There are cheap smartphones, and then there are dirt cheap smartphones. With a street price of less than $10, the LG Lucky LG16C is a dirt cheap smartphone, and it has specs that outpace the original
LG Lucky LG16C, the $10 Android smartphone.
The LG Lucky LG16C is a prepaid smartphone sold under the Tracfone brand. Available from Walmart at a price of $9.82, or direct from Tracfone for $40, it includes a surprisingly robust set of features and internal specs, including a preinstalled 4 GB memory card, dual core processor, Android 4.4, and almost everything else you expect of a smartphone. With that kind of price tag, the LG16C is going to attract two kinds of people in droves. Those who don’t need a more serious smartphone, and those who want an extra gadget to mess with, whether it’s just for tinkering or some purpose like a dedicated car unit. It’s with those things in mind that we give the Lucky a spin.
Build & Design
The LG Lucky LG16C isn’t much to look at.
The Lucky itself is a fairly basic grey plastic rectangle, not looking like much of anything. It’s got a small footprint appropriate to its relatively small screen size, measuring just 2.5 inches wide and 4.4 inches long, but is fairly thick for a smartphone at roughly half an inch. The 3.8 inch screen’s resolution is a slightly odd one; 320 x 480 pixels, putting it on the far low end for Android devices. Oddly, this is actually the same resolution used by the original iPhone, albeit at a slightly larger screen size. The pixel density is 151 pixels per inch, which isn’t bad for the price, and is comparable in sharpness to a
. The back is textured, and the microSD card slot is under the battery cover. Overall, it looks simple.
Things are more interesting under the hood. For starters, the Lucky packs a dual-core 1.2 GHz processor, which was cutting edge five years ago, but still provides as a respectable amount of speed and is suitable for almost any kind of day to day tasks. Of course this isn’t a powerhouse device, especially not with just 512 MB of RAM. But it’s more than enough for normal apps and even a few mid-range games, capable of matching a mid-range Android smartphone.
It can also run most apps, thanks to running Android 4.4. And it feels fast too, possibly aided by the fact that they didn’t shovel on too much in terms of excessive “carrier bloatware” apps. In fact, you even have to download the Tracfone pre-paid account status app, as it doesn’t come pre-loaded on the phone. This does however give you a nifty home screen widget that shows at a glance your available minutes, text messages, and data, so you’re kept up to speed on your exact usage. You’ll never be caught off guard that you suddenly don’t have any data remaining.