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LG K42 Review: Military-Grade Budget Smartphone That’s Pointless Buying
LG is one of the smartphone brands that have devices available in a wide price segment. From classy devices like the LG Wing to affordable smartphones like the LG K42, the South Korean company has made a name for itself. Take, for instance, the LG K42. The military-grade certified smartphone packs a couple of basic features like most smartphones in this segment.
- MIL-STD-810 military-grade certification
- Lightweight, gradient grip
- 13MP quad-camera setup
- Entry-level processor
- Can’t use with one hand
To note, the LG K42 is available in a sole 3GB RAM and 64GB default storage variant, which costs Rs. 10,990 in India. The smartphone draws power from the MediaTek Helio P22 SoC and a 4,000 mAh battery. It also packs a 13MP quad-camera setup and an HD+ display. Here, I've detailed my experience with the LG K42, explaining if this smartphone makes for a good buy or not.
Display: 6.6-inch HD+ panel
Processor: MediaTek Helio P22
Memory: 3GB RAM + 64GB storage
Battery: 4,000 mAh
Platform: Android 10 OS
LG K42 Design Details
One of the key highlights and the best feature of the LG K42 is its design. The smartphone is MIL-STD810G military-grade certified, protecting it from natural elements like dust and water. Plus, the device includes a horizontal-lining pattern, highlighting the gradient surface on the rear panel. This also gives a good grip on the smartphone, preventing accidental drops.
Speaking of the rear panel, the LG K42 also packs a quad-camera setup along with an LED flash at the top-left corner. You'll also find a side-mounted fingerprint sensor embedded on the power button that makes unlocking the device much easier. Also, the LG K42 flaunts rounded corners, which further helps reduce damage if dropped.
It should also be noted that the LG K42 is a lightweight smartphone, weighing just 128 grams. However, it is quite a large smartphone. The display is 6.6-inch, which allows you more working real estate. That said, it also makes it difficult for single-hand use. This is truer if you have comparatively small hands, making one-hand use quite difficult. All in all, the LG K42 flaunts a modern touch, despite its affordable price tag.
The display of the LG K42 requires an in-depth explanation. The smartphone packs a 6.6-inch HD+ LCD panel with an 83.1 percent screen-to-body ratio, 720 x 1600 pixels resolution, 20:9 aspect ratio, and 266 PPI pixel density. Plus, there's a punch-hole cutout that houses the selfie camera. The punch-hole cutout at the center makes room for more screen space. However, one might find the chin to be quite thick, which is something typically found on smartphones in this price segment.
LG K42 Cameras: Default Setup
Smartphone photography has come a long way with several improved camera upgrades, readily available in the market today. The LG K42 packs a quad-camera setup with a 13MP primary sensor, a 5MP wide-angle lens, a 2MP depth sensor, and a 2MP macro shooter.
Just like most smartphones in this segment, the camera department on the LG K42 is a mediocre camera setup. The 13MP primary lens can indeed take some really good pictures in good lighting, especially in an outdoor setup. However, I began noticing grains and noise when shot indoors.
The other sensors like the depth camera and the wide-angle lens also make a good support system, but once again, only in well-lit conditions. The selfie camera is a good one here, highlights the features in the portrait mode.
LG K42 With Helio P22 Processor: Can Be Better
The LG K42 draws power from the MediaTek Helio P22 chipset, which is an octa-core processor based on a 12nm architecture. The SoC is paired with a PowerVR GE8320 GPU that takes care of the graphics. Also, the smartphone is available in a single model packing 3GB RAM and 64GB default storage, which can be expanded via a microSD card.
Before diving into the performance aspect, let's know a bit about the Helio P22 chip. Several smartphones pack this chipset and most of them are either budget, affordable, or mid-range smartphones. However, do note the Helio P22 is an entry-level chipset, which gives you the basic smartphone experience.
We ran a couple of benchmark tests on LG K42 to determine its processor prowess. We ran the Geekbench 5 benchmark test on the LG K42, which scored 132 in the single-core test and 485 in the multi-core test. To note, these scores are pretty low, especially when compared with smartphones in this price range. Simply put, the overall performance is mediocre on the LG K42.
When it comes to gaming, the LG K42 is certainly not developed for hard-core games. The PowerVR GE8320 GPU is also quite basic, allowing you a smooth gaming experience only with low-end games - something like Temple Run and Candy Crush. When I installed a couple of high-end games like Free Fire and FAU-G, the phone began heating and also faced some lagging issues.
LG K42 For Everyday Use
When it comes to everyday use, the LG K42 makes quite a style statement with its rugged, gradient design. Despite the slightly old chipset, the overall, day-to-day performance of the LG K42 is quite satisfactory. The same goes for the camera performance as well.
When it comes to entertainment, particularly video playback, the LG K42 has a unique sound system. It includes the LG 3D Sound Engine, which optimizes the sound depending on what you're viewing, listening to, or playing on the smartphone. That said, if you load the smartphone with apps, it could become sluggish, especially in the long run.
LG K42 Battery Performance
The LG K42 packs a standard 4,000 mAh battery with standard 10W charging support. Compared to other smartphones in this segment, the battery on the LG K42 smartphone is smaller. Most smartphones in this segment generally pack a 5,000 mAh battery, along with fast charging support. There are also devices with a 6,000 mAh battery and the LG K42 falls short here.
Moreover, without fast charging capability, the LG K42 takes a while to fully fuel up. I noticed that the LG K42 took nearly two to two-and-a-half hours to reach a 100 percent charge from 15 percent. That said, the LG K42 can easily last a day on a single charge. I used the smartphone for several battery-centric activities like gaming and video playback. And yet, the smartphone is easily sustained for a day on a single charge.
Also to note, the LG K42 comes with a Smart Doctor feature that helps sustain the battery. For instance, when I had an app consuming battery in the background, the Smart Doctor alerted me about the high-intensity app.
LG K42 Verdict: Should You Buy?
LG is a well-known brand when it comes to several home gadgets like smart TVs, refrigerators, and so on. However, when it comes to smartphones, LG is one of the lesser-known names. Despite rolling out unique devices like the LG Wing smartphone, the company hasn't been doing so well.
The LG K42 is one of the budget smartphones from the company priced under Rs. 15K. However, with tough competition in the market, the LG smartphone department is shutting down. This means new updates for existing smartphones like the LG K42 are going to be nil! In this scenario, it doesn't make sense to get this device. Do note, there are plenty of options for a similar price from brands like Samsung, Redmi, Poco, Realme, and so on.