The K61 is the latest intermediary from LG with big screen, four cameras at the rear, a visual that draws attention from afar and wears a modern outfit and a hole in the display to place the front camera. This set of resources can be interesting, but some details can make the broth sour and I can already tell you: it has soured. Come with me that in the next paragraphs I’ll tell you where it went wrong
Analysis of the LG K61 on video
The device follows the good path that LG has followed in the past generation of its intermediaries, at least visually. It continues to look good, adds shine and reflections to many points of the gadget that imitate a more expensive material, such as the rear that is plastic and with an exceptional resemblance to glass. The good presentation in plastic is not a problem in an intermediary in the middle of 2020.
A detail that draws attention is the presence of a button that works to call the Google Assistant. It is a nice addition and helps the user who needs more access to the personal assistant, leaving the call “Ok Google” aside, but that in my initial tests passed another impression. The button worked more like the wrong button I pressed when I wanted to lower the volume or capture the screen.
Over time I learned and the finger started to move to the middle button on this side. To help in this learning, LG could have chosen a different texture for the button.
The USB connection is USB-C and the headphone jack is still alive, which is a good thing in times of death of this plug. Another hit from LG is the triple tray that perfectly accommodates two SIM cards and a microSD card. Inside the device has 128 GB and this is more than enough for the vast majority of people, but having the option of being able to insert a memory card is always positive.
LG continues stamping the name “military resistance” on the box and promises that this cell phone will survive more easily along with the user’s life, whether in the comfortable pocket with nothing or sharing space with the key and even the hell that is the stuffed backpack of things, everything scraping and hitting. One detail makes it clear that military resistance does not make the cell phone indestructible: a case comes in the box. Those simple, silicone and that serve their purpose well.
Finally, a fingerprint reader is at the rear. It is fast as almost all competition is, but I felt that the sensor could be lower. As the cell phone is large, taking the finger to the reader makes the hand move from the rear.
Screen and sound
LG has a history of good LCD panels. Here, the Korean expertise remains somewhat the same, with satisfactory color reproduction for an intermediary, Full HD resolution at 6.53 inches in a 19.5: 9 ratio, generous viewing angle and brightness within expectations. Not surprisingly, it sins at one point and could be better at another.
The wrong point is precisely in choosing the type of notch that appears at the top of the display. I usually prefer this type of hole instead of the mustache that LG used on some models, but here the end of the screen is very close to one of the corners of the hole for the camera. In addition to giving a wrong curve feeling, there is a kind of darkened aura that is around the notch. It looks like a flaw in the lighting and this is most noticeable in white images.
The side that could be better is precisely the choice for an LCD panel, even if IPS. Samsung, for example, already uses AMOLED screens in practically every line of intermediaries, starting from the Galaxy A30. AMOLED screens are superior to LCD in saturation and reading in sunny environments.
Would the K61 be legal with AMOLED or OLED? Yes would be.
Closing the multimedia part, there is a caveat for the speaker. The speaker is not good and loves the treble of passion. I know that a smartphone speaker doesn’t have enough space to sound good, but the K61 plays music like your grandfather’s cell radio.
When plugging in a headset, you can turn on DTS: X 3D Surround mode. Which improves somewhat on the phone that comes with the phone. It actually made the sound worse, increasing the medium waves when I put on a big, over-ear headset.
Performance and software
If on the screen he slipped, but got up and kept walking, in performance the K61 is very discouraged. LG chose a Mediatek chip, a Helio P35 that runs eight cores with the help of 4 GB of RAM and a PowerVR GE8320 GPU. These are great numbers in terms of marketing, so much so that almost all of this is printed on the box of the device, but in everyday life the result is one of the worst I’ve ever seen in an intermediary, even worse for being the most expensive intermediary from LG.
Finding drops in performance is not a difficult task, just turn on your phone and pull up the notification area to see this point running away from where your finger is. Running on the Twitter timeline is to see gagging, on Facebook too, only with more pronounced hiccups and all this with just the application of each open social network, with nothing in the background.
An even worse situation appears when any application receives an update through the Play Store. Seeing the app icon update to this gagging scenario gets even worse. The cell phone becomes a cart with the horse limping.
This could very well be the performance of a simple, entry-level smartphone that doesn’t cost four digits, but the K61 is the most expensive and powerful intermediary your money can buy at LG, it shouldn’t be that way.
In games the situation improves, but not so much. Tested Asphalt 9 which ran with the graphics at a minimum, with a lot of serrated and few details, with frequent drop in the frame rate per second. Crashes happened and were not uncommon. Call of Duty Mobile achieved better performance, keeping the graphics to a minimum and that were the only choice within the game’s settings.
PUBG he managed a little superior result, without sudden drops in performance, but with that hiccup here and there – especially at the moment with more players in front of his, in the middle of the shooting. As with other games, in this one the graphics settings were the simplest, which is how you should follow the K61 in almost any other intense game.
Does that mean it is bad for games? Yes, but not that running anything simpler is impossible. a candy Crush of life goes well, runs beautiful.
If in performance the K61 is not a masterpiece, in the software that runs below the screen there is a mix of evolution and problem. The evolution is in the LG interface, which refined some icons and even started to leave all the settings listed right away, changing that look separated into tabs by type of configuration.
On the other hand, stretching screen animations have been around forever and in the middle of 2020, when Android 11 testing is happening in full swing, the K61 was released with Android 9 Pie and without any update forecast. This means that the launch of LG for 2020 chose the 2018 system, when the competition launched its intermediaries with at least Android of 2019, which until the time of publication of this review is the most recent Android for the public.
Is using Android 9 in 2020 a problem? No, practically any app will run and Play Services delivers some new features outside of a new firmware, but it gives the feeling of neglect, that the K line is not important. And this is not good.
Ok, if the K61 doesn’t shine in performance, in the photos it does it right? No, but at least here he is not bad, he just doesn’t really stand out. Altogether there are four cameras in the scheme that marketing loves to say, but in fact you use three, since one of them is only there to measure the depth in photos in portrait mode.
The main lens is 48 megapixels and f / 1.8 aperture, followed by a secondary sensor for ultrawide photos with 8 megapixels and f / 2.2 aperture.
These are the two sensors that you effectively choose right away in the camera app, with results that are OK when the amount of light favors, showing interesting details and little noise.
The white balance left me discouraged, which made photos with the main lens warmer, while the same photo, just changing the lens to ultrawide, became colder and that is what we call the bluish tone.
At night the noise is stark, which is bad for an opening that should help in this work. The problem smells like the difficulty of the processor dealing with the information that comes from the sensor. If the night photo is with the ultrawide lens, it will be even darker and with more visible grains, only with a smaller amount of burst points – that’s a good thing.
The other two lenses are 5 megapixels for macro and 2 megapixels for portrait mode, which hits about 80% of the cut you need to make on your shoulders and hair.
Macro is very close? More or less, since the focus is fixed only four centimeters away. It also bothered me to access this mode, which is in an icon hidden inside an option called “More” in the camera app. I’m sure most people saw taking a picture with the normal lens, thinking it was macro.
At the front the selfies can be taken with the 16 megapixel camera, which does the job of doing even portrait mode with a single lens. The quality is basically the same as other lenses: good photos with lots of light and grainy in darker environments.
Feeding all that I said so far we have 4,000 mAh battery, which is enough for more moderate use throughout the day. Running a video in Full HD, stretched to fill the entire screen and at maximum brightness, which is how a video will run in a well-lit environment, the K61 consumes 9.33% battery per hour.
A 10-watt charger comes with the smartphone and it takes 28 minutes in the socket to reach 30% recharge from zero, with the battery completely filled in two hours and 18 minutes. It is not such a bad brand.
Worth it? Do not.
LG got it right when it launched the last generation of K-line handsets, but made a lot of mistakes on the K61. It has four cameras, which you really only use three in everyday life and none of them offers superior results to direct competitors. It has a beautiful plastic body, which is not a negative point, but it fell from the edge of the performance, offering gasps and hiccups even when only one app was open.
This problem is even more serious by the time it happens. Every review is done with a newly launched smartphone that comes formatted at the factory, the moment of best performance of every product, whether it is a computer, tablet or smartphone. It makes me afraid to think about how the K61 will perform in a year or two of use.
In games the situation does not improve much. The results would be acceptable on an input device, but the K61 is not in this segment and does not charge what an incoming Android tends to cost. It is much more expensive. All this with Android 9 Pie of 2018 in full 2020, without LG even saying when and if it will update the device.
Its direct competitors are the Moto G8 Plus, Galaxy M31 and A31. The Moto G8 Plus offers better cameras, superior performance and the latest Android, charging less. The same happens with Samsung’s two models, which can deliver even more battery – remember that the A31 uses the Helio P65, which should be the K61’s processor to avoid so much performance problem.
All of these are better phones with a value very close to what the LG charges for the K61. For R $ 1.9 thousand, it is impossible to recommend the K61 to anyone. If you still want a LG, my tip is to wait at least six months after launch to see how the price is. LG devices depreciate very quickly and the K61 only makes sense if it costs close to R $ 1,200 or less.
- Nice body
- Many photo options
- LG’s interface has finally evolved
- Poor performance at all times
- Notch clipping appears to have flaws
- Many cameras do not take good pictures
- Android lagged at launch