The K series is LG’s line of budget Android smartphones for the mass market. If you’re looking for an affordable phone or maybe a secondary handset for whatever purpose, you could check these phones out.

Since we have three, we’ll take a look at each one.

LG K7 (2017)

The K7 (2017) is the cheapest of the bunch. Let’s first run through its specs: It’s got a 5-inch FWVGA display, quad-core MediaTek processor, and just 1GB of memory. It runs on a dated version of Android, specifically Marshmallow, and only has 8GB of storage. The good thing is it has a microSD card slot for more storage since apps easily fill up space.

There’s not much to tell about the K7, really. The power button is located at the back, giving its LG identity. I appreciate its textured back panel for better grip during usage, which also keeps the phone free from smudges, unlike expensive phones with a glass back.

The phone has an 8-megapixel rear shooter and a 5-megapixel selfie camera. Captured photos look bland and they are nothing to write home about.

Despite being positioned for the budget-conscious, the phone still has 4G LTE connectivity. It also runs smoothly for basic functions. With its measly amount of memory and storage, though, I strongly suggest taking advantage of the “Lite” apps available on the Play Store. Only time will tell when the phone will choke because of the number of apps installed.

All in all, the K7 (2017) is a decent budget phone. Just don’t expect too much from it.

LG K8 (2017)

Moving on to the K8 (2017). It’s similarly sized to the K7 (2017) but has a sharper and better HD display. It also has a slightly faster quad-core processor, 1.5GB of memory, and twice the storage at 16GB.

The display on the K8 (2017) is a nice upgrade over the K7 (2017), but performance-wise, I really couldn’t tell — at least during my week-long usage. It also has the same software as its cheaper sibling that’s close to stock Android. The back panel is textured with vertical lines that give the phone an aesthetic touch, as well.

An upgrade is also seen in the camera department. It now has a 13-megapixel rear camera, although the front is still at 5 megapixels. Photos do look better on the K8 (2017); even selfies are improved.

For everyday use, the K8 (2017) is able to run better. It can handle popular titles well, even the popular Asphalt Extreme and NBA 2K17 — as long you keep the graphics setting to low or medium. LG’s customization doesn’t run deep here aside from the familiar colorful icons.

While you can’t really brag about what it can do, the K8 (2017) looks more mature than what it actually is. Its understated design makes it more expensive-looking.

LG K10 (2017)

If you have more money to spend, you might want to go for this: the K10 (2017). I find the handset to be a well-balanced budget phone. To start, it has a larger 5.3-inch HD display, a faster octa-core MediaTek processor, 2GB of memory, and runs on Android Nougat. What’s special about the K10 (2017) is the use of LG’s own skin, complete with its own apps and colorful customization.

With the K10 (2017), you get more than just a cheap phone. The device has distinct curves that make the phone look sleek and easier to grip on hand. Ours has a brushed metal finish, although it’s purely plastic. It’s worth noting that the Philippine retail unit that was sent to us doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor on the back, unlike its international variant. I’m not sure why it was taken away, but it’s a deal-breaker.

LG’s skin on top of Android (similar to what more expensive models have) makes the phone a lot better in terms of usability. While the skin is rather heavy, it separates the phone from plain and boring budget smartphones that are currently in the market. So far, it hasn’t caused the phone to slow down. I can run social apps, casual games, and basic functions like messaging and web browsing smoothly.

The 13-megapixel rear camera is a capable shooter for its class. Photos are detailed and have a good amount of saturation. But, what’s interesting here is the front camera. It takes selfies with a 120-degree wide-angle lens. You easily fit more people in a frame, although there’s noticeable distortion. It’s like taking a selfie with an action camera.

All three of them have removable batteries!

While all three differ depending on their price points, they have one thing in common: removable batteries. It’s a rare sight among midrange and flagship phones nowadays, but the budget segment still has it.

The K7 (2017) and K8 (2017) both have a 2500mAh battery while the K10 (2017) sports a larger 2800mAh. Having a replaceable battery in this era means easier maintenance — just in case your battery needs to be changed.

Which is your GadgetMatch?

So, which of the three is your GadgetMatch? Well, the K10 (2017) is an easy pick if you want the best among LG’s budget phones. It’s the priciest at PhP 8,990 (US$ 178), but you’re getting more than what the cheaper variants offer.

The K8 (2017), though, positions itself to be a decent budget phone at PhP 6,990 (US$ 138). While the K7 (2017), which is priced at just PhP 5,490 (US$ 109), is a hard recommendation. You’re better off adding a little more cash to avoid its mediocre entry-level offering.

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