels like a clean interface with every needed feature available on board. There is do not disturb mode built in which when turned on keeps your device silent from all the notifications. Apart from default theme, two more themes come pre-installed, and you can change it from system settings menu. Being an Android phone, you can install 3rd party launchers from playstore to customize the way you want it.
Apart from Google Apps, LG suite apps come pre-installed, and there is no way you can uninstall them without having to root your device. Out of the 2GB RAM, 863MB is available to the user when just default apps are running. For casual to general usage, the available RAM is quite capable of handling your multitasking and regular use cases. But if you run more number of apps than it can control, the device starts lagging. The RAM management is decent, casual apps stay in memory for some time, and if you keep opening new apps, the old ones start running out of memory to accommodate space to the new one. So, overall the software experience of the LG K8 is decent, but the average multitasking and RAM management capabilities are our biggest concerns.