A good phone for the price of a PS5 game

LG might not sell a lot of flagship phones in America, but the company does have its budget and entry-level devices in nearly every prepaid carrier store. The K22 is one of LG’s latest phones, and while it has been available in other countries for a few months, it only recently arrived in the United States as a Boost Mobile exclusive.

In a time when flagship phones are easily surpassing $1,000, and millions of people in the US (and elsewhere) are looking to save money wherever they can, phones like the K22 will likely receive more attention than ever. I was surprised by how capable the K22 was in my time with the phone, but it is about as cheap as a smartphone can reasonably be, which means a lot of corners were cut.

Design, hardware, what’s in the box

The LG K22 is definitely on the larger side, with a diagonal screen size of 6.2 inches. It’s almost identical in size to the Galaxy Note20, and slightly shorter than the OnePlus 8T. This will feel like a brick in your pocket, especially if you buy a case.

Most of that size is to accommodate the 6.2-inch screen, which has a notch at the top for the 5MP front-facing camera and a sizable bezel at the bottom. The display’s resolution is 1520×720, which will look slightly fuzzy compared to the 1440p AMOLED screens of most flagship phones, but it looks decent enough. Brightness is sufficient for viewing outdoors, with next to no light bleeding (at least on my review unit). However, there doesn’t appear to be any oleophobic coating on the display, which means fingerprints and smudges show up easily. You’ll end up wiping down the screen fairly often, unless you buy a screen protector with a better coating.

On the phone’s left side, there’s the microSD/SIM card slot and a dedicated button for opening Google Assistant. LG doesn’t have a way to change the function of the Assistant button, or even a switch to turn it off. Thankfully, I didn’t accidentally press it all the time like I did with the Assistant key on the Nokia 8 V 5G. The right side has the power button and the volume keys, and on the top is…