Expert Review of LG Optimus L5
LG Optimus L5 with its 9.8 mm sleek and compact dimensions turns out to be a well designed Android handset. Its design is inspired from LG’s own PRADA 3.0 series handsets. Like its close cousins, LG Optimus L3 and LG Optimus L7, it also boasts Ice Cream Sandwich Android operating platform and its display is also equipped with “Floating Mass Technology”. It has another added attraction in form of NFC connectivity.
Precisely, LG has used every fancy ingredient to make this handset a tasty treat for the buyers in the mid-range segment. Yet, the flaws of the handset don’t go unseen. The custom user interface, that LG fondly refers to as, 3.0 UI is an absolute letdown. It ruins the fun factor associated with the advanced and latest Google’s ICS operating platform. Both the cameras of LG Optimus L5 are also a letdown. The video recordings are extremely poor, there isn’t any camera button for taking shots and camera interface is slow.
We do admire certain things in LG Optimus L5 but as it is essentially a smartphone, it should be extremely user-friendly and convenient to use, which it is not. One will not enjoy the goodness of ICS because of that paltry hardware and not ‘up to the mark’ kind of software used inside. The NFC connectivity is its definite plus and so also is its slim design, ergonomic shape and solid body make. Also, it is an affordable ICS device but the LG Optimus L5 really seems to lack that “wow” factor even for the budget buyers. It is expected that LG Optimus L5 will unveil during Q3. By that time, we guess it will cost you well under Rs. 15K.
User Interface and UI functionality
If the aim is to fetch a phone with Ice Cream Sandwich Android operating system at a low price, LG Optimus L5 can be one choice. But that doesn’t change the fact that this mid range phone has a totally messed up user interface. The custom UI layer that LG has applied on the embedded ICS operating system, in case, of LG Optimus L5 gives Gingerbread (an OS which falls far below in competency) like user experience rather than that of ICS (version 4.0.3). The menu buttons of the phone are a headache to use and the Home button has been outrightly copied from Samsung devices. There are so many useless effects that the so-called refurbished LG custom UI overlay has rendered. The circular transition effect on the Home screen is an absolute eye-sore. There are issues when one presses the “Recent Apps” button as it simultaneously opens the menu settings for both themes and launcher.
The 800MHz cortex A8 core processing unit is also quite incapable in terms of handling the latest ICS operating system. Henceforth, there are frequent lags, experienced more, when one has to switch between the apps quickly, do gaming, extensive browsing and swipe between the homescreens. There is no room for doubt that a better UI and powerful processor were required, if LG Optimus L5 was to function properly.
Optimus L5 is a nice midrange Android smartphone but has nothing to boast when it comes to user interface functionality also. You are only partially right if you find it a decent choice because Optimus L5 is very poor in UI functionality and gives a terrible user experience on the whole.
Following the latest trend, LG Optimus L5 does not come with a FM radio. It just has a standard media player with album art cover and other fancy settings to amuse the users. It has the ability to play most of the standard formats as MP3/WAV/eAAC+ music formats.
Pictures and Video quality
LG Optimus L5 does downright poor video recording. It is a dual camera phone but both the cameras are not impressive. The primary camera clocked at 5 megapixels has LED flash and many editing options. One can use varied scene modes, effects, auto-focus mode etc. but yet the picture quality remains so-so. Neither, it clicks good photos nor videos. Despite of a LED flash, the resultant snapshots in the night are also of poor quality.
Plus, the camera application is slow and there is no camera button. One has to tap the touch-screen for taking the shot or start the video recording. The front camera is a VGA camera with 640x480 pixels resolution and can’t even shoot 720p videos. On the whole, LG guys haven’t seriously done anything for the camera.
There are no complaints with the 4.0 inch capacitive TFT screen of the device as it comes with “floating mass technology”. It is very lively and bright.
Web browsing on the phone is delightful not only because of the high 3 G network speeds but also because of this massive display that shows everything in perfect clarity.
The phone has a typical HTML type web browser to let the users carry out all the web-based applications. However, if one is keen on using Instant Messengers and requires extensive e-mailing via Optimus L5, it is suggested that one downloads the third party application from Android Market. It is so because the QWERTY touch keypad of Optimus L5 is well spaced but not very accurate. To avoid lags while typing messages, chatting and e-mailing, this app could be used and it will ease the effort greatly.
Internal and External Memory
LG Optimus L5 has both internal and external memory. It accepts 32 GB microSD cards but it’s RAM and internal memory specs are still under wraps.
Applications and Gaming
LG Optimus L5 comes with the Ice Cream Sandwich operating system. A whole range of new games and apps are available on the Android Market for this new operating system. There is access to Google Play which is the best place to download and play motion-based games and 3D games.
However, the processor of the phone can create problems while gaming due to its incapability to handle heavy graphics and intense gaming.
There is a 1500 mAH battery unit in LG Optimus L5 and how well it will complements the functionality of this device, is yet to be known.
LG Optimus L5 has awesome connectivity feature in form of NFC connectivity. Henceforth, the Tag+ system of LG can be used over LG Optimus L5 and one can also make contactless payments through it. The standard connectivity features are also available. There is Bluetooth with A2DP, microUSB v2.0 and Wi Fi.
LG Optimus L5 is expected to launch in the mid-range segment. This new Android phone has to face challenges because much better and extremely affordable smartphones from most reliable brands already exist, in there.
HTC One S is a mid-range handset that is capable of giving very tough competition to LG Optimus L5. It has much better specifications, for instance, it has a dual-core processor clocked at 1.5 GHz embedded inside. However, when we give a quick look at the currently available specs list of LG Optimus L5, it looks like a “hit and miss” kind of smartphone. The single-core 800 MHz processor of Optimus L5 stands nowhere near to its processor in terms of speed, efficiency and functionality. Moreover, LG Optimus L5 uses ICS operating system but the LG’s custom “3.0 UI" overlay has contaminated it and one does not get the desired, fun-filled experience of this lovely software, in practice. While, HTC One S offers Android ICS OS with HTC Sense 4 UI. One can't get better UI than this one. It makes web browsing, emailing, messaging and all other functions extremely easy. HTC One S has a 8 megapixels camera with BSI sensor and LED flash. The phone also does HD video recording in exceptional quality. To counter tha NFC connectivity, HTC One S offers DLNA media streaming feature.