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LG Optimus L9 II Review

Posted: , by Nick T.

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Interface


We have Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean running on the LG Optimus L9 II. This particular version of the OS is pretty aged now – roughly 18 months old as of this writing, and while it works well, we were expecting to see a more recent Android release running on a contemporary upper mid-range phone. We're hoping that LG will launch an update sooner than later.

The Android build has undergone some serious modification, of course – LG's own UI is layered on top. It is highly customizable, with different screen transition effects, pretty live wallpapers, and various themes to pick from. Plus, you get lock screen shortcuts and toggles in the notification panel, which are both welcome additions. On the other hand, some potential buyers might not like its overly colorful appearance. Still, we are mostly satisfied with what LG has designed.

The QuickButton, located on the left side of the phone, above the volume rocker, is an asset that you won't find on a competitor's phone. Simply put, it is a programmable button that launches a specific app when pressed (it will not work if the phone is in stand-by, however). By default, the key is configured to launch QuickMemo, which is an application for taking down notes on a screenshot, but you're free to assign an app of your choice.

LG has baked in its set of QSlide apps, which run in a semi-transparent window that can be moved around. This multitasking feature allows a QSlide-enabled app to run in the foreground while a regular app is still open and doing its thing in the background. Unfortunately, the feature's potential is held back by the limited number of compatible applications. Apps that can run in QSlide mode only include the video player, the stock web browser, the calendar, the calculator, and the Memo app.

The on-screen keyboard on the LG Optimus L9 II is surprisingly versatile, with support for many foreign languages and button layouts. Furthermore, there's a split arrangement for faster typing when the phone is held horizontally, and a one-handed mode that condenses the keys on one side of the screen. We had no troubles typing on it at moderate speeds, guided by the built-in auto-correct feature when required.

Processor and memory


The L9 II is well equipped for a mid-range device. Under its hood hums a 1.4GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 chip by Qualcomm – the MSM8230, to be more specific, with a couple of Krait 200 cores. 1GB is the amount of RAM available on the phone, which is expected for its class and sufficient for the average user's needs. The good news is that for the most part, the phone runs very smoothly, with only minimal lags when exiting or switching back and forth between heavy applications. Gamers will be happy to know that its Adreno 305 GPU can handle both casual and demanding video games. We downloaded Asphalt 8 on it and it was definitely playable.

Storage capacity on the LG Optimus L9 II can be an issue. That's because its built-in space of 8GB is mostly occupied by system files, which leaves the user with less than 4GB for their apps and data. For that reason, using a microSD card with this phone is a must. Thankfully, its microSD card slot should have no troubles handling cards of up to 32GB.

Performance benchmarks

Quadrant
Higher is better
Sony Xperia SP 7866
LG Optimus L9 II 5299
HTC Desire 500 5046
Samsung Galaxy Core 3054
AnTuTu
Higher is better
Sony Xperia SP 16413
LG Optimus L9 II 14116
HTC Desire 500 11211
Samsung Galaxy Core 7470
GFXBench Egypt HD 2.5 onscreen (fps)
Higher is better
Sony Xperia SP 44
LG Optimus L9 II 20
HTC Desire 500 12
Samsung Galaxy Core 9.1
Vellamo Metal
Higher is better
Sony Xperia SP 755
LG Optimus L9 II 547
HTC Desire 500 390
Samsung Galaxy Core 421
Vellamo HTML 5
Higher is better
Sony Xperia SP 2013
LG Optimus L9 II 2103
HTC Desire 500 1650
Samsung Galaxy Core 1328
View all

Internet browser and connectivity


The stock web browser on the LG Optimus L9 II works without breaking a sweat, as long as it isn't being pushed too much. It is very responsive and renders pages quickly during scrolling or zooming. When browsing heavy, content-rich pages, it might get a bit laggy, but not to the point of becoming unusable. It is worth noting that the app performs better or at least equally well when compared to popular third-party browsers. In terms of features, there's nothing fancy built into the app, save for the QSlide feature that we described earlier.

Wi-Fi, 3G, Bluetooth, GPS, NFC – they are all supported by the LG Optimus L9 II. The FM radio has not been forgotten either – just plug in a pair of headphones and you're ready to tune in.

18 Comments
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posted on 12 Dec 2013, 08:18

1. R-vjn (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


For a mid-range device, this is really good, but still 4.1.2..!!???? :O

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 14:25

4. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


4.1.2 >>>4.2.2 in terms of stability of software.
I don't know about 4.3 or KitKat.

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 08:25

2. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 2992; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


Glad I stuck with SP...this is still a good option thought.
Nick, I tried downloading Asphalt 8 on my SP and it says it's not compatible....why's that?? I thought the CPU and GPU are quite capable. kind of disappointed.

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 08:48

3. Smokin (Posts: 117; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)


me too. i used SP because of its size but im kinda dissaponted.. alot of apps from play store says that file is not compatible

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 14:26

5. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)


Same here.

But a hacked/pirated version of Asphalt 8 works just fine.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 01:49

6. najib1312 (Posts: 99; Member since: 08 May 2013)


I'm having no isssue with any game titles so far on my SP. But I download my games from Torrents......much faster

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 10:46

7. LGisgood (Posts: 414; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)


OVerall
L9-II is a Great Phone....

good camera
good simple design
good video recording

sweet UI

FAST as we expect for its category...
i recommended this for those you can't afford G2!

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 20:34

8. ArtZGraphic (Posts: 16; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)


nice phone with a beatiful screen and faster processor, good camera and video recording and other useful multimedia features. i recommended this phone rather than L7 II. and its boxy design looked quite elegant.

posted on 23 Dec 2013, 03:04

9. alfealicious11 (Posts: 2; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)


Android 4.1.2 at this time is bull. Other manufacturers will eat LG alive.

posted on 23 Dec 2013, 06:09

10. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)


You are wrong. It might have come with 4.1.2 but it will probably get an update to 4.4. Who cares if its 4.1.2 or 4.2 out of box? Now give me an example of similiar phones to this in this price range? So?

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 09:06

11. R-vjn (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


Galaxy S4 mini is only a tad higher in price but comes with 4.2.2 and it was released way back in July. Same is Xperia C, comes with 4.2.2 and released in July.
Nothing against LG, but this phone should have released with 4.3 at least.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 06:53

12. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)


Its 50€, thats not a tad. Well I'd rather have a 4.1 android than laggy TouchWiz.

Whats the difference between 4.1 and 4.2 or 4.3 anyway?

posted on 02 Jan 2014, 05:49

13. R-vjn (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


well, touchwiz is sure laggy. I'm just saying the OS that this phone comes with is just horrible. Its more than an year old my friend..!

To know the differences between the 3 versions, i suggest you check this link out and you will know.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Android_version_history#Android_4.1_Jelly_Bean_.28API_level_16.29

I'm pretty sure you have no experience on the 3 versions. lols

posted on 02 Jan 2014, 06:19

14. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)


Okay but there is nothing significant that would make all the phones run faster, just some little fixes.

I agree that between 4.1 and 4.4 there is a difference, but previous ones not really.

And the OS is not horrible, do you even have this phone? I runs very well, who cares its 1 year old? Its smooth, snappy what else do you want? Even phones with newer androids have more laggy UI, the well known TouchWiz is a great example.

I would be happy if this phone receives 4.4 update, that would be cool, but besides the transparent bar and difference in icons, app drawer, etc. there is not much of performance boost.

posted on 03 Jan 2014, 11:28

15. R-vjn (Posts: 161; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)


I admit that Touchwiz is dead laggy, and personally I hate that too. And LG's UI always are much more fluidic even though its heavy.
My friend, the different versions also brings supports for many things as you might have read in that link, its not just the bug fixes. Also a lot more shortcuts. The lockscreen widgets and 2 finger notification bars are just examples. And also better battery and app management, which can again be improved by LG's own software tweeks.
I would be really happy if this gets 4.4 soon, and even I hope it will, coz I've shortlisted this phone for someone. ;-) :-)

posted on 04 Jan 2014, 07:33

16. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)


I only checked it quicky, I didnt read it all but most of them are not that important. Personally I like the UI changes but look: Refreshed interface with white elements instead of blue, Wireless printing capability, etc. There is only one thats important and its: Optimizations for performance on devices...

It will get some updates, I contacted LG support so hopefully there were telling the truth. And 4.4 would be the best, I would much more welcome that than if they did update sooner but only to 4.2 or 4.3. Its still pretty new phone so they should update it.

posted on 02 Feb 2014, 06:14

17. TomiQo_o (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Feb 2014)


Please Sony Xperia SP or that LG Optimus L9 II

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 18:16

18. SorinMares (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Jun 2014)


bought this one few days back now. Updated flawlessly to kitkat, works like a drean with a ton of apps installed; full hd movies run great, sceen has vibrant colors, camera is good. only thing to object is the sd slot not accesible without removing the cover.

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LG Optimus L9 II

LG Optimus L9 II

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.1.2
view full specs
Display4.7 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (312 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Hardware
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual core, 1400 MHz
1024 MB RAM
Size5.06 x 2.62 x 0.37 inches
(128.4 x 66.5 x 9.4 mm)
4.23 oz  (120 g)
Battery2150 mAh, 7.4 hours talk time

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