Hands on: LG K10 2017 review

If the price is right, the K10 could be a mid-range maestro

What is a hands on review?
TODO alt text

Our Early Verdict

The K10 looks is a serviceable smartphone. It doesn’t do anything that really makes it standout, but it offers the features you’d want from a mid-to-low tier device in a package which is highly usable, if not a looker.

For

  • Fingerprint scanner
  • Wide angle selfie snapper
  • Removable battery

Against

  • Design could be better
  • Not the slickest interface

LG’s K series is back with an updated selection of mid-to-low range phones, and the LG K10 is the most premium of the line-up for 2017. 

It boasts a 5.3-inch HD display, 1.5GHz octa-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, microSD slot, 13MP rear camera, 5MP front snapper and a removable 2,800mAh battery. 

Design wise the K10 has an all plastic build, but a metallic effect border does at least give it a little bit of premium appeal – pick it up though and you’ll be well aware this isn’t a flagship device. 

The noticeably plastic finish isn’t really much of a problem, and it feels solid in the hand – you can also pick between black, grey and gold finishes. 

It’s nice to see a fingerprint scanner on the rear of the K10, as the digit reading tech continues it proliferation down the tiers and into more affordable handsets.  

In the hand the fingerprint scanner is in an ergonomic location, but place the LG K10 on a flat surface and you can’t access the scanner – forcing you to pick it up. It’s a little frustrating, but not the end of the world. 

The scanner doubles as the power/lock key too, with the volume key located on the left side of the handset – falling nicely under thumb or finger. 

The HD display is bright and clear, although the 720p resolution isn’t going to blow you away. 

On screen you’ll find Android 7 Nougat – the latest version of Google’s software – skinned with LG’s overlay which sees the removal of the app draw by default. 

It can be enabled in the settings though, if you don’t fancy dealing with all your apps on home screens. 

The K10 runs smoothly, but it lacks the slickness of more expensive handsets and apps don’t load as quickly as some rival devices. It’s not slow though, and still very usable.

The rear facing 13MP camera is a solid offering and during our brief time with the K10 on the LG booth at CES 2017 we were able to take a couple of decent snaps – it won’t blow you away, but it’s a capable snapper. 

Things are a little more interesting round the front with the wide-angle 5MP camera. It was an ultra-wide 120 degree field of view, allowing you to cram in more buddies to your selfies.

You can easily switch between this wide view and a normal portrait mode at the touch of a button in the camera – perfect when you’re having a solo pout session.

Removable batteries are a rare thing in today’s smartphones, but LG is one of the few manufacturers which continues to allow users to easily pop their phone’s power pack out – and that’s exactly what you can do with the LG K10. 

Under the peel-away plastic rear of the K10 you’ll find a 2,800mAh battery which we hope will be good for a day’s use on a single charge – but you’ll have to wait for our full review to find out.

Also behind the plastic back is the SIM slot and microSD slot – and the latter will likely be required as the K10 comes with 16GB of internal storage and a fair chunk of that will be filled up by the Android system. 

The K10 can support microSD cards up to 2TB in size, so you can easily get yourself enough storage.

There’s currently no information on the LG K10 release date and price, but we’re hoping for an attractive price tag otherwise the K10 may struggle to really make a mark.

Early verdict

The LG K10 looks to be a serviceable smartphone. It doesn’t do anything that really makes it standout, but it offers all the features you’d want from a mid-to-low tier device in a package which is highly usable, if not a looker. 

The K10’s success however will hinge on its price tag – too high and it’ll find itself losing out to better, cheaper opposition. 

  • New year, new tech – check out all our coverage of CES 2017 straight from Las Vegas, the greatest gadget show on Earth

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Phones, Tablets and Wearables UK Editor

John (Twitter, Google+) got his first phone aged 12 and since then he's been fixated on all things mobile, churning his way through a multitude of handsets, tablets and wearables. Signalling his arrival at TechRadar by becoming a Guinness World Record holder in his first week, John hasn't looked back since.

What is a hands on review?

'Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

Tags