LG L Fino and LG L Bello hands-on: more than adequate entry-level affordables
Although LG wowed us by releasing the first Quad HD smartphone widely-available several months ago (the LG G3), the company has not forgotten the other segments of the market. A fortnight ago, for example, the company announced two new entry-level troopers – the LG L Bello and the LG L Fino. We had the opportunity to play with the two devices at IFA 2014! Yes, it's time for a double hands-on!
Well, both the LG L Bello and L Fino have been deeply inspired by the LG G3, at least design-wise. Both come with rear-placed set of hardware buttons at their backs, however, we can't say that these feel as responsive as the ones on the G3. The rear buttons of the L Fino, for example, are pretty uncomfortable to use. Size-wise, the L Bello is a 5-inch device, whereas the L Fino has a 4.5-inch one, and both devices come with relatively large side bezels.
We can't say anything good about the build materials - the L Fino and the L Bello are made of plastic and have a relatively cheap feel to it, but that's what one should expect from such an entry-level pair of devices. Still, both devices feel neat and comfortable in the hand and are friendly towards single-handed usage because of the grip, courtesy of the blastic backs. The smaller L Fino feels better in the hand than the L Bello, but the latter is endowed with a subtle texture that further improves the grip.
Note: The LG L Bello we laid our hands on was a Korean version, which comes with TV antenna capabilities and a TV antenna, but we suppose this will remain a South Korea-only feature.
As they are nothing else but entry-level devices, the LG L Fino (4.5” display) and the L Bello (5” display) unsurprisingly sport IPS LCD displays with rather mediocre resolutions – 480x800- and 480x854-pixel ones, respectively. Yes, they are not great and the pixel density is nothing to write home about, but then again, we are dealing with entry-level devices aimed at teenage consumers. The display of the LG L Bello comes with realistic color reproduction and adequate viewing angles, so does the LG L Bello.
The LG L Fino and the L Bello come with Android 4.4.2 out of the box. Naturally, they have LG's homemade, feature-rich UI on top of it. A slew of useful software traits, most notably LG's Knock Code, have also found their way to the affordables. The latter paves the way for an easier unlocking of the devices, which somewhat makes it up for the unsatisfactory feel of the rear-placed buttons, but we digress. We rarely experienced any lag in the interface while navigating through and tinkering with the user interface of both the L Bello and the L Fino. The more-than-adequate user experience is surely one of the stronger points of LG's entry-level troopers.
Processor and memory
The LG L Fino comes with a 1.2GHz quad-core SoC, whereas the L Bello, being the higher-specced one, sports a 1.3GHz one, again with four cores. Both are employing 1GB of RAM on board, which is sufficient for Android KitKat to adequately do its job. That being said, we shouldn't forget that we are dealing with a bunch of affordable devices, but surprisingly, both the LG L Bello and the LG L Fino don't stumble performance-wise, as one will only seldom notice any hiccups or interface lag.
Both of LG's entry-level devices come with 8MP cameras at their backs. These have scored some of the features that debuted along LG's flagship devices before – Touch & Shoot, Gesture Shot, and Front Camera Light are present and ensure for more imaging functionalities. Selfies will be a bit of a struggle with LG L Fino's front camera, because it comes with a 0.3MP one. Things are slightly better at LG L Bello's end, as it flaunts a 1MP selfie-shooter. Could this be a dealbreaker for the average teen?
As they are intended for emerging markets in Latin America, Europe, and Asia, LG's duo of entry-level devices will surely face some tough competition. The reason for this is that the entry-level market is getting more and more crowded with aggressively-priced low- and mid-range contenders. That said, if you dig LG G3's looks, but you are looking for a more affordable, yet decent smartphone "that does the job", you should be probably keeping an eye or two on LG's affordable duo.