LG takes new design approach with 5.3-inch K10 smartphone (hands-on)

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To the unfamiliar, a typical LG smartphone these days usually looks like this: it has slightly curved top and bottom edges that have sharp corners, a clear display that stops right at its bezels and an overall rigid, clean-cut aesthetic. And of course, its control buttons are located on the back.

But at CES 2016, LG introduced a new design approach with its latest pair of handsets, the K10 and K7, which sport a different look compared with that of LG's string of devices debuted in the past year, like the high-end V10 and G4 flagship.

Though both phones still have their power and volume keys on the rear, they take on a more organic look. The corners are softly rounded, and their displays curve downward into their edges, which LG calls "2.5D Arc Glass." The latter effect is nothing new, and we've seen it as early as 2012 with the Google Nexus 4 (which LG manufactured) and more recently with the Onyx version of the OnePlus X last December. But it is one of the first instances that the feature has been so prominent on an LG-branded smartphone.

Compared to the 5-inch K7, the K10 is a slightly more powerful model. It comes in many different variants depending on the market, one of which includes two separate LTE and 3G versions. Its specs include:

  • 5.3-inch HD display
  • 13-megapixel rear camera; 8- or 5-megapixel front-facing camera (LTE version)
  • 8-megapixel rear camera; 8- or 5-megapixel front-facing camera (3G version)
  • 1.2GHz quad-core processor, 1.3GHz quad-core processor or 1.14GHz octa-core processor (LTE version)
  • 1.3GHz quad-core processor (3G version)
  • 16 or 8GB internal storage; 2, 1.5 or 1GB RAM
  • 2,300mAh battery
  • Google Android 5.1 Lollipop software

During my brief time with the device, I liked the smooth, curved edges. Its general shape, however, reminds me of the Samsung Galaxy S3. Nevertheless, I do welcome LG's effort to update its design. LG has noted that these phones are meant to cater to a younger audience, and while I don't know if this pebble-like design will win them over, it's refreshing to see a more natural look from the usual lineup of "handsome" LG handsets. Plus, I'm a big fan of displays that curve at the edges.

The K10 comes in white, black and gold. Unfortunately the company has not released any pricing or availability information yet, so check back soon for an update.

In the meantime, read all of our CES 2016 coverage here.

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  • Diagonal Size 5.3 in