Notebookcheck

LG K8 (2017) Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, Sven Kloevekorn (translated by Mark Riege), 04/24/2017

Little brother. The 2017 LG K8 is a little more affordable, a little smaller, and less powerful than the LG K10. But is it perhaps the better deal for all those who are just looking for an affordable smartphone? We find out in our test.
Update: A new build version brings general improvements and security updates.

For the original German review, see here.

In its K series, LG combines an affordable price with decent cameras, a removable battery, and an appealing design. This worked well in the LG K10 (2017), and now we take a look at the slightly smaller, slimmed down sibling, the LG K8 (2017). Besides the smaller display size, it is equipped with a slower LTE module, weaker processor, and less working memory, but currently costs around 50 Euros (~$53) less on the Internet than his better equipped sibling, the LG K10 (2017). At first glance, there seems to be no difference in the cameras.

As comparison devices, the Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL, Gigaset GS160, Huawei Y6 II Compact, and Lenovo K6 are used, which are all within a price range between 140 and 200 Euros (~$150-214). We did not have the predecessor, which is also called LG K8, in our test laboratory, but it is still widely available as well. Is the slightly more expensive 2017 model worth buying, or can you save the extra charge? Or, should you perhaps put a little more money on the table to get the LG K10 (2017)? We clarify those questions in our test.

Note that in the US, the LG K8 (2017) is currently only available from US Cellular ($50 prepaid).

Update 08-22-2017: The new build NRD90U brings general improvements and increases the security. Please refer to the Software section for detailed information.

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LG K8 2017 (K Series)
Graphics adapter
Memory
1536 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive touchscreen, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, , 8.81 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3,5mm-Audiokombiport, Card Reader: microSD up to 32 GB, NFC, Brightness Sensor, Sensors: accelleration sensor, proximity sensor, USB-OTG, Wi-Fi Direct
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n = Wi-Fi 4), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/​900/​1900/​2100), UMTS (850/​900/​2100), LTE (B1/​B3/​B7/​B8/​B20); bandwidth (Download/​Upload): 150Mbps/​50Mbps; SAR value: 0.433 W/Kg (head), 1.220 W/kg (body), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.1 x 144.8 x 72.1 ( = 0.32 x 5.7 x 2.84 in)
Battery
9.6 Wh, 2500 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 20 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 18 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 410 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 490 h
Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 13 MPix f/​2.2, contrast AF, LED flash, Videos @1080p/​30 FPS
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix f/​2.4, Videos @1080p
Additional features
Speakers: speaker on the back, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, charger, USB cable, LG Backup, LG SmartWorld, RemoteCall Service, 24 Months Warranty, FM radio, fanless
Weight
142 g ( = 5.01 oz / 0.31 pounds), Power Supply: 48 g ( = 1.69 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
159 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

As in the LG K10 (2017) before, we can attest that the smaller sibling has a good-quality plastic case that sits in the hand ergonomically. Despite its smaller dimensions, the LG K8 (2017) brings slightly more weight to the scale and is also minimally thicker than the LG K10 (2017), though at 8.1 mm (0.32 in) it is still quite slim. There are two case colors: Titanium and Gold. However, these relate only to the color of the back and the frame, the front is always black. In our test unit, the back can be removed and the battery can be exchanged. This is not completely unusual in this price class, but in the Lenovo K6, for example, the battery cannot be removed.

The smartphone can hardly be warped, but it creaks when we try. The front and back are quite pressure sensitive; even with light pressure we can see waves forming in the liquid crystal display.

LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone
LG K8 (2017) Smartphone

Size Comparison

148.7 mm / 5.85 inch 75.3 mm / 2.96 inch 7.99 mm / 0.3146 inch 138 g0.3042 lbs143.7 mm / 5.66 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 11.25 mm / 0.4429 inch 135 g0.2976 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 72.3 mm / 2.85 inch 9.5 mm / 0.374 inch 139 g0.3064 lbs144.2 mm / 5.68 inch 72.5 mm / 2.85 inch 8.95 mm / 0.3524 inch 140 g0.3086 lbs144.8 mm / 5.7 inch 72.1 mm / 2.84 inch 8.1 mm / 0.3189 inch 142 g0.3131 lbs141.9 mm / 5.59 inch 70.3 mm / 2.77 inch 8.2 mm / 0.3228 inch 140 g0.3086 lbs

Features

16 GB of mass storage are absolutely customary in the given price range. With its 1.5 GB of RAM, the LG K8 (2017) is similarly on a good level, even though nowadays there are many devices with 2 GB. With USB-OTG, the relatively current bluetooth 4.2, WiFi Direct, and NFC, the list of features is quite comprehensive for this price class. Although a fingerprint sensor is nowadays often praised as a highlight in this class, the LG dispenses with it.

In addition, the storage can be expanded, that is to say, via microSD card. The manufacturer specifies up to 32 GB, but in our test, a 64 GB card was also recognized, therefore it must be a question of marketing, rather than an actual limit.

Software

It is good that LG bets on the current Android 7 even for an affordable smartphone. The security patches are from January 1, 2017, and with that are not really that current anymore. At the time of our testing, an update was not available, and in affordable devices it is rather unlikely that the manufacturer will still deliver on that. LG does not use stock Android, but installs its own user interface, which is different in some details and offers some extended functions, such as the knock-code for unlocking, and slightly expanded setting options.

There are several pre-installed apps that support the management of the smartphone and provide extended functions. LG subsidizes the affordable price by installing a few apps, like Facebook, for example. However, since these are just three apps, we can live with that.

Update 08-22-2017: LG rolls out an update with build number NRD90U (version: V10e-EUR-XX, 673 MB). The manufacturer summarizes the changes with improved "user friendliness and functionality of the phone". Google's security patches as of 06-01-2017 are implemented.

Communication and GPS

Although the SoC supports WLAN 802.11ac, with the LG K8 (2017) you have to be content with 802.11 b/g/n. In our WLAN standard test, the LG K8 (2017) achieves customary results and its reception is even a little faster than most comparison devices. In no way does it reach the excellent transfer rates of the Asus Zenfone Go,  however. Subjectively, all the pages are loaded quickly near the router, and even when scrolling, images hardly need to be reloaded. A ten-meter distance and three walls between the smartphone and access point, however, are giving the LG K8 (2017) some noticeable trouble: Although the reception is still decent at 3/4, the pages load noticeably slower, and when scrolling, the pictures are often not displayed for a long time, until they are finally reloaded.

The LG K8 (2017) supports LTE, which nowadays is standard even on cheap smartphones. The maximum speed that can be reached is slower than the LG K10 (2017): 150 MBit/s for download and 50 MBit/s for upload. However, even these speeds are just theoretical and in most cases the network cannot reach anywhere near that, so that a speed difference probably will not be noticeable. The reception is decent, inside inner-city buildings we always had at least half the signal strength in the well-established German Vodafone net.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
99.7 MBit/s ∼100% +84%
LG K8 2017
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
54.1 MBit/s ∼54%
Lenovo K6
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
51.9 MBit/s ∼52% -4%
LG K10 2017
Mali-T860 MP2, MT6750, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.2 MBit/s ∼46% -15%
Gigaset GS160
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
33.5 MBit/s ∼34% -38%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
106 MBit/s ∼100% +115%
LG K10 2017
Mali-T860 MP2, MT6750, 16 GB eMMC Flash
54.6 MBit/s ∼52% +11%
Lenovo K6
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
52.4 MBit/s ∼49% +7%
LG K8 2017
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.2 MBit/s ∼46%
Gigaset GS160
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737, 16 GB eMMC Flash
48.2 MBit/s ∼45% -2%
GPS test indoors
GPS test indoors
GPS test outdoors
GPS test outdoors

In enclosed buildings, the location detection by satellite doesn't work. Outside however, we are quickly located with a precision up to 9 meters, which is only an average result. In our bike-tour with the LG K8 (2017) and the professional Garmin Edge 500 navigator, we notice many inaccuracies in our location detection: Often there is just a straight line if locating is not possible for a while, or we are placed clearly off to the side of the path. During navigation, you should therefore not rely to much on the precision of the smartphone. 

GPS Garmin Edge 500: overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: overview
GPS Garmin Edge 500: crossroads
GPS Garmin Edge 500: crossroads
GPS Garmin Edge 500: bridge
GPS Garmin Edge 500: bridge
GPS LG K8 (2017): overview
GPS LG K8 (2017): overview
GPS LG K8 (2017): crossroads
GPS LG K8 (2017): crossroads
GPS LG K8 (2017): bridge
GPS LG K8 (2017): bridge

Telephone and Call Quality

The Telephone app was slightly adjusted by LG, but mostly corresponds to Google's standard app in terms of functions.

The call quality is surprisingly good and better than on the LG K10 (2017) as well: The earpiece clearly transmits the voice of our conversation partner, and the microphone is sensitive and even transmits words spoken in a lower voice well. However, when speaking in a loud voice, it easily becomes slightly distorted. Our partner is also clearly understandable in hands-free mode, and our voice is also transmitted well, even when speaking in a low voice.

Cameras

Image, front camera
Image, front camera

With a 13-Megapixel camera on the back, there is camera of similar quality than the in the LG K10 (2017), at least on paper. There, we were positively surprised by the sharpness of the image, and also here on the LG K8 (2017), the sharpness is passable, although the autofocus concentrates too much on objects very close to the camera even when they are on the edge of the image, so that the main motif that might be further away becomes blurry. Here you need to manually readjust when necessary. This is unfortunate, since otherwise the color reproduction is ok, and in the area of the focus, the image sharpness is good. In low light the images of the main camera quickly become very grainy and thus appear blurry. Videos can be recorded in Full HD. The quality is good: Even in darker areas the details are still recognizable; the exposure adjusts quickly to new conditions; only the focus needs to be manually readjusted from time to time.

The front camera offers 5 Megapixels and takes quite sharp pictures. The exposure is good as well, but in lighter areas the detail gets lost quickly. The front camera can also record Full HD videos, and the quality is right here as well: The sharpness is good; the exposure adjusts quickly; and the dynamic is decent.

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

After testing the main camera under controlled light conditions in our test lab, we can call the sharpness of the images "good." Here, the focus is right as well, since the image has only one depth level. However, text in front of colored background is always accompanied by slight colored edges and on the edges of the image, the sharpness is clearly lower. Colors are reproduced a little on the bright side. 

Picture taken of reference card
Picture taken of reference card
Reference card (detail)
Reference card (detail)
Picture taken of ColorChecker colors. The reference color is depicted in the bottom half of each field.
Picture taken of ColorChecker colors. The reference color is depicted in the bottom half of each field.

Accessories and Warranty

In contrast to the LG K10 (2017), the K8 does not include earphones. A charger and USB cable are off course included. The LG website does not offer any special accessories for later purchase.

The manufacturer offers a 24-month warranty for the LG K8 (2017). Please see our Guarantees, Return policies and Warranties FAQ for country-specific information.

Input Devices and Handling

The virtual keyboard was developed by LG and is good to write with. Anyone who prefers Google's standard app or another keyboard can download that without any problem.

The touchscreen can be controlled from the corners and edges as well. The menu buttons can be found on the screen, but can optionally be hidden. The hardware buttons are on the left side of the case (volume controls) and on the back, below the camera (standby button). The location is a little unusual, but after a short time of familiarization feels intuitive. There are many accessibility options for people with limited senses, and the volume buttons can trigger special functions on long press, such as starting the camera. 

Keyboard, portrait
Keyboard, portrait
Keyboard, landscape
Keyboard, landscape

Display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

With the 1280x720 resolution, the 5 inch IPS display is right on the level of its class. However, the Lenovo K6 shows that more can be done and offers even a Full HD screen. In our test unit, the average brightness was 351 cd/m² and with that exactly on the level of its larger LG K10 (2017) sibling. This is clearly too low, and the competition nowadays is far ahead with values beyond 450 cd/m². The brightness distribution is very even at 93%, so that large color areas are illuminated uniformly.

361
cd/m²
359
cd/m²
334
cd/m²
356
cd/m²
358
cd/m²
343
cd/m²
348
cd/m²
359
cd/m²
339
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 361 cd/m² Average: 350.8 cd/m² Minimum: 4.13 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 358 cd/m²
Contrast: 731:1 (Black: 0.49 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 7.1 | 0.6-29.43 Ø6
ΔE Greyscale 6.5 | 0.64-98 Ø6.2
Gamma: 2.12
LG K8 2017
IPS, 1280x720, 5
LG K10 2017
IPS, 1280x720, 5.3
Huawei Y6 II Compact
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Gigaset GS160
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Lenovo K6
IPS, 1920x1080, 5
Screen
13%
1%
22%
5%
28%
Brightness middle
358
384
7%
491
37%
459
28%
489
37%
470
31%
Brightness
351
350
0%
487
39%
452
29%
479
36%
461
31%
Brightness Distribution
93
85
-9%
92
-1%
84
-10%
95
2%
88
-5%
Black Level *
0.49
0.36
27%
0.9
-84%
0.42
14%
0.55
-12%
0.38
22%
Contrast
731
1067
46%
546
-25%
1093
50%
889
22%
1237
69%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
7.1
6
15%
6.6
7%
4.5
37%
8.3
-17%
5.2
27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
14.9
14
6%
12.9
13%
10.6
29%
14.4
3%
9.5
36%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
6.5
5.9
9%
4.9
25%
6.5
-0%
8.7
-34%
5.6
14%
Gamma
2.12 104%
2 110%
2.12 104%
2.22 99%
2.08 106%
2.24 98%
CCT
8166 80%
8042 81%
7090 92%
7791 83%
9034 72%
7924 82%

* ... 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 detected 8929 Hz ≤ 25 % brightness setting

The display backlight flickers at 8929 Hz (Likely utilizing PWM) Flickering detected at a brightness setting of 25 % and below. There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of 8929 Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering.

In comparison: 51 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 9331 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Unfortunately, the black value is quite high at 0.49 cd/m². As a result, black areas appear rather dark gray, the colors cannot really shine, and the contrast ratio is at a mediocre 731:1. In addition, we discover a high-frequency pulse width modulation, so the screen turns on and off in extremely short intervals to lower the brightness if needed. However, the frequency of the modulation is so high, that even sensitive people should not perceive any flickering.

In the laboratory tests with the spectral photometer and the CalMAN software, a clear blue tint is apparent, and furthermore the blue color tones deviate very strongly from the ideal values of the reference color space. The color temperature which is clearly to high can be lowered in the settings by a so called Comfort mode, which lowers the blue components in the image. However, the image then appears to have a slight yellow cast at first glance. 

CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color accuracy
CalMAN color space
CalMAN color space
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN grayscale
CalMAN saturation
CalMAN saturation

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
22 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 11.6 ms rise
↘ 10.4 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. » 27 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is better than the average of all tested devices (24.8 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
35.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 18.4 ms rise
↘ 17.2 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. » 29 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is similar to the average of all tested devices (39.5 ms).

When using it outside, the low brightness is the biggest problem. In addition, the reflective display that almost all smartphones have becomes an obstacle to seeing what goes on on the display in bright surroundings. In the shade, the LG K8 (2017) is fairly usable most of the time.

The viewing angles are good and even from very wide viewing angles, the display contents can be seen clearly. 

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 has been available for a long time, but until now we did not have a test unit equipped with it in our lab. The processor section of the SoC clocks at a maximum of 1.4 GHz and thus offers a performance that positions the LG K8 (2017) slightly above most of the comparison units. The LG K10 (2017) offers noticeably more power than that. 

The graphics unit is an Adreno 308, and here the LG has to accept some critique: The performance of the graphics unit is considerably below that of the comparison devices. The LG K8 (2017) is therefore less suitable for fancy graphics such as in gaming or demanding apps. 

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
30924 Points ∼11%
LG K10 2017
39063 Points ∼13% +26%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
33786 Points ∼12% +9%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
22218 Points ∼8% -28%
Gigaset GS160
28459 Points ∼10% -8%
Lenovo K6
43673 Points ∼15% +41%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
622 Points ∼13%
LG K10 2017
1105 Points ∼23% +78%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
826 Points ∼17% +33%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
558 Points ∼11% -10%
Lenovo K6
1002 Points ∼20% +61%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
31 Points ∼0%
LG K10 2017
380 Points ∼3% +1126%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
167 Points ∼1% +439%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
42 Points ∼0% +35%
Lenovo K6
491 Points ∼4% +1484%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
39 Points ∼0%
LG K10 2017
445 Points ∼5% +1041%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
203 Points ∼2% +421%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
53 Points ∼1% +36%
Lenovo K6
554 Points ∼7% +1321%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
6656 Points ∼8%
LG K10 2017
8223 Points ∼10% +24%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
9393 Points ∼11% +41%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
7429 Points ∼9% +12%
Gigaset GS160
7881 Points ∼9% +18%
Lenovo K6
9034 Points ∼10% +36%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
2546 Points ∼0%
LG K10 2017
7936 Points ∼1% +212%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
4296 Points ∼1% +69%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
3836 Points ∼1% +51%
Gigaset GS160
3291 Points ∼1% +29%
Lenovo K6
9691 Points ∼2% +281%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
2951 Points ∼1%
LG K10 2017
7998 Points ∼3% +171%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
4885 Points ∼2% +66%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
4298 Points ∼2% +46%
Gigaset GS160
3780 Points ∼2% +28%
Lenovo K6
9537 Points ∼4% +223%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
3.4 fps ∼0%
LG K10 2017
13 fps ∼0% +282%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
8.4 fps ∼0% +147%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
5.2 fps ∼0% +53%
Gigaset GS160
6 fps ∼0% +76%
Lenovo K6
16 fps ∼0% +371%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
6.4 fps ∼0%
LG K10 2017
22 fps ∼1% +244%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
15 fps ∼0% +134%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
9.4 fps ∼0% +47%
Gigaset GS160
11 fps ∼0% +72%
Lenovo K6
15 fps ∼0% +134%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
1.3 fps ∼0%
LG K10 2017
5.3 fps ∼1% +308%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2.8 fps ∼1% +115%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
1.8 fps ∼0% +38%
Gigaset GS160
2.1 fps ∼0% +62%
Lenovo K6
7.1 fps ∼1% +446%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
3.7 fps ∼1%
LG K10 2017
11 fps ∼3% +197%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
6.1 fps ∼2% +65%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
3.8 fps ∼1% +3%
Gigaset GS160
4.7 fps ∼1% +27%
Lenovo K6
7 fps ∼2% +89%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
4673 Points ∼24%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
3400 Points ∼17% -27%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
2217 Points ∼11% -53%
Gigaset GS160
2563 Points ∼13% -45%
Lenovo K6
3387 Points ∼17% -28%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
616 Points ∼30%
LG K10 2017
1137 Points ∼56% +85%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
533 Points ∼26% -13%
Gigaset GS160
9 Points ∼0% -99%
Lenovo K6
10 Points ∼0% -98%
Graphics (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
436 Points ∼2%
LG K10 2017
508 Points ∼2% +17%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
283 Points ∼1% -35%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
308 Points ∼1% -29%
Gigaset GS160
208 Points ∼1% -52%
Lenovo K6
732 Points ∼3% +68%
Memory (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
634 Points ∼8%
LG K10 2017
623 Points ∼8% -2%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
571 Points ∼8% -10%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
526 Points ∼7% -17%
Gigaset GS160
497 Points ∼7% -22%
Lenovo K6
530 Points ∼7% -16%
System (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
1191 Points ∼7%
LG K10 2017
1259 Points ∼8% +6%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
1093 Points ∼7% -8%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
887 Points ∼5% -26%
Gigaset GS160
1029 Points ∼6% -14%
Lenovo K6
1282 Points ∼8% +8%
Overall (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
371 Points ∼4%
LG K10 2017
821 Points ∼10% +121%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
203 Points ∼2% -45%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
526 Points ∼6% +42%
Gigaset GS160
178 Points ∼2% -52%
Lenovo K6
263 Points ∼3% -29%
Geekbench 4.4
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
1203 Points ∼3%
LG K10 2017
1480 Points ∼3% +23%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
1737 Points ∼3%
LG K10 2017
2311 Points ∼4% +33%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
642 Points ∼10%
LG K10 2017
593 Points ∼9% -8%

Legend

 
LG K8 2017 Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (MSM8917), Qualcomm Adreno 308, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG K10 2017 Mediatek MT6750, ARM Mali-T860 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Y6 II Compact Mediatek MT6735, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Gigaset GS160 Mediatek MT6737, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Lenovo K6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 16 GB eMMC Flash

While web surfing, the performance appears similarly good as that of the processor: In some cases, the LG K8 (2017) is noticeably faster than some of the comparison devices, but cannot reach the performance of the LG K10 (2017).

Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
10742 ms * ∼18%
LG K10 2017
11708.2 ms * ∼20% -9%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
13234 ms * ∼22% -23%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
15895 ms * ∼27% -48%
Gigaset GS160
13907.4 ms * ∼23% -29%
Lenovo K6
10849.6 ms * ∼18% -1%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
3052 Points ∼6%
LG K10 2017
3407 Points ∼7% +12%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2805 Points ∼5% -8%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
1938 Points ∼4% -37%
Gigaset GS160
2493 Points ∼5% -18%
Lenovo K6
3438 Points ∼7% +13%
JetStream 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
17.124 Points ∼5%
LG K10 2017
20.838 Points ∼6% +22%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
18.304 Points ∼5% +7%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
14.105 Points ∼4% -18%
Gigaset GS160
14.428 Points ∼4% -16%
Lenovo K6
21.436 Points ∼6% +25%

* ... smaller is better

Access to the internal storage is fast, in some cases even faster than in the LG K10 (2017). The other comparison devices are left behind, anyways. The LG K8 also accesses our reference card for microSD readers very quickly. Anyone who transfers data a lot will be pleased with this smartphone.

AndroBench 3-5
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
52.23 MB/s ∼60%
LG K10 2017
61.63 MB/s ∼71% +18%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
17.12 MB/s ∼20% -67%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
14.4 MB/s ∼17% -72%
Gigaset GS160
19.19 MB/s ∼22% -63%
Lenovo K6
50.4 MB/s ∼58% -4%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
78.55 MB/s ∼81%
LG K10 2017
77.4 MB/s ∼80% -1%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
31.57 MB/s ∼33% -60%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
17.7 MB/s ∼18% -77%
Gigaset GS160
30.71 MB/s ∼32% -61%
Lenovo K6
78.2 MB/s ∼81% 0%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
12.5 MB/s ∼5%
LG K10 2017
10.8 MB/s ∼4% -14%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
15.5 MB/s ∼6% +24%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
6.9 MB/s ∼3% -45%
Gigaset GS160
6.8 MB/s ∼3% -46%
Lenovo K6
10.5 MB/s ∼4% -16%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
41.6 MB/s ∼18%
LG K10 2017
25.1 MB/s ∼11% -40%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
23 MB/s ∼10% -45%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
19.7 MB/s ∼9% -53%
Gigaset GS160
18.5 MB/s ∼8% -56%
Lenovo K6
32.01 MB/s ∼14% -23%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
84.6 MB/s ∼14%
LG K10 2017
43.6 MB/s ∼7% -48%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
75 MB/s ∼13% -11%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
42.4 MB/s ∼7% -50%
Gigaset GS160
46.6 MB/s ∼8% -45%
Lenovo K6
46.66 MB/s ∼8% -45%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
LG K8 2017
270.8 MB/s ∼15%
LG K10 2017
246.1 MB/s ∼14% -9%
Huawei Y6 II Compact
211 MB/s ∼12% -22%
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
143 MB/s ∼8% -47%
Gigaset GS160
200.5 MB/s ∼11% -26%
Lenovo K6
262.56 MB/s ∼15% -3%

Games

The graphics card is not particularly powerful. Luckily, most of the current Android games are tuned to play fairly well even on weak devices. Subjectively, this works pretty well in "Temple Run 2," and less demanding games such as "Angry Birds" run fluidly, anyways. However, since the graphics unit does not support most of the current graphics APIs anymore, being future-proof in terms of gaming is not a given: Some of the current game apps may not be shown in the Google Play Store, if they are not compatible with the hardware. It is fortunate, that games load quickly, because the storage access is fast.

The control via touchscreen and position sensor works pleasantly smoothly. 

Angry Birds
Angry Birds
Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2

Emissions

Temperature

GFXBench: battery test
GFXBench: battery test

The LG K8 (2017) warms up to 38.4 °C (101 °F), which is very limited locally to the front. The back remains much cooler. The maximum warming is noticeable, but not uncomfortable. During idle operation, the maximum warming is also at the front, at 34 °C (93 °F).

We find out with the GFXBench battery test, that the SoC apparently cannot maintain its performance capabilities during load over a longer time: The frame rates quickly break down considerably. 

Max. Load
 38.4 °C
101 F
36.2 °C
97 F
34.9 °C
95 F
 
 36.5 °C
98 F
37.8 °C
100 F
34.5 °C
94 F
 
 34.1 °C
93 F
33.3 °C
92 F
33.4 °C
92 F
 
Maximum: 38.4 °C = 101 F
Average: 35.5 °C = 96 F
29 °C
84 F
28.7 °C
84 F
37.5 °C
100 F
29.5 °C
85 F
29.8 °C
86 F
37.1 °C
99 F
28.9 °C
84 F
29.2 °C
85 F
32 °C
90 F
Maximum: 37.5 °C = 100 F
Average: 31.3 °C = 88 F
Power Supply (max.)  36.2 °C = 97 F | Room Temperature 21.3 °C = 70 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 35.5 °C / 96 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 38.4 °C / 101 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 37.5 °C / 100 F, compared to the average of 34 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.6 °C / 89 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.
Heat map front
Heat map front
Heat map back
Heat map back

Speakers

Speaker test: pink noise
Speaker test: pink noise

Subjectively, we like the sound of the LG K8 (2017) speaker a little better than that of the LG K10 (2017), although the smartphone still remains at the bottom level. The measurements of the audio test show quite a loud maximum volume, but also missing bass and very pronounced highs. Friends of a good sound will rather reach for headphones or a Bluetooth speaker, which can both be connected without any trouble to hear a sound without interference. 

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2031.644.42525.4343125.335.94032.931.75033.630.96331.637.88028.424.91002726.312520.827.41602225.420021.325.625020.826.531521.229.640019.437.150019.545.263017.754.480017.965.5100017.876.6125017.378.9160017.477.7200016.774.4250017.273.4315018.272.4400017.970500017.668.5630017.768.5800017.871.91000017.969.51250018.163.81600018.255.9SPL3085.6N1.355median 17.9median 65.5Delta1.317.432.436.931.33431.733.82632.839.434.736.231.228.627.925.424.421.324.823.325.922.530.522.437.121.340.218.444.817.551.917.555.617.261.116.867.517.368.817.46516.673.617.375.517.676.117.679.217.779.517.475.717.77117.967.318.161.518.142.929.886.41.356.8median 17.7median 61.51.616.6hearing rangehide median Pink NoiseLG K8 2017Huawei Y6 II Compact
LG K8 2017 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (85.59 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 38.8% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (3% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 13.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (14.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 5.1% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (35.1% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 95% 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, 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
» 95% 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, 1% similar, 2% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Frequency diagram in comparison (checkboxes above can be checked or unchecked!)

Battery Life

Power Consumption

In terms of power consumption, the LG K8 (2017) should be highly praised: When it is turned off, it does indeed not draw any power from the battery, and during standby mode its power use is quite low. Also during operation, the smartphone uses on average less power than the comparison devices, even if it does not come out as a winner in any of the individual categories. 

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.65 / 1.6 / 1.62 Watt
Load midlight 2.97 / 4.34 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
LG K8 2017
2500 mAh
LG K10 2017
2800 mAh
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2200 mAh
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
2600 mAh
Gigaset GS160
2500 mAh
Lenovo K6
3000 mAh
Power Consumption
-4%
-2%
-16%
-11%
-11%
Idle Minimum *
0.65
0.76
-17%
0.57
12%
0.92
-42%
0.56
14%
0.65
-0%
Idle Average *
1.6
1.59
1%
1.53
4%
1.76
-10%
1.7
-6%
1.65
-3%
Idle Maximum *
1.62
1.61
1%
1.6
1%
1.85
-14%
1.75
-8%
1.67
-3%
Load Average *
2.97
3.24
-9%
2.82
5%
3.47
-17%
4.17
-40%
3.58
-21%
Load Maximum *
4.34
4.15
4%
5.69
-31%
4.22
3%
5.07
-17%
5.58
-29%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The greatest advantage of the 9.6 Wh battery is surely that it is removable. The WLAN runtime of almost 10 hours is decent by itself and confirms our experience, that during normal use, it can last for two days without a charger without any trouble. If you packed an extra battery, it doesn't matter if you left your charger at home during your trip over a long weekend.

Although the power saving mode offers no extraordinary features, it prolongs the runtime again considerably, if needed.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
9h 54min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 40min
LG K8 2017
2500 mAh
LG K10 2017
2800 mAh
Huawei Y6 II Compact
2200 mAh
Asus Zenfone Go ZB500KL
2600 mAh
Gigaset GS160
2500 mAh
Lenovo K6
3000 mAh
Battery Runtime
-2%
-8%
-3%
-5%
23%
Reader / Idle
1477
1175
1224
1326
1626
WiFi v1.3
594
532
-10%
623
5%
572
-4%
615
4%
715
20%
Load
280
298
6%
222
-21%
277
-1%
244
-13%
350
25%
H.264
613
682
617
702
633

Pros

+ well designed quality casing
+ removable battery with good runtime
+ low power consumption
+ NFC, USB-OTG
+ current Android 7
+ good call quality
+ reasonable cameras
+ good controls
+ fast storage access

Cons

- pressure sensitive
- weak graphics performance
- throttling under longer load
- autofocus with problems
- dark screen

Verdict

In the test: LG K8 (2017). Test unit provided by LG Germany.
In the test: LG K8 (2017). Test unit provided by LG Germany.

As with the LG K10 (2017) before, with the LG K8 (2017) the Korean manufacturer also delivers quite a high-quality budget smartphone, which offers features not always found in this price range. First, there is the decent equipment supporting NFC and the modern bluetooth standard. However, for the highlight of a fingerprint sensor, you look in vain. Instead, there is a good call sound and cameras that are very good for this price class. Precise input devices and a removable battery with a decent runtime also belong to the upsides of the LG K8 (2017), and the casing appears relatively high-quality as well.

You should manually readjust the focus of pictures often, since there are some slight problems here, and also the screen overall is too dark. The speaker is rated below the level of this price class, which is low anyways, and the graphics card is weak and hardly future proof.

A casing that appears high-quality, good cameras, a removable battery – anyone who is not scared off by the missing fingerprint reader and the dark screen makes a good purchase with the LG K8 (2017).

Anyone who can live with that, gets a solid budget smart phone that appears to be of good quality, and currently still saves almost 50 Euros (~$53) in comparison to the LG K10 (2017), whose cameras and screen are not any better, but which has a considerably better performance. As long as the large price difference remains and you don't need the additional power, the LG K8 (2017) is currently the better deal.

LG K8 2017 - 04/19/2017 v6(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
81%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
84%
Connectivity
37 / 60 → 61%
Weight
93%
Battery
92%
Display
82%
Games Performance
3 / 63 → 5%
Application Performance
37 / 70 → 52%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
56 / 91 → 61%
Camera
67%
Average
68%
79%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG K8 (2017) Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2017-04-24 (Update: 2019-04- 5)