Notebookcheck

LG K9 Smartphone Review

Mike Wobker (translated by Mark Riege), 08/06/2018

Removable battery, anyone? For about 130 Euros (~$151), the LG K9 offers simple equipment, an affordable price, and a removable battery to its buyers. We clarify in our test how the smartphone with its attractive and robust design performs in everyday life.

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LG K9

With its K-series, LG offers robust smartphones in various price ranges. We have already tested a current mid-range model of this series with the LG K11, and we were also able to evaluate the K8 (2017) and K10 (2017) LG smartphones last year.

With the LG K9, we now have an entry-level device that offers sufficient performance for simple applications with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 and an Adreno 304 graphics unit. In addition, 2 GB of working memory and 16 GB of eMMC flash storage also offer at least a minimum of storage space for your own data and apps. The removable battery, which many other smartphone manufacturers do not offer anymore, is particularly compelling.

In the low price segment below 150 Euros (~$174), there are also many competing devices of which we picked four for the comparison with our test unit. These include the Honor 7A, Huawei's Y6 (2018), the Nomu M6, and the Nokia 2. The comparison with last year's model from LG, the K8 (2017), is also interesting for our test.

LG K9
Graphics adapter
Memory
2048 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel 294 PPI, capacitive, IPS, glossy: yes
Storage
16 GB eMMC Flash, 16 GB 
, 7 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 audio port, Card Reader: microSD (up to 32 GB), Brightness Sensor, Sensors: acceleration sensor, proximity sensor
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.2, GSM (850/900/1800/1900), 3G (850/900/1900/2100), LTE Cat.4 (B1/B3/B7/B8/B20/B38), LTE, GPS
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.2 x 146.3 x 73.2 ( = 0.32 x 5.76 x 2.88 in)
Battery
2500 mAh Lithium-Ion, removeable
Operating System
Android 7.1 Nougat
Camera
Primary Camera: 8 MPix
Secondary Camera: 5 MPix
Additional features
Speakers: 1 speaker, Keyboard: onscreen, Keyboard Light: yes, USB charger, MicroUSB cable, SIM tool, 24 Months Warranty, SAR value (head): 0.763 W/kg; SAR value (body): 1.43 W/kg, fanless
Weight
148 g ( = 5.22 oz / 0.33 pounds), Power Supply: 50 g ( = 1.76 oz / 0.11 pounds)
Price
130 Euro

 

The LG K9 has a robust plastic case and is available in black and blue colors. You can take off the grooved back cover, giving you access to the battery as well as the nanoSIM and microSD card slots. The non-slip cover is tightly held in position by plastic clips, preventing it from accidental removal.

The back also contains the simple main camera and the power button. While the latter looks like a fingerprint sensor, it is only a button with a design that follows that of the K-series. The volume buttons on the left side of the device are set into the frame with some slight play, but they respond to every input with a crisp pressure point.

LG K9
LG K9
LG K9
LG K9
LG K9
LG K9

Size Comparison

Equipment - Entry-level hardware in the LG K9

The LG K9 is equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, an Adreno 304 graphics unit, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of internal eMMC flash storage. In addition to this entry-level hardware, the LG smartphone also offers its users a 3.5-mm audio port and a USB 2.0 standard MicroUSB port. According to the manufacturer, the internal storage can be expanded up to 32 GB via a microSD card, and if necessary, you can also move apps onto the SD card. However, you cannot reformat it as internal storage. Our 64 GB Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference card worked without any problems in the LG smartphone.

Right side: notch to open the back cover
Right side: notch to open the back cover
Left side: volume keys
Left side: volume keys

Software - Android smartphone from LG

Users of the LG K9 are greeted with an Android version 7.1.2 operating system with security patches on the level of April 1, 2018. The adjustments by the manufacturer are limited to a restructuring of the settings menu. LG is also restrained in terms of third-party apps, benefiting the storage space which is quite limited anyways. Despite an aging operating system, LG delivers new security updates for example every three to four months for the LG K4 and LG K8 models, so we expect something similar for the LG K9.

The restructured menu offers quick access to all the switches that activate or deactivate the communication modules. An account management feature also offers the option to create several user accounts for the LG smartphone.

LG K9 software
LG K9 software
LG K9 software
LG K9 software
LG K9 software
LG K9 software
LG K9 software
LG K9 software

Communication and GPS - LG smartphone with a good GPS

The LG K9 supports mobile connections to the GSM, 3G, and LTE networks. LTE (Cat.4) allows for transfer rates of up to 150 Mb/s during download and 50 Mb/s during upload. The LG smartphone does not show any particularities in terms of the reception quality, always offering an uninterrupted connection. 

Over closer distances, the K9 is able to transfer data via Bluetooth 4.2 or WLAN. However, for the latter only the slower b, g, and n standards in the 2.4-GHz band are available to the users. The results of our WLAN test show that while the achieved speeds are standard for this price range, they are still slightly below average. In terms of its data reception, the LG smartphone has to be content with the last place in our comparison list.

Networking
iperf3 Client (receive) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (5.9 - 939, n=250)
187 MBit/s ∼100% +513%
Nokia 2
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 8 GB eMMC Flash
55.4 MBit/s ∼30% +82%
LG K8 2017
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
54.1 MBit/s ∼29% +77%
Huawei Y6 2018
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
50.5 MBit/s ∼27% +66%
Honor 7A
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
45 MBit/s ∼24% +48%
Nomu M6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
31.7 MBit/s ∼17% +4%
LG K9
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 16 GB eMMC Flash
30.5 MBit/s ∼16%
iperf3 Client (transmit) TCP 1 m 4M x10
Average of class Smartphone
  (9.4 - 703, n=250)
182 MBit/s ∼100% +272%
Nokia 2
Adreno 304, 212 APQ8009, 8 GB eMMC Flash
54.2 MBit/s ∼30% +11%
Huawei Y6 2018
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
52.2 MBit/s ∼29% +7%
LG K8 2017
Adreno 308, 425, 16 GB eMMC Flash
49.2 MBit/s ∼27% +1%
LG K9
Adreno 304, 210 MSM8909, 16 GB eMMC Flash
48.9 MBit/s ∼27%
Honor 7A
Adreno 505, 430, 16 GB eMMC Flash
46.7 MBit/s ∼26% -4%
Nomu M6
Mali-T720 MP2, MT6737T, 16 GB eMMC Flash
42 MBit/s ∼23% -14%
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test outdoors
GPS Test indoors
GPS Test indoors

Using the "GPS Test" app, we test how accurately the LG K9 can determine its own location. The LG smartphone achieves an accuracy of up to three meters outdoors and is also able to create a stable satellite connection indoors. While the accuracy then drops to about eight meters, it is still sufficient to determine an approximate location.

During our bike tour, we compare the LG K9 with our Garmin Edge 500 reference device. The recorded route shows that the K9 achieves a similar quality as the GPS bike computer and is merely slightly more inaccurate in very tight curves. The LG K9 is therefore well-suited for navigation tasks.

GPS LG K9
GPS LG K9
GPS LG K9
GPS LG K9
GPS LG K9
GPS LG K9
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500
GPS Garmin Edge 500

Telephone Functions and Voice Quality - The LG K9 is an affordable LTE smartphone

LG offers users of the K9 its own telephone app which provides fast access to a dial keyboard, contact and call lists, and groups. The arrangement is clear and shows only small differences to Google's standard telephone app.

During a conversation, the K9 is able to transmit both sides clearly and understandably. In addition, the microphone filters out annoying background noises. The volume is sufficient to be able to still communicate with loud street noise in the background or in noisier surroundings. With a relatively high volume, the speaker function also offers a good option to communicate having both hands free. The LG smartphone does not sound boomy or scratchy.

Cameras - Simple cameras for occasional snapshots

Picture taken by front camera
Picture taken by front camera

LG has equipped the K9 with an 8-MP main camera and a 5-MP front camera. The selfie camera produces images with a rather lower quality. The whole picture appears slightly blurry and pale. Even though the camera app settings do not offer any detailed adjustment options to improve the image quality, you can select gestures to enable taking automatic selfies with the camera.

In good light conditions, the main camera produces decent panorama snapshots, which although appearing slightly blurry in the detail still capture the selected object well. This impression is only slightly marred by being a bit pale. The same effect can also be seen in close-ups and appears even more pronounced then. While the objects in the image center appear sharp, the blurriness increases significantly towards the edges. The contrast also appears slightly weak. In bad light conditions, the K9 is able to capture objects without them disappearing in black areas. However, the photographed objects are blurry and the detail is missing.

The LG K9 is able to record videos in a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. While the results have similar limitations as the photographs, a decent image stabilizer compensates for shaky recordings.

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
ColorChecker Passport
ColorChecker Passport

The picture taken of the ColorChecker Passport shows that the colors recorded by the LG K9 camera are too bright. The most accurate are dark gray and black tones. That explains the pale impression of our test pictures somewhat. 

The recording of our test chart taken under controlled light conditions also appears slightly pale. While fine structures and details remain clearly visible in the center of the image, they become even paler and more blurry towards the edges.

LG K9 test chart
LG K9 test chart (detail)

Accessories and Warranty - The LG K9 has a 24-month warranty

Included with the LG K9 are a USB charger with the corresponding MicroUSB cable and the battery. While LG does not offer any additional particular accessories, they can be ordered from third-party vendors.

LG offers a 24-month warranty to the buyers of the K9.

Input Devices and Operation - Jittery touchscreen in the LG smartphone

The virtual keyboard of the LG K9 provides a simple way to input text. You can adjust the size of the key field according to your preference. The touchscreen responds to any touch directly and implements it quickly on the display. However, when scrolling or performing drag-and-drop gestures, the display reaction is too sensitive at times, causing a jittery displayed image. The position sensor responds to movements of the LG K9 with a slight delay.

LG K9 input devices
LG K9 input devices

Display - The LG K9 has a low-contrast display

Subpixel grid
Subpixel grid

The screen of the LG K9 is a 5-inch IPS panel with a resolution of 1280x720 pixels. At an average of 271 cd/m², the offered brightness remains significantly below the level of comparable devices. On the other hand, the brightness distribution is quite even at 93%. However, in the overall evaluation, the LG K9 still only ends up in the last place of the list of our selected comparison devices.

277
cd/m²
277
cd/m²
271
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
282
cd/m²
268
cd/m²
264
cd/m²
269
cd/m²
262
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 282 cd/m² Average: 271 cd/m² Minimum: 3.6 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 93 %
Center on Battery: 282 cd/m²
Contrast: 486:1 (Black: 0.58 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 5.6 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.3
ΔE Greyscale 4.6 | 0.64-98 Ø6.5
88.3% sRGB (Calman 2D)
Gamma: 2.29
LG K9
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Nokia 2
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Nomu M6
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Honor 7A
IPS, 1440x720, 5.7
Huawei Y6 2018
IPS, 1440x720, 5.7
LG K8 2017
IPS, 1280x720, 5
Screen
26%
60%
62%
35%
2%
Brightness middle
282
527
87%
610
116%
417
48%
483
71%
358
27%
Brightness
271
503
86%
578
113%
395
46%
460
70%
351
30%
Brightness Distribution
93
91
-2%
90
-3%
88
-5%
88
-5%
93
0%
Black Level *
0.58
0.68
-17%
0.31
47%
0.18
69%
0.4
31%
0.49
16%
Contrast
486
775
59%
1968
305%
2317
377%
1208
149%
731
50%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
5.6
5.3
5%
6.8
-21%
6.46
-15%
5.8
-4%
7.1
-27%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 max. *
10.5
9.2
12%
13.4
-28%
10.72
-2%
12.6
-20%
14.9
-42%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.6
5.8
-26%
6.8
-48%
5.8
-26%
5
-9%
6.5
-41%
Gamma
2.29 105%
2.12 113%
2.08 115%
2.423 99%
2.6 92%
2.12 113%
CCT
7333 89%
7894 82%
8003 81%
7839 83%
7709 84%
8166 80%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 calibrated *
4.42

* ... 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: 54 % of all tested devices do not use PWM to dim the display. If PWM was detected, an average of 8821 (minimum: 43 - maximum: 142900) Hz was measured.

Our measurements of the K9 display attest a very low contrast ratio of 486:1 and an elevated black value of 0.58 to the LG smartphone. This causes the borders between colors to appear blurry and black tones to appear as if covered by a gray veil. In addition, we noticed a blue tint in our CalMAN measurements.

CalMAN - Color Accuracy
CalMAN - Color Accuracy
CalMAN - ColorSpace
CalMAN - ColorSpace
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Saturation
CalMAN - Grayscales
CalMAN - Grayscales

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
38.8 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26.8 ms rise
↘ 12 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. » 95 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (25.9 ms).
       Response Time 50% Grey to 80% Grey
51.6 ms ... rise ↗ and fall ↘ combined↗ 26 ms rise
↘ 25.6 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. » 87 % of all devices are better.
This means that the measured response time is worse than the average of all tested devices (41.4 ms).

Due to the low display brightness, the LG K9 can only be used in shady areas outdoors. If the surrounding light is too bright, it becomes very difficult to read the display content. In addition, reflections of the surrounding objects are very strong on the screen of the K9.

Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

The viewing angles of the IPS panel of the LG K9 are very stable, enabling you to read the display from any possible direction. As long as there are no reflections obstructing your view of the display, you can use the LG smartphone from any position imaginable.

Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability
Viewing-angle stability

Performance - An LG smartphone for entry-level users

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The LG K9 is equipped with Qualcomm's Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, an Adreno 304 graphics unit, 2 GB of RAM, and 16 GB of eMMC flash storage. This hardware can also be found in entry-level smartphones that are suited for simple everyday tasks. However, in our test unit this equipment occasionally led to stutters during navigation of the user interface.

In our benchmark tests, the LG K9 was unable to stand up against the competing devices. Our test unit often only lands in last place, taking turns with the Nokia 2 from time to time. The performance differences between these two devices are only minimal. The LG K9 only offers a below-average system performance in its price range.

AnTuTu v6 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K9
25146 Points ∼36%
Nokia 2
24924 Points ∼35% -1%
Nomu M6
38372 Points ∼55% +53%
Honor 7A
46126 Points ∼66% +83%
Huawei Y6 2018
39089 Points ∼56% +55%
LG K8 2017
30924 Points ∼44% +23%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (19230 - 25825, n=6)
23253 Points ∼33% -8%
Average of class Smartphone (23275 - 230642, n=343)
70285 Points ∼100% +180%
AnTuTu v7 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG K9
25692 Points ∼25%
Nomu M6
43350 Points ∼42% +69%
Honor 7A
59990 Points ∼59% +133%
Huawei Y6 2018
46710 Points ∼46% +82%
LG K8 2017
32557 Points ∼32% +27%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
25692 Points ∼25% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (25692 - 290397, n=115)
102443 Points ∼100% +299%
PCMark for Android
Work 2.0 performance score (sort by value)
LG K9
2399 Points ∼54%
Nokia 2
2304 Points ∼52% -4%
Nomu M6
3116 Points ∼70% +30%
Honor 7A
3892 Points ∼88% +62%
Huawei Y6 2018
3629 Points ∼82% +51%
LG K8 2017
2986 Points ∼67% +24%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (2152 - 2399, n=3)
2284 Points ∼51% -5%
Average of class Smartphone (2399 - 8601, n=203)
4444 Points ∼100% +85%
Work performance score (sort by value)
LG K9
3333 Points ∼65%
Nokia 2
3109 Points ∼61% -7%
Nomu M6
4263 Points ∼83% +28%
Honor 7A
5109 Points ∼100% +53%
Huawei Y6 2018
4756 Points ∼93% +43%
LG K8 2017
4673 Points ∼91% +40%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (2882 - 3741, n=6)
3148 Points ∼62% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (2516 - 10264, n=367)
4676 Points ∼92% +40%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
LG K9
9 Points ∼1%
Nokia 2
9 Points ∼1% 0%
Nomu M6
742 Points ∼100% +8144%
Honor 7A
705 Points ∼95% +7733%
Huawei Y6 2018
616 Points ∼83% +6744%
LG K8 2017
616 Points ∼83% +6744%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (9 - 621, n=8)
242 Points ∼33% +2589%
Average of class Smartphone (7 - 1682, n=443)
671 Points ∼90% +7356%
Graphics (sort by value)
LG K9
156 Points ∼10%
Nokia 2
251 Points ∼17% +61%
Nomu M6
383 Points ∼26% +146%
Honor 7A
739 Points ∼49% +374%
Huawei Y6 2018
443 Points ∼30% +184%
LG K8 2017
436 Points ∼29% +179%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (144 - 260, n=8)
219 Points ∼15% +40%
Average of class Smartphone (18 - 9248, n=443)
1501 Points ∼100% +862%
Memory (sort by value)
LG K9
421 Points ∼35%
Nokia 2
233 Points ∼19% -45%
Nomu M6
704 Points ∼58% +67%
Honor 7A
1209 Points ∼100% +187%
Huawei Y6 2018
1069 Points ∼88% +154%
LG K8 2017
634 Points ∼52% +51%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (233 - 685, n=8)
359 Points ∼30% -15%
Average of class Smartphone (21 - 4798, n=443)
1123 Points ∼93% +167%
System (sort by value)
LG K9
828 Points ∼37%
Nokia 2
901 Points ∼40% +9%
Nomu M6
1245 Points ∼56% +50%
Honor 7A
1962 Points ∼87% +137%
Huawei Y6 2018
1043 Points ∼47% +26%
LG K8 2017
1191 Points ∼53% +44%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (529 - 899, n=8)
748 Points ∼33% -10%
Average of class Smartphone (369 - 10281, n=443)
2243 Points ∼100% +171%
Overall (sort by value)
LG K9
151 Points ∼13%
Nokia 2
149 Points ∼13% -1%
Nomu M6
707 Points ∼62% +368%
Honor 7A
1055 Points ∼93% +599%
Huawei Y6 2018
743 Points ∼66% +392%
LG K8 2017
371 Points ∼33% +146%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (1 - 477, n=8)
249 Points ∼22% +65%
Average of class Smartphone (1 - 4308, n=446)
1133 Points ∼100% +650%
Geekbench 4.1/4.2
Compute RenderScript Score (sort by value)
LG K9
859 Points ∼23%
Nomu M6
1081 Points ∼28% +26%
Honor 7A
2127 Points ∼56% +148%
Huawei Y6 2018
1419 Points ∼37% +65%
LG K8 2017
1203 Points ∼32% +40%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
859 Points ∼23% 0%
Average of class Smartphone (836 - 14362, n=140)
3809 Points ∼100% +343%
64 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K9
1099 Points ∼28%
Nokia 2
1118 Points ∼28% +2%
Nomu M6
1819 Points ∼46% +66%
Honor 7A
2820 Points ∼71% +157%
Huawei Y6 2018
1939 Points ∼49% +76%
LG K8 2017
1737 Points ∼44% +58%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (944 - 1135, n=3)
1059 Points ∼27% -4%
Average of class Smartphone (1099 - 10558, n=187)
3956 Points ∼100% +260%
64 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG K9
424 Points ∼36%
Nokia 2
423 Points ∼36% 0%
Nomu M6
656 Points ∼56% +55%
Honor 7A
675 Points ∼58% +59%
Huawei Y6 2018
692 Points ∼59% +63%
LG K8 2017
642 Points ∼55% +51%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (390 - 437, n=3)
417 Points ∼36% -2%
Average of class Smartphone (394 - 4265, n=188)
1170 Points ∼100% +176%
3DMark
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Physics (sort by value)
LG K9
Points ∼0%
Nomu M6
945 Points ∼61%
Honor 7A
1232 Points ∼80%
Huawei Y6 2018
Points ∼0%
LG K8 2017
Points ∼0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (0 - 560, n=2)
280 Points ∼18%
Average of class Smartphone (1765 - 3669, n=292)
1549 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) Graphics (sort by value)
LG K9
Points ∼0%
Nomu M6
149 Points ∼14%
Honor 7A
254 Points ∼24%
Huawei Y6 2018
Points ∼0%
LG K8 2017
Points ∼0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (0 - 0, n=2)
0 Points ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (721 - 5220, n=292)
1051 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot Extreme (ES 3.1) (sort by value)
LG K9
Points ∼0%
Nomu M6
183 Points ∼18%
Honor 7A
308 Points ∼31%
Huawei Y6 2018
Points ∼0%
LG K8 2017
Points ∼0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (0 - 0, n=2)
0 Points ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (830 - 4732, n=300)
1008 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Physics (sort by value)
LG K9
540 Points ∼37%
Nokia 2
539 Points ∼37% 0%
Nomu M6
960 Points ∼66% +78%
Honor 7A
1259 Points ∼87% +133%
Huawei Y6 2018
907 Points ∼62% +68%
LG K8 2017
622 Points ∼43% +15%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (293 - 540, n=4)
437 Points ∼30% -19%
Average of class Smartphone (524 - 3642, n=323)
1453 Points ∼100% +169%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 Graphics (sort by value)
LG K9
0 Points ∼0%
Nokia 2
120 Points ∼8%
Nomu M6
262 Points ∼18%
Honor 7A
535 Points ∼38%
Huawei Y6 2018
55 Points ∼4%
LG K8 2017
31 Points ∼2%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (0 - 38, n=4)
16.8 Points ∼1%
Average of class Smartphone (1257 - 8312, n=323)
1421 Points ∼100%
2560x1440 Sling Shot OpenGL ES 3.0 (sort by value)
LG K9
0 Points ∼0%
Nokia 2
120 Points ∼10%
Nomu M6
279 Points ∼23%
Honor 7A
613 Points ∼50%
Huawei Y6 2018
70 Points ∼6%
LG K8 2017
39 Points ∼3%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (0 - 48, n=4)
21.3 Points ∼2%
Average of class Smartphone (1344 - 6378, n=331)
1224 Points ∼100%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG K9
735 Points ∼6%
Nokia 2
7150 Points ∼59% +873%
Nomu M6
10647 Points ∼88% +1349%
Honor 7A
9249 Points ∼76% +1158%
Huawei Y6 2018
10344 Points ∼85% +1307%
LG K8 2017
6656 Points ∼55% +806%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (735 - 6892, n=6)
5256 Points ∼43% +615%
Average of class Smartphone (735 - 36494, n=478)
12142 Points ∼100% +1552%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG K9
4155 Points ∼27%
Nokia 2
4150 Points ∼27% 0%
Nomu M6
6036 Points ∼39% +45%
Honor 7A
9684 Points ∼62% +133%
Huawei Y6 2018
5426 Points ∼35% +31%
LG K8 2017
2546 Points ∼16% -39%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (2359 - 5042, n=6)
3904 Points ∼25% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (2396 - 113380, n=478)
15567 Points ∼100% +275%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG K9
4615 Points ∼34%
Nokia 2
4577 Points ∼34% -1%
Nomu M6
6679 Points ∼50% +45%
Honor 7A
9584 Points ∼71% +108%
Huawei Y6 2018
6067 Points ∼45% +31%
LG K8 2017
2951 Points ∼22% -36%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (2609 - 5291, n=6)
4264 Points ∼32% -8%
Average of class Smartphone (2841 - 64405, n=479)
13461 Points ∼100% +192%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K9
5.5 fps ∼20%
Nokia 2
5.4 fps ∼20% -2%
Nomu M6
11 fps ∼41% +100%
Honor 7A
16 fps ∼59% +191%
Huawei Y6 2018
7.7 fps ∼29% +40%
LG K8 2017
3.4 fps ∼13% -38%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (3 - 5.6, n=8)
4.7 fps ∼17% -15%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 177, n=504)
26.9 fps ∼100% +389%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG K9
9.5 fps ∼35%
Nokia 2
9.6 fps ∼36% +1%
Nomu M6
20 fps ∼74% +111%
Honor 7A
27 fps ∼100% +184%
Huawei Y6 2018
14 fps ∼52% +47%
LG K8 2017
6.4 fps ∼24% -33%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (5.24 - 21, n=8)
11.3 fps ∼42% +19%
Average of class Smartphone (6.9 - 120, n=507)
23.5 fps ∼87% +147%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K9
1.8 fps ∼13%
Nokia 2
1.6 fps ∼11% -11%
Nomu M6
4.1 fps ∼29% +128%
Honor 7A
7.1 fps ∼50% +294%
Huawei Y6 2018
2.8 fps ∼20% +56%
LG K8 2017
1.3 fps ∼9% -28%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (1 - 1.9, n=7)
1.686 fps ∼12% -6%
Average of class Smartphone (1.6 - 88.2, n=427)
14.3 fps ∼100% +694%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
LG K9
4.4 fps ∼30%
Nokia 2
4.4 fps ∼30% 0%
Nomu M6
8.9 fps ∼61% +102%
Honor 7A
14 fps ∼97% +218%
Huawei Y6 2018
5.9 fps ∼41% +34%
LG K8 2017
3.7 fps ∼26% -16%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (4 - 16, n=7)
6.81 fps ∼47% +55%
Average of class Smartphone (4.1 - 115, n=429)
14.5 fps ∼100% +230%
GFXBench 3.1
off screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Offscreen (sort by value)
LG K9
fps ∼0%
Nomu M6
2.5 fps ∼20%
Honor 7A
4.6 fps ∼37%
Huawei Y6 2018
fps ∼0%
LG K8 2017
fps ∼0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
0 fps ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (9.7 - 60, n=290)
12.5 fps ∼100%
on screen Manhattan ES 3.1 Onscreen (sort by value)
LG K9
fps ∼0%
Nomu M6
6 fps ∼48%
Honor 7A
10 fps ∼79%
Huawei Y6 2018
fps ∼0%
LG K8 2017
fps ∼0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
0 fps ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (9.2 - 110, n=292)
12.6 fps ∼100%
GFXBench 4.0
off screen Car Chase Offscreen (sort by value)
LG K9
fps ∼0%
Honor 7A
2.6 fps ∼31%
Huawei Y6 2018
fps ∼0%
LG K8 2017
fps ∼0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
0 fps ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (5.5 - 35, n=221)
8.45 fps ∼100%
on screen Car Chase Onscreen (sort by value)
LG K9
fps ∼0%
Honor 7A
5.4 fps ∼69%
Huawei Y6 2018
fps ∼0%
LG K8 2017
fps ∼0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
0 fps ∼0%
Average of class Smartphone (5.2 - 50, n=224)
7.78 fps ∼100%

Legend

 
LG K9 Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 212 APQ8009, Qualcomm Adreno 304, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nomu M6 Mediatek MT6737T, ARM Mali-T720 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Honor 7A Qualcomm Snapdragon 430 (MSM8937), Qualcomm Adreno 505, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Huawei Y6 2018 Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (MSM8917), Qualcomm Adreno 308, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
LG K8 2017 Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 (MSM8917), Qualcomm Adreno 308, 16 GB eMMC Flash

The LG K9 also ends up almost in last place in the browser performance, only barely surpassing the Nokia 2. Even though the LG K9 offers a smooth browsing experience, it takes a very long time to load media content.

JetStream 1.1 - 1.1 Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (11 - 224, n=362)
33.6 Points ∼100% +207%
Nomu M6 (Chrome 65)
18.974 Points ∼56% +73%
Huawei Y6 2018 (Chrome 66)
18.55 Points ∼55% +69%
Honor 7A (Chrome 67)
18.394 Points ∼55% +68%
LG K8 2017 (Chrome 57)
17.124 Points ∼51% +56%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (10 - 13, n=6)
11.8 Points ∼35% +8%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
11.607 Points ∼35% +6%
LG K9 (Chrome 67)
10.957 Points ∼33%
Octane V2 - Total Score
Average of class Smartphone (1506 - 35255, n=498)
5005 Points ∼100% +157%
Honor 7A (Chrome 67)
3389 Points ∼68% +74%
Nomu M6 (Chrome 65)
3333 Points ∼67% +71%
LG K8 2017 (Chrome 57)
3052 Points ∼61% +57%
Huawei Y6 2018 (Chrome 66)
2582 Points ∼52% +32%
LG K9 (Chrome 67)
1949 Points ∼39%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
1948 Points ∼39% 0%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (1506 - 2170, n=8)
1912 Points ∼38% -2%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (16784 - 33491, n=8)
20423 ms * ∼100% -6%
Nokia 2 (Chrome 65)
19274.5 ms * ∼94% -0%
LG K9 (Chrome 67)
19236.6 ms * ∼94%
Huawei Y6 2018 (Chrome 66)
16192.4 ms * ∼79% +16%
Honor 7A (Chrome 67)
14709 ms * ∼72% +24%
Nomu M6
12915 ms * ∼63% +33%
Average of class Smartphone (718 - 59466, n=517)
11893 ms * ∼58% +38%
LG K8 2017 (Chrome 57)
10742 ms * ∼53% +44%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score
Average of class Smartphone (27 - 362, n=246)
99.4 Points ∼100%
Huawei Y6 2018 (Chrome 66)
71 Points ∼71%
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909 (34 - 45, n=3)
39 Points ∼39%

* ... smaller is better

The internal storage of the LG K9 is also only able to achieve a below-average performance in our benchmarks. Comparable devices of this price range can access data in parts significantly faster. Particularly LG's own model from last year, the LG K8 (2017), offers much faster access times.

Using our Toshiba Exceria Pro M501 reference storage card, the internal microSD card reader can offer faster read and write rates that are at a similar level as those of our comparison devices and conform to our expectations to a device in this price range.

LG K9Nokia 2Nomu M6Honor 7A Huawei Y6 2018LG K8 2017Average 16 GB eMMC FlashAverage of class Smartphone
AndroBench 3-5
6%
4%
63%
59%
73%
-4%
49%
Sequential Write 256KB SDCard
59.36 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
61.18 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
18.72 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-68%
65.4 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
10%
64 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
8%
52.23 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-12%
37.1 (6.38 - 65.4, n=104)
-37%
44 (6.38 - 87.1, n=277)
-26%
Sequential Read 256KB SDCard
79.33 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
81.93 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
3%
28.69 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
-64%
84.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
7%
84.9 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M501)
7%
78.55 (Toshiba Exceria Pro M401)
-1%
55.5 (10.8 - 87.7, n=104)
-30%
62.3 (10.8 - 96.5, n=277)
-21%
Random Write 4KB
7.47
8.1
8%
11.38
52%
9.4
26%
9
20%
12.5
67%
7.25 (0.49 - 37.9, n=219)
-3%
13.5 (0.14 - 164, n=552)
81%
Random Read 4KB
11.38
17.44
53%
12.78
12%
39.2
244%
38.8
241%
41.6
266%
19.8 (2.49 - 61.7, n=219)
74%
34.5 (1.59 - 173, n=552)
203%
Sequential Write 256KB
75.19
50.77
-32%
91
21%
72.5
-4%
65.6
-13%
84.6
13%
41.4 (8.74 - 138, n=219)
-45%
72.1 (2.99 - 228, n=552)
-4%
Sequential Read 256KB
131.94
131.15
-1%
223
69%
254.8
93%
254.3
93%
270.8
105%
157 (9.66 - 294, n=219)
19%
211 (12.1 - 832, n=552)
60%

Games - An LG smartphone for casual games

The LG K9 is only suited for simple games. The integrated Adreno 304 GPU offers barely enough performance to display older and casual games smoothly. Occasionally, you need to expect longer load times and possibly adjust your graphics to low settings. While gaming, the touchscreen responds very directly and is even slightly too sensitive at times. In these moments, the image jitters, making accurate control of the game difficult. In addition, the response of the position sensor is slightly delayed, which also needs to be taken into account when playing games where this is used.

Dead Trigger 2
Dead Trigger 2
Temple Run 2
Temple Run 2

Emissions - Decent speaker in the LG K9

Temperature

Our temperature measurements show that the surface of the LG K9 always warms up to about 30 °C (86 °F) during idle and reaches a maximum of 37 °C (97 °F) under load. The LG smartphone never feels hot and can always be used comfortably. We therefore do not expect any limitations in the LG K9 due to high temperatures.

Max. Load
 36.6 °C
98 F
34.6 °C
94 F
34.4 °C
94 F
 
 37 °C
99 F
34.2 °C
94 F
36 °C
97 F
 
 35.9 °C
97 F
34.2 °C
94 F
34.2 °C
94 F
 
Maximum: 37 °C = 99 F
Average: 35.2 °C = 95 F
32.8 °C
91 F
34.9 °C
95 F
36.4 °C
98 F
32.9 °C
91 F
33.8 °C
93 F
36.1 °C
97 F
32.7 °C
91 F
33.9 °C
93 F
33.6 °C
92 F
Maximum: 36.4 °C = 98 F
Average: 34.1 °C = 93 F
Power Supply (max.)  29 °C = 84 F | Room Temperature 20.8 °C = 69 F | Voltcraft IR-260
Heat map - front
Heat map - front
Heat map - back
Heat map - back

Speaker

Speaker characteristics
Speaker characteristics

The speaker of the LG K9 provides users with a good sound quality for the occasional audio reproduction and is loud enough to cover up the surrounding noises. However, the sound spectrum is limited to the highs, since everything below the mids drops off sharply. The speaker neither tends to boom, nor does it sound scratchy.

Besides using Bluetooth 4.2, you can also connect external speakers to a 3.5-mm audio port, which accepts the corresponding plugs with a clearly audible clicking noise and does not have a negative effect on audio transmission.

dB(A) 0102030405060708090Deep BassMiddle BassHigh BassLower RangeMidsHigher MidsLower HighsMid HighsUpper HighsSuper Highs2033.932.82528.434.83136.130.84030.928.75030.630.96322.227.18024.924.810024.422.912523.526.216020.321.120019.820.525018.221.231517.42740016.634.450017.142.663015.949.180015.960.8100015.968.5125016.774.416001676.8200015.972.7250016.274.3315016.473.340001772.4500016.574.4630016.476.3800016.678.6100001776.91250016.569.61600016.955.5SPL28.686N1.158.3median 16.6LG K9median 68.5Delta1.619.428.629.524.922.424.625.726.42330.831.723.623.420.222.119.922.817.619.819.128.819.128.617.434.716.941.616.847.815.153.916.560.915.668.91574.415.574.515.374.215.772.115.570.515.574.115.473.215.874.1167715.873.216.16116.157.117.36527.984.9158.7median 16Nokia 2median 650.616.1hearing rangehide median Pink Noise
Frequency diagram (checkboxes can be checked and unchecked to compare devices)
LG K9 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (86 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 45.3% lower than median
(+) | bass is linear (5.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | reduced mids - on average 13.2% lower than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (13% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 6.7% higher than median
(+) | highs are linear (3.1% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (36.7% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 96% of all tested devices in this class were better, 2% similar, 3% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 97% of all tested devices were better, 1% similar, 2% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Nokia 2 audio analysis

(+) | speakers can play relatively loud (84.9 dB)
Bass 100 - 315 Hz
(-) | nearly no bass - on average 35.6% lower than median
(±) | linearity of bass is average (8.8% delta to prev. frequency)
Mids 400 - 2000 Hz
(±) | higher mids - on average 8.9% higher than median
(±) | linearity of mids is average (9% delta to prev. frequency)
Highs 2 - 16 kHz
(±) | higher highs - on average 8% higher than median
(±) | linearity of highs is average (7.5% delta to prev. frequency)
Overall 100 - 16.000 Hz
(-) | overall sound is not linear (30.9% difference to median)
Compared to same class
» 81% of all tested devices in this class were better, 7% similar, 12% worse
» The best had a delta of 14%, average was 25%, worst was 44%
Compared to all devices tested
» 89% of all tested devices were better, 4% similar, 7% worse
» The best had a delta of 3%, average was 21%, worst was 53%

Battery Life - The LG K9 has a battery life of barely more than five hours

Power Consumption

Our measurements attest the LG K9 with a minimum power consumption of 0.54 watts and a maximum consumption of 5.68 watts under load. This means that the LG smartphone has an average power consumption and places in the middle of the field of comparison devices. The included charger output is rated at 4.25 watts and thus offers barely enough power to run and charge the smartphone at the same time during moderate load.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.01 / 0.15 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.54 / 2.09 / 2.2 Watt
Load midlight 4.93 / 5.68 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Metrahit Energy
LG K9
2500 mAh
Nokia 2
4100 mAh
Nomu M6
3000 mAh
Honor 7A
3000 mAh
Huawei Y6 2018
3000 mAh
LG K8 2017
2500 mAh
Average Qualcomm Snapdragon 210 MSM8909
 
Average of class Smartphone
 
Power Consumption
23%
18%
-28%
-61%
19%
4%
-2%
Idle Minimum *
0.54
0.55
-2%
0.74
-37%
1.3
-141%
1.7
-215%
0.65
-20%
0.765 (0.4 - 1.58, n=8)
-42%
0.869 (0.2 - 3.4, n=583)
-61%
Idle Average *
2.09
1.02
51%
1.49
29%
1.6
23%
2.5
-20%
1.6
23%
1.904 (0.9 - 2.69, n=8)
9%
1.698 (0.6 - 6.2, n=582)
19%
Idle Maximum *
2.2
1.09
50%
1.51
31%
2.9
-32%
3.2
-45%
1.62
26%
2.05 (1.25 - 2.93, n=8)
7%
1.954 (0.74 - 6.6, n=583)
11%
Load Average *
4.93
4.48
9%
2.89
41%
3.7
25%
5.2
-5%
2.97
40%
3.69 (2.2 - 5.22, n=8)
25%
3.98 (0.8 - 10.8, n=577)
19%
Load Maximum *
5.68
5.32
6%
4.33
24%
6.4
-13%
6.8
-20%
4.34
24%
4.4 (2.36 - 5.68, n=8)
23%
5.61 (1.2 - 14.2, n=577)
1%

* ... smaller is better

Battery Life

The battery life of the LG K9 is also not at the level of comparable devices. While the LG smartphone is able to last slightly more than five hours in our realistic WLAN test with the screen and WLAN turned on, the competition lasts considerably longer. Looking at last year's LG K8 (2017) model, it becomes clear that LG has made a significant step backwards in this regard.

The included charger is able to completely recharge the 2500 mAh battery in less than two hours.

Battery Runtime
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
5h 51min
LG K9
2500 mAh
Nokia 2
4100 mAh
Nomu M6
3000 mAh
Honor 7A
3000 mAh
Huawei Y6 2018
3000 mAh
LG K8 2017
2500 mAh
Battery Runtime
WiFi v1.3
351
840
139%
623
77%
657
87%
643
83%
594
69%

Pros

+ robust case
+ removable battery
+ reliable GPS

Cons

- low-contrast display
- low brightness
- low system performance
- touchscreen too sensitive at times

Verdict - The LG K9 as a good second phone

Testing the LG K9. Test unit provided by LG Germany.
Testing the LG K9. Test unit provided by LG Germany.

In our test, the LG K9 does not show any improvements compared to last year's model, the LG K8 (2017), in many respects, and our test unit is also surpassed by the competitors much too often. The advantages of the K9 lie in the removable battery and its simple, robust design. These characteristics turn it into a good smartphone for tasks where you would rather leave more expensive devices at home.

The LG K9 is suited well as a stand-in for your own, expensive smartphone or for simple tasks without many demands on the system performance.

Despite the low performance the K9 shows in our benchmarks, the LG smartphone can be used for most simple tasks. Apps such as WhatsApp run without any problems and the camera is also sufficient for occasional snapshots under good light conditions. Interested buyers who are looking for an affordable smartphone and do not have too many demands on the performance could therefore take a closer look at the LG K9.

LG K9 - 08/04/2018 v6
Mike Wobker

Chassis
82%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
73%
Connectivity
32 / 60 → 54%
Weight
93%
Battery
87%
Display
81%
Games Performance
4 / 63 → 6%
Application Performance
23 / 70 → 32%
Temperature
91%
Noise
100%
Audio
60 / 91 → 66%
Camera
60%
Average
65%
75%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > LG K9 Smartphone Review
Mike Wobker, 2018-08- 6 (Update: 2018-08- 7)