Notebookcheck

LG Magna Smartphone Review

Andreas Osthoff, Tanja Hinum, 07/27/2015

Selfie smartphone. One highlight of the new LG Magna is the 5 MP camera at the front. In addition, the design as well as the functions of the mainstream smartphone have similarities with the more expensive premium products. A full success? Not quite.

For the original German review, see here.

The Magna is one of the new mainstream smartphones that LG currently launches. There are four new series in total (we reported) and the Magna with its 5-inch display as well as the quad-core processor is the biggest and also fastest device of the bunch. The design of the rounded case is heavily inspired by the high-end products from the G-series and the new smartphones get some of the features that were previously reserved for the top models. LG also follows the current selfie trend and equips the Magna with a 5 MP camera and several functions that are supposed to make selfies easier.

The Magna is available for around 200 Euros (~$222), which means it faces a lot of rivals. Besides other mainstream smartphones, this price range also includes some older high-end products that are much cheaper by now. The biggest competitors are the Acer Liquid Jade Z, the Motorola Moto G2 as well as the Nokia Lumia 735. There are also other contenders like the Samsung Galaxy A3, the ZTE Blade S6 or the Amazon Fire Phone, whose price has been reduced recently.

good (82%) LG Magna Mediatek MT6582ARM Mali-400 MP2 Smartphone - 07/21/2015 - v4
Test device courtesy of LG Deutschland
Download your licensed rating image as PNG / SVG
LG Magna
Graphics adapter
Memory
1024 MB 
Display
5 inch 16:9, 1280 x 720 pixel, capacitive, IPS, In-Cell, glossy: yes
Storage
8 GB eMMC Flash, 8 GB 
, 3.8 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio, Card Reader: microSD up to 32 GB, Sensors: Accelerometer, Proximity sensor, Position sensor, Ambient light sensor, Digital compass, A-GPS
Networking
802.11 b/g/n (b/g/n), Bluetooth 4.0, UMTS (900/2100 MHz), HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps, GSM (850/900/1800/1900MHz), Head-SAR: 0.601 W/kg
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 10.2 x 139.7 x 69.8 ( = 0.4 x 5.5 x 2.75 in)
Battery
10 Wh Lithium-Ion, 2540 mAh, 3.8 V, Talk time 2G (according to manufacturer): 9 h, Talk time 3G (according to manufacturer): 11 h, Standby 2G (according to manufacturer): 360 h, Standby 3G (according to manufacturer): 360 h
Operating System
Android 5.0 Lollipop
Camera
Webcam: 5 MP, main camera: 8 MP (4x digital zoom, LED flash)
Additional features
Speakers: Mono (1 Watt), Keyboard: virtual, Battery, modular power adaptor, USB data cable, Quick-start guide, LG Smart Keyboard, KnockCode, Easy Home, QuickMemo, TalkBack, Polaris Office, RemoteCall Service, LG Smart World, 24 Months Warranty, WiFi Direct
Weight
137 g ( = 4.83 oz / 0.3 pounds), Power Supply: 53 g ( = 1.87 oz / 0.12 pounds)
Price
200 Euro
Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications.

 

Case

According to LG, the Magna uses a slightly curved design, which is supposed to provide very good ergonomics. We can confirm that, but the device is also the thickest smartphone in our comparison at 10.2 mm (~0.4 in) because of the curved design. Overall, the design is very similar to the current top model LG G4. Instead of a back cover made of leather, however, the mainstream smartphone only gets a plastic cover that looks like brushed metal that leaves a somewhat cheap tactile impression and does not appear to be very sophisticated. Fingerprints are no problem for the matte back, but we could already see some small scratches at the back, even though we were very careful. The entire back cover can be removed and grants access to the battery as well as the combined slot for the microSD and Micro-SIM card. Besides the black review version, LG also offers a white version of the Magna.

The stability of the device is very good and neither pressure nor twisting attempts can create picture distortions or creaking. Similar to the G4, there are just three hardware buttons on the chassis, which are all located at the back underneath the camera. Besides the central power button, you also get a volume rocker. All buttons are well integrated, but the power button does produce a pretty loud noise when you push it.

141.5 mm / 5.57 inch 70.7 mm / 2.78 inch 11 mm / 0.4331 inch 150 g0.3307 lbs144 mm / 5.67 inch 70.7 mm / 2.78 inch 7.7 mm / 0.3031 inch 134 g0.2954 lbs143.5 mm / 5.65 inch 69.8 mm / 2.75 inch 7.9 mm / 0.311 inch 110 g0.2425 lbs139.7 mm / 5.5 inch 69.8 mm / 2.75 inch 10.2 mm / 0.4016 inch 137 g0.302 lbs139.2 mm / 5.48 inch 66.5 mm / 2.62 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 160 g0.3527 lbs134.7 mm / 5.3 inch 68.5 mm / 2.7 inch 8.9 mm / 0.3504 inch 134 g0.2954 lbs130.1 mm / 5.12 inch 65.5 mm / 2.58 inch 6.9 mm / 0.2717 inch 110 g0.2425 lbs

Connectivity

LG offers two versions of the Magna, which differ in terms of the processor and therefore also the supported wireless standards. The 3G version uses a MediaTek MT6582 quad-core SoC (1.3 GHz), while the LTE version (LTE Cat. 4) is equipped with a Snapdragon 410 SoC (MSM 8916) clocked at 1.2 GHz per core. Otherwise, the two models are identical. Besides 1 GB memory, you get 8 GB internal storage, but you can only use around 3.8 GB for your own files and apps. It is, however, possible to expand the storage by up to 32 GB via microSD card and the majority of apps can be transferred to the card, but they have to be installed on the internal storage first. There are just two ports on the device: One Micro-USB 2.0 port for charging and data at the bottom as well as a 3.5 mm stereo jack at the top.

Communication with other devices is possible via Bluetooth 4.0, MHL as well as Wi-Fi Direct, but unfortunately, the smartphone does not support NFC, Miracast or USB-OTG.

Bottom: Microphone, Micro-USB 2.0
Bottom: Microphone, Micro-USB 2.0
Top: 3.5 mm stereo jack
Top: 3.5 mm stereo jack

Software

The operating system of the LG Magna is Android 5.0.1 Lollipop in combination with LG’s own user interface LG UX 4.0. Besides the familiar apps from Google, the manufacturer also installs some additional tools including the familiar QuickMemo+. It can be used to make comments or notes directly on the screen and then save the results. Furthermore, there is also LG’s own app store LG SmartWorld, Polaris Office and RemoteCall Service for remote support. It is also no problem to delete these additional apps. The Android buttons are software buttons and therefore use some space on the display, which means you can only use 1184x720 from the actual 1280x720 pixels. However, many apps can fade them out, so this is not a big deal in practice.

Another special feature of the LG Magna is the so-called "Knock Code". Besides the usual unlock methods like a PIN, a pattern or a password, the smartphone can also be unlocked with a predefined knocking pattern. There are four squares, which can be tapped from three up to six times. The advantage of this method is that you can also activate the smartphone when it is lying on a table, for example, without using the power button at the back. The feature worked very well in the review and it is a convenient alternative to the usual methods.

Above the display is a red status light. You can configure the behavior of it in the settings (e.g. during calls, messages, mails, during charge and so on).

Communication & GPS

GPS Test: Indoors
GPS Test: Indoors
GPS Test: Outdoors
GPS Test: Outdoors

Our review unit only supports UMTS with maximum transfer rates of up to 21 Mbps (downstream) and 5.76 Mbps (upstream), but not the fast LTE standard. Dual-band UMTS (900 and 2,100 MHz) as well as quad-band GSM (850/900/1,800/1,900 MHz) is not very generous, either. The signal quality in the metropolitan T-Mobile network was a bit problematic because 3G was not always available.

The situation is not much better for the Wi-Fi module since the fast ac standard is not supported by the LG Magna. The module only supports the 802.11 standards b/g/n in 2.4 GHz networks. The signal quality was average in the individual setup of the author (access point: Asus RT-AC56U).

The location of the LG Magna can only be determined by the GPS satellite network; GLONASS or Beidou are not supported. The app GPS Test did show some satellites indoors, but the signal quality was not sufficient to get a position. The first satellite fix takes about 40 seconds outdoors with an accuracy of 10 meters (~33 feet).

We also wanted to check the performance in a practical scenario and took the LG Magna on a bicycle ride and compared it with the professional Garmin GPSMAP64s navigation device. The smartphone does a pretty good job. The overall track length is around 160 meters (~175 yards) shorter compared to the professional device and it does not locate the position as often, which results in some shortcuts, but the deviations are very low in the difficult bridge segment in return. There should not be any problems when you use it for the navigation in the car.

LG Magna: Complete
LG Magna: Complete
LG Magna: Crossing
LG Magna: Crossing
LG Magna: Bridge
LG Magna: Bridge
GPSMAP64s: Complete
GPSMAP64s: Complete
GPSMAP64s: Crossing
GPSMAP64s: Crossing
GPSMAP64s: Bridge
GPSMAP64s: Bridge

Telephone & Voice Quality

The phone app does not reveal any surprises and there are no special features, either. You can see the large numbers pad where you can enter the phone numbers when you launch the app. At the top are the usual tabs for call history, contacts, favorites as well as groups. The handling should not be a problem for anybody.

The quality of the calls is best described as unremarkable and there were no dropouts or annoying background noises during the calls. Voices were slightly distorted at both ends, but this did not affect the understandability.

The hands-free feature does not leave a good impression. Voices distort quickly and tend to roar, especially at higher volumes. Another issue is the position of the speaker at the back, because the sound will be muffled as soon as you put the smartphone down. The quality was okay on our side of the call with the provided headset; our voice was recorded slightly distorted, but it was still easy to understand.

Cameras & Multimedia

LG follows the current selfie trend and equips the LG Magna with a 5 MP wide-angle front camera. This is supposed to ensure that a couple of people can get into the picture. LG also implements some features that are supposed to improve the process of taking pictures. This includes a gesture control as well as a voice control. The smartphone will recognize when you hold your hand in front of the camera. As soon as you make a fist, the smartphone starts a 3-second countdown and then takes the picture. This worked well in our review and mainly improves the use of a selfie stick. The voice control recognizes one of five words: "Cheese", "Smile", "Whisky", "Kimchi" or "LG". It was a matter of luck if the smartphone recognized it during the test; we had the biggest success with the typical "Cheese".

We expected more from the quality of the front camera. The pictures (2560x1920 pixels) quickly suffer from picture noise and details look blurry. It is even worse when the lighting conditions are not perfect. It is possible to use the display as a kind of flash in the dark. The preview image is made smaller and the rest of the screen glows white, which means you have at least some light. The quality is better than without an additional light, but you cannot compare it with a real flash.

Voice Control
Voice Control
Gesture Control
Gesture Control
Picture with the front camera
Picture with the front camera

At the back is an 8 MP camera that is supported by an LED flash. The maximum resolution is 3264x2448 pixels (4:3), but you can only use 6 MP (3264x1840 pixels) for 16:9 pictures. The camera app does not offer many adjustments, but is easy to use in return. Besides the target destination (internal or SD card), you can show a grid, set a timer, activate the voice control and select the resolution for pictures as well as videos. Other settings are not available.

The quality of the pictures is okay, despite the comparatively low resolution. Compared to high-end smartphones and the reference camera, you can see the lower light sensitivity and colors appear paler. Details are quickly blurry when you zoom in, which is a result of the low resolution. The results under bad lighting conditions are pretty good for a mainstream smartphone. The picture noise is more noticeable compared to the comparison devices, but you can easily see all the details. All in all, not an overwhelming performance, but the quality is easily sufficient for snapshots.

Videos (.mp4 file) can be recorded in Full HD at 30 fps. Unfortunately, the frame rate is locked at 30 fps even with the lower HD resolution (1280x720). A handy feature is the pause button during recordings, which means you do not always have to start a new video. The quality of the recordings is convenient when the lighting is good and fast movements are no problem for the sensor, either. However, you can clearly notice picture noise when it gets darker.

Image Comparison

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

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3
click to load images

Accessories

Optional QuickCircle case
Optional QuickCircle case

The Magna is shipped with a battery, a modular power adaptor, a USB data cable, a headset as well as a quick-start guide.

LG does not offer any special accessories for the Magna, but already advertises the QuickCircle case in the functions. We already know this case from the LG G3. At the front is a circled opening that can be used to display different information (time, calls etc.).

Warranty

The warranty period is 24 months, but the battery is only covered for 6 months.

Input Devices & Handling

The virtual keyboard is very easy to use and LG already implemented additional features. This includes swype inputs (have to be activated in the settings), word predictions, voice inputs as well as auto corrections. There is also an additional row with numbers above the letters and you can select different special characters via the point key, which means you do not have to switch the view very often.

We also like the fact that you can personalize the keyboard. It is, for example, possible to change the layout of the lower row and adjust the height of the whole keyboard to a certain extent. There is also a one-handed mode, but it is tricky to reach in the settings (available for left- and right-handers), so you cannot change it quickly during typing. The keyboard can also be split in landscape mode, which improves the typing with the thumbs.

The gliding capabilities of the display are good and there is no noticeable gap between the glass surface and the display itself thanks to the In-Cell technology (more on that in the Display section), which improves the handling. Overall, the latter is very smooth and there are just minimal delays (see video). The automatic display rotation works reliably and happens within one second.

Adjustment of the keyboard
Adjustment of the keyboard
Minimum height of the keyboard
Minimum height of the keyboard
Maximum height of the keyboard
Maximum height of the keyboard
Split keyboard in landscape mode
Split keyboard in landscape mode

Display

LG equips the Magna with a 5-inch HD IPS display. The native resolution is 1280x720 pixels, which results in a good pixel density of 296 PPI. Fonts are very sharp and you cannot see individual pixels at a normal viewing distance. The brightness can be adjusted automatically by the light sensor, which works reliably.

LG uses In-Cell technology for the display, where the touch sensors are directly integrated into the LCD. This means there is no annoying gap between the glass and the display itself. The Magna does not have to hide behind its rivals, because none of them has a higher resolution and the subjective impression of the display is good as well.

Our measurements show an average brightness of 438 cd/m² and a decent brightness distribution at 89 percent. Only the former high-end device Amazon Fire Phone is even brighter, all the other rivals are sometimes clearly behind (see table). The black value often suffers from such a high brightness, but we can still measure a good value of 0.35 cd/m², which results in an excellent contrast ratio of 1263:1. Black contents are therefore not completely dark and have a slight gray hue, but the colors are generally very vivid.

The results so far are very good for a mainstream smartphone, but there has to be a catch somewhere?

425
cd/m²
446
cd/m²
461
cd/m²
411
cd/m²
442
cd/m²
454
cd/m²
414
cd/m²
440
cd/m²
449
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 461 cd/m² Average: 438 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 89 %
Center on Battery: 442 cd/m²
Contrast: 1263:1 (Black: 0.35 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 8.73 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.1
ΔE Greyscale 8.25 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 2.62
LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB SSD
Nokia Lumia 735
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy A3
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
-5%
3%
11%
30%
28%
-7%
Brightness middle
442
343
-22%
349
-21%
291
-34%
587
33%
434
-2%
386
-13%
Brightness
438
340
-22%
348
-21%
293
-33%
565
29%
433
-1%
377
-14%
Brightness Distribution
89
93
4%
96
8%
93
4%
93
4%
96
8%
90
1%
Black Level *
0.35
0.39
-11%
0.4
-14%
0.42
-20%
0.44
-26%
Contrast
1263
879
-30%
873
-31%
1398
11%
877
-31%
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
8.73
5.59
36%
3.74
57%
4.04
54%
1.45
83%
2.98
66%
7.12
18%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
8.25
7.25
12%
4.52
45%
2.87
65%
2.59
69%
2.68
68%
6.7
19%
Gamma
2.62 84%
2.41 91%
2.63 84%
2.49 88%
2.57 86%
2.44 90%
1.98 111%
CCT
8822 74%
7361 88%
7336 89%
6432 101%
6520 100%
6603 98%
7784 84%

* ... smaller is better

ColorChecker
ColorChecker
Grayscale
Grayscale
Saturation Sweeps
Saturation Sweeps

Our measurements with the X-Rite i1Pro2 colorimeter and the professional software CalMAN quickly show the drawbacks of the panel. The average deviations of the colors and the grayscale compared to the sRGB reference color space are very high at 8.73 and 8.25, respectively, while the target value is less than 3. All the rivals are much better and the LG Magna is in the last spot. This means the smartphone is not the perfect solution if you want accurate colors, but you get rich colors in practice in return, which might be appealing for some users. All the colors show deviations, so there is no visible color cast.

Colo space sRGB
Colo space sRGB
Color space AdobeRGB
Color space AdobeRGB

As long as you avoid direct sunlight, there are no restrictions when you use the LG Magna outdoors. Bright objects can create reflections, but this is a problem for every device with a glossy screen. The very good brightness is not reduced on battery power.

In the shade
In the shade
In the sun
In the sun

The viewing angle stability of the IPS display is very good. It is no problem to see the display content even from extreme angles, at least if there are no annoying reflections from the glossy display surface.

Viewing angles LG Magna
Viewing angles LG Magna

Performance

Our review unit uses a MediaTek MT6582 SoC (32-bit) with four cores running at 1.3 GHz. It is an inexpensive processor usually used for entry-level devices. The SoC also includes the ARM Mali-400 MP2 GPU with a clock of 500 MHz. This package is supported by 1 GB RAM.

We already mentioned that there is also an LTE version of the LG Magna besides our review unit. This does not only differ by the fast mobile Internet connection, but also the SoC. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 (64-bit) is a bit more powerful and also uses the faster Adreno 306 GPU. One indicator for the performance difference between the two versions is the Samsung Galaxy A3, which uses the Snapdragon 410 clocked at 1.2 GHz as well.

The LG Magna has a pretty tough time against the fast rivals in the benchmarks. The processor is ahead of the Moto G2 (Snapdragon 400) in Geekbench 3, but falls behind all the other devices. The situation is even worse for the GPU, because the Mali-400 MP4 is always in the last spot.

The internal storage leaves a better impression. Especially the transfer rates during reading are decent among the comparison, only the values for the writing operations are lower due to the limited storage capacity of just 8 GB.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
1177 Points ∼4%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
2022 Points ∼6% +72%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
1133 Points ∼4% -4%
Amazon Fire Phone
2707 Points ∼9% +130%
Samsung Galaxy A3
1409 Points ∼5% +20%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
363 Points ∼8%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
695 Points ∼14% +91%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
341 Points ∼7% -6%
Amazon Fire Phone
903 Points ∼19% +149%
Samsung Galaxy A3
474 Points ∼10% +31%
3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
LG Magna
8931 Points ∼10%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
11143 Points ∼13% +25%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
7904 Points ∼9% -11%
Amazon Fire Phone
17171 Points ∼20% +92%
Samsung Galaxy A3
9071 Points ∼10% +2%
ZTE Blade S6
7526 Points ∼9% -16%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
2427 Points ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
7352 Points ∼1% +203%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
4265 Points ∼1% +76%
Amazon Fire Phone
19689 Points ∼4% +711%
Samsung Galaxy A3
3939 Points ∼1% +62%
ZTE Blade S6
8933 Points ∼2% +268%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
2896 Points ∼1%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
7954 Points ∼3% +175%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
4751 Points ∼2% +64%
Amazon Fire Phone
19068 Points ∼8% +558%
Samsung Galaxy A3
4505 Points ∼2% +56%
ZTE Blade S6
8577 Points ∼4% +196%
Smartbench 2012
Gaming Index (sort by value)
LG Magna
2310 points ∼50%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
4217 points ∼92% +83%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
3039 points ∼66% +32%
Amazon Fire Phone
4568 points ∼99% +98%
Samsung Galaxy A3
3862 points ∼84% +67%
ZTE Blade S6
3723 points ∼81% +61%
Productivity Index (sort by value)
LG Magna
3922 points ∼21%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
6690 points ∼36% +71%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
5136 points ∼27% +31%
Amazon Fire Phone
9541 points ∼51% +143%
Samsung Galaxy A3
6034 points ∼32% +54%
ZTE Blade S6
404 points ∼2% -90%
BaseMark OS II
Web (sort by value)
LG Magna
624 Points ∼31%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
833 Points ∼41% +33%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
702 Points ∼35% +13%
Nokia Lumia 735
409 Points ∼20% -34%
Amazon Fire Phone
885 Points ∼44% +42%
ZTE Blade S6
707 Points ∼35% +13%
Graphics (sort by value)
LG Magna
137 Points ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
388 Points ∼1% +183%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
403 Points ∼1% +194%
Nokia Lumia 735
235 Points ∼1% +72%
Amazon Fire Phone
1973 Points ∼7% +1340%
ZTE Blade S6
800 Points ∼3% +484%
Memory (sort by value)
LG Magna
201 Points ∼3%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
536 Points ∼9% +167%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
350 Points ∼6% +74%
Nokia Lumia 735
765 Points ∼12% +281%
Amazon Fire Phone
851 Points ∼14% +323%
ZTE Blade S6
608 Points ∼10% +202%
System (sort by value)
LG Magna
963 Points ∼6%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
1358 Points ∼8% +41%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
766 Points ∼5% -20%
Nokia Lumia 735
608 Points ∼4% -37%
Amazon Fire Phone
2164 Points ∼13% +125%
ZTE Blade S6
1084 Points ∼7% +13%
Overall (sort by value)
LG Magna
359 Points ∼4%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
696 Points ∼8% +94%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
525 Points ∼6% +46%
Nokia Lumia 735
460 Points ∼5% +28%
Amazon Fire Phone
1339 Points ∼16% +273%
ZTE Blade S6
782 Points ∼9% +118%
PCMark for Android - Work performance score (sort by value)
LG Magna
2852 Points ∼15%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
3268 Points ∼17% +15%
Amazon Fire Phone
3950 Points ∼20% +38%
ZTE Blade S6
3045 Points ∼16% +7%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
19240 Points ∼19%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
31395 Points ∼32% +63%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
17280 Points ∼17% -10%
Amazon Fire Phone
43075 Points ∼43% +124%
ZTE Blade S6
30329 Points ∼31% +58%
AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
LG Magna
2.83 MB/s ∼1%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
6.7 MB/s ∼3% +137%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
1.6 MB/s ∼1% -43%
Amazon Fire Phone
4 MB/s ∼2% +41%
Samsung Galaxy A3
6 MB/s ∼2% +112%
ZTE Blade S6
2.85 MB/s ∼1% +1%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
LG Magna
17 MB/s ∼10%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
31 MB/s ∼18% +82%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
8 MB/s ∼5% -53%
Amazon Fire Phone
15 MB/s ∼9% -12%
Samsung Galaxy A3
11 MB/s ∼6% -35%
ZTE Blade S6
7.85 MB/s ∼5% -54%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
LG Magna
7.8 MB/s ∼2%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
39 MB/s ∼10% +400%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
13 MB/s ∼3% +67%
Amazon Fire Phone
56 MB/s ∼14% +618%
Samsung Galaxy A3
71 MB/s ∼18% +810%
ZTE Blade S6
51 MB/s ∼13% +554%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
LG Magna
128.7 MB/s ∼14%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
269 MB/s ∼29% +109%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
58 MB/s ∼6% -55%
Amazon Fire Phone
156 MB/s ∼17% +21%
Samsung Galaxy A3
132 MB/s ∼14% +3%
ZTE Blade S6
128 MB/s ∼14% -1%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG Magna
4.1 fps ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
19.2 fps ∼0% +368%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
5.8 fps ∼0% +41%
Nokia Lumia 735
4.2 fps ∼0% +2%
Samsung Galaxy A3
5.3 fps ∼0% +29%
ZTE Blade S6
15 fps ∼0% +266%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
LG Magna
7.1 fps ∼0%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
11 fps ∼0% +55%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
10.8 fps ∼0% +52%
Nokia Lumia 735
7.7 fps ∼0% +8%
Samsung Galaxy A3
13 fps ∼0% +83%
ZTE Blade S6
25 fps ∼1% +252%
Linpack Android / IOS
Multi Thread (sort by value)
LG Magna
160.79 MFLOPS ∼5%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
295 MFLOPS ∼10% +83%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
190 MFLOPS ∼6% +18%
Nokia Lumia 735
238.624 MFLOPS ∼8% +48%
Amazon Fire Phone
640 MFLOPS ∼22% +298%
ZTE Blade S6
0 MFLOPS ∼0% -100%
Single Thread (sort by value)
LG Magna
53.95 MFLOPS ∼5%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
114 MFLOPS ∼11% +111%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
77 MFLOPS ∼8% +43%
Nokia Lumia 735
59.656 MFLOPS ∼6% +11%
Amazon Fire Phone
355 MFLOPS ∼35% +558%
ZTE Blade S6
0 MFLOPS ∼0% -100%

Legend

 
LG Magna Mediatek MT6582, ARM Mali-400 MP2, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Acer Liquid Jade Z Mediatek MT6732, ARM Mali-T760 MP2, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
Nokia Lumia 735 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB eMMC Flash
 
Amazon Fire Phone Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy A3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 MSM8916, Qualcomm Adreno 306, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
ZTE Blade S6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 615 MSM8939, Qualcomm Adreno 405, 16 GB eMMC Flash

We performed the browser tests with the preloaded LG browser, which is based on Chrome 38. The LG Magna is always at the bottom of the ranking in the benchmarks, sometimes with a pretty big distance. Still, the subjective impression does not cause any criticism. Websites are loaded quickly and the navigation on more complex sites is no problem, either. This means you will not notice any restrictions in practice when you do not have a direct comparison.

Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
1574.5 ms * ∼17%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
979 ms * ∼11% +38%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB SSD
1406 ms * ∼15% +11%
Nokia Lumia 735
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB eMMC Flash
1247.1 ms * ∼14% +21%
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
926 ms * ∼10% +41%
Samsung Galaxy A3
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1330 ms * ∼15% +16%
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
1213 ms * ∼13% +23%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
2093 Points ∼4%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3579 Points ∼7% +71%
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB SSD
2217 Points ∼4% +6%
Nokia Lumia 735
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB eMMC Flash
1260 Points ∼3% -40%
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
4578 Points ∼9% +119%
Samsung Galaxy A3
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2782 Points ∼6% +33%
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3655 Points ∼7% +75%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
16238.7 ms * ∼27%
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
11448 ms * ∼19% +30%
Nokia Lumia 735
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB eMMC Flash
26362.9 ms * ∼44% -62%
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
7091 ms * ∼12% +56%
Samsung Galaxy A3
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
13998 ms * ∼24% +14%
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
11668 ms * ∼20% +28%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
1993 Points ∼10%
Nokia Lumia 735
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB eMMC Flash
1137 Points ∼6% -43%
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
5149 Points ∼26% +158%
Samsung Galaxy A3
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
2832 Points ∼14% +42%
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
3635 Points ∼19% +82%
WebXPRT 2015 - Overall Score (sort by value)
LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
39 Points ∼5%
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
81 Points ∼10% +108%

* ... smaller is better

Games

The Mali-400 MP2 GPU from ARM runs at 500 MHz and the chip has problems to keep up with the newer rivals. It only supports OpenGL ES 2.0, which is why we could not perform all of our benchmarks. The limited performance is also noticeable when you play games, because more demanding titles require reduced details. A good example is the racing game Asphalt 8, which only runs smoothly at low settings. Simpler titles like Angry Birds, however, are no problem for the LG Magna. The gaming experience also benefits from the precise touchscreen and the well-working sensors.

Asphalt 8 only runs smoothly at the lowest settings.
Asphalt 8 only runs smoothly at the lowest settings.
Simpler titles like Angry Birds on the other hand are no problem for the smartphone.
Simpler titles like Angry Birds on the other hand are no problem for the smartphone.

Emissions

Temperature

The temperature development of the LG Magna is not critical by any means. The device only gets lukewarm with normal tasks and even the temperatures under load are no issue reaching only 37.5 °C (99.5 °F). We check the performance under sustained load with the GFXBench 3.0 Battery Test, which repeats the T-Rex test thirty times and logs the performance as well as the temperature. We can see that there are no restrictions, and the frame rate only varies by a couple of pictures over the course of the test.

GFXBench 3.0 Battery Test
GFXBench 3.0 Battery Test
Max. Load
 37.5 °C
100 F
35.1 °C
95 F
34.5 °C
94 F
 
 37.5 °C
100 F
35.2 °C
95 F
36.9 °C
98 F
 
 37.3 °C
99 F
35.7 °C
96 F
36.5 °C
98 F
 
Maximum: 37.5 °C = 100 F
Average: 36.2 °C = 97 F
32.5 °C
91 F
35 °C
95 F
36.9 °C
98 F
33.1 °C
92 F
33.5 °C
92 F
36.9 °C
98 F
31.7 °C
89 F
33.3 °C
92 F
34.6 °C
94 F
Maximum: 36.9 °C = 98 F
Average: 34.2 °C = 94 F
Power Supply (max.)  30.6 °C = 87 F | Room Temperature 24.3 °C = 76 F | Voltcraft IR-260
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 36.2 °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 37.5 °C / 100 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 36.9 °C / 98 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 31.1 °C / 88 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speakers

The mono speaker is at the lower rear.
The mono speaker is at the lower rear.

The mono speaker is at the lower rear of the LG Magna. LG proudly advertises the 1-Watt speaker for excellent sound results. We were, however, not blown away by the sound, because it is very focused on the high tones, but bass and medium tones are hardly present at all. The maximum volume is comparatively high, but there will be distortions and the sound starts to rattle when the volume setting is higher than 80 percent. The position of the speaker is another problem since the result will be heavily muffled when the device is lying on a hard, or even worse, a soft surface.

The quality is much better via the 3.5 mm stereo jack, but the maximum volume is not very high. You will quickly reach the limit when the music or movie is quieter, which also means the smartphone does not work well with high-impedance headphones. By the way, you should avoid the provided headset for music playback.

It was no problem to connect the smartphone with an external Bluetooth speaker (Denon Envaya Mini), and there were no delays during the playback, either. A bit annoying was the limited range, because there were already dropouts at a distance of 4 meters (~13 feet/direct sight).

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The power consumption leaves mixed impressions. The values in the idle measurements are comparatively high, only the ZTE Blade S6 consumes even more power. The Amazon Fire Phone also has a higher consumption, which is a result of the brighter display as well as the four sensors at the front.

Our measurements show that the situation changes under load, where the LG Magna is more frugal than many of the comparison devices. Only the Samsung Galaxy A3 consumes less. Good: The Magna does not consume any power when it is turned off and just 0.1 Watts during standby.

The 4.25-Watt power adaptor (5V, 0.85A) is powerful enough for the maximum consumption of 2.9 Watts, but takes quite a while to charge the smartphone, which we will see in the next section.

LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB SSD
Nokia Lumia 735
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy A3
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Power Consumption
13%
30%
12%
-42%
40%
-64%
Idle Minimum *
1.6
0.8
50%
0.6
62%
0.6
62%
1.3
19%
0.6
62%
1.6
-0%
Idle Average *
1.9
1.2
37%
1
47%
1.4
26%
1.8
5%
0.9
53%
2.5
-32%
Idle Maximum *
2
1.5
25%
1.2
40%
1.9
5%
2.1
-5%
1.1
45%
2.8
-40%
Load Average *
2.4
3
-25%
1.9
21%
2.6
-8%
3.7
-54%
1.8
25%
5.5
-129%
Load Maximum *
2.9
3.6
-24%
3.5
-21%
3.6
-24%
8
-176%
2.4
17%
6.3
-117%

* ... smaller is better

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 1.6 / 1.9 / 2 Watt
Load midlight 2.4 / 2.9 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 870

Battery Runtime

The energy-saving mode can increase the battery runtime when the battery is running low...
The energy-saving mode can increase the battery runtime when the battery is running low...
...and is indicated by red bars at the top and the bottom.
...and is indicated by red bars at the top and the bottom.

LG equips the Magna with a replaceable 9.7-Wh lithium-ion polymer battery (2540 mAh, 3.8 V). The smartphone can benefit from the comparatively low consumption under load and manages 4.5 hours, which easily surpasses the rivals. Only the Nokia Lumia 735 with its AMOLED display (lower brightness, but higher contrast in return) lasts one hour longer. We simulate the maximum load with the app Stability Test, the maximum brightness as well as activated communication modules.

More interesting are the tests with an adjusted brightness at 150 cd/m² (60 percent). Our Wi-Fi test simulates web browsing with an automated script. Some of the comparison devices were still tested with the old Wi-Fi test, so the results are not directly comparable. Almost eight hours are not a bad result for the LG Magna, but the competition has more stamina. The playback of a movie (Big Buck Bunny 1080p) is possible for around 8.5 hours. The rivals once again have an advantage of at least one hour, only the ZTE Blade S6 is slightly beaten in both scenarios.

LG also implemented an energy-saving mode, which can be automatically activated at certain capacities (15 percent remaining, for example). The feature is clearly noticed by the red bars at the top and bottom of the screen. Apart from a reduced display brightness, however, we could not determine any restrictions. Other manufacturers are much more aggressive.

Charging the smartphone requires patience, because it will take more than 3.5 hours before the battery is fully charged when the smartphone is turned on.

LG Magna
Mali-400 MP2, MT6582, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Acer Liquid Jade Z
Mali-T760 MP2, MT6732, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Motorola Moto G 2. Gen XT1068
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8226, 8 GB SSD
Nokia Lumia 735
Adreno 305, 400 MSM8926, 8 GB eMMC Flash
Amazon Fire Phone
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy A3
Adreno 306, 410 MSM8916, 16 GB eMMC Flash
ZTE Blade S6
Adreno 405, 615 MSM8939, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
-12%
28%
15%
-2%
6%
-16%
Reader / Idle
1012
1195
18%
1108
9%
1067
5%
1080
7%
922
-9%
H.264
514
941
83%
643
25%
605
18%
602
17%
497
-3%
WiFi v1.3
470
523
11%
608
29%
432
-8%
Load
269
176
-35%
221
-18%
301
12%
108
-60%
256
-5%
149
-45%
WiFi
904
761
568
Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 52min
NBC WiFi Websurfing Battery Test 1.3
7h 50min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
8h 34min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 29min

Pros

+ stable case
+ bright IPS display
+ 5 MP front camera
+ storage extension via microSD
+ replaceable battery
+ useful features

Cons

- rear cover susceptible to scratches
- mediocre performance
- only 8 GB internal storage
- bad speaker
- extremely long charging time

Verdict

In Review: LG Magna. Test model courtesy of LG Germany.
In Review: LG Magna. Test model courtesy of LG Germany.

The LG Magna tries to establish some features and functions of the premium smartphones in the mainstream segment. The curved design of the Magna is based on the bigger sibling LG G4 and both the stability as well as the build quality can convince us, only the plastic cover, which is susceptible to scratches and looks cheap, affects the good impression a bit. We also liked some features like the gesture control for the camera. Android 5.0.1 Lollipop is up to date and can be operated smoothly. Other positive aspects are the bright display as well as the replaceable battery and the storage expansion via microSD card.

The two cameras cannot fully meet our expectations; especially the 5 MP sensor at the front is a bit disappointing. Normal webcams are easily beaten by the module, but the pictures, unfortunately, suffer from picture noise and blurry details, even under good lighting conditions. The quality of the 8 MP sensor at the back is sufficient for snapshots.

The LG Magna is a mainstream smartphone with many features from the high-end segment, but the rivals often have an advantage in respect of the performance.

One drawback of our review unit is the mediocre performance, because the rivals often have a clear advantage in the benchmarks. The graphics solution in particular is outdated by now, which is already noticeable when you play games. The competitors also have an advantage in respect of the practical runtimes.

All in all, the LG Magna leaves a decent impression. However, our review unit does not support LTE and falls a bit behind in terms of performance, so a closer look at the rivals is not a bad idea.

LG Magna - 07/21/2015 v4(old)
Andreas Osthoff

Chassis
83%
Keyboard
65 / 75 → 87%
Pointing Device
89%
Connectivity
46 / 60 → 77%
Weight
93%
Battery
92%
Display
82%
Games Performance
52 / 63 → 83%
Application Performance
23 / 70 → 33%
Temperature
89%
Noise
100%
Audio
50 / 91 → 55%
Camera
65%
Average
71%
82%
Smartphone - Weighted Average

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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > LG Magna Smartphone Review
Andreas Osthoff, 2015-07-27 (Update: 2015-07-28)
Andreas Osthoff
Andreas Osthoff - Senior Editor Business
I grew up with computers and modern consumer electronics. I am interested in the technology since I had my first computer, a Commodore C64, and started building my own PCs after that. My focus here at Notebookcheck is the business segment including mobile workstations, but I also like to test new mobile devices. It is always a great experience to review and compare new products. My free time is filled with a lot of sports, in the summer mainly on my bike.