Over the last year and a half, manufacturers have started making cheap smartphones that are actually good enough to compete with the typically expensive flagship models that usually cost two or three times more. (Look no further than the Moto G for an example of how far a sub-$200 smartphone has come.) LG is throwing its hat into the game here at CES 2016 with its new K Series of smartphones -- there's no word on the specific price yet, but LG says that their design makes the phones "look far more expensive and exclusive than they really are."
Those design features include a woven, patterned back and "2.5D Arc Glass" on the front, which sounds like a fancy way of saying the glass has a smooth and seamless edge. Beyond the design, LG also said it's focusing on bringing the stellar camera experience found in devices like the G4 and V10 to the K series of devices -- but we doubt these phones will come close to replicating that level of quality. The front-facing camera clocks in at 8 megapixels while the main shooter around the back is rated at 13 megapixels. There's also a "gesture" mode for shooting selfies -- if you raise your hand and close your fist in front of the lens, the camera will shoot a picture a few seconds later. If you make that gesture twice, it'll shoot four consecutive photos.
LG is offering the K series in two models, each of which has a few variations depending on whether you get the phone with LTE or just 3G connectivity (and what country you buy the phone in). The bigger K10 has a 5.3-inch HD screen (which is probably a 720p panel, but we'll need to confirm that). There are three different LTE models: 1.2GHz or 1.3GHz, both of which use quad-core processors, and a 1.14GHz octa-core model. RAM comes in at 1, 1.5, or 2GB while you can get either 8GB or 16GB of internal storage. It looks like the lower-end devices also drop the front-facing camera from 8 megapixels down to 5. The 3G K10 only features an 8-megapixel back camera and uses a 1.3GHz quad-core processor.
The smaller K7 features a 5-inch 854x480 display, a resolution that's pretty low these days for a phone with a big screen. The LTE-enabled model has a 1.1GHz quad-core processor, while the 3G model has a 1.3GHz quad-core chip. The back camera is rated at either 5 or 8 megapixels, while the front-facing shooter is also 5 megapixels. Internal storage is 8 or 16GB, and you can get either 1GB or 1.5GB of RAM.
The specs don't exactly blow you away, but the value of these phones will really depend on how much LG prices them at. We're also wondering who made the chips inside these phones, as it's rather hard to judge how they'll perform without more info beyond just clock speed. LG says it'll be showing these new phones off on the CES show floor this week, so we'll see if we can find out more details later this week.