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LG Optimus L5 review

LG's mid-range Android phone

Our Verdict

The LG Optimus L5 could have been far better had LG just upped the processing power and the hardware specs a little bit. Instead it's a disappointing piece of tech, despite its potential; especially with an NFC antennae. Spend a little extra money and you'll pick up a phone with better specs.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 2 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 10 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 320

View full specification

For

  • Ice Cream Sandwich
  • NFC enabled
  • Good battery life
  • 4-inch display

Against

  • Slow processor
  • Low camera quality
  • Glare in direct sunlight
  • No front camera

The LG Optimus L5 is the second of three LG Optimus smartphones that increase in specs, flanked either side by the LG Optimus L3 and LG Optimus L7.

With this middle phone weighing in at around £10 (around AU$15/US$16) per month, or £140/US$190 (around AU$213) SIM-free, does it give enough bang for your buck (or punch for your pound)?

You'll note straight away that the LG Optimus L5, or E610, is light, at just 125g (4.4oz) and seemingly slim, with a smooth metal edging. It's well balanced in the palm, but the plastic patterned back does lend it an air of cheapness, as well as not contributing much in the way of grip.

LG Optimus L5 review

The straight-sided design of the Optimus handsets is welcome though; a small detail that helps distinguish it slightly from the usual mid-range offerings.

Inside, the LG Optimus L5 packs only a 800MHz processor, which is relatively poor compared to the 1GHz of the similarly priced HTC One V, but similar to the cheaper Nokia Lumia 610.

Outside there are very few additions to the clean design. The NFC antenna, 5MP camera (plus LED flash) and speakers reside on the back of the phone.

LG Optimus L5 review

The front carries its 4-inch display, home key and soft return and menu buttons. At only 144ppi, the capacitive touchscreen with low-contrast display is a minus for this handset, meaning visibility in sunlight (or even just direct indoor light) is poor... and it all goes completely wrong if you hold it at even a slightly wrong angle. There are no deep blacks and saturated colours here, sadly.

As for the rest, the volume rocker (also used as the physical camera key) sits snugly on the left side, the micro USB port on the bottom and the power key and 3.5mm headphone jack on the top.

LG has squeezed 2GB of internal storage into the slim frame, with the option of adding up to 32GB more with a microSD, the port for which sits just above the standard 1500 mAh battery.

LG Optimus L5 review

We found the plastic battery casing for the battery access somewhat difficult to get off at times, with the prising indent located at the top of the frame. Still, that's a minor grumble, and at least you can actually remove the battery, should you need to.

Overall it seems a shame to team Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich with such slow processing power - it's a bit like clamping stabilisers onto Bradley Wiggins' bike.

Consequently there's the occasional sense of lag when, say, swiping between home screens or dipping in and out of apps. Even games of Angry Birds are somewhat jerky.

LG Optimus L5 review

For such a small price point, perhaps that won't be an issue, but for a just little more cash there are handsets with dual-core processors, such as the HTC One S, which create smoother navigational experiences.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory2 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, UMTS
SAR Value0.90 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyOptimus L5
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameLG
Battery Talk Time10 Hour
Product ModelE610
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 320
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)125 g
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Wireless LAN StandardIEEE 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Operating System VersionAndroid 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density144 ppi
Height2895.6 mm
Width1701.8 mm
Depth243.8 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time900 Hour
ManufacturerLG Electronics
Product NameOptimus L5 E610 Smartphone
Processor Speed800 MHz
Processor TypeSnapdragon
Product LineOptimus L5
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberLGE610.AGBRBK
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.lge.co.uk
Marketing Information

Modern Look with Perfect Harmony

Find satisfaction in a design that has both an exquisite style and a comfortable grip.
Discover the perfect coexistence of cool metallic accents and a soft casing with a human touch that completes your style. Plus, LG's exclusive Floating Mass Technology creates the illusion that LG Optimus L5 is even slimmer that its 9.6mm body.

Comfortable Viewing

Start seeing more of everything you love with the 4.0" expansive view. The enlarged screen gives your eyes plenty of room to roam for viewing that's comfortable and readability that's superb.