LG has always been a notable brand in the tech industry with most of its success coming from their appliances division. And despite also being in the smartphone space, they have over the years been lagging behind the likes of Apple, Samsung and Huawei – the top three brands in global smartphone market share. Any thoughts of catching up to those brands are currently premature especially considering that LG is currently seventh with a total of 3 percent overall.
As you are probably all too well aware of though, nothing is definite and infinite especially in the tech space. Korean companies are one of the most successful around and brushing them aside is a big mistake. In the case of LG, they seem to know something we don’t with the company’s CEO (Brian Kwon) earlier this year confirming that their “mobile division will be profitable by 2021.” How exactly, we’re not sure as he didn’t go into too much detail, it therefore creates some intrigue.
While we wait to see how that plays out, one device they recently released, in the midst of various lockdown regulations, is one we previously featured briefly not too long ago, the K61 device. They were kind enough to lend it to us for a couple of weeks. We’re not going to complicate things too much and rather highlight what we liked and stood out the most. Thabiso Moloi elaborates further below:
Look at me
The first thing you encounter with most things are the aesthetics and the overall design. In the case of the K61, the design isn’t revolutionary or anything but what it does have is simplicity while also feeling and looking premium. Personally, I’m a huge fan of minimalism, simplicity yet beautiful aesthetics, the K61 offers just that.
Unlike most smartphones, well ones that I have used at least, the K61 has the side buttons in vice versa with the volume buttons located on the left with a nifty Google Assistant button, and on the right hand side you will find the SIM slot accompanied by the usual unlock button. At the rear you will find the now standard fingerprint sensor as well as what is the device’s main feature, the 4 cameras neatly tucked in horizontal fashion.
Look at me glow, subtly
In addition to design I’m also a great fan of beautiful displays. The LG K61 is up there with the best of them. This is all thanks to its super-sharp 6.5-inch 19.5:9 FHD+ FullVision Display. Unlike other smartphones I have used before, the K61’s display isn’t intrusive on the eyes no matter how far you dial it up, somehow it manages to stay crystal clear while staying in dimmed fashion.
Like its smaller siblings (the K51S and K41S), all three 2020 K series phones are designed with cinematically proportioned displays all complete with thinner bezels unlike their predecessors. All of which are perfectly designed to improve the immersive viewing experience.
Look at how long I can last and perform sonically
While it cannot outright boast on having the biggest battery on the smartphone market, the K61 comes with an impressive 4,000mAh battery that ensures that you will have a day and a half worth of battery, depending on how wisely you use it of course.
For someone like me who enjoys his music more than the average human, I found the audio output to be up to standard and quite impressive especially when utilising the earphones it comes standard with. Having said that though, the phone speaker could have honestly been better. The sound experience while using the earphones is made better by what they call the DTS:X 3D Surround Sound that the device comes equipped with. That sounds quite fancy I admit but it’s not just a claim but a fact, it’s really good.
And more importantly, look at what I can capture
Yes, to sound cliched, I decided to save the best for last, at least at first I thought. As briefly touched upon earlier, the K61 comes packed with a ridiculously impressive 5 rear cameras (when you also count the front facing one) which is unheard of in a mid-tier device. Sitting right at the top of that is what the company describes as its highest resolution camera, specifically 48 megapixels. Accompanying the device’s Super Wide 8MP sensor, a 2MP Macro Camera, and a 5MP depth sensor.
Now, I won’t lie, I thought the best part was the device’s camera but it (at times) left me wanting especially considering what it initially promises, with impressive numbers mentioned previously do you blame me? Probably not the best thing to focus on the number of pixels, the only way of determining that is, well, actually using the device. Despite the little disappointment, the quality of images produced isn’t the worst I’ve seen and in fact the filter options available help in this regard and ensure that you capture good quality images.
To put it in a neat nutshell
The LG K61 is a solid device and one we have enjoyed spending sometime with. Its good looks and simplistic nature ensure that you have a device in hand that does most things a smartphone should while also offering the premium feel despite the fact that it’s a mid-weight device. The camera is a bit disappointing but as mentioned, the range of filter options make a massive difference.
A good upgrade if you are currently in the market for a smartphone in the R6k region. To be precise, the device currently retails for R6299 and it’s (together with the other LG 2020 K series) available at Vodacom, Cell C and MTN stores.