LG K51 evaluation: Extra polish than punch

Patrick

LG could also be finished with the smartphone trade, but it surely’s nonetheless a well-recognized face at reasonably priced carriers in the USA and all over the world. The LG K51 — and its equivalent twin, the LG Mirror — is among the hottest fashions throughout quite a lot of carriers, particularly MVNOs. It gives loads of good specs on paper and a sub-$200 price ticket that appears powerful to beat. Learn the way the entire items come collectively in our LG K51 evaluation.

See additionally: The very best funds telephones you should buy

What it’s good to know concerning the LG K51

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

  • LG K51 (3GB, 32GB): $149 / €139 / £120 ($199 launch worth)

Launched in Could 2020, the LG K51 sits on the decrease finish of LG’s remaining smartphone vary. It is available in only one configuration and one shade: Titan Grey. You gained’t have extreme RAM or storage to work with — simply 3GB and 32GB, respectively — however you’ll be able to at all times broaden the storage with a microSD card. The LG K51 we examined arrived with Android 10 and the LG UX 9.0 pores and skin proper out of the field. It has not acquired an Android 11 replace but, and we don’t have a timetable for a doable replace in our Android 11 roadmap.

Together with the restricted RAM and base storage, you’ll discover MediaTek’s octa-core Helio P22 processor working the present. It’s backed by a 4,000mAh battery and a 6.5-inch HD Plus show to high all of it off. LG saved a headphone jack nestled alongside the cellphone’s backside edge, together with a USB-C 2.0 port and a mono speaker.

Associated: The very best LG telephones you should buy

You get a charging block and USB-C cable within the field, together with a SIM ejector software, and our model got here with a Metro by T-Cellular branded begin information. In fact, the paperwork could range based mostly in your service of selection.

LG’s K51 sits near the OnePlus Nord N200, Motorola Moto G Energy (2021), and Nokia 5.4 by way of worth, although all three provide sharper specs. Should you’re leaning in direction of an LG gadget on this worth vary, you may additionally wish to have a look at the LG Stylo 6 with its bigger show and built-in stylus.

What’s good?

The LG K51 back panel on a table

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The LG K51’s construct high quality is obvious from the second you are taking it out of the field. It is a budget-friendly cellphone that simply feels strong. Though the physique is plastic it doesn’t really feel low cost or flimsy. Whereas we’re praising the {hardware}, LG’s headphone jack deserves a shout, as does the bottom-firing speaker. There’s solely a single speaker, however you may give the amount a kick to get pleasure from your favourite songs.

It’s additionally good to have a big, 6.5-inch show to associate with that loud speaker. You get loads of actual property to make amends for your favourite Netflix sequence or faucet into some mild gaming.

The LG K51 is offered throughout quite a few carriers, every with its personal number of apps. Whereas we are able to’t communicate to the preinstalled bloat on all of them, the Metro by T-Cellular model retains the extras to a minimal. You’ll discover a normal set of account administration apps and the like, however Metro principally allows you to do your individual factor.

The K51’s seems to be and hand really feel stretch far past its reasonably priced worth.

The 4,000mAh battery gives loads of juice to maintain you transferring all day lengthy. I managed to push properly previous a day of average use, whether or not looking social media, streaming music, or maintaining with emails. The included block and cable get you again in control quick sufficient too.

Any time you have a look at a budget-friendly cellphone, you’re sure to have considerations concerning the digital camera. LG managed to assuage a few of these considerations with an excellent 13MP foremost lens for the value. In most lighting conditions, the shooter works properly, and LG’s AI Cam kicks all the pieces up a notch. It makes use of hundreds of information factors to research your topic and recommend methods to enhance your shot. For instance, AI Cam can advise you to modify to the ultra-wide digital camera so you’ll be able to match only a few extra pals or members of the family into your shot.

What’s not so good?

The LG K51 ports exposed on a table.

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The K51’s 6.5-inch IPS LCD seems to be a little bit of a double-edged sword. It’s adequately massive, however whereas the colours are good total, we’ve seen different telephones on this worth vary attain for a sharper decision, together with some from LG’s personal lineup.

Like fairly a number of reasonably priced telephones we’ve examined, the LG K51 is a fingerprint magnet. The uninterrupted Titan Grey again panel seems to be fairly good, however you’re sure to spend a bit of your time wiping it clear until you spend money on a case.

The Helio P22 processor comes up a bit quick when paired with simply 3GB of RAM.

Sadly, there are occasions the place the K51’s Helio P22 processor doesn’t fairly really feel as much as the duty. It really works for mild utilization however falls behind if you bounce between apps or check out too many video games. This can be an instance of the chip displaying its age, on condition that it launched again in 2018. MediaTek has grown the Helio P vary because the P22’s launch, so there are definitely different choices that LG may have chosen.

See additionally: The very best Enhance Cell phones you will get

A few of the processing struggles may come from the restricted 3GB of RAM because it shortly turns into overburdened with too many duties working. LG’s 32GB of base storage isn’t sufficient, both, given that you would be able to solely use a fraction of that area. Our model of the LG K51 required a whopping 13GB of the 32GB for Android itself and nearly 2GB for different pre-installed apps. When all is alleged and finished, the K51 solely provides you about 17GB of usable area until you seize a microSD card.

You may additionally wish to look elsewhere when you’re hoping to snap tons of selfies. The K51’s entrance digital camera is serviceable, however photographs have a tendency to return out a bit comfortable. Check out the grasses in my selfie examples beneath — they have a tendency to sacrifice particulars nearly instantly. On the intense aspect, you get the identical AI Cam options on the entrance digital camera as you do on the rear choices.

LG K51 digital camera samples

LG K51 specs

LG K51
Show 6.5 inches
IPS LCD
1,560 x 720 (19.5:9)
Processor MediaTek Helio P22
RAM 3GB
Storage 32GB
Cameras Rear triple digital camera:
13MP foremost (f/1.8)
5MP ultrawide (f/2.2)
2MP depth

Entrance:
13MP

Battery 4,000mAh
IP Score None
Software program Shipped with Android 9
Replace to Android 10 out there
Dimensions 6.57 x 3.07 x 0.33 inches
(166.96 x 77.92 x 8.47mm)
7.17oz (203.4g)
Colours Titan Grey
Safety Rear-mounted fingerprint scanner

LG K51 evaluation: Ought to I purchase it?

The LG K51 cameras and fingerprint reader

Ryan Haines / Android Authority

In order for you an entry-level smartphone that appears and feels far past its worth, the LG K51 simply may be for you. It’s massive and in cost, and the show and speaker are nice for streaming movies and music. Even higher, the 4,000mAh battery lasts longer than all day, and the headphone jack means you’ll be able to maintain your favourite songs to your self. Nonetheless, this isn’t a processing powerhouse, and also you may wish to look elsewhere in case you have gaming or heavy utilization in thoughts. There are additionally query marks over help, as LG has determined to withdraw from the smartphone enterprise. Should you’re involved with software program and safety updates (you have to be!) then there are extra dependable alternate options.

The LG K51 is massive and in cost but it surely’s not the quickest or best-supported funds cellphone you will get.

The LG K51 sits near the OnePlus Nord N200 ($239) by way of pricing, although OnePlus has the higher spec sheet by a strong margin, to not point out that the N200 gives 5G on T-Cellular’s community. You may additionally wish to give Motorola’s Moto G sequence a glance, particularly the Moto G Energy ($249). One last rival to think about is Nokia’s 5.4 ($249) with 4 occasions the storage, a pacier processor, and higher cameras on either side.

An image of the LG K51 in hand open to Metro apps

LG K51

The LG K51 seems to be nice and feels strong within the hand. MediaTek’s Helio P22 chip retains the lights on with 3GB of RAM and 32GB of storage.

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