Looking for a triple-camera phone for under $200? This LG K51 review holds the answer you need for an affordable, reliable, great camera phone.
The LG K51 smartphone was released in May 2020. This phone boasts a 6.5-inch display, an all-day 4,000mAh battery, and a triple camera. All these are presented in entry-level phone packaging with an affordable price tag.
By the look of it, LG K51 aims for active users prioritizing immersive visual and audio experiences. Apart from the big display, the phone is also equipped with DTS:X 3D Surround Sound. Meanwhile, the big battery promises hours of non-stop entertainment.
This is also the phone for camera geeks looking for affordable options. Not only the triple-camera with a depth lens, but buyers will also get a front-facing camera with a high resolution.
For a complete assessment, we’ll explore the phone more in this LG K51 review. Find out the interesting features this phone offers, along with some not-so-favorable features you need to consider.
LG K51 specifications:
- Weight: 203.4g
- Dimensions: 166.9 x 77.9 x 8.4mm
- OS: Android 10
- Screen size: 6.5-inch
- Resolution: 1560 x 720
- CPU: 2GHz Octa-core, MediaTek Helio P22
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB
- Battery: 4,000mAh, Non-removable
- Rear camera: 13MP + 5MP + 2MP
- Front camera: 13MP
LG K51 is a fairly big phone with a length of 166.9cm and a width of 77.9mm. Thanks to the big battery, the phone is also a bit heavy at 203.4g. Despite its size, the slim nature of the phone provides a nice grip that prevents the phone from slipping out of hands.
The design of LG K51 resembles many of LG’s products in their affordable line. The screen is surrounded by fairly narrow edges with a thicker bottom part. The phone uses a notch design to put the front camera. Meanwhile, the speaker, promising a DTS surround sound experience, lies above the notch. On the bottom, there is the USB port and the headphone jack. The whole casing and body of the phone are made from plastic.
The back cover is relatively plain. We got the triple camera orderly arranged in one row above the fingerprint reader. The glossy black back only houses the LG logo aside from those two items. It looks nice, but nothing that makes the phone different.
Like in many other LG phones, you’ll see the Google Assistant button on one side of the phone. The volume rocker lies above it, while the unlock key is located on the opposite. In our opinion, the button placement is very ergonomic because everything is easily within reach.
The design of LG K51 is average at best. We don’t see any “it factor” that makes you consider the phone based on looks. Its strength lies in other areas.
Read also: LG K51 (LM K500MM) User Manual
LG K51 comes with a 6.5-inch IPS LCD display. The big size makes the phone a great canvas for many activities, be it playing, browsing, reading, even some working-related tasks. The aspect ratio, at 19.5:9, supports widescreen movies for an ultimate cinematic experience. No space on the screen is wasted for that awkward blank area surrounding the movie.
Now let’s talk about the resolution. This is the part where we have to deliver the less favorable news. LG K51 has a 1560 x 720 resolution, which means it’s an HD+ screen. An HD+ screen is not a problem if you’re upgrading from QVGA or a 480p screen. But if you have tasted Full HD or even AMOLED, you won’t like the display experience on LG K51.
It is by no means lackluster. The display of LG K51 is a decent one. It’s not choppy or blurry or gives out strange-looking pixels around icons’ edges. When it comes to brightness, wide viewing angle, and color accuracy, we spotted a lot of weaknesses on an HD screen.
Beautiful pictures and movies can appear bland, while the phone is also hard to use under the sun. When sharing the screen with a group of people, the further person will have a hard time seeing what’s on-screen due to narrow viewing angles.
If we may conclude, LG K51 is for those who are looking for a large screen with no urgency toward quality. For those people, this phone will do well to fulfill their needs.
LG K51 comes with a triple-camera setup that’s more than just numbers. The main lens has a resolution of 13MP, which is a good enough resolution for a budget phone. The assisting secondary cameras come in 5MP and 2MP. It’s a wide-angle lens and a depth lens, respectively.
The front-facing camera also has the same resolution as the rear camera. At 16MP, it captured detailed photos, albeit lacking in PDAF (Phase Detection Auto Focus.) Overall, it’s a solid configuration for selfie lovers, not to mention the Full HD recording capability.
Back to the back cameras, image results don’t stray far from budget quality. There is enough sharpness and details on the picture taken in the best lighting conditions. Color accuracy is decent although sometimes it’s a bit off.
However, there are several nice things to celebrate. For one, the 2MP third lens means you can take a picture with a true bokeh effect. The PDAF, on the main camera, allows for capturing objects in motion more accurately.
We like LG K51’s camera although it doesn’t produce the pro pictures you’d see on flagships. However, it provides all the tools needed to get the best results possible with what’s available. Overall, this is a nice camera setup for the best bang of your buck.
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LG K51 has 32GB internal storage but only 18GB will be available to users. Thanks to LG’s custom Android skin, that’s not much left after the system uses it. 32GB alone was on the lower end of average. It’s inevitable that an SD card is soon becoming necessary.
For storage expansion, LG K51 allows a massive amount to be installed. You can insert an SD card with up to 2TB in capacity. This is more than enough to compensate for the lacking internal storage space. You will need to spend additional money to buy an SD card, though.
LG K51 carries its tasks using MediaTek Helio P22, one of the most common processors for low-cost models. It has 3GB RAM. We deem that amount to be adequate for LG K51.
CPU power is considered average. This phone clocks at 2GHz rates threading on an Octa-core chipset. LG K51 is a phone designed to handle mostly lightweight, everyday apps. The performance when launching those apps are almost instant. We didn’t notice something amiss here. At least not yet.
When you raise the bar of the apps to run on this phone, some obstacles begin to appear. Not only that you can’t run high-end games, some of them even may refuse to install. It’s nothing surprising actually. LG K51 is an entry-level phone at heart.
Moving to the software side, LG K51 runs on the Android 10 operating system. Typical of LG, buyers will get a custom LG UX with its own bells and whistles. The phone is brimming with custom apps and some third-party ones. Depending on your appetite, it can be either a good thing or the opposite.
LG custom apps are not too bad and can be useful at times. Among the examples are LG SmartWorld and third-party apps like Facebook. However, some people might find them unnecessary and eat up precious storage space. It’s the reason why you’re left with 18GB out of the 32GB internal storage.
LG interface itself is actually close to the Android’s vanilla look. There is a set of Google apps. However, the launcher and app drawers might need some time to get familiar with. The appearance of the Quick Settings and notifications bar is not the cleanest either.
Securing your phone on LG K51 involves activating the fingerprint lock, which reader you can find on the back cover. The reader works quickly registering user input, therefore the phone can unlock in milliseconds. There’s no option for Face Unlock, though.
The phone comes with a complete set of other sensors too, like Accelerometer, Gyroscope, and Compass. Overall, our LG K51 review on performance is positive. The performance goes in line with its budget status.
LG K51’s wireless technology consists of 4G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS positioning. With an all-around setup, the phone provides users with everything they need to stay updated and connected. The connection speed is still far below 5G, but is speedy nonetheless. There are no significant problems during calls like muffled sounds and choppy audio.
The Wi-Fi supports dual-band, hotspot, and Wi-Fi direct. The version of Bluetooth is the latest one, Bluetooth v.5. Meanwhile, the GPS on LG K51 comes in several positioning mechanisms, from A-GPS, Wi-Fi positioning, and through the cellular network.
For wired connectivity, LG K51 uses the reversible USB Type-C. It can act as the charging port, data transfer port, and is able to be used for USB hotspot mode too. This phone doesn’t support NFC, however. We’re not surprised about it. NFC is mostly a feature available on more expensive phones.
It seems like the manufacturer markets LG K51 to be a long-lasting device with its big battery. The 4,000mAh cells are expected to carry users throughout the day with its 23 hours of talk time. Although real-life performance may vary, in general, the phone can top a couple of days of normal use. More intense screen time may result in lower battery durability.
Unfortunately, fast charging is unavailable on this phone. As a result, charging that big capacity can take quite some time until the battery is full. Fast charging has become a common feature even on a budget phone. Sadly, LG K51 uses a low-end MediaTek chipset. It can’t support fast charging unlike some Snapdragon CPUs within the same range.
Is the LG K51 a good phone?
There is a segment of consumers we think would be the perfect owner of LG K51. They are the ones who are looking for an affordable phone focusing on good cameras and great battery life. As our LG K51 review has shown, the phone checks out these requirements.
At $160, we think it’s worth the price. In exchange, you get a phone with a great day-to-day performance, triple-camera, and high res front camera. Moreover, the 4,000mAh battery will help you stay on top of your activities every day.
Keep in mind that, like with any budget phone, there will be some compromises to make. First, the screen on LG K51, albeit big, is not the sharpest. It also has low internal storage, just 18GB available out of 32GB.
LG K51 Pros
- Large display
- Big battery
- Up to 2TB storage expansion
- Good value for the price
LG K51 Cons
- Low internal storage
- Average display quality
- No fast charging