Boost Mobile added the inexpensive LG Tribute Empire to its lineup on Tuesday. It's a new smartphone with low-end specs and a low-end price of just $59.99. The retail price will actually be $99.99, but in celebration of its launch today, Boost Mobile is taking $40 off of the regular price.
In the world of smartphones, $59 doesn't get you a whole lot, and that's the case with the Tribute Empire. It has a 5-inch HD IPS display, with a standard 16:9 aspect ratio. Under-the-hood, LG has the MediaTek MT6750 processor, which is a 1.5GHz octa-core chipset. That is paired with 2GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. LG has included a micro SD card slot, though, for expanding the storage. Seeing as this is 2019, and you will need more than 16GB of storage.
LG has equipped the Tribute Empire with a eight-megapixel rear-facing camera, and a five-megapixel front-facing camera. Don't expect these to replace your DSLR or point-and-shoot cameras though. Finally, LG has also equipped this smartphone with a 2500mAh capacity battery. Given the low-resolution display and slower processor, that 2500mAh capacity battery should actually perform quite well on the Tribute Empire.
The design here is rather plain. That's to be expected for a smartphone that is under $100, though. It looks to be a plastic smartphone, though there's nothing in Sprint's press release that says what it is made out of. If it were metal, Sprint and Boost Mobile would definitely tout that fact. It has a plain back side, with just the camera and flash in the center, along with the fingerprint sensor. The power button is on the right-side and volume rocker on the left. There's no extra button for Google Assistant on the Tribute Empire either.
It appears that LG placed the speaker for the Tribute Empire on the back, and given the price of this one, that's not surprising. And for some, that might be a better option than putting it on the bottom of the phone, which can be muffled when playing games.
The LG Tribute Empire does definitely have a dated design. However, for $59.99, it is not a bad smartphone. The big issue here is the outdated software. It's running on Android 8.1 Oreo, which is over a year old at this point. Normally, that wouldn't be too big of an issue. But there are two reasons why it is an issue here. Firstly. LG is not great with updates. Secondly, low-end and mid-range smartphones like the Tribute Empire almost never see updates. So whatever it launches with, is what you'll be stuck with until you upgrade again.
Boost Mobile has a number of smartphones on its website that are in this price range, though the LG Tribute Empire might be the best bet. Since it does have the newest hardware and it also has a fingerprint sensor. For $59, you can certainly do much worse, but likely not much better. If you're interested in picking up the LG Tribute Empire, you can pick it up from Boost Mobile through the link below.