In October 2020, LG introduced in Brazil three new smartphones of the K line, among them is the LG K52 which is also known as K42 in other markets. The manufacturer did not explain why the nomenclature change, but stressed that the device has evolved in relation to the models launched five months ago.
6.6-inch screen, 4,000 mAh battery, four cameras and dedicated Google Assistant button are the highlights of the LG K52. So far, nothing new for those who already know the brand’s cell phones. But is it worth paying the R $ 1,500 that LG charges? Is it time to replace the K41S with this device? I answer these and other questions in this review.
Review of the LG K52 on video
O Tecnoblog is a technology-independent journalistic vehicle that helps people make their next purchase decision since 2005. Our product reviews are opinionated and have no advertising intent. For this reason, we always transparently highlight the positive and negative points of each product.
No company, manufacturer or store has paid the Tecnoblog to produce this content. Our reviews are not reviewed or approved by external agents. The K52 was provided by LG on loan. The product will be returned to the company after testing.
While the “more powerful” versions gained a “cleaner” design that refers to the current Samsung models, the K52 has distanced itself and received a wavy and matte back, consequently, it is well protected from the accumulation of fingerprints. It is worth mentioning that the device is all made of plastic, although it looks like metal. LG also adopted the cooktop style to accommodate the cameras in the upper left corner.
The sides are in glossy plastic, contributing to a more premium finish. There are four buttons there: the volume buttons and the dedicated one for the Google Assistant are on the left side accompanied by the drawer for the chip and the memory card, which makes it possible to use two nano-SIM cards and a MicroSD together.
On the other side, there is the on / off button, also used to unlock the phone with the digital one, and during my tests, it showed a good unlock speed.
The lower part houses a Type C USB port, a headphone jack and the speaker. As usual, LG always shows military resistance that is not synonymous with overprotection. The cell phone can break in extreme situations, it is worth mentioning.
Screen and sound
The screen of the LG K52 is a 6.6 inch TFT LCD screen with HD + resolution (1600 x 720 pixels), 20: 9 aspect ratio with a hole in the top for the selfie camera. It’s not a bad panel, but it could be better, especially considering the brand’s experience in this area with televisions. You can expect weak colors and viewing from different angles is only satisfactory with brightness close to maximum.
At least the big screen provides a generous experience when watching movies and series. In the review of the K51S I criticized the full screen mode of the device that did not let Netflix content occupy the entire display, only games and YouTube videos. Fortunately, LG seems to have corrected this, which further favored immersion.
Speaking of media consumption, the speaker on the K52 is not powerful and does not deliver a loud sound. With a connected headset, you can activate the DTS: X 3D Surround which, in this device, is now called “LG 3D Sound”. This is a feature that makes audio immersive – very useful for movies, music and podcasts.
In the software it gives an impression of progress, but with reservations. The previous K line, introduced in July 2020, hit the market with Android 9 Pie, a system from two years ago. Now fans of the brand can celebrate, as the K52 hits the windows with Android 10.
So does that mean Android 11 may be on the way, too? No, for now LG cannot say whether the latest version of Google’s operating system will land on this phone.
But let’s get to it: the interface remains very similar to the version found on the K41S, K51S and K61. It still resembles Samsung’s One UI, because the camera app is very similar, as are the settings app and the notification bar.
However, there is a problem here: this area where notifications are displayed is transparent and, as a result, it conflicts with background information. A refining was missing.
The system comes with many applications pre-installed. Some without need, but it is possible to uninstall if you wish. They are downloaded: a hotel app, LG’s own app and some games like Asphalt Nitro, DragonMania, among others.
For those who like it, dark mode is available and works with applications that support the feature.
The K52 came on the heels of the success of the camera modules in cooktop format, contributing to a more premium look and aligned with the trends of the year. The phone received a 13 megapixel main camera, a 5 megapixel ultrawide, a 2 megapixel macro lens and a 2 megapixel depth sensor.
The main one tries to get closer to the natural, has a balanced exposure, enhances dark tones and shadows, but does not get to abuse saturation. On the other hand, I felt that the sharpness tends to be reduced and you can see it by zooming in on the image produced.
Both in front and behind the blur effect has some flaws. When using the depth sensor, more detailed consumers may notice the impaired definition with protruding noises. The ultrawide camera showed a result very similar to the main one: the colors are close to the natural and the edges are slightly distorted.
Most likely you will not be using the K52’s macro lens. With only 2 megapixels of resolution, this camera produces images with poor clarity and the photo always comes out dark or overexposed.
In low light conditions, the device’s cameras cannot deliver good photos, nor will the processor work miracles to improve the situation.
Blurring through the front camera presents a certain exaggeration in post-processing, since it is possible to notice a large “artificial effect”. Despite this, I liked most of the selfies obtained, as the embellishment mode is almost imperceptible and the colors tend to be faithful.
Hardware and battery
There was no evolution in hardware. LG again chose the 2.0 GHz octa-core MediaTek Helio P22 coupled with 3 GB of RAM. It is an old processor, from 2018, which also equips the K41S and even older models like K40S and K12 Max.
The K52 will be able to run social networking, WhatsApp and streaming apps, but one-off gagging will always appear. For example, the phone completely crashed while I was doing Instagram stories.
Most applications open quickly and possible difficulties can be felt mainly in multitasking. Then the K52 can run out of breath. The GPU is PowerVR GE8320 and, yes, the smartphone can even run heavy games like Asphalt 9 with some crashes in more complex scenes, even with the default graphics settings.
To store photos, music and other data, the available internal memory is 64 GB, but it is possible to insert a MicroSD card up to 2 TB.
Unsurprisingly, the battery remains a strong point in LG intermediaries, after all it is 4,000 mAh and a 10 watt power supply comes with the product. Fully unloaded, the K52 scored 50% after 56 minutes and another 1h17min to drive 100%. It is a good time, but I hope that LG will start to invest more in fast chargers as Motorola does with its intermediaries.
As for consumption, I spent two hours on Netflix, one hour on YouTube, 46 minutes on GPS via Google Maps and 1 hour on Spotify. I started the assessment with 100% and 59% remained after these activities. An excellent result!
LG K52: is it worth it?
The LG K52 has a completely new body, but still has an old engine. I expected an improvement in the photographic set, on the screen and the performance is what can most disappoint, the manufacturer missed the opportunity to update the processor. Despite this, I recommend this device for less demanding consumers, who don’t care so much about performance and are looking for a phone for basic use.
But it doesn’t end here. Even though smartphone prices are currently not as favorable due to the combination of high dollar and pandemic, you will be able to find better options for less than R $ 1,500. Take, for example, the Galaxy A21s, the Motorola Moto G9 Play, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 9 or the Motorola One Fusion, which has already had a reduced retail price.
Of course, the K52 has the strong points there: the 4,000 mAh battery, the dedicated button for Google Assistant and the design that is beautiful and outside the market standard.
LG K52 – technical form
- Screen: 6.6 inches, HD + resolution and 20: 9 aspect ratio
- Processor: MediaTek MT6762 2.0 GHz octa-core
- RAM: 3 GB
- Storage: 64 GB, expandable by microSD card up to 2 TB
- Quadruple rear camera:
- main: 13 megapixels
- ultrawide: 5 megapixels (115º)
- depth: 2 megapixels
- macro: 2 megapixels
- Frontal camera: 8 megapixels
- Drums: 4,000 mAh
- Operational system: Android 10 (Q OS)
- Connectivity: USB-C, 4G, Wi-Fi 802.11 b / g / n, and Bluetooth 5.0
- More: fingerprint reader on the side, button dedicated to Google Assistant, MIL-STD 810G
- Dimensions and weight: 165 x 76.7 x 8.4 mm, 186 g
- Colors: green, gray and red
- Beautiful design
- Netflix content now appears in full screen
- Battery for the whole day
- Performance is poor
- Deserved a new processor
- Precise refining interface