LG K10 LTE Review


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LG had announced the K7 and K10 smartphones in the K series at CES 2016. The company has now launched the K10 LTE in India for Rs. 13,500 and it is ‘Made in India’. The phone has a 5.3-inch display, comes with 2.5 D Arc Glass and offers some nice camera features.  Are these specifications enough reasons to buy the K10 LTE? Is the device worth its price tag? Let us check out in a detailed review.

Unboxing

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Box Contents

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  • LG K10 LTE in Indigo color
  • Flip Case
  • Micro USB cable
  • Earphones
  • Wall Charger
  • User guide and warranty information

Display, Hardware and Design

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The K10 LTE has a 5.3 inch in-cell touch display with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. The display is decent, but produces adequate brightness only when it is kept at above 60-70%.  Also, the sunlight visibility is poor even when the device is kept at the highest level since the screen is quite reflective but less prone to fingerprint smudges. Considering the price, the display of the phone is a let down. However, the touch quality on the device is smooth and fluid which makes navigation easy.

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At the front it has a 5-megapixel camera and an earpiece at the center. There a couple of features for the front camera that we will see later in the review. The phone also comes with the usual set of proximity and ambient light sensors. A screen protector is already present on top of the display but this is pretty basic and it will be better if you go for a tempered glass protector.

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There are no button on either sides of the phone.

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There are three on-screen touch buttons on the phone while the fourth one is for SIM switch. The LG branding and logo is present on the bezel.

With the K series, LG has made a noticeable shift to the design of the phone and offers what it calls the “new glossy pebble design”. The K10 LTE has a different design aesthetic compared to previous phones and sports curved corners instead of sharp ones. The 2.5D Arc glass bezel on the device is also softly curved down that brings out a nice shape. Also, the rounded curved bezel makes it easy to hold the device as the corner rests on your palm offering a better grip.

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The phone has a strong build and has a brushed metal finish on the sides. It is 8.8mm thick and weighs 140 grams. There is a nice woven pattern at the back that looks classy and even improves grip over the phone. The polycarbonate back panel is also stiff and not flimsy which makes it easy to remove and put it back.

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The volume rocker and the power/lock keys are situated at the back similar to other LG designs. They are present just below the 13-megapixel camera which comes with a LED Flash. The LG logo and branding is present just below it.

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The loudspeaker grill is just a square at the lower back on the left side and offers loud and clear sound. However, the speaker placement could have been better as when you keep the phone flat on the table the sound gets muffled and is not clear.

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Micro USB port, 3.5mm audio jack and primary microphone is present at the bottom

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Under the back cover, the phone has a 2,300mAh removable battery. The primary nano SIM card slot and micro SD card slot are present on the right while the secondary nano SIM card slot is on the left.

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The phone comes with a Flip Case which is made of plastic and has good build. Sporting a dark grey color, the back of the case has slight texture which offers grip while holding the phone. It has a cutout for the earpiece at the center and at the back for camera module, LED flash and loudspeaker grill.

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The case has a transparent strip along the right side of the display that displays relevant information like date, time, weather, notifications and so on. You can even receive or reject calls when the flip cover is closed by simply sliding finger to left or right. The flip cover is a nice little addition from the company.

Camera

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The K10 LTE has a 13-megapixel rear camera with LED flash. LG is highlighting camera features on both the phones in the K series. The camera app UI is simple and lets you choose aspect ratio (16:9, 4:3 and 1:1). Unfortunately, it does not come with regular features like HDR, Panorama and other filters, which is really surprising as even entry-level phones these days come have them. Instead of the aforementioned features, the LG K10 LTE come with other features like option to switch between the front and the rear camera by swiping anywhere on the screen and burst mode feature that lets you take multiple photos in a row with the rear camera by simply touching and holding the camera button or any of the volume keys.

These are not revolutionary features but it does allow you to have some fun with camera. Coming to the quality of the photos, we found that daylight images were average and did not bring out the best color. However, macro shots were good and offered details to the image. Also, the flash works well and does not add too much noise to the image. Although, the low light shots came out grainy and blurry.

Coming to the 5MP front camera, it is decent for selfies. Although it says that you can use flash for taking selfies, it basically creates a window on the screen that is surrounded by bright white light which “acts” as a flash. It comes with Gesture Shot and Gesture Interval Shot where the former allows you to take photos simply by raising an open hand in front of the lens and then clenching it into a fist. As soon as the camera recognizes the fist it will take a photo in 3 seconds. If you make a fist twice, it will take 4 photos instead of one. You can can take these 4 shots by even touching and holding the camera button. This feature is good for selfie lovers who want to take quirky and fun images. Finally, you can use your voice to take photos by saying any of the following, “Cheese”, “Smile”, “Whiskey”, “Kimchi” and “LG”.

(Check out camera samples below and click them to view full resolution sample)

Daylight

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Macro

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Low Light

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Flash

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Front Camera

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Video Sample

It can record videos at a maximum of 720p HD resolution. Video quality is average and doesn’t have much details. Check out the video sample below.

Software

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The K10 LTE runs on Android 5.1 Lollipop with LG’s UX UI on top. The company has not announced when it plans to roll out the Android 6.0 (Marshmallow) update for the smartphone. The UX UI on the phone is too garish and it could have been great if it was a bit subtle. The app icons are also big in size and have different look for each app. The entire look of the UI is not very appealing and attractive.

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The Quick settings features a numbers of options ranging from the usual WiFi, data, sound and this can be customized as per your choice and preferences. In addition, you can select either SIM cards from the two tabs that are present in the notification panel itself. Also present are brightness and volume sliders which can be controlled right from the notification panel.

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The Lock screen has shortcuts for apps like dialer, messages, quick notes, galley and camera. These apps can be launched from the Lock screen itself by simply swiping.

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You can customize the three on-screen home touch buttons on the phone and choose from either notification, Capture+ note and switch SIM. By default, the back button is on the left followed by the menu and the recent apps button. Also, SIM switch button is present as the fourth button by default. It is useful in a kind of way but again as it is in the place where usually the recent apps buttons is, it takes time to get adjusted to it.

Moving on, there are a couple of shortcut keys which lets you use the volume rockers to open apps when screen is locked or off. You can open the Capture+ app by pressing the + volume key up twice while press the – volume key twice to directly open the camera app. This feature does not work if you are listening to music as the volume buttons automatically controls volume.

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Out of 16GB of internal storage you get 10GB of usable storage. You can also move compatible apps to the SD card after inserting one into the device

Apps

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The phone comes with the usual set of Google Apps and has only Evernote as a pre-loaded app which can be uninstalled. It has built-in apps like Tasks, Voice Recorder, Quick Memo which are kind of useful. It is a good thing that the phone does not come with unnecessary bloatware.

Music Player and FM Radio

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The Music player has a nice UI but lacks an equalizer. However, it does let you sync your playlist with an Android Wear device. You can even choose Play Music as your main go to music app.  In case of FM Radio, you can set more than 10 stations and it has auto tuning and recording feature.

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I personally like the dialer app as it is simple and clean with bigger num pad. It comes with call logs, contacts, favourites and groups. The keyboard is also good and allows smooth and easy typing. The dedicated on-screen button for switching SIMs comes in handy while making call or message.

Dual SIM and Connectivity

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The phone supports dual SIM and both of them support 4G LTE for TD-LTE 2300MHz (Band 40) and FDD-LTE 1800MHz (Band 3) for India. However, only one SIM can be enabled to 4G, while the other runs 2G. It also has VoLTE for HD calling over LTE.

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The connectivity features include Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with Wi-Fi Direct, Bluetooth v4.0 and GPS.

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You can set the default SIM for voice call, messaging or data connection. A Smart forward feature is present on the device which lets you receive calls from second SIM if you are busy on the primary SIM and vice versa.

Performance and Benchmarks

The K10 LTE has a 2GB RAM and is powered by a 1.21GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor with Adreno 304 GPU. The performance is fine and feels quite responsive. We tried games like Asphalt 8 and it performed well. The phone also did not suffer any glitches while playing games or doing multi tasking. Also, it did not face any heating issues during gaming. Check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.

LG K10 LTE AnTuTu 5

It managed to score 22484 points in AnTuTu Benachmark 5.

LG K10 LTE Basemark OS II

It scored 585 points in Basemark OS II.

LG K10 LTE 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited

It managed to score 5289 points in 3D Mark Ice Storm Unlimited.

LG K10 LTE Geekbench 3 Multi-Core

It scored 1005 points in Geekbench Multi Core.

LG K10 LTE Geekbench 3 Single Core

It scored 298 points in Geekbench Single Core.

Battery Life

The phone has a 2300mAh battery that lasts for entire day with moderate use. There is a battery saver mode option that reduces the brightness of the screen to save power. You can even enable the ‘Restrict apps in the background’ option to save battery. When you turn on the battery saver mode, it lets you select from three options – Immediately, at 5% battery level and at 15% battery level. We will bring you the One Charge Rating and complete set of test results of the smartphone soon.

Conclusion

The LG K10 LTE scores when it comes to the build quality of the phone and design, but fails to impress with its specifications and internal features. For the price of Rs, 13,500, the phone comes with an average display, which is a let down. Although the macro shots are good , the camera is not the best for the price. Next up, the phone lacks a fingerprint sensor. It is 2016 and you got to have a fingerprint sensor on your device, at least for a price like this. Although, the phone offers a good build, it fails to impress when it comes to offering value for money. Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, Lenovo K4 Note and few other phones in the range offer more features in terms of both hardware and software for a lower price than the LG K10 LTE.

Pros

  • Good Build Quality and Design
  • Decent Camera
  • Decent Performance

Cons

  • Average Display
  • No fingerprint sensor
  • Priced on the higher side

Author: Sneha Bokil

Sneha Bokil is a tech enthusiast and is currently using OnePlus 3T but she still treasures her Nokia N70 (M). You can follow her on Twitter @snehabokil and on Google+