In a world where every smartphone seems to look more or less the same, LG are really bucking the trend. The K8 sits at the budget end of their range, but its design is definitely eye-catching – and it feels great in the hand. It’s quicker than most phones at its price point, too, although you’ll have to make sacrifices on the camera and display.
On first impressions, the K8 doesn’t really seem like a budget phone. Yes, it’s made of plastic, but the K8’s cross-hatch, patterned back feels great in your hand. It looks fantastic, too, with curved edges and a slim form. The power and volume buttons are on the rear of the phone, which is a feature that’s unique to a LG and can take a bit of getting used to. But once you are, they’re easy to find with your fingers, with the power button in particular sitting at just the right height.
Underneath that lovely exterior, you’ll find performance in abundance. A Mediatek processor, coupled with 1.5GB of RAM, make for a smooth experience when it comes to everyday tasks. It runs Android excellently – and while it lags every so often, it’s still a great user experience for this price point.
The K8’s 5-inch display isn’t too bad, although it’s what you might expect from a more budget phone. Colours are fairly bright and images are pretty sharp, although you will be able to make out individual pixels if you look close enough. Viewing angles are good, so watching Netflix or YouTube on the go should be a breeze. It’s not the best screen at this price point, but it’s definitely not the worst, either.
Of course, being a budget phone, LG have had to make some compromises. The K8’s 8GB of built-in storage won’t be enough for anyone except the most casual users. But it does come with a MicroSD slot, letting you expand your storage almost to your heart’s content. With MicroSD cards being so cheap these days, it ends up feeling like a very small sacrifice, in the grand scheme of things.
The K8’s battery life is quite poor, though, especially if you’re looking to do more intensive tasks. It’s fine if you’re texting, calling, or watching a bit of video content, but multi-taskers and gamers should definitely look elsewhere. The Sony E5, for example, has a much bigger battery – and a better camera for around the same price.
Speaking of cameras, the K8 is unlikely to impress when it comes to photography. Its 8 Megapixel rear camera is fine for the odd Facebook shot, but we wouldn’t recommend it for anything more important than that. The camera app is pretty good though, with a simple, no-nonsense setup that’s very easy to use.
While it won’t dazzle you with its camera or battery life, the LG K8 is still a great phone at this price point. It’s fast, the screen isn’t too bad and it all comes wrapped in a very well-designed exterior. If you’re looking for a speedy Android phone at a great price, you can’t go far wrong.