Notebookcheck

LG K4 Smartphone Review

Andreas Osthoff, Stefanie Voigt (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 05/21/2016

LTE at an entry-level price. LG offers an affordable entry-level smartphone with LTE functionality for 119 Euros (~$133), dubbed K4 LTE. That is, however, its only highlight. The review sample makes a rather outdated impression in all other aspects. Have too many cutbacks been made?

For the original German review, see here.

The K4 is the second handset from LG's new K lineup. We recently tested the K10 and were only moderately impressed. At an RRP of 119 Euros (~$133), our present K4 is the lower-priced model, and it is currently sold for just below 110 Euros (~$123) on the Internet. The configuration fits to an entry-level device: quad-core SoC with lowered clock, 1 GB of RAM, 8 GB of storage and a small 4.5-inch screen with a meager resolution of 854x480 pixels. The only obvious highlight is LTE support.

Many manufacturers have very affordable devices, for example Microsoft's Lumia 550, Doogee's Nova Y100X and even LG's own Bello II. Some mid-range handsets from last year, which are now only marginally more expensive but offer more features and better equipment, might also be interesting. Potential contestants are Motorola's Moto G3 and LG's G4c.

LG K4 (K Series)
Processor
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
4.5 inch 16:9, 854 x 480 pixel 218 PPI, capacitive, TN TFT, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 3.9 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio, Card Reader: micro-SD max. 32 GB, Sensors: accelerometer, SAR rate (head): 0.604 W/kg, FM radio, WiFi Direct
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM (850/900/1800 and 1.900 MHz), UMTS (859/900 and 2100 MHz), LTE Cat. 4 (800/900/1800/2100 and 2600 MHz), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.9 x 131.9 x 66.6 ( = 0.35 x 5.19 x 2.62 in)
Battery
7.4 Wh, 1940 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 20 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 9 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 510 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 500 h
Operating System
Android 5.1 Lollipop
Camera
Primary Camera: 5 MPix (digital 4x zoom, auto focus, LED flash)
Secondary Camera: 2 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: mono, Keyboard: virtual, Keyboard Light: yes, power supply, USB cable, battery, quick start guide, warranty conditions, Google-Apps, LG Smart Keyboard, KnockOn, KnockCode, Easy Home, Quick Memo+, TalkBack, RemoteCall Service, LG Smart World, 24 Months Warranty, fanless
Weight
120 g ( = 4.23 oz / 0.26 pounds), Power Supply: 51 g ( = 1.8 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
119 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

As to be expected, LG relies on a plastic casing in black and silver. The rear also features a light texture that slightly improves handling. The smartphone nevertheless looks a bit "old-fashioned". The tightly fitted back cover conceals the removable battery and both slots for the micro-SIM and micro-SD card. The battery does not have to be removed for replacing the SIM card.

The casing's stiffness is satisfactory, which is also owed to the somewhat thicker build (8.9 mm). Although we could provoke cracking noises and wave formation on the screen with pressure, the casing's performance will suffice for routine use. Both physical buttons (power button and volume control) are a bit wobbly. Otherwise, the smartphone is well-built. LG also offers a white model as an alternative to our indigo (blue) model.

142.1 mm / 5.59 inch 72.4 mm / 2.85 inch 11.6 mm / 0.4567 inch 155 g0.3417 lbs140.8 mm / 5.54 inch 71.6 mm / 2.82 inch 9.6 mm / 0.378 inch 157 g0.3461 lbs139.7 mm / 5.5 inch 69.8 mm / 2.75 inch 10.2 mm / 0.4016 inch 136 g0.2998 lbs141.2 mm / 5.56 inch 70.2 mm / 2.76 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 119 g0.2624 lbs136.1 mm / 5.36 inch 67.8 mm / 2.67 inch 9.9 mm / 0.3898 inch 142 g0.3131 lbs131.9 mm / 5.19 inch 66.6 mm / 2.62 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 120 g0.2646 lbs

Connectivity

Only 2.7 GB is available after updating the preloaded apps
Only 2.7 GB is available after updating the preloaded apps

The connectivity of LG's K4 is limited to the minimum. The micro-USB 2.0 port can only be used for charging and connecting to a PC. OTG for connecting USB flash drives or input devices is not supported. A 3.5 mm audio jack is, of course, also present on the lower edge. Bluetooth version 4.1 and Wi-Fi Direct are available for connecting to other devices. An optional headset will be needed for the FM radio.

The internal storage only has a capacity of 8 GB, and only 3.9 GB is available after initial use. However, updating the preloaded apps reduces the capacity to just 2.7 GB. At least the storage can be expanded via a micro-SD card. The manufacturer states a maximum capacity of 32 GB, but the smartphone also identified our 64 GB reference card. Installed apps can be moved to the SD card.

Software

Like the bigger K10, LG ships the K4 with Android 5.1.1. A software update to the latest Android 6 is presently not available, and the manufacturer has not yet made any statements concerning this. The stock Android user interface has not been modified greatly; only the design has been changed slightly in some points. The usual Google apps and some manufacturer tools known from other models (see screenshot) are preloaded. The folder "Management" is interesting as it allows accessing all important settings, including backup.

Communication & GPS

Thanks to LTE Cat. 4, mobile Internet connections with up to 150 Mbit/s downstream (50 Mbit/s upstream) are possible and gives LG's K4 an advantage over many entry-level models. However, the frequency coverage is very low especially in the UMTS network. We did not experience any reception issues at least in the urban T-Mobile network. Wi-Fi connections are limited to the 802.11 b/g/n standards in the 2.4 GHz band. We could easily connect the smartphone with both of our test routers Fritz!Box 7490 and Asus RT-AC56U, and the signal strength was good subjectively. Interruption or even signal losses did not occur during the test.

GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: indoors
GPS Test: outdoors
GPS Test: outdoors
Strong deviations in the river area
Strong deviations in the river area

A GPS receiver is also integrated, but its reception was very weak. Although satellites were found inside the apartment, we could not be localized. Surprisingly, that was also the case in our usual place in the garden. We have not yet observed this with another smartphone. However, our bike tour proves that GPS tracking functions. Here, we compare the smartphone with Garmin's Edge 500 bike navigation system. At first glance, everything seems okay; the deviation is approximately 300 meters on our 11 km test route. When looking at the outcomes more closely, problems become apparent as we allegedly rode through water according to the data. The performance should normally be sufficient for use in a car, but better solutions exist for geo-tagging or bike tours.

LG K4: total
LG K4: total
LG K4: crossing
LG K4: crossing
LG K4: turning point
LG K4: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: total
Garmin Edge 500: total
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: crossing
Garmin Edge 500: turning point
Garmin Edge 500: turning point

Telephone & Call Quality

The phone app's design is very basic and offers a total of five different tabs (dial, call list, contacts, favorites and groups). A link to the notification app is also found in the keypad. The call quality was acceptable; we occasionally noticed quiet background noises that did not affect intelligibility. A hands-free mode is also integrated and functions although the microphone is a bit quiet. Consequently, the handset should not be held too far away from the mouth.

Cameras

Front-facing camera photo
Front-facing camera photo

A 2 MP camera is installed in the front. The photos correspondingly lack detail and colors also look very pale. A feature is the so-called selfie cam function. The thumbnail is scaled down and the empty screen area lights up in white to serve as a kind of photo lamp. In contrast to the solutions of other manufacturers, the brightness is not increased and the effect is virtually non-existent. Generally, low-light photos are very dark.

LG incorporates a 5 MP lens alongside auto-focus on the rear. The results are not at all bad in good light conditions, but the photos tend to look darker than those taken with the comparison devices. The sensor also has problems in low light. We observe high image noise that consequently absorbs many details. Videos can be recorded in the HD resolution at maximum (1280x720 pixels, 30 FPS). The lens particularly has problems with fast panning, and image noise also prevails again in low light conditions.

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

We also check the color reproduction and sharpness of the photos under defined test conditions. The photos are not edited afterward. LG's K4 does not do a bad job with the colors although the reproduction of some colors is too pale. The camera's relatively low resolution becomes especially evident at the edges of the test chart.

Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Screenshot of ColorChecker colors. Original colors are displayed in the lower half of each patch.
Test chart
Test chart
Section (photo center)
Section (photo center)

Accessories & Warranty

The smartphone, battery, modular power supply and a USB cable are found in the box of LG's K4 LTE. The customer also finds a quick-start guide and a paper with warranty conditions. A headset is not included.

The smartphone comes with a warranty period of 24 months; the battery and charger are only covered for 6 months.

Input Devices & Handling

Although LG installs a capacitive touchscreen, it can only process two inputs simultaneously. The gliding traits are also only satisfactory. Inputs are often not identified correctly primarily at the edges. The virtual keyboard dubbed "LG Keyboard" can be customized to a very limited degree and does not support all common functions. For example, swiping is not supported, and the keys are also overall very small. Of course, other keyboard layouts can be installed from the Play Store, but the small screen will hardly be suitable for prolonged use. The onscreen Android buttons are also annoying as they further reduce the limited space.

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

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

The 4.5-inch screen is based on TN technology and has a resolution of 854x480 pixels. That equals a pixel density of 218 PPI. It is already noticed that the panel is inferior when used for the first time. The maximum brightness of 364 cd/m² is acceptable (APL 50: 343 cd/m²), but the contrast ratio of 766:1 is at the lower end of the comparison field. The screen simply lacks brilliance and sharpness compared with other, good panels. Furthermore, it displays a visible bluish tint. A light sensor is not installed, and thus the brightness always has to be adapted to the surroundings manually.

341
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
336
cd/m²
338
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
337
cd/m²
340
cd/m²
353
cd/m²
364
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 364 cd/m² Average: 342.4 cd/m² Minimum: 3.23 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 92 %
Center on Battery: 337 cd/m²
Contrast: 766:1 (Black: 0.44 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 11.4 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 11 | 0.64-98 Ø6.3
Gamma: 2.19
LG K4
4.5, 854x480
Microsoft Lumia 550
4.7, 1280x720
Doogee Nova Y100X
5, 1280x720
LG Bello II
5, 854x480
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
5, 1280x720
LG G4c
5, 1280x720
Screen
27%
1%
21%
25%
23%
Brightness middle
337
536
59%
387.9
15%
333
-1%
418
24%
480
42%
Brightness
342
535
56%
390
14%
333
-3%
407
19%
464
36%
Brightness Distribution
92
95
3%
91
-1%
90
-2%
95
3%
92
0%
Black Level *
0.44
0.62
-41%
0.583
-33%
0.23
48%
0.49
-11%
0.49
-11%
Contrast
766
865
13%
665
-13%
1448
89%
853
11%
980
28%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
11.4
5.81
49%
9.91
13%
9.41
17%
3.92
66%
8.13
29%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
22
12.3
44%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
11
7.72
30%
10.04
9%
11.15
-1%
3.81
65%
6.73
39%
Gamma
2.19 100%
2.18 101%
2.53 87%
2.17 101%
2.27 97%
2.69 82%
CCT
9372 69%
8701 75%
10336 63%
12959 50%
7361 88%
7727 84%
Color Space (Percent of sRGB)
70.038

* ... smaller is better

Our other display measurements confirm the subjective impression. The bluish tint becomes very evident in the grayscale levels, which also fits to the very cool color temperature. The average DeltaE 2000 shifts compared with the sRGB color space are very high with 11.4 in colors (max. 22) and 11 in grayscale.

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

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
30 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 10 ms fall
The screen shows slow response rates in our tests and will be unsatisfactory for gamers.
In comparison, all tested devices range from 0.8 (minimum) to 240 (maximum) ms. » 73 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.3 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
42 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 20 ms rise
↘ 22 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. » 54 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (40.4 ms).

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: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9566 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Reflections on the screen should definitely be avoided outdoors so that some content remains visible. The brightness would have to be much higher here. A big problem for LG's K4 is the viewing-angle stability of the TN panel. Brightness aberrations and color inversions are very annoying for practical use especially in a smartphone that is clearly moved more often than a laptop.

In the sun
In the sun
In the shade
In the shade
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

In contrast to the reference design, the four cores of Mediatek's MT6735 SoC in LG's K4 do not clock at 1.5 but at just 1 GHz. The ARM Mali T720 MP2 takes care of processing graphics. The review sample could normally take a lead on its direct rivals in the benchmarks, but the older mid-range models often have considerably more power.

More power would also be appreciated in routine use. The entire handling is rather sluggish, and that is all the truer with more complex websites or in demanding apps.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
22998 Points ∼8%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
25825 Points ∼9% +12%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
23643 Points ∼9% +3%
Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
1338 Points ∼4%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
891 Points ∼3% -33%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
1563 Points ∼5% +17%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
1419 Points ∼5% +6%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
472 Points ∼10%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
361 Points ∼7% -24%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
528 Points ∼11% +12%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
462 Points ∼10% -2%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
7018 Points ∼8%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
8440 Points ∼10% +20%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
8886 Points ∼10% +27%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
10148 Points ∼12% +45%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
9195 Points ∼11% +31%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
2171 Points ∼0%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
2390 Points ∼0% +10%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2391 Points ∼0% +10%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3789 Points ∼1% +75%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3827 Points ∼1% +76%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
2565 Points ∼1%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
2843 Points ∼1% +11%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2855 Points ∼1% +11%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
4402 Points ∼2% +72%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
4397 Points ∼2% +71%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Physics (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
5619 Points ∼7%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
7861 Points ∼9% +40%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
5536 Points ∼7% -1%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
9544 Points ∼11% +70%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
8507 Points ∼10% +51%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Graphics (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
1382 Points ∼0%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
1550 Points ∼0% +12%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
1591 Points ∼0% +15%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
2135 Points ∼0% +54%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
2188 Points ∼0% +58%
1920x1080 Ice Storm Extreme Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
1660 Points ∼1%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
1887 Points ∼1% +14%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
1890 Points ∼1% +14%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
2580 Points ∼1% +55%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
2621 Points ∼1% +58%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Physics (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
5905 Points ∼4%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
7759 Points ∼5% +31%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
5464 Points ∼4% -7%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
9385 Points ∼6% +59%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
8632 Points ∼6% +46%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Graphics (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
2861 Points ∼0%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
2413 Points ∼0% -16%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2537 Points ∼0% -11%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
4712 Points ∼1% +65%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
4767 Points ∼1% +67%
1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
3231 Points ∼0%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
2849 Points ∼0% -12%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2880 Points ∼0% -11%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
5298 Points ∼0% +64%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
5294 Points ∼0% +64%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
4.1 fps ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
3 fps ∼0% -27%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
9.1 fps ∼0% +122%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
5.3 fps ∼0% +29%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
5.2 fps ∼0% +27%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
11 fps ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
5.24 fps ∼0% -52%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
4.1 fps ∼0% -63%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
9.5 fps ∼0% -14%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
9.8 fps ∼0% -11%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
1.4 fps ∼0%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
0 fps ∼0% -100%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
1.7 fps ∼0% +21%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
1.7 fps ∼0% +21%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
5.8 fps ∼2%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
0 fps ∼0% -100%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3.7 fps ∼1% -36%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
4 fps ∼1% -31%
GFXBench 3.1 - on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
4.1 fps ∼0%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
2644 Points ∼13%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
2786 Points ∼14% +5%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3701 Points ∼19% +40%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3199 Points ∼16% +21%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
536 Points ∼26%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
72 Points ∼4% -87%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
612 Points ∼30% +14%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
671 Points ∼33% +25%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
484 Points ∼24% -10%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
571 Points ∼28% +7%
Graphics (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
141 Points ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
190 Points ∼1% +35%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
138 Points ∼0% -2%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
138 Points ∼0% -2%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
315 Points ∼1% +123%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
318 Points ∼1% +126%
Memory (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
139 Points ∼2%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
685 Points ∼11% +393%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
247 Points ∼4% +78%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
402 Points ∼6% +189%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
394 Points ∼6% +183%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
373 Points ∼6% +168%
System (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
816 Points ∼5%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
529 Points ∼3% -35%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
938 Points ∼6% +15%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
976 Points ∼6% +20%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
1166 Points ∼7% +43%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
1054 Points ∼6% +29%
Overall (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
304 Points ∼4%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
265 Points ∼3% -13%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
374 Points ∼4% +23%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
437 Points ∼5% +44%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
515 Points ∼6% +69%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
517 Points ∼6% +70%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
2049 Points ∼4%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
2170 Points ∼4% +6%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
2452 Points ∼5% +20%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
2352 Points ∼4% +15%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3296 Points ∼6% +61%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
3085 Points ∼6% +51%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
18213.5 ms * ∼31%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
21884 ms * ∼37% -20%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
15613.1 ms * ∼26% +14%
LG Bello II
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 1024
15874 ms * ∼27% +13%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
11843 ms * ∼20% +35%
LG G4c
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
14663.8 ms * ∼25% +19%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K4
Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720, 1024
13 Points ∼0%
Microsoft Lumia 550
Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 1024
13.006 Points ∼0% 0%
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP, 1024
15.702 Points ∼0% +21%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 1024
20.832 Points ∼0% +60%

* ... smaller is better

Many rivals present us with a similar storage performance impression: Good read performances but poor write performances (both sequential and 4K). The memory-card reader does not break any speed records, either. Of our Toshiba Exceria Pro M401 reference card's maximum 95 (read) and 80 (write) MB/s, only 29 and 19 MB/s are left.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
LG K4
8 GB eMMC Flash
18.7 MB/s ∼21%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
LG K4
8 GB eMMC Flash
28.52 MB/s ∼30%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
LG K4
8 GB eMMC Flash
4.97 MB/s ∼2%
Doogee Nova Y100X
8 GB eMMC Flash
2.41 MB/s ∼1% -52%
LG Bello II
8 GB eMMC Flash
5.4 MB/s ∼2% +9%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
8 GB eMMC Flash
5.11 MB/s ∼2% +3%
LG G4c
8 GB eMMC Flash
1.3 MB/s ∼1% -74%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
LG K4
8 GB eMMC Flash
16.05 MB/s ∼9%
Doogee Nova Y100X
8 GB eMMC Flash
15.64 MB/s ∼9% -3%
LG Bello II
8 GB eMMC Flash
17 MB/s ∼10% +6%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
8 GB eMMC Flash
22.79 MB/s ∼13% +42%
LG G4c
8 GB eMMC Flash
10.49 MB/s ∼6% -35%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
LG K4
8 GB eMMC Flash
8.07 MB/s ∼2%
Doogee Nova Y100X
8 GB eMMC Flash
21.09 MB/s ∼5% +161%
LG Bello II
8 GB eMMC Flash
8 MB/s ∼2% -1%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
8 GB eMMC Flash
22.33 MB/s ∼6% +177%
LG G4c
8 GB eMMC Flash
7.49 MB/s ∼2% -7%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
LG K4
8 GB eMMC Flash
120.84 MB/s ∼8%
Doogee Nova Y100X
8 GB eMMC Flash
38.05 MB/s ∼3% -69%
LG Bello II
8 GB eMMC Flash
126 MB/s ∼9% +4%
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
8 GB eMMC Flash
131.42 MB/s ∼9% +9%
LG G4c
8 GB eMMC Flash
112.94 MB/s ∼8% -7%

Games

The biggest problem with current games is the low storage capacity of LG's K4, and thus it is hardly possible to install several storage-inclined games. The review sample benefits from the screen's low resolution in games. Even the demanding racing game Asphalt 8: Airborne can be played reasonably in medium details, although the loading times are unpleasantly long. More basic games like Doodle Jump are not a problem from the outset. Unfortunately, the rear-sided speaker is easily covered by the hand during games.

Doodle Jump
Doodle Jump
Asphalt 8: Airborne
Asphalt 8: Airborne

Emissions

Temperature

LG's K4 does not even get lukewarm during idle or low load. Primarily the upper area gets warm during load. We measured almost 40 °C here. That should not be a problem since the smartphone will mostly be held at its lower end. The left hand gets noticeably warmer when gaming in landscape mode. The temperature difference might be somewhat unpleasant. However, that does not involve restrictions.

Max. Load
 39.4 °C
103 F
33.3 °C
92 F
33.7 °C
93 F
 
 39.9 °C
104 F
34 °C
93 F
34.4 °C
94 F
 
 40.3 °C
105 F
34.4 °C
94 F
33.6 °C
92 F
 
Maximum: 40.3 °C = 105 F
Average: 35.9 °C = 97 F
33.1 °C
92 F
34.2 °C
94 F
39 °C
102 F
32.6 °C
91 F
36.7 °C
98 F
39.7 °C
103 F
31 °C
88 F
33.1 °C
92 F
37.4 °C
99 F
Maximum: 39.7 °C = 103 F
Average: 35.2 °C = 95 F
Power Supply (max.)  33.2 °C = 92 F | Room Temperature 21.8 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.9 °C / 97 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 40.3 °C / 105 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 39.7 °C / 103 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.2 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

Pink Noise diagram
Pink Noise diagram

The little rear-sided mono speaker can get really loud with almost 90 dB(A), but it starts to hum at about 50% of the maximum volume. Furthermore, the sound is very treble-heavy as expected. The sound could also muffle on soft surfaces or a table due to its positioning. Sound-enhancing software is not preloaded. External speakers or headphones can be connected via Bluetooth or the 3.5 mm jack. Playback via audio jack is low-noise and sufficiently loud with mobile headphones.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

No major irregularities were presented in the consumption measurements. Only the idle consumption could be a bit lower. The maximum requirement is 3.25 watts. The included 4.25 watt power supply is sufficiently sized for that.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.03 / 0.34 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.15 / 1.76 / 1.82 Watt
Load midlight 2.71 / 3.15 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Gossen Metrahit Energy
LG K4
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 550
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
LG Bello II
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
-28%
32%
15%
Idle Minimum *
1.15
0.55
52%
0.6
48%
0.4
65%
Idle Average *
1.76
2.69
-53%
1.1
37%
1
43%
Idle Maximum *
1.82
2.93
-61%
1.3
29%
1.2
34%
Load Average *
2.71
3.94
-45%
2.1
23%
2.9
-7%
Load Maximum *
3.15
4.24
-35%
2.5
21%
5
-59%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Runtime

The removable lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 7.4 watt hours and achieves a good runtime of 7.5 hours in our practical Wi-Fi test using a screen brightness adapted to 150 cd/m². The device thus takes a place in the midfield of our comparison group.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3 (Chrome 50.0)
7h 32min
LG K4
Mali-T720, MT6735, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Microsoft Lumia 550
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Doogee Nova Y100X
Mali-400 MP, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
LG Bello II
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 3. Gen 2015 XT1541
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
LG G4c
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
452
445
-2%
258
-43%
797
76%
526
16%
457
1%

Pros

+ LTE
+ solid casing
+ micro-SD
+ removable battery
+ decent battery life

Cons

- poor screen with strong bluish tint
- very limited viewing angles
- sluggish handling
- weak GPS
- dark camera photos
- no light sensor
- no USB OTG

Verdict

In review: LG K4. Review sample courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de
In review: LG K4. Review sample courtesy of Notebooksbilliger.de

LG's K4 aims to be an affordable companion, but the handset did not impress us in the test. The smartphone conveys a feel as if it actually emerged in 2012. That is true for the inferior screen, sluggish handling and the equipment. The only highlight is LTE support. We of course know that no miracles can be expected for 119 Euros (~$133), and that the targeted buyer group will unlikely have high demands, but we cannot recommend LG's K4 even then. It is definitely worthwhile to examine price comparisons and invest a bit more money in an affordable mid-range model from last year. The direct rival, Microsoft's Lumia 550, also makes a much better impression with its HD panel.

LG K4 - 05/13/2016 v5.1
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
65%
Keyboard
59 / 75 → 78%
Pointing Device
63%
Connectivity
34 / 60 → 57%
Weight
95%
Battery
90%
Display
75%
Games Performance
4 / 63 → 7%
Application Performance
19 / 70 → 27%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
38 / 91 → 41%
Camera
50%
Average
60%
73%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG K4 Smartphone Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2016-05-21 (Update: 2018-05-15)