LG Optimus L9 review: Living large

GSMArena team, 04 January 2013.
Pages: 123456789101112

Tags: LG, Android, Touch UI

A 4.7-inch qHD display

The LG Optimus L9's 4.7" qHD screen (960 x 540 pixels) uses IPS technology and provides better contrast and viewing angles than the standard LCDs. The display has a density 234 pixels per inch, and while that's far from a standard-setting number, images are pleasantly detailed and crisp.

As long as you don't stare from too closely even small fonts are sharp enough and there's no pixelation. The L9 cannot quite match the deep blacks of AMOLED and the resulting contrast, but it's doing quite well in its price range.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
LG Optimus L9 0.13 128 981 0.47 477 1019
Samsung Galaxy S III mini 0 221 0 385
Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III 0 174 0 330
Samsung I9070 Galaxy S Advance 0 185 0326
Samsung I9103 Galaxy R 0.51 407 806 0.92785 858
Sony Xperia J 0.22 289 1290 0.41 562 1359
HTC Desire X 0.18 226 1273 0.33 421 1275
HTC Desire V 0.33 340 1027 0.48 506 1054
Sony Xperia tipo - - - 0.75 561 751
HTC Desire C 0.23 186 814 0.5 360 723
HTC One X 0.15 200 1375 0.39 550 1410
Sony Xperia U 0.35 287 831 0.55 515 930
Samsung S7500 Galaxy Ace Plus 0.27 239 873 0.6 528 888
Samsung I9001 Galaxy S Plus 0 251 0 408

Contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

We snapped a shot of the display under a microscope.


LG Optimus L9 screen under a microscope

Handling

The Optimus L9 could be well out of some people's comfort zone with that 4.7" display but LG did a splendid job of using the available space. The nicely shaped sides and back of the handset allow a comfortable grip - more so than the 4X HD. The textured back looks somewhat simple, though by no means cheap, but is more secure that the fancy glass finish of the Optimus G.

LG Optimus L9 LG Optimus L9
LG Optimus L9 handles reasonably well given its screen size

The L9 is well-built and quite good-looking, which should hardly be a surprise. The L-series is more about looks than specs (even though the L9 is trying to raise the bid with a qHD screen and a dual-core processor). LG must've recognized the need of a reasonably powered and attractive alternative that costs significantly less than flagships. On the outside, it seems they got it right with the Optimus L9.

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