Features, Display and Speaker Quality
I didn't have much faith in the Optimus L9 after taking a look at the L5 and L9, but I was surprised at the lack of carrier-specific applications on the phone. Sliding through the apps we have the usual Google apps, as well as some L9-specific apps, which I don't mind so much.
LG have once again chosen to splash their own UI paintbrush against Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and on the L9 it is actually quite nice. The L9's hardware is able to keep up with the extra UI goodness, and feels smooth scrolling between home screens and applications.
The UI does some nice things, like when removing an app from the L9, as you tap and drag the app to the 'remove' icon at the top of the screen, it opens up in a kind of 3D way and takes the app away and deletes it - nothing huge, but it's something nice to see on a low- to mid-range handset.
The quick access panel up the top is helpful, with an edit option that allows you to shift things around and add new shortcuts, which is a nice touch. I think the thing to remember here is that the low- and mid-range handsets will not have feature-rich offerings, with this being reserved for the more expensive handsets.
The display on the Optimus L9 is an improvement up from the 4.0- and 4.3-inch displays on the L5 and L7, respectively, with 4.7 inches on offer. Not only that, but the resolution has increased with each iteration of the L-series from LG with the L5 and L7 featured 480x320 and 800x480-pixel displays, respectively. The L9 pushes this up to qHD display offering 960x540. It's not a huge difference, but it looks much better than the L5 or L7 screens. The display won't win awards, but it is a big change from the L5 and L7 - something I can finally recommend as a worthy part of the phone itself.
Moving onto the audio side of the Optimus L9, phone call quality was fine, nothing out of this world, but not abysmal by any means. The speaker quality was quite good for a cheaper phone, capable of pushing audio out loud enough to listen to in a room without much distortion.