Our LG Optimus L1 II review aims to find out if this budget smartphone is a welcome addition to LG’s cheap and cheerful lineup or if it is one to be avoided.
As you might expect, specifications are not going to take on the iPhone 5s and it only comes with a 2 megapixel camera but beyond that, this is actually quite a decent well-specced android smartphone running the latest version of Google’s operating system, 4.1.2 JellyBean.
The 3 inch screen with a resolution of 320 x 240 pixels doesn’t offer the wow factor of a high end smartphone but despite the relatively low resolution screen it is bright and colourful and does a good job of presenting the android experience at an affordable price. At just 133 pixels per inch we feel that the lack of pixels might just be off-putting for the more discerning amongst you though and it definitely gives a low-end feel to an otherwise very good handset and tends to suggest that you get what you pay for here.
There is plenty to admire for the low price though, including a quick 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor which we have seen in smartphones at twice this price, and the 512 megabytes of RAM are ample to keep this phone running quickly and smoothly. It won’t be up to multitasking a lot of power apps at a time but for everyday use the power on tap will be sufficient for most casual users.
The plastic casing feels solid in the hand and is a comfortable size at 12.2mm depth which is not overly bulky. It also has a sleek and stylish look and the general fit and finish is probably better than you might have expected.
The 2 megapixel camera isn’t going to allow you to compete with anything the superb 13 megapixel camera in the leviathan LG G2 churns out but it does produce decent clear and bright snaps in daylight, and let’s be honest, that’s what most of us use our built in cameras for and they will look good enough to please in your photo album even when shown on a bigger screen. You also get VGA video recording and again the results are quite decent. It doesn’t cope with dark areas or low light as well as a high end camera would as there is no flash, but that’s only to be expected at this price point.
There is a fairly generous 4GB of inbuilt memory and you can compliment this by adding a MicroSD memory card right up to 32GB. That will be useful for saving your photos or adding your music which you can access via the built in music player, which also displays album art, and the set of headphones included in the box. A 3.5mm standard size headphone socket means you can also use your own choice of headphones. You also get a built-in FM stereo radio and you can record the broadcasts too.
Sound quality is pretty impressive too, we have heard much more expensive smartphones that do not feature the depth of sound featured by the LG Optimus L1 II.
There is plenty more to admire too with Wi-Fi, assisted GPS for sat nav apps, stereo Bluetooth 3.0 and 3G connectivity. Add voice commands and voice dialling, voice recorder, and multi-touch touchscreen all powered by a 1540mAh battery which will easily see you through the day. This all adds up to a well specified android smartphone for the asking price. The LG Optimus L1 II might sound like a bit of a mouthful, but there is plenty here for you to chew on. Recommended.