Look and Feel
The Optimus L5, being a mid-ranged smartphone, feels good in the hand. The phone can easily be used and operated with just a single hand - which is great. The bigger phones get these days, the harder they are to use with a single hand.
For a cheap phone, it's not going to break any records on how thin it is, but measuring less than 10mm thick, it's still a thin-ish phone. The back of the phone is covered in LG's "snake skin" pattern, which is quite nice and doesn't allow the phone to accidentally slip out of your hands.
The overall design of the phone is actually quite stylish, considering it's a $199 phone. The metal siding and rim around the rear-facing camera are a faux metal look, and it definitely increases the visual appeal of the phone, bringing it out of the 'it looks cheap', to 'it may be cheap, but it looks stylish doing so'.
Up the top of the phone we find the power/lock button as well as the 3.5mm jack. On the left of the phone we have the volume rocker.
On the bottom of the phone we have the microUSB port.
On the front of the phone, at the bottom, we have the home button.
On the rear of the phone, we have its stylish look and 5-megapixel rear-facing camera with LED flash, as well as LG's logo.
That display - ugh. I've been reviewing high-end smartphones, and this is the first low- to mid-range phone I've reviewed. The display on this is very... bad. Sporting just 320x480 pixels on a 4-inch display leads to images on-screen looking quite bad.
The display is bright enough for outside use, which is at least one benefit, but viewing angles are the opposite of that - terrible. The images on screen just look awful at times, but this is one of the ways LG got to the $199 price tag, dropping down the quality of the display.
For the type of person buying this - someone looking for a cheap phone - this won't bother them. But if they've ever used a decent smartphone, with a half-decent resolution on a 4-inch screen (or above), it is going to be a huge reality check. I'm coming from a world of third-gen iPads, iPhone 5, Galaxy S II and S III, and this display sickens me. But, it's $199 - so you have to cut it some slack, I guess.