LG Optimus L9 review: Living large

GSMArena team, 04 January 2013.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: LG, Android, Touch UI

Introduction

The Optimus L9 is the latest addition to the L-series and rightfully takes charge of a lineup that's known for attractive styling and wallet-friendly prices. It obviously made no sense to LG to start from scratch and the L9 is happily reusing bits and parts from nearly all of its fairly recent smartphone siblings. As far as we can tell, it does so rather well and the resulting mix looks like a great balance between price and features.

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LG Optimus L9 official pictures

The LG Optimus L9 has the screen size of the current LG flagship and the qHD resolution is quite reasonable. It's powered by the same chipset as the latest Prada phone while the design is strongly reminiscent of the LG Optimus 4X HD and the Optimus G.

Let's see what else might pop out of the bag.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE support
  • Dual-band 3G with HSPA
  • 4.7" 16M-color qHD IPS LCD (540 x 960 pixels) capacitive touchscreen
  • Android OS v4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, LG Optimus UI 3.0
  • TI OMAP 4430 chipset, dual-core 1GHz ARM Cortex-A9 CPU, 1 GB RAM, PowerVR SGX540 GPU,
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with LED flash
  • 1080p video recording @ 30fps with continuous autofocus and stereo sound
  • VGA front-facing camera
  • Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS
  • 4GB of built-in storage expandable via a microSD slot
  • microUSB port
  • Bluetooth v3.0
  • NFC
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS
  • Voice dialing
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic

Main disadvantages

  • No Jelly Bean at launch
  • Mediocre sunlight legibility
  • Poor still camera and video recording quality
  • Non-hot-swappable memory card slot

What we have here clearly isn't the best dual-core chipset on the market, but there's more than enough to keep Ice Cream Sandwich at cruising speed. Well yes, we would've loved to have Jelly Bean but even the flagship is still waiting. In terms of hardware though, the Optimus L9 has a number of advantages over some of its direct competitors.

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LG Optimus L9 live pictures

Overall, the L9 is a package that has just about everything people look for in a modern smartphone and the right price tag should help users forgive the omissions. Quad-core CPUs and HD screens are well above the L9's price range and not everyone needs 8, 12 or 13 megapixel stills. It makes perfect sense for LG to try and fill a blank spot right below its premium line.

We now have an entire review to try and find out how well it actually did. Follow us on the next page, where we start as usual with unboxing and the traditional hardware tour.

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