Notebookcheck

LG K4 (2017) Smartphone Review

Inge Schwabe, Tanja Hinum (translated by Katherine Bodner), 08/03/2017

Good for beginners. This phone is really an ideal first smartphone: if you are not accustomed to smartphones, you will have no difficulties navigating through the home screens, switching between two SIM cards or taking notes on the smartphone. Everyone else will probably not be satisfied with the level of the LG K4's hardware.

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LG K4 Dual (2017)

For the original German review, click here.

The LG K4 moves into the second round. The biggest improvement of the 2017 model compared to last year's LG K4 is the LC display, which replaces the old TN panel. Apart from that, not much has changed on the technical side. We have compared the K4 to the Huawei Y5 II, the Sony Xperia E5 and of course the Lenovo K6, which only costs a little more than our device and convinced us with its extensive hardware features during testing.

LG K4 2017 (K Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
, LPDDR2/LPDDR3, 533MHz
Display
5 inch 16:9, 854 x 480 pixel 196 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, TFT LCD, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 3.61 GB available, 3 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio jack, Card Reader: microSD, up to 32 GB, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor, Wi-Fi Direct, PC Sync (LG Bridge)
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM: 850/900/1800/1900 MHz; UMTS: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz, HSDPA 42 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s; LTE: frequencies 1/3/7/8/20 (CAT4), Dual SIM, LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8 x 144 x 72 ( = 0.31 x 5.67 x 2.83 in)
Battery
9.6 Wh, 2500 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 6.0 Marshmallow
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix auto focus, LED flash, HDR, voice command
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix fixed focus, Auto Shot function
Additional features
Speakers: mono speaker, Keyboard: virtual, power supply, USB cable, Quick Start guide, warranty information, LG KnockCode, Easy Home, Capture+, Polaris Office, 24 Months Warranty, SAR value: 0.556 W/Kg FM radio, fanless
Weight
136 g ( = 4.8 oz / 0.3 pounds), Power Supply: 50 g ( = 1.76 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
120 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

Optically, the new K4 is a big improvement from the old-fashioned design of its predecessor. Our test unit is black, but there is also a titanium-colored version. The narrow, shiny plastic frame is a nice contrast to the matte black back, which has a nice feel to it thanks to its textured surface. The frame widens a little at the bottom, where the audio and Micro-USB ports are located. This makes the case look even more dynamic.

If you are changing to LG from another smartphone manufacturer, you will look for the on/off button on the side of the device in vain. You will only find the volume rocker; LG has placed the power button on the back of the smartphone. This is where many other LG smartphones have a fingerprint sensor which is used to unlock the device. The K4 is not equipped with a fingerprint sensor, however, but still has the round button at the back. Due to its small size, our finger did not naturally lie on the on/off button and had to be bent to press it. This is not a huge drawback, but can be a little uncomfortable. The display can also be activated by tapping it twice thanks to the LG Knock Code - and then unlocked the usual way.

Size Comparison

Connectivity

The LG K4's low storage capacity - users have only 3.6 of the 8 GB available for personal data - is a real drawback: the system started reporting storage problems after installing only a few additional apps and the test unit did not even offer enough storage for us to have all benchmarks apps installed at the same time. On top of that, we received an error message when trying to update pre-existing apps after having installed a few ourselves. So you will probably not manage without an external memory card. The microSD slot is positioned beneath the cover for the exchangeable battery, which should not matter if you use the card as storage expansion. The Micro-USB port does not support USB OTG, so if you want to use a physical device for data transfers, you cannot use a USB stick and will have to use the memory card instead. But at least you do not have to remove the battery to remove the memory card.

The K4 supports Wi-Fi Direct and can be used as a radio with a headset (not included) thanks to the integrated tuner. The device does not have an LED that lets you know whether there are any missed calls or new messages.

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Software

The device's operating system is Android 6, which is rather old already; the Android security patches are from the beginning of 2017. It offers three different interfaces, although one of them has to be downloaded if needed. This way, users can decide if they want an app drawer or prefer to have all apps on the home screen. The third option is a simple interface with connections to the contacts and telephone on the main home screen, while other apps and an app drawer can be placed on further home screens. Users can also customize the Android navigation keys.

You will find the Office apps from Polaris and a radio app for the integrated FM tuner among the K4's pre-installed apps. The possibility to take notes via tapping the "louder" side of the volume rocker twice (even from a locked screen) is quite handy.

normal home screen with access to the app drawer
simple interface with a button to add further apps and two widgets
customizing Android navigation
taking notes on locked screen

Communication & GPS

Our test unit does not have NFC, which would speed up making a Bluetooth connection with similarly equipped devices. The Wi-Fi is limited to the 2.4 GHz frequency, which is normal for entry-level devices. The download rate of 54.9 MBit/s is similar to that of our comparison devices. The device supports all frequencies that are relevant in Europe, but lacks bands 12 and 17, which would be important for the US. LTE cat. 4 supports download rates of up to 150 MBit/s and upload rates of up to 50 MBit/s. Even though current smartphones offer higher rates, these results are quite alright for the cheap K4.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Sony Xperia E5
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
79.9 MBit/s ∼100% +46%
LG K4 2017
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
54.9 MBit/s ∼69%
Lenovo K6
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
51.9 MBit/s ∼65% -5%
Gigaset GS160
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
33.5 MBit/s ∼42% -39%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Sony Xperia E5
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6735, 16 GB eMMC Flash
78.7 MBit/s ∼100% +61%
Lenovo K6
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
52.4 MBit/s ∼67% +7%
LG K4 2017
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
48.9 MBit/s ∼62%
Gigaset GS160
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
48.2 MBit/s ∼61% -1%
GPS reception outdoors
GPS reception in an apartment block

LG has improved our test unit's GPS module since its predecessor, which can now also receive signals indoors. This is helpful if you want to map a route from home.

The small K4 had a real surprise in store for us when we took it on our usual bike ride with the Garmin Edge 500 (a professional navigation system for bicyclists). The K4 stuck very close to our route and was only a few meters off the measured distance. If the small 5-inch display does not bother you, you can definitely use the K4 as a navigator.

overview
junction
crossing the canal

Telephone & Voice Quality

The two SIM cards have their own slots and neither needs to share its space with an optional memory card (this has its own slot in the K4) - which is a configuration that is rather unusual nowadays. Apart from the usual options for deciding which SIM should be used by default for telephoning and data connections, the device also has a dedicated button on the home screen which switches between the two SIM cards. The telephone interface also offers a direct connection and switches to the SMS app with the click of a button.

The voice quality is good in both directions during telephoning and both call partners had no difficulty understanding one another.

telephone interface
SIM card configuration
quick switch between the two SIM cards

Cameras

Both the main and the front camera, which you can switch to by swiping the screen within the camera app, have a maximum of 5 MP and shoot pictures with 3.6 MP in the preset 16:9 format. 

The cameras both have good exposure control as you can see from the two pictures below: on the left is a picture we took with the main camera's HDR mode, on the right a selfie at dusk. Both images lack sharpness in the distance, which is a disadvantage, particularly for the main camera.

The device offers HDR, auto focus and an LED flash, but the app does not have any filters or other options - the LG K4 cannot even take a panorama picture.

Unlike the main camera, the selfie camera performs quite well compared to its competition. It does not offer any filters either, but has various possibilities for shutter release: voice commands such as "cheese" "smile" or "LG", gesture commands or the so-called Auto Shot, which uses face recognition technology to automatically take a picture once the image is still. This feature works very well. Another feature of the front camera is that the display can reduce the preview image and turn up the brightness around the image to help in bad lighting conditions.

main camera, standard settings (16:9, 3.6 megapixels)
ftron camera, standard settings (16:9, 3.6 megapixels)

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

Color deviation values are quite good as you can see from the photo of the color card. The low-resolution camera cannot produce images with high-resolution details (mono chart).

Accessories & Warranty

The device comes with an 850-mAh power supply and connecting USB cable. LG differentiates between its warranty for the smartphone itself (24 months), parts subject to wear such as the battery, power supply and cable (6 months) and accessories (12 months).

Input Devices & Handling

The capacitive touchscreen can register gestures with up to five fingers. The height of the keyboard can be adjusted and is comfortable to use in portrait mode: Alternative characters are displayed directly on the key and there is another line of numbers above the alphanumeric characters. In the preset for landscape mode, the K4 never uses the full available width, which means that you lose the advantage landscape mode usually brings. This can be changed in the keyboard settings. LG has added another feature which was not available for the old K4: gesture typing.

maximum keyboard height in portrait mode
ex works, the keyboard does not use the full available width in landscape mode

Display

The K4's LC display still has only 854x480 pixels, which is low, even for a small 5-inch display with a pixel density of only 196 PPI. Brightness distribution is very even at 92% and the average brightness is 372 cd/m². The low black value also means good contrast values of 1:1100.

LG has equipped the model from 2017 with an ambient light sensor that automatically regulates the screen brightness.

379
cd/m²
382
cd/m²
354
cd/m²
380
cd/m²
385
cd/m²
357
cd/m²
382
cd/m²
369
cd/m²
356
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 385 cd/m² Average: 371.6 cd/m² Minimum: 5.32 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 385 cd/m²
Contrast: 1100:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 6.2 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 7 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
Gamma: 2.08
LG K4 2017
854x480, 5
Huawei Y5 II
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Huawei Y6 II Compact
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Gigaset GS160
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Sony Xperia E5
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo K6
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
HTC Desire 530
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Screen
-28%
-16%
-11%
25%
13%
10%
Brightness middle
385
465
21%
491
28%
489
27%
538
40%
470
22%
375
-3%
Brightness
372
443
19%
487
31%
479
29%
534
44%
461
24%
376
1%
Brightness Distribution
92
90
-2%
92
0%
95
3%
96
4%
88
-4%
91
-1%
Black Level *
0.35
0.84
-140%
0.9
-157%
0.55
-57%
0.33
6%
0.38
-9%
0.32
9%
Contrast
1100
554
-50%
546
-50%
889
-19%
1630
48%
1237
12%
1172
7%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
6.2
7.8
-26%
6.6
-6%
8.3
-34%
5.7
8%
5.2
16%
6
3%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
12.6
15.7
-25%
12.9
-2%
14.4
-14%
11
13%
9.5
25%
9.5
25%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
7
8.4
-20%
4.9
30%
8.7
-24%
4.7
33%
5.6
20%
4.5
36%
Gamma
2.08 106%
2.07 106%
2.12 104%
2.08 106%
2.51 88%
2.24 98%
2.26 97%
CCT
8257 79%
8438 77%
7090 92%
9034 72%
7264 89%
7924 82%
6975 93%

* ... smaller is better

Screen Flickering / PWM (Pulse-Width Modulation)

To dim the screen, some notebooks will simply cycle the backlight on and off in rapid succession - a method called Pulse Width Modulation (PWM) . This cycling frequency should ideally be undetectable to the human eye. If said frequency is too low, users with sensitive eyes may experience strain or headaches or even notice the flickering altogether.
Screen flickering / PWM not detected

In comparison: 52 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8773 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

The new LC display does better than its predecessor's TN panel in our tests. Although the new display has a blue cast and images appear rather cool, the color temperature of 8257 K is closer to the ideal 6000 K than its predecessor was with 9372 K. Color space deviation has dropped from 11.4 to 6.2 (sRGB) and 11 to 7 (gray scales), which is a significant difference.

CalMAN color accuracy (sRGB)
CalMAN color saturation (sRGB)
CalMAN color space (sRGB)
CalMAN gray scales (sRGB)

Display Response Times

Display response times show how fast the screen is able to change from one color to the next. Slow response times can lead to afterimages and can cause moving objects to appear blurry (ghosting). Gamers of fast-paced 3D titles should pay special attention to fast response times.
       Response Time Black to White
15.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 13.2 ms rise
↘ 12.4 ms fall
The screen shows good response rates in our tests, but may be too slow for competitive gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 13 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (25.6 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
46 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 22.8 ms rise
↘ 23.2 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.9 (minimum) to 636 (maximum) ms. » 72 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41 ms).

Thanks to the ambient light sensor, brightness increases automatically to 372 cd/m² outdoors, which makes it possible to read the K4's screen despite some reflections. Viewing-angle stability has been improved by the LC display and it now has only very slight color deviation when looking at the screen from the side.

On last year's model, you could hardly recognize any color when looking from the side; this year the new LC display just gives the colors a light yellow tinge.


viewing-angle stability
display reflections

Performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 (MSM8909) is mainly used in entry-level smartphones, including our LG K4. It cannot offer very high performance, particularly combined with only 1 GB of RAM. The combination goes about its work slowly and if you are used to faster smartphones, you might need a little patience when opening apps or switching between open apps.

The K4 remains at the bottom of the list in most of the following benchmarks and some of the graphics tests of the 3DMark and GFXBench programs could not even be carried out. If you like a fast phone, you will not be happy with the LG K4.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
19230 Points ∼8%
Huawei Y5 II
23795 Points ∼9% +24%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
33786 Points ∼13% +76%
Gigaset GS160
28459 Points ∼11% +48%
Sony Xperia E5
32477 Points ∼13% +69%
Lenovo K6
43673 Points ∼17% +127%
HTC Desire 530
23561 Points ∼9% +23%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
2152 Points ∼21%
Sony Xperia E5
2785 Points ∼27% +29%
Work performance score (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
3741 Points ∼28%
Huawei Y5 II
3237 Points ∼25% -13%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
3400 Points ∼26% -9%
Gigaset GS160
2563 Points ∼19% -31%
Sony Xperia E5
3817 Points ∼29% +2%
Lenovo K6
3387 Points ∼26% -9%
HTC Desire 530
2922 Points ∼22% -22%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
9 Points ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
10 Points ∼0% +11%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
10 Points ∼0% +11%
Gigaset GS160
9 Points ∼0% 0%
Sony Xperia E5
639 Points ∼31% +7000%
Lenovo K6
10 Points ∼0% +11%
HTC Desire 530
10 Points ∼0% +11%
Graphics (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
144 Points ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
283 Points ∼1% +97%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
283 Points ∼1% +97%
Gigaset GS160
208 Points ∼1% +44%
Sony Xperia E5
280 Points ∼1% +94%
Lenovo K6
732 Points ∼3% +408%
HTC Desire 530
231 Points ∼1% +60%
Memory (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
257 Points ∼4%
Huawei Y5 II
375 Points ∼6% +46%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
571 Points ∼9% +122%
Gigaset GS160
497 Points ∼8% +93%
Sony Xperia E5
552 Points ∼9% +115%
Lenovo K6
530 Points ∼8% +106%
HTC Desire 530
300 Points ∼5% +17%
System (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
586 Points ∼4%
Huawei Y5 II
1094 Points ∼7% +87%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
1093 Points ∼7% +87%
Gigaset GS160
1029 Points ∼6% +76%
Sony Xperia E5
1091 Points ∼7% +86%
Lenovo K6
1282 Points ∼8% +119%
HTC Desire 530
742 Points ∼5% +27%
Overall (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
119 Points ∼1%
Huawei Y5 II
183 Points ∼2% +54%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
203 Points ∼2% +71%
Gigaset GS160
178 Points ∼2% +50%
Sony Xperia E5
567 Points ∼7% +376%
Lenovo K6
263 Points ∼3% +121%
HTC Desire 530
149 Points ∼2% +25%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
944 Points ∼3%
Sony Xperia E5
1527 Points ∼4% +62%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
390 Points ∼6%
Sony Xperia E5
556 Points ∼9% +43%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
873 Points ∼21%
Sony Xperia E5
835 Points ∼20%
Lenovo K6
1047 Points ∼25%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
100 Points ∼2%
Sony Xperia E5
100 Points ∼2%
Lenovo K6
240 Points ∼4%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
124 Points ∼3%
Sony Xperia E5
124 Points ∼3%
Lenovo K6
290 Points ∼6%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
293 Points ∼7%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0% -100%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
826 Points ∼20% +182%
Sony Xperia E5
817 Points ∼20% +179%
Lenovo K6
1002 Points ∼24% +242%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
0 Points ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
167 Points ∼2%
Sony Xperia E5
175 Points ∼2%
Lenovo K6
491 Points ∼6%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
0 Points ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
203 Points ∼3%
Sony Xperia E5
212 Points ∼3%
Lenovo K6
554 Points ∼9%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
4143 Points ∼5%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0% -100%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
9393 Points ∼12% +127%
Gigaset GS160
7881 Points ∼10% +90%
Sony Xperia E5
9349 Points ∼12% +126%
Lenovo K6
9034 Points ∼11% +118%
HTC Desire 530
6583 Points ∼8% +59%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
2359 Points ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0% -100%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
4296 Points ∼1% +82%
Gigaset GS160
3291 Points ∼1% +40%
Sony Xperia E5
4615 Points ∼1% +96%
Lenovo K6
9691 Points ∼2% +311%
HTC Desire 530
3871 Points ∼1% +64%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
2609 Points ∼1%
Huawei Y5 II
Points ∼0% -100%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
4885 Points ∼2% +87%
Gigaset GS160
3780 Points ∼2% +45%
Sony Xperia E5
5200 Points ∼2% +99%
Lenovo K6
9537 Points ∼4% +266%
HTC Desire 530
4261 Points ∼2% +63%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
3.4 fps ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
8.4 fps ∼0% +147%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
8.4 fps ∼0% +147%
Gigaset GS160
6 fps ∼0% +76%
Sony Xperia E5
8.4 fps ∼0% +147%
Lenovo K6
16 fps ∼0% +371%
HTC Desire 530
4.8 fps ∼0% +41%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
10 fps ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
15 fps ∼0% +50%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
15 fps ∼0% +50%
Gigaset GS160
11 fps ∼0% +10%
Sony Xperia E5
15 fps ∼0% +50%
Lenovo K6
15 fps ∼0% +50%
HTC Desire 530
8.9 fps ∼0% -11%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
1 fps ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
fps ∼0% -100%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2.8 fps ∼0% +180%
Gigaset GS160
2.1 fps ∼0% +110%
Sony Xperia E5
3 fps ∼0% +200%
Lenovo K6
7.1 fps ∼0% +610%
HTC Desire 530
1.7 fps ∼0% +70%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K4 2017
5.4 fps ∼0%
Huawei Y5 II
6.1 fps ∼0% +13%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
6.1 fps ∼0% +13%
Gigaset GS160
4.7 fps ∼0% -13%
Sony Xperia E5
6 fps ∼0% +11%
Lenovo K6
7 fps ∼0% +30%
HTC Desire 530
4 fps ∼0% -26%

Legend

 
LG K4 2017 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Y5 II Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Y6 II Compact Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Gigaset GS160 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia E5 Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo K6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
HTC Desire 530 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 16 GB eMMC Flash

When browsing with the installed Chrome browser, speeds depend on whether the page you are trying to load is optimized for mobile devices. If not, it can take quite a while to load images. Loading times are almost twice as long compared to the Lenovo K6.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Lenovo K6
21.436 Points ∼100% +114%
Huawei Y5 II
18.47 Points ∼86% +85%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
18.304 Points ∼85% +83%
Sony Xperia E5
17.885 Points ∼83% +79%
Gigaset GS160
14.428 Points ∼67% +44%
HTC Desire 530
12.1 Points ∼56% +21%
LG K4 2017
10 Points ∼47%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Lenovo K6
3438 Points ∼100% +128%
Sony Xperia E5
2910 Points ∼85% +93%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2805 Points ∼82% +86%
Huawei Y5 II
2707 Points ∼79% +80%
Gigaset GS160
2493 Points ∼73% +66%
HTC Desire 530
1796 Points ∼52% +19%
LG K4 2017
1506 Points ∼44%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
LG K4 2017
19723.2 ms * ∼100%
HTC Desire 530
17470.6 ms * ∼89% +11%
Gigaset GS160
13907.4 ms * ∼71% +29%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
13234 ms * ∼67% +33%
Sony Xperia E5
13232.4 ms * ∼67% +33%
Huawei Y5 II
12505 ms * ∼63% +37%
Lenovo K6
10849.6 ms * ∼55% +45%

* ... smaller is better

According to LG, the maximum capacity of the optional memory card is 32 Gigabytes. When we measured the read/write speeds, the LG K4 reached similar speeds to the Sony Xperia E5 and the Lenovo K6:

LG K4 2017Huawei Y5 IIHuawei Y6 II CompactGigaset GS160Sony Xperia E5Lenovo K6HTC Desire 530
AndroBench 3-5
-60%
-60%
-58%
-6%
9%
-56%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
44.41
18.03
-59%
17.12
-61%
19.19
-57%
45.56
3%
50.4
13%
18.22
-59%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
75.28
29.47
-61%
31.57
-58%
30.71
-59%
65.03
-14%
78.2
4%
35.56
-53%

Games

Low processor performance, limited RAM and not a lot of pixels - the K4 with an Adreno 304 GPU does not look like a very promising gamer from the start. You will need patience for the loading times alone. Once the game is running, apps like “Super Mario” can run quite smoothly. “Riptide GP” jerked occasionally, but there were no real problems. The motion sensor reacts too slowly when you are driving out of a bend, so the K4 is not suitable for Racing games.

Riptide GP: Renegade
Mario Run

Emissions

Temperature

We measured an increase in temperature around the top of the smartphone in our measurements and this development also becomes noticeable rather quickly in everyday use. Even after a short telephone call the K4 heats up enough to make it feel uncomfortable on the ear.

Max. Load
 42.1 °C
108 F
32.5 °C
91 F
33.2 °C
92 F
 
 42.1 °C
108 F
35.8 °C
96 F
35.6 °C
96 F
 
 38.4 °C
101 F
39.3 °C
103 F
34.7 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 42.1 °C = 108 F
Average: 37.1 °C = 99 F
33 °C
91 F
32.6 °C
91 F
43.5 °C
110 F
32.4 °C
90 F
32.7 °C
91 F
41.7 °C
107 F
32.9 °C
91 F
33.6 °C
92 F
37.3 °C
99 F
Maximum: 43.5 °C = 110 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
Power Supply (max.)  32.3 °C = 90 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 37.1 °C / 99 F, compared to the average of 33.2 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 42.1 °C / 108 F, compared to the average of 35.8 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(±) The maximum temperature on the bottom side is 43.5 °C / 110 F, compared to the average of 34.3 °C / 94 F, ranging from 22 to 326 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 30.9 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 33.2 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

The quality of the integrated mono speaker is OK for a smartphone just over $100. Sure, volume and sound are rather flat, but music sounds good and is not tinny or distorted. You will need a headset to enjoy your favorite music, but it should be enough for a little breakfast radio or listening to music from the local radio station in the evenings.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.6302525.427.23125.3264032.927.15033.629.46331.635.38028.430.91002729.712520.827.21602224.820021.329.625020.838.231521.242.740019.450.650019.558.963017.764.180017.970.3100017.876.8125017.375.8160017.474.7200016.772.1250017.271.7315018.271.3400017.973.8500017.674.1630017.777.9800017.881.41000017.973.51250018.166.11600018.261.2SPL3086.5N1.366.4median 17.9median 70.3Delta1.314.132.433.931.330.231.731.82632.939.440.236.235.328.629.825.428.321.33223.327.822.530.422.437.221.342.318.446.217.555.417.557.317.262.416.867.517.368.317.467.416.676.617.375.617.675.217.679.517.779.817.477.417.772.917.967.918.158.118.140.429.8871.359.8median 17.7median 62.41.617.232.436.931.33431.733.82632.839.434.736.231.228.627.925.424.421.324.823.325.922.530.522.437.121.340.218.444.817.551.917.555.617.261.116.867.517.368.817.46516.673.617.375.517.676.117.679.217.779.517.475.717.77117.967.318.161.518.142.929.886.41.356.8median 17.7median 61.51.616.631.641.425.435.525.332.132.934.733.629.831.630.628.4312724.520.8272225.921.330.520.839.321.249.119.454.719.558.917.762.117.96917.873.217.374.317.471.916.770.317.266.418.263.817.963.717.660.617.761.917.867.617.968.118.156.818.249.53080.71.345median 17.9median 61.91.311.631.635.725.433.325.332.132.926.433.626.231.633.328.430.52734.320.832.62231.521.336.620.841.721.244.619.449.719.554.817.761.417.966.117.865.917.366.917.463.616.758.617.263.318.265.917.969.117.669.217.764.717.858.517.952.918.140.218.229.53076.51.337.3median 17.9median 58.51.312.828.227.428.225.627.925.624.125.224.125.728.725.724.726.424.723.622.923.624.623.624.625.224.325.234.325.134.340.319.740.347.818.647.850.519.750.55219.95249.918.949.949.818.949.854.819.854.863.220.863.271.317.271.372.617.172.674.414.474.473.413.973.471.913.271.970.212.970.267.51367.568.412.868.473.812.773.875.712.775.772.512.872.569.112.869.159.913.159.983.62883.653.6153.6median 67.5median 17.1median 67.511.33.811.342.539.632.442.541.235.531.341.236.834.831.736.846.9272646.947.927.339.447.934.526.536.234.52924.528.62927.928.625.427.925.222.721.325.225.321.323.325.326.422.822.526.426.819.922.426.8342021.33444.121.518.444.158.632.817.558.668.241.817.568.274.850.617.274.875.151.316.875.173.149.317.373.173.248.417.473.27448.716.67477.651.417.377.676.550.917.676.577.551.417.677.578.55317.778.575.449.717.475.477.252.417.777.268.54317.968.564.538.718.164.554.929.818.154.987.46229.887.46814.51.368median 68.5median 43median 17.7median 68.516.411.91.616.4hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLG K4 2017Huawei Y5 IIHuawei Y6 II CompactGigaset GS160Sony Xperia E5Lenovo K6HTC Desire 530
LG K4 2017 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 38.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 4.5% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.2% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27.4% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 67% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 25% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 80% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 15% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Y5 II audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.4% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.3% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 13% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (34.3% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 93% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 95% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Huawei Y6 II Compact audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86.37 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 31% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (7.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.7% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (11.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 13.4% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (35.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 94% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 96% of all tested devices were better, 2% similar, 2% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Gigaset GS160 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (80.67 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 29.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (12.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 7.4% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (8.3% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (5.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (27% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 65% of all tested devices in this class were better, 8% similar, 26% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 79% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 16% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Sony Xperia E5 audio analysis

(±) | speaker loudness is average but good (76.5 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 21.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 5.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9.6% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.5% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (9.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (28.5% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 72% of all tested devices in this class were better, 9% similar, 19% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 83% of all tested devices were better, 5% similar, 12% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Lenovo K6 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (83.6 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 25.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (9.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 9.3% lower than median
(+) | mids are linear (6.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(+) | balanced highs - only 3.9% away from median
(+) | highs are linear (4.9% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(±) | linearity of overall sound is average (22.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 33% of all tested devices in this class were better, 12% similar, 56% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 60% of all tested devices were better, 7% similar, 33% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

HTC Desire 530 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (87.38 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 41% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (4.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 7.8% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (10.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 7.4% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (5.7% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (32.2% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 88% of all tested devices in this class were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 13%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 92% of all tested devices were better, 3% similar, 5% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes can be turned on/off!)

Battery Runtimes

Power Consumption

LG has managed to keep the K4's power consumption low and the device does better than all comparison devices in this respect. The provided power supply is below the usual standard of 1000 mAh and offers only 850 mAh, which is rather unusual. With this power supply, the K4 needs about three hours for the 2500-mAh battery to fully recharge.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.02 / 0.21 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.64 / 1.14 / 1.25 Watt
Load midlight 2.26 / 2.36 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
LG K4 2017
2500 mAh
Huawei Y5 II
2200 mAh
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2200 mAh
Gigaset GS160
2500 mAh
Sony Xperia E5
2300 mAh
Lenovo K6
3000 mAh
HTC Desire 530
2200 mAh
Power Consumption
-40%
-43%
-55%
-90%
-55%
-132%
Idle Minimum *
0.64
0.54
16%
0.57
11%
0.56
12%
1.03
-61%
0.65
-2%
1.58
-147%
Idle Average *
1.14
1.58
-39%
1.53
-34%
1.7
-49%
2.06
-81%
1.65
-45%
2.59
-127%
Idle Maximum *
1.25
1.7
-36%
1.6
-28%
1.75
-40%
2.12
-70%
1.67
-34%
2.66
-113%
Load Average *
2.26
2.98
-32%
2.82
-25%
4.17
-85%
5.01
-122%
3.58
-58%
5.22
-131%
Load Maximum *
2.36
4.98
-111%
5.69
-141%
5.07
-115%
5.04
-114%
5.58
-136%
5.67
-140%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

In our standardized Wi-Fi test the K4 manages a runtime of over ten hours, which is a good value compared to its seven competitors in this review. It can easily beat two of the other devices and the Lenovo K6's twelve hours of battery runtime is probably simply due to its larger battery, so its power consumption rates are not necessarily better than those of the K4.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
10h 06min
LG K4 2017
2500 mAh
Huawei Y5 II
2200 mAh
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2200 mAh
Gigaset GS160
2500 mAh
Sony Xperia E5
2300 mAh
Lenovo K6
3000 mAh
HTC Desire 530
2200 mAh
Battery Runtime
-17%
3%
1%
-30%
18%
-30%
Reader / Idle
1102
1175
1326
1626
1117
WiFi v1.3
606
503
-17%
623
3%
615
1%
422
-30%
715
18%
425
-30%
Load
253
222
244
350
250
H.264
682
702
633
457

Pros

+ nice size
+ Dual SIM
+ microSD (separate slot)
+ exchangeable battery
+ good battery runtime
+ decent display
+ good GPS receiver
+ various home screen options

Cons

- weak performance
- low screen resolution
- little internal storage
- no USB OTG support
- no fingerprint sensor

Verdict

Reviewed: LG K4 Dual 2017. Test unit provided by LG.

Compared to its predecessor, the LG K4 has come into bloom: It has a modern look and a better LC display than the last model had, although its low resolution still is not up to par. Its weak performance - both in the benchmarks and in practice, which becomes apparent through its slow response to inputs, means that we would not recommend the LG K4 to advanced users. If you are looking for a simple, easy-to-use phone, the LG K4 might be worth considering. The options for the home screen and especially the simple switching between the two SIM cards (if needed) are a plus, but there is no getting around the low internal storage. Nobody should have to rely on an external memory card.

LG K4 2017 - 07/31/2017 v6
Inge Schwabe

Chassis
82%
Keyboard
74 / 75 → 98%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
38 / 60 → 63%
Weight
94%
Battery
93%
Display
82%
Games Performance
4 / 63 → 6%
Application Performance
20 / 70 → 29%
Temperature
88%
Noise
100%
Audio
53 / 91 → 58%
Camera
67%
Average
68%
80%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG K4 (2017) Smartphone Review
Inge Schwabe, 2017-08- 3 (Update: 2017-08- 4)