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Lifewire / Andrew Hayward
Very large screen
Solid daytime photos
Affordable 5G phone
Battery life underwhelms
Poor secondary cameras
AT&T's 5G speeds
Ignore the 5G craving if the LG K92 is all your budget allows. There are much better non-5G phones around this price, and better mid-range 5G phones for just a little more.
LG provided us with a review unit for one of our writers to test. Read on for the full take.
It’s still relatively early in the rollout of 5G connectivity, and so far, it’s been considered a premium feature on new smartphones. Most of today’s smartphones with any level of 5G support cost well north of $500, which is part of why the $499 Google Pixel 4a 5G feels like a bargain. But we’re starting to see more of a push to bring 5G’s faster speeds to customers who don’t want to spend big on a top-end phone, and the LG K92 5G is one of the latest examples.
Exclusive to AT&T and Cricket Wireless, which use the same network, the LG K92 5G is a $360 mid-range phone with a huge screen and a plastic build, plus pretty modest specs. It’s a decent enough phone that can get you through the day, albeit with some major annoyances—and in my testing, AT&T’s network doesn’t provide much reason to get excited about 5G, at least for now.
Plastic is common on lower-cost phones, but you can make a pretty durable-feeling handset with it: both the Pixel 4a and Pixel 4a 5G are fine examples of that. The LG G92 5G has both a plastic backing and frame, but doesn’t feel quite as hearty overall. There’s a bit of a lip between the back and frame, and at least with my review unit, the backing sticks out just enough on the right to feel rough against the skin, like it wasn’t quite aligned correctly. Paired with a thin-feeling backing plastic, it makes the phone feel even lower-end than it is.
The LG K92 5G is a large phone thanks to its huge 6.7-inch screen, measuring 6.55 inches tall and just over 3 inches wide. It’s nearly identical to the iPhone 12 Pro Max in width but feels a little easier to hold thanks to its curved back and lighter weight. It’s mostly screen on the front, thanks to a punch-hole camera cutout at the top of the screen (more on that shortly), but the black bezel around the screen is a bit thick here. The extra bezel makes it even taller than Apple’s largest phone, however, and can make one-handed use even more challenging.
There’s a little bit of style on display here thanks to the curved frame flourishes, while the camera module looks like nothing else out there right now. Essentially, there’s a darker rectangle at the top of the back surface that houses one large main camera that protrudes from the back, while the other three cameras are alongside to complete the square formation, but are flush with the plastic. The LED flash, meanwhile, is separate from the cameras in the upper right corner. The Titan Gray finish here has a bit of a purple tone to it, which looks nice, although it’s ultimately a fingerprint, smudge, and dust magnet.
When trying to grip the phone with one hand to press the power button and turn off the screen, I’d accidentally press the Google Assistant button at the same time, over and over again.
Speaking of fingerprints: you’ll press yours against the recessed sensor located on the right side of the phone to unlock the phone, and it also doubles as the phone’s power button. The phone occasionally feels a bit sluggish to wake once it registers your fingerprint, but performance is a general complaint with the LG K92 5G (more on that shortly).
There’s an annoying hitch to the sensor being the home button, and it has to do with the dedicated Google Assistant button located on the left side of the phone beneath the volume up and down buttons. Numerous times when trying to grip the phone with one hand to press the power button and turn off the screen, I’d accidentally press the Google Assistant button at the same time—and it would bring up the Assistant rather than turn off the screen. The first few times, I didn’t notice and the phone was still shining bright in my pocket. After a while, I had to get crafty about positioning my hand to turn it off without triggering the Assistant but still managed to do it over and over again. It’s very frustrating.
The LG K92 5G comes with a solid 128GB of internal storage, but you can boost that tally with a microSD card too. There’s a 3.5mm headphone jack here on the bottom near the USB-C port, as well, so no need for a dongle adapter to use traditional headphones. As is typical for budget phones, however, there is no IP rating for water or dust resistance nor any assurances on that front from LG. You’ll want to be especially careful around water with this one.
The 6.7-inch screen here is huge—one of the largest you’ll find on any smartphone today. But it’s not one of the best. As an LCD panel, it noticeably lacks the bold contrast and inky black levels of OLED screens on other phones, such as the Pixel 4a and most higher-end Androids. It’s a fine, reasonably bright screen on its own merits, but the difference is obvious when put side-by-side with one of those rivals. The viewing angles also suffer when not looking at it straight-on.
One issue is particularly unique to the LG K92 5G: there’s a shadow around the punch-hole camera cutout at the top of the screen.
Another issue is particularly unique to the LG K92 5G, and it’s not something I’ve seen on any other phone: there’s a shadow around the punch-hole camera cutout at the top of the screen. Maybe it’s because this is an LCD and most punch-hole cameras are seen on OLED screens, or maybe it’s just poor engineering. In any case, there’s a dark shadow to the screen around the cutout that’s more visible from certain angles and with certain background colors than others, but you’re sure to catch a glimpse of it.
The LG K92 5G runs Android 10 and has a very typical setup process for a current Android phone. Simply hold in the power button to turn on the hardware and then follow the on-screen prompts to perform setup. You’ll need an internet connection, either through your wireless provider or a Wi-Fi network, as well as a Google account, and will need to accept the terms and conditions and choose between some basic options along the way. It only takes a matter of minutes to complete the process.
The LG K92 5G uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon 690 chip, whereas many of today’s other mid-range phones use something from the faster Snapdragon 700 series. In benchmark testing, the performance numbers aren’t very far apart, but even with 6GB RAM onboard, the K92 feels a bit sluggish in use. It’s capable enough of handling your everyday needs, from web browsing to streaming media and sending emails, but it doesn’t have the swiftness of other mid-range phones like the Pixel 4a 5G or Samsung Galaxy A51 5G.
PCMark’s Work 2.0 benchmark test reported a performance score of 7,944, while Geekbench 5 reported a single-core performance score of 608 and multi-core score of 1840. All of those scores are pretty close to what I saw on those aforementioned handsets, but it just doesn’t feel as snappy in everyday usage. There’s a disconnect there, perhaps due in part to LG’s skinned Android software.
Gaming performance is solid, however. Online multiplayer shooter Call of Duty Mobile ran smoothly, while speedy 3D racing game Asphalt 9: Legends had only modest hitches during races. In benchmark testing, the LG K92 5G put up 13 frames per second in the resource-intensive Car Chase demo and 57 frames per second in the T-Rex demo, both of which are close to the results from other mid-range phones in this price category.
The LG K92 5G exclusively works with the AT&T/Cricket Wireless 5G network, and solely for the basic, sub-6GHz type of 5G connectivity. In my testing just north of Chicago, the results were underwhelming. I saw a peak download speed of 86Mbps, but that was an outlier; most results fell between 18Mbps and 70Mbps, with more results on the lower end of that scale than I anticipated.
I previously used this AT&T SIM in a 4G LTE phone in the same testing area and saw a peak speed of 50Mbps, so there is a difference in top speed. However, AT&T’s 5G speeds are disappointing compared to rival Verizon. I’ve seen peak download speeds around 130Mbps on Verizon’s sub-6Ghz 5G Nationwide network when testing other phones of late, and much higher average speeds than what AT&T delivered. Your results may vary, of course, and 5G deployment is still in its early stages—so there’s plenty of room for improvement. Still, the promise of AT&T 5G wouldn’t swing me towards an exclusive phone like this.
Sound quality is another weak point on the LG K92 5G, in part because there is a clear discrepancy between the two speakers: the bottom-firing speaker is much louder than the earpiece. The result sounds very limited and confined, whether for streaming music or watching videos. Speakerphone usage sounded fine in my experience, but this isn’t a great speaker setup for watching or listening to media.
Four cameras on the back of a phone that costs less than $400? That’s usually a clear sign of a gimmick play rather than a truly capable camera array.
The standard Pixel 4a takes significantly more consistent photos—day or night—with a single shooter rather than the four rear cameras here.
Here, the 64-megapixel main camera takes solid photos when light is plentiful, capturing a good amount of detail. Even the 2x digital zoom doesn’t lose much in the process, although the results can look overly lightened. Low-light photos with the main sensor are expectedly hit or miss. You’ll get dashes of softness, blur, and noise depending on your light source and subject, while results with the night shooting mode are merely OK at best.
Meanwhile, the 5-megapixel ultrawide sensor demonstrates a significant loss in quality, with muddy results that shed a lot of detail and often look darker too. The 2-megapixel macro camera struggled to deliver decent close-up results in my testing, while the other 2-megapixel sensor is strictly used to capture depth data. Truth be told, the standard Pixel 4a takes significantly more consistent photos—day or night—with a single shooter rather than the four rear cameras here. The Pixel 4a 5G even adds a stellar ultrawide camera alongside, too.
The 4,000mAh battery pack here should be large enough to get you through a full day, but there’s not a lot of wiggle room. I would typically finish an average day of checking emails, sending messages, taking the occasional call, streaming media, and playing a little bit of games with approximately 20-30 percent of a charge remaining. It’s a bit less resilient than some comparable phones, such as the Pixel 4a and especially the Pixel 4a 5G.
If you’re planning a night out, for example, then you might want to give the K92 a top-up before leaving home or the office. There’s no wireless charging here, which is typical for a mid-range phone, but at least the K92 supports fast charging via USB-C.
LG has one of the heavier-handed Android reskins around, and in my view, it’s a bit clunkier than what you’ll see on a current Google or Samsung phone. It’s still Android 10 at heart, so it’s easy enough to get around the interface and seasoned Android users should do just fine with it, but it doesn’t look or feel as smooth as that of rival makers. The somewhat tepid performance of the LG K92 5G doesn’t help, either.
Frustratingly, as an AT&T/Cricket carrier exclusive, the LG K92 5G also comes preloaded with a bunch of apps and games right out of the box. Not including AT&T’s utility apps, there’s more than a dozen bloatware apps here like Game of Thrones: Conquest, Booking.com, Bleacher Report, and Cashman Casino. You can uninstall them, but it’s a drag to get a new phone and have to delete a bunch of junk right from the start.
It’s currently unknown whether the LG K92 5G will receive an upgrade to Android 11, but lower-priced phones not made by Google are typically hit-or-miss with software support. Contrast that to the Android 11-toting Pixel 4a 5G, which is promised three more years of upgrades—likely up to Android 14 given the usual annual release schedule.
At $360, the LG K92 is one of the most affordable 5G phones on the market today. That might make it seem like a great value, but as explored above, this LG mid-ranger underwhelms on most fronts, including screen quality, performance, build, and even the speed on AT&T’s 5G network.
This is a pretty unremarkable mid-range phone, and while it might sound like a standout feature, 5G support doesn’t come close to making up the difference.
This is a pretty unremarkable mid-range phone, and while it might sound like a standout feature, 5G support doesn’t come close to making up the difference. The smaller, non-5G standard Pixel 4a is a better phone in nearly every regard at $349, while the Pixel 4a 5G is well worth the added expense at $499 if you’re set on buying a 5G phone.
As mentioned above, there is a solid price difference between these two handsets, although the Pixel 4a 5G has been on sale for $460 lately, closing the gap by just a bit. Either way, the Pixel is a sizable upgrade across the board. It has a better-looking but smaller 6.2-inch screen, smoother performance, a better build, excellent cameras, and a more resilient battery. And if you’re really set on a sub-$400 price point and can live with a smaller screen, the standard Pixel 4a beats the LG K92 5G on nearly every front, just without 5G.
Consider other options.
The LG K92 5G is a decently usable device with a laundry list of shortcomings. It’s billed as one of the most affordable 5G phones on the market, which is true, but AT&T’s middling 5G speeds aren’t worth the sacrifices you’ll make in terms of performance, screen quality, cameras, and more. Google’s Pixel 4a phones show that mid-range handsets don’t have to be mediocre, and you don’t need to settle just to save some cash.
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