LG L90 hands-on: botched upgrades


Quite a lot of months have passed since their announcement, but we are still giving LG's L II series phones as an example of striking gold with the value-for-money ratio. You can get the LG L9 II, for instance, for less than $250, and still receive a 4.7" HD display, quad-core Snapdragon 400, and an 8 MP camera, capable of 1080p video, all wrapped in a slim and light package. With the unveiling of its L III series however, LG seems to be going backwards, and if we look at the top L90 representative, it's easy to understand this claim of ours.


The L90 starts it off very well, with nice raspy pattern on the back, that makes it very easy to grab and hold. Its chassis is not the slimmest and lightest out there, but overall the design is rather pleasant to look at, and the side keys sport a nice tactile feedback on our demo unit.


Here's where LG drops the ball. The L9 II has a 4.7" HD 720p display, while the L90 goes down to 540x960 pixels of qHD resolution. Not that the display's colors, brightness, or viewing angles are bad, but its pixel density leaves something to be desired, even compared with its predecessor, that comes at almost the same price.


LG's own Optimus UI, with its large icons, and connectivity toggles in the status bar, is coated on top of Android 4.4 KitKat on the LG L90. Having the latest version of Android always helps ease the pain of the somewhat lower mid-range specs of the phone.

Processor and memory

We've got quad-core 1.2 GHz processor and 1 GB of RAM on the L90, which run Android KitKat without any noticeable lag, or other issues. LG started it off with the low 8 GB of internal memory, but there is a microSD slot for more.


The handset sports an 8 MP rear camera with LED flash, and a 1.3 MP front-facing shooter, combined with LG's Optimus UI camera interface, which offers plenty of shooting modes and color effects. The camera was quick to focus and take a picture, and is capable of 1080p video recording.


One of the things worth mentioning about the LG L90, compared to its L9 II predecessor, is the presence of the latest Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box. The other is the fairly generous for the phone's class 2540 mAh battery, which should ensure at least two days of endurance with these specs. The rest seems to be a regress from last year's L Series edition, so hopefully the L90 will be priced competitively, when it hits shelves soon.

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