Notebookcheck

LG Joy Smartphone Review

Michael Moser, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 08/12/2015

Keep it simple ...was apparently the motto for LG's new Joy. The 4-inch phone costs approximately 100 Euros (~$111) and provides the essential equipment apart from a front-facing camera and LED flash. Affordable and solid, it is intended to be a joy to use.

For the original German review, see here.

LG's Joy is sold at an RRP of 100 Euros (~$111), which makes it the cheapest available smartphone of the South Korean manufacturer's entry-level sector. The modest configuration also makes that evident. A 4-inch TFT screen with a resolution of 800x400 pixels, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8210 dual-core SoC clocked at 1.2 GHz, low 512 MB of RAM and a tiny 4 GB flash memory are on board. The latter can be expanded via a micro-SD card. Wi-Fi b/g/n and UMTS are installed, and Android 4.4.2 KitKat is the operating system. The battery is removable.

We used the Huawei Y540Microsoft Lumia 532Samsung Galaxy J1, as well as the slightly more expensive Sony Xperia E4g for the direct comparison.

Working For Notebookcheck

Are you a techie who knows how to write? Then join our Team! Especially English native speakers welcome!

Currently wanted: 
News and Editorial Editor - Details here

LG Joy
Graphics adapter
Memory
512 MB 
, LPDDR2
Display
4 inch 5:3, 800 x 480 pixel, capacitive, TFT LCD, 233 ppi, 300 Nit, glossy: yes
Storage
4 GB Flash, 4 GB 
, 1.34 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm jack, Card Reader: micro-SD (max. 32 GB), Sensors: A-GPS/GPS; motion sensor
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.0, GSM (2G), EDGE, UMTS (3G); UMTS (900/2100 MHz), HSDPA 21.1Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, GSM (850/900/1800/1900 MHz); SAR-rates: 1.15W/kg (head), 0.989W/kg (body)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 11.9 x 122.7 x 64 ( = 0.47 x 4.83 x 2.52 in)
Battery
7 Wh Lithium-Ion, 1900 mAh, removable, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 10 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 9 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 360 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 360 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: no front-facing camera; primary camera: 5 MP, 2560 x 1920 pixels, x4 digital zoom, [email protected] 800 x 480 pixels (WVGA), pause and resume recording, touch & shoot, voice commands, timer
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, QWERTY, Keyboard Light: yes, battery, micro-USB 2.0 cable, charger, quick start guide, LG UI, Knock Code, Guest Mode, Easy UI, WiFi Direct, LG Smart Keyboard, QuickMemo, TalkBack, Polaris Office, RemoteCall Service, LG Smart World, 24 Months Warranty, SIM size: micro-SIM; special features: FM radio
Weight
127 g ( = 4.48 oz / 0.28 pounds), Power Supply: 61 g ( = 2.15 oz / 0.13 pounds)
Price
99 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

The review sample is made completely of plastic that features a plain design. Its rigidness corresponds to the price range, but light pressure on the screen is enough to cause color distortions. Furthermore, our warping attempts provoked an audible creaking and cracking noise. The build, with evenly spaced gaps, is otherwise good.

The back cover can be removed, but there is unfortunately no recess, making it necessary to lever it open via the micro-USB 2.0 opening. In addition to the removable battery, slots for a micro-SIM and micro-SD card are under the back cover that has been rippled and rounded for a better feel. Besides our blue-black review sample, LG's Joy is also to be available in white-black, but this combination is yet to be found in online shops.

Although the device's dimensions of 122.7 x 64 mm makes it the most compact phone in the comparison field, it is taller than its rivals with a height of 11.9 mm.

134.2 mm / 5.28 inch 67 mm / 2.64 inch 10.3 mm / 0.4055 inch 150 g0.3307 lbs133 mm / 5.24 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 10.8 mm / 0.4252 inch 135 g0.2976 lbs129 mm / 5.08 inch 68.2 mm / 2.69 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 122 g0.269 lbs122.7 mm / 4.83 inch 64 mm / 2.52 inch 11.9 mm / 0.4685 inch 127 g0.28 lbs118.9 mm / 4.68 inch 65.5 mm / 2.58 inch 11.6 mm / 0.4567 inch 136 g0.2998 lbs

Connectivity

LG's Joy provides the essential interfaces with micro-USB 2.0 and a 3.5 mm audio jack. The former is easy to reach on the smartphone's lower edge and can connect to a computer via LG PC Suite. MHL, Miracast, DLNA and USB OTG are not supported. In return, Wi-Fi Direct for transmitting without a local Wi-Fi access point is available.

One major drawback of LG's Joy is its internal storage of 4 GB. Only a scanty 1.34 GB net can be used, which makes a storage expansion via micro-SD (32 GB according to manufacturer, 64 GB possible in the test) a must. Unfortunately, not all apps can be moved to the memory card using App2SD. Nor is it possible to set the card as the primary storage location, making it impossible to download very large apps. A headset, which is not included, is needed as an antenna for the FM radio.

Left: Volume rocker
Left: Volume rocker
Android 4.4.2 KitKat
Android 4.4.2 KitKat

Software

The dated Android 4.4.2 KitKat operating system is used in LG's Joy. It, however, runs quite smoothly in conjunction with LG's proprietary Easy UI desktop. It facilitates handling larger fonts and icons, among other things. The pre-loaded apps are kept within limits; besides the familiar Google pack, some useful apps like LG Smart Keyboard, Knock Code, QuickMemo, LG Smart World and Polaris Office are installed.

GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors

Communication & GPS 

Calls can be made via quad-band GSM and Dual-band UMTS. As common in this price range, there is no LTE or dual-band Wi-Fi. The installed Wi-Fi module supports the 802.11 b/g/n standards. Its reception quality was middling at a distance of approximately 10 meters (~33 feet) from the router and through three walls.

The GPS module is relatively quick and reliable. Outdoor tracking was accomplished in about half a second with an accuracy of 7 meters (~23 feet) using the GPS Test app. Finding satellites in the office took a bit longer, but then with an accuracy of 14 meters (~46 feet). The user should not trust the GPS module unconditionally though. It can, however, be used reliably for a rough localization.

Phone app
Phone app

Telephone & Call Quality

The phone app corresponds to the standard Android application, and provides all essential features like call lists, groups and favorites. The call quality is satisfactory, which our contact also confirmed. A muffled sound and occasional annoying side noises were noticed on the review sample's side. The overall quality is still decent.

Cameras & Multimedia

An interesting detail first: The Joy still had a front-facing camera at LG's product presentation in early 2015, and an LED flash was flange-mounted beside the primary camera. However, LG has opted against that, likely for cost reasons, and LG's Joy now only features a rear-facing camera with a resolution of 5 megapixels (2560x1920 pixels). Videos can only be recorded in WVGA with 800x480 pixels. In addition to a timer and touch & shoot, voice release is also possible. It only responds to loud commands, especially when taking selfies, and generally responds a bit slow. The lens' image quality is middling, and the achieved sharpness is unsatisfactory. Furthermore, objects are slightly overexposed, and colors thus look a bit inaccurate. As expected, the low light performance is abysmal and produces low-detail, faded pictures.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories

LG includes a charger, USB cable and quick start guide for the Joy besides the device itself and its battery. Optional accessories, such as various headsets, external or replacement batteries, are found on LG's website.

Warranty

LG specifies the usual 24-month warranty period for its Joy; the battery is covered for 6 months.

Input Devices & Handling

Using the capacitive touchscreen is relatively smooth. The accuracy is decent up into the edges. Zooming or other multi-touch gestures are identified and implemented reliably. LG's Knock Code for waking up the smartphone from standby via a personal tap pattern is also installed. Automatic screen rotation functions well, but needs a moment. The physical controls in the form of the power button and volume rocker are on the casing's sides, and have a good pressure point.

The virtual QWERTY keyboard is a bit small due to the screen's size, but it can be adjusted somewhat vertically. Furthermore, various controls can be configured singly. Identifying inputs sometimes needs a moment, which slightly thwarts fast typing. The smoothness of the screen's surface could be a bit sleeker, but is still acceptable.

Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard portrait mode
Keyboard landscape mode
Keyboard landscape mode

Display

The small, capacitive, 4-inch TFT LC screen in the 16:10 format has a resolution of 800x400 pixels, which results in a pixel density of 233 ppi. That is on par with the comparison devices; only the slightly bigger Sony Xperia E4g has a somewhat higher resolution. Content looks sufficiently sharp despite the low resolution. The measured average brightness of 312.6 cd/m² for LG's Joy is marginally higher than Microsoft's Lumia 532, and achieves the second place in the comparison with the rivals.

315
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
304
cd/m²
315
cd/m²
322
cd/m²
305
cd/m²
317
cd/m²
321
cd/m²
293
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 322 cd/m² Average: 312.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 91 %
Center on Battery: 322 cd/m²
Contrast: 1039:1 (Black: 0.31 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.57 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 14.02 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
84.3705% sRGB (Argyll 3D)
Gamma: 2.45
LG Joy
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Samsung Galaxy J1
Mali-400 MP2, SC8830, 4 GB Flash
Huawei Y540
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
Microsoft Lumia 532
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia E4g
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-2%
-11%
-8%
46%
Brightness middle
322
370
15%
484
50%
301
-7%
458
42%
Brightness
313
364
16%
464
48%
302
-4%
434
39%
Brightness Distribution
91
95
4%
83
-9%
93
2%
88
-3%
Black Level *
0.31
0.63
-103%
0.76
-145%
0.58
-87%
0.21
32%
Contrast
1039
587
-44%
637
-39%
519
-50%
2181
110%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
11.57
5.99
48%
11.06
4%
6.36
45%
6.95
40%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
14.02
7.28
48%
11.88
15%
7.49
47%
4.87
65%
Gamma
2.45 90%
2.59 85%
2.33 94%
2.58 85%
2.38 92%
CCT
17420 37%
7949 82%
12908 50%
9135 71%
6635 98%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
84.3705

* ... smaller is better

LG's Joy can clearly outrun most contenders in black level and contrast, and its rates of 0.31 cd/m² and 1039:1 are solely outperformed by Sony's Xperia E4g. The illumination of 91 percent is very homogeneous, and only Microsoft's Lumia 532 and Samsung's Galaxy J1 surpass that. Subjectively, content is reproduced with rich black and decent image sharpness.

The analysis using the CalMAN software and photospectrometer shows a shift in the red color range compared with the ideal. The color brightness could also be higher here. The grayscale levels reveal a clear bluish tint that is already visible in darker gray tones. The average color temperature of over 17000 Kelvin is much too high, which confirms the bluish tint even more. The gamma of 2.45 is close to the ideal, and the sRGB color space is still covered by approximately 84 percent.

CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Colorspace
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN Grayscale
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN ColorChecker
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps
CalMAN Saturation Sweeps

The maximum average brightness of 322 cd/m² and intensely reflective surface slightly thwarts using the screen outdoors. However, content can still be read well in partial shade.

The viewing angles are middling as typical for TFT. Colors invert especially when looking from the smartphone's upper and lower edge; the image brightness decreases sharply when viewing from extreme angles.

Heavy reflections...
Heavy reflections...
…slightly thwart...
…slightly thwart...
…outdoor use.
…outdoor use.
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

LG's Joy is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8210 dual-core SoC clocked at 1.2 GHz, which can only utilize a meager 512 MB of RAM. The nominal performance corresponds to the processors in the rivals; Microsoft's also uses the Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8210 SoC. The higher priced Sony Xperia E4g sports a considerably stronger quad-core SoC. Therefore, a greater performance difference in the synthetic benchmarks is only evident in the comparison with Sony's Xperia E4g. However, our review sample can slightly outperform its rivals in some benchmarks.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
580 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J1
567 Points ∼1% -2%
Huawei Y540
581 Points ∼1% 0%
Sony Xperia E4g
2134 Points ∼3% +268%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
315 Points ∼6%
Samsung Galaxy J1
312 Points ∼6% -1%
Huawei Y540
325 Points ∼7% +3%
Sony Xperia E4g
727 Points ∼15% +131%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG Joy
4136 Points ∼5%
Huawei Y540
4320 Points ∼5% +4%
Sony Xperia E4g
0 Points ∼0% -100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
3558 Points ∼1%
Huawei Y540
1690 Points ∼0% -53%
Sony Xperia E4g
0 Points ∼0% -100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
3672 Points ∼2%
Huawei Y540
1954 Points ∼1% -47%
Sony Xperia E4g
0 Points ∼0% -100%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
LG Joy
3578 Points ∼4%
Huawei Y540
4138 Points ∼5% +16%
Sony Xperia E4g
10472 Points ∼12% +193%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
LG Joy
1983 Points ∼0%
Huawei Y540
980 Points ∼0% -51%
Sony Xperia E4g
4390 Points ∼1% +121%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
2201 Points ∼1%
Huawei Y540
1180 Points ∼1% -46%
Sony Xperia E4g
5041 Points ∼2% +129%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
LG Joy
3939 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy J1
3859 Points ∼2% -2%
Huawei Y540
4134 Points ∼3% +5%
Sony Xperia E4g
10440 Points ∼7% +165%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
LG Joy
4095 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J1
1957 Points ∼0% -52%
Huawei Y540
2045 Points ∼0% -50%
Sony Xperia E4g
9135 Points ∼1% +123%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
4059 Points ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy J1
2213 Points ∼0% -45%
Huawei Y540
2304 Points ∼0% -43%
Sony Xperia E4g
9396 Points ∼1% +131%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7 - T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG Joy
12 fps ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 532
9.4 fps ∼0% -22%
Huawei Y540
5.9 fps ∼0% -51%
Sony Xperia E4g
25.7 fps ∼1% +114%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
LG Joy
2775 points ∼60%
Samsung Galaxy J1
2263 points ∼49% -18%
Huawei Y540
2106 points ∼46% -24%
Sony Xperia E4g
4423 points ∼96% +59%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
LG Joy
2677 points ∼14%
Samsung Galaxy J1
2126 points ∼11% -21%
Huawei Y540
2401 points ∼13% -10%
Sony Xperia E4g
5971 points ∼32% +123%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
LG Joy
144.16 MFLOPS ∼5%
Microsoft Lumia 532
233.9 MFLOPS ∼8% +62%
Huawei Y540
149.395 MFLOPS ∼5% +4%
Sony Xperia E4g
315.265 MFLOPS ∼11% +119%
Single Thread (sort by value)
LG Joy
75.187 MFLOPS ∼7%
Microsoft Lumia 532
58.5 MFLOPS ∼6% -22%
Huawei Y540
105.318 MFLOPS ∼10% +40%
Sony Xperia E4g
122.206 MFLOPS ∼12% +63%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
14033 Points ∼14%
Huawei Y540
12567 Points ∼13% -10%
Sony Xperia E4g
32844 Points ∼33% +134%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
LG Joy
10 Points ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy J1
541 Points ∼27% +5310%
Microsoft Lumia 532
381 Points ∼19% +3710%
Huawei Y540
9 Points ∼0% -10%
Sony Xperia E4g
834 Points ∼41% +8240%
Graphics (sort by value)
LG Joy
274 Points ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy J1
65 Points ∼0% -76%
Microsoft Lumia 532
190 Points ∼1% -31%
Huawei Y540
69 Points ∼0% -75%
Sony Xperia E4g
389 Points ∼1% +42%
Memory (sort by value)
LG Joy
345 Points ∼5%
Samsung Galaxy J1
185 Points ∼2% -46%
Microsoft Lumia 532
676 Points ∼9% +96%
Huawei Y540
154 Points ∼2% -55%
Sony Xperia E4g
505 Points ∼7% +46%
System (sort by value)
LG Joy
508 Points ∼3%
Samsung Galaxy J1
551 Points ∼3% +8%
Microsoft Lumia 532
621 Points ∼4% +22%
Huawei Y540
564 Points ∼3% +11%
Sony Xperia E4g
1324 Points ∼8% +161%
Overall (sort by value)
LG Joy
146 Points ∼2%
Samsung Galaxy J1
245 Points ∼3% +68%
Microsoft Lumia 532
418 Points ∼5% +186%
Huawei Y540
86 Points ∼1% -41%
Sony Xperia E4g
682 Points ∼8% +367%

Legend

 
LG Joy Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 8210, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 4 GB Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy J1 Spreadtrum SC8830, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 4 GB Flash
 
Microsoft Lumia 532 Qualcomm Snapdragon 200 MSM8212, Qualcomm Adreno 302, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Y540 MediaTek MT6572, ARM Mali-400 MP, 4 GB Flash
 
Sony Xperia E4g Mediatek MT6732, ARM Mali-T760 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash

The pre-loaded Android browser could not completely finish the browser-based benchmark tests. For example, it always aborted the Sunspider 1.0 and Octane v2 test. Only the Kraken 1.1 benchmark could be finished successfully. LG's Joy just lags behind its rivals and can only outperform Sony's Xperia E4g. The browsing performance is thus a bit sluggish, but can be improved noticeably with Google's Chrome browser.

Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
17087.2 ms * ∼29%
Samsung Galaxy J1
19283.7 ms * ∼32% -13%
Microsoft Lumia 532
27089 ms * ∼46% -59%
Huawei Y540
18280 ms * ∼31% -7%
Sony Xperia E4g
11503 ms * ∼19% +33%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
LG Joy
33 Points ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy J1
28 Points ∼3% -15%
Huawei Y540
27 Points ∼3% -18%
Sony Xperia E4g
62 Points ∼8% +88%

* ... smaller is better

The internal storage of LG's Joy has a capacity of 4 GB, and only 1.34 GB net of that can be used. Although it can be expanded by up to 64 GB (in contrast to the manufacturer's specified 32 GB) via a micro-SD card, App2SD only functions with a few applications.

According to the Androbench benchmark test, the performance of the internal storage that is connected via the LPDDR2 controller is quite swift. Solely Samsung's Galaxy J1 operates even faster in writing small 4 KB blocks in the device comparison.

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
LG Joy
0.89 MB/s ∼0%
Huawei Y540
0.43 MB/s ∼0% -52%
Samsung Galaxy J1
1.5 MB/s ∼1% +69%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
LG Joy
13.88 MB/s ∼7%
Huawei Y540
12.66 MB/s ∼6% -9%
Samsung Galaxy J1
13.76 MB/s ∼7% -1%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
LG Joy
12.05 MB/s ∼2%
Huawei Y540
11.1 MB/s ∼2% -8%
Samsung Galaxy J1
11.3 MB/s ∼2% -6%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
LG Joy
119.77 MB/s ∼8%
Huawei Y540
79.27 MB/s ∼5% -34%
Samsung Galaxy J1
59.72 MB/s ∼4% -50%

Games

The SoC-integrated Qualcomm Adreno 302 graphics card is in charge of video tasks. It is an entry-level member and clocks at 400 MHz. More basic games like the relatively undemanding "Angry Birds: Fight" run smoothly on it, and it even copes easily with routine multimedia tasks. The user will have to reckon with minor stutters in more sophisticated games like "Trials Frontier". Some 3D games would run on the SoC, but the little RAM capacity either slows them down or they will not run at all like in the test with "Modern Combat 5". Control via touchscreen and position sensors functioned unconditionally.

"Angry Birds Fight!"
"Angry Birds Fight!"
"Trials Frontier"
"Trials Frontier"

Emissions

Temperature

LG's Joy did not heat up palpably with an average idle surface temperature of approximately 31 °C (87.8 °F). The underside reached a maximum of 36 °C (96.8 °F) during full load, which is just a bit more than lukewarm. The smartphone did not get unpleasantly hot even in prolonged full load. Consequently, temperature-related throttling was not observed. The power supply also always remained within an uncritical range with a maximum of 36.4 °C (97.52 °F).

Max. Load
 32.8 °C
91 F
38.2 °C
101 F
38.9 °C
102 F
 
 33.3 °C
92 F
38.5 °C
101 F
41.2 °C
106 F
 
 33 °C
91 F
37 °C
99 F
39.1 °C
102 F
 
Maximum: 41.2 °C = 106 F
Average: 36.9 °C = 98 F
36.7 °C
98 F
37.6 °C
100 F
32.2 °C
90 F
36.7 °C
98 F
38.5 °C
101 F
34.2 °C
94 F
37.1 °C
99 F
38.4 °C
101 F
33 °C
91 F
Maximum: 38.5 °C = 101 F
Average: 36 °C = 97 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.4 °C = 98 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-360
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.9 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 41.2 °C / 106 F, compared to the average of 35.5 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 38.5 °C / 101 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.9 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

The rear-sided mono speaker is easily covered when holding the smartphone. It generally delivers a quite treble-heavy sound lacking adequate bass. The speaker is not suitable for listening to music or multimedia applications. Furthermore, the maximum possible volume is too low and the sound quickly tends to overdrive. The 3.5 mm jack cannot be criticized, and achieves a decent maximum volume.

Battery Runtime

We could not ascertain any feasible power consumption rates in the test with LG's Joy. The removable, 7.2 Wh (1900 mAh) battery, however, helps the review sample in achieving everyday-suitable runtimes. LG's Joy can outrun its rivals particularly in the Full HD video test run in a loop using a brightness dimmed to 150 cd/m² (60%) and disabled Wi-Fi, which is on par with Sony's Xperia E4g (2300 mAh). The review sample finished the Wi-Fi browsing test after almost six hours also using an adapted brightness. It can only outrun Microsoft's Lumia 532 (5.8 Wh, 1850 mAh) here. Both Samsung's Galaxy J1 (5.8 Wh, 1560 mAh) and Huawei's Y540 (6.4 Wh, 1730 mAh) can offer a longer runtime in this test. Adapting the brightness would make it possible to use LG's Joy for a workday of mixed use without recharging.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 58min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 53min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 48min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 16min
LG Joy
Adreno 302, 200 8210, 4 GB Flash
Samsung Galaxy J1
Mali-400 MP2, SC8830, 4 GB Flash
Microsoft Lumia 532
Adreno 302, 200 MSM8212, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Huawei Y540
Mali-400 MP, MT6572, 4 GB Flash
Sony Xperia E4g
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
48%
-16%
-14%
35%
H.264
528
512
-3%
272
-48%
528
0%
WiFi v1.3
353
648
84%
298
-16%
397
12%
452
28%
Load
196
321
64%
184
-6%
344
76%

Pros

+ Impeccable build
+ Screen's decent color reproduction
+ Very good black level and contrast rates
+ Dual-core SoC's sufficient everyday performance
+ Decent battery life
+ Removable battery
+ Good voice quality
+ Memory expandable via micro-SD

Cons

- Tight internal storage
- Slow screen rotation
- Abysmal mono speaker

Verdict

In Review: LG Joy. Test sample courtesy of Cyberport.de
In Review: LG Joy. Test sample courtesy of Cyberport.de

The minimalistic approach of the Joy reflects its low starting price. The user gets a solid smartphone that does not have any severe drawbacks, but does not have any striking feature in this price range, either. The buyer will find a 4-inch screen with sufficient brightness and decent color reproduction alongside very good black level and contrast rates for 100 Euros (~$111). The dual-core SoC has enough power for routine applications and the battery provides feasible runtimes. Furthermore, it can be doubled by exchanging the battery when required. The middling camera module is satisfactory for an occasional snapshot, but the omitted selfie lens is no longer contemporary. The communication modules do not let the user down, and even the primary function - making calls - works well thanks to the decent voice quality. The impeccable build and smooth use of Android 4.4.2 are compelling although the smartphone needs a moment to respond in some cases like screen rotation. The mono speaker's performance is disappointing, but hardly a contender does a much better job in this price range. The tiny internal storage with a net of 1.34 GB will thwart users from installing multiple, large applications. The expandability of up to 32 GB via a micro-SD is not of much use since not all apps can be moved to it. The lack of OTG, NFC or even LTE is not really a minus point in view of the price range.

Price-conscious potential buyers could give LG's solid entry-level Joy smartphone a chance since it is roughly on par with all comparison devices.

Buyers with a slightly bigger budget, who want both higher performance and a better configuration, should look closer at Sony's Xperia E4g.

 

 

 

LG Joy - 08/06/2015 v4(old)
Michael Moser

Chassis
74%
Keyboard
64 / 75 → 85%
Pointing Device
82%
Connectivity
44 / 60 → 73%
Weight
94%
Battery
91%
Display
79%
Games Performance
52 / 63 → 83%
Application Performance
26 / 70 → 37%
Temperature
86%
Noise
100%
Audio
50 / 91 → 55%
Camera
44%
Average
68%
78%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

Pricecompare

Read all 2 comments / answer
static version load dynamic
Loading Comments
Comment on this article
Please share our article, every link counts!
> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > LG Joy Smartphone Review
Michael Moser, 2015-08-12 (Update: 2018-05-15)