When I first slid into the shoes of the smart devices editor position for TweakTown, I had no industry contacts. This makes it quite hard to acquire samples, so I quickly blasted off e-mails to everyone I could trying to secure samples. One of the hands-down best companies to respond was LG. They responded within the hour, and the next hour I had organized an LG Optimus L5 smartphone sample for review.
LG's Optimus L-Style series of smartphones are for the Australian market, with four models in the range - the Optimus L7, L5, L3 and L2. These phones are not here to compete with the iPhones and Galaxy smartphones on the market, they're aiming toward a different section of users, but I think LG are pushing for style and marketing, with the face of the L-Style phones none other than former Miss Australia, Erin McNaught.
LG's Optimus 5 is exclusive to Boost Mobile and Optus, so this is something that goes against them - and is purely a personal opinion of mine. Telstra is the far superior network here in Australia, but LG obviously want to keep the price low and maybe they've worked out a great deal with Optus. The Optimus L3 is sold through Telstra exclusively, though, for just $99.
LG have launched the Optimus L-Style phones in Australia, but in a world of $50 per month iPhones, can the Optimus L5 stand up and compete?
I'm based in Australia, and like most of the world, if people aren't buying an iPhone, they're buying the latest Galaxy-branded smartphone from Samsung. LG isn't really a huge player in the market here in Australia, but they do have their corner of the market. The mid-range market is never really pushed in the tech world, as we're always reporting on the latest and greatest, which has the best screen, processor, or OS. But it leaves great mid-range phones like the Optimus L5 hanging out to dry. Let's get into the review, shall we?
Specifications, Pricing and Availability
LG don't want to break any records here with specifications, but they are hitting a very nice price on the Optimus L5. I looked around and they are around $200 outright, which isn't too bad at all. But then we have the Google/LG Nexus 4, and even in Australia for the 8GB version, we're looking at $299. This makes the Optimus L5 hard to sell when there's very fierce competition scratching at the door.
LG's Optimus L5 sports a 4-inch, 480x320-pixel display (giving us 144ppi), 1GB of internal memory and has expandable storage of up to 32GB. A 5-megapixel rear-facing camera is provided with LED flash and 4x digital zoom. Processor wise, we're only talking about an 800MHz processor, which is nothing to write back home about.
LG don't list the official, detailed specs of the Optimus L5 phone, as you can see in the above shots from its website. But cranking along inside the device we find a Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM7225A, 800MHz single-core Cortex-A5 processor, backed up by an Adreno 200 GPU. As I said, this isn't here to compete with the faster smartphones on the market, so we can forgive its relatively weak specs for this reason.
Availability is fine, with most Optus stores stocking the Optimus L5. For just $199 on pre-paid, it is a good cheap phone. Below is a shot of what's included in the box for the Optimus L5. We have a Travel Adapter, Earphones, USB cable, a setup guide for setting a Google account up, the Quick start guide and the battery for the Optimus L5.