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Hands-On with the LG Tribute 5 for Boost

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Jan 5, 2016, 1:15 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

LG introduced two mid-range phones today as part of its new K Series. The K7, which is the smaller of the two phones, will be sold in the U.S. as the Tribute 5. Here are our first impressions of this camera-centric Android smartphone from LG.

LG hopes to win over consumers with the Tribute 5 (AKA, K7), a mid-range handset that sits just above LG's entry-level portfolio.

The K Series, which for now includes just the K10 and K7, supposedly focuses on high-end camera features. The Tribute 5 / K7 has an 8-megapixel main camera and a 5-megapixel selfie camera. The selfie cam is aided by Gesture Shot, Touch and Shot, and Burst Shot for taking several different types of selfies manually and/or automatically.

The Tribute 5 has a 5-inch FWVGA screen, with a 1.1 GHz quad-core processor with 1.5 GB of RAM and 16 GB of storage. The battery measures 2,125mAh. It's a rather low-spec'd handset, despite its high-end camera aspirations.

LG Tribute 5 Body  

LG broke out the marketing mumbo-jumbo and calls the sculpted front panel 2.5D Arc Glass. The glass is curved ever-so-slightly right where it meets the side edges to form a more comfortable shape. It's a nice-sized phone. The 5-inch screen means it is relatively easy to hold and use without suffering from hand fatigue. It should slip into most pockets without issue.

I liked the materials of the Tribute 5 overall, which are a solid mix of glass and plastics. The size and weight is certainly comfortable, and I'd say the phone is easy to hold and use. It is thinner than previous generations of mid-range handsets from LG, and that's something to be appreciated. The phone tapers a little bit toward the outer edges, but only a little. You'll find both the microUSB port and stereo headphone jack on the bottom edge of the phone.

Like many other LG handsets to debut in recent years, the Tribute 5 has LG's signature rear-mounted buttons, which means there are no controls along the outer edges. The rear-placed controls take some getting used to, but the quality was quite good. My finger had no problem differentiating between the volume up, screen lock, and volume down buttons. All three offered good travel and feedback. The buttons can be set to open select apps, such as the camera, with a long press if you wish.

The rear cover has a ribbed texture to it that makes noise when you rub your thumb up and down it. I like the feel of the matte finish. The rear cover can be removed quite easily thanks to a little notch in the lower corner. The Tribute 5 has a removable battery, and supports memory cards for those keeping track. The rear panel feels a little bit flimsy once it is removed, but it's not too bad.

The 5-inch screen looks decent, which is something I've some to expect from LG's screens. The UI looks great on the bright display.

Speaking of the UI, the Tribute 5 runs Android 5.1 Lollipop with the usual set of tweaks from LG. That means adjusted icons and fonts, in addition to software features such as KnockOn, Knock Code, and so on. The Tribute 5 relies on software buttons, so there are no physical keys on the phone's front face.


The Tribute 5 is a neat little phone and we look forward to its release on Boost Mobile later this year.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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