LG Optimus L1 II Dual Review


Introduction


The LG Optimus L1 II Dual E420 is a dirt-cheap Android phone that is as basic as it gets. No large screen, no fancy features, no frills. It’s a super compact device that not just fits, but almost gets lost in a hand. The L1 II Dual features a 3-inch display, a barebones 2-megapixel fixed-focus camera, dual SIM connectivity and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean.

Clearly, rather than trot out silicon power, the L1 II shows how low the price of a smartphone from a well-established company can go. The answer? Pretty low. But is ‘pretty low’ low enough in a dog eat dog world of smartphone competition? Let’s find out.

In the box:

  • In-ear Headphones
  • microUSB Cable
  • Wall Charger
  • User Manual

Design

Despite the cheap feeling plastic, the L1 II Dual is well put together.

The L1 II Dual is a chubby little thing. It’s super compact, fitting nicely in the hand and perfectly suitable for single-handed operation as you can reach its every corner with a thumb. Its chubbiness (it measures 0.48”) gives it character rather than being a disadvantage, but it’s there and it does get noticed, especially when you keep the phone in your pocket.

This 3 incher is all made of plastic that looks and feels cheap. It’s well put together, though, and won’t screek under pressure. The back is also textured in a way that would make the phone just a bit harder to slip out of the hand, which is nice.

Up front, there are four capacitive keys right below the display - the standard three Android navigation buttons plus one more for switching between SIM cards. These buttons are uncomfortably small, though, so small that we actually have trouble hitting the right one as they are all so close to each other. There is a volume rocker on the left and a lock key up top, but both are a bit too recessed.


LG Optimus L1 II

LG Optimus L1 II

Dimensions

4.05 x 2.33 x 0.48 inches

102.9 x 59.2 x 12.2 mm

Weight

3.70 oz (105 g)

Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite

Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.48 x 0.43 inches

121.5 x 63.1 x 10.85 mm

Weight

4.44 oz (126 g)

Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 520

Dimensions

4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches

119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm

Weight

4.37 oz (124 g)

LG Optimus L1 II

LG Optimus L1 II

Dimensions

4.05 x 2.33 x 0.48 inches

102.9 x 59.2 x 12.2 mm

Weight

3.70 oz (105 g)

Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite

Samsung Galaxy Trend Lite

Dimensions

4.78 x 2.48 x 0.43 inches

121.5 x 63.1 x 10.85 mm

Weight

4.44 oz (126 g)

Nokia Lumia 520

Nokia Lumia 520

Dimensions

4.72 x 2.52 x 0.39 inches

119.9 x 64 x 9.9 mm

Weight

4.37 oz (124 g)



Display

A 3-inch display that looks okay when you look straight at it, but washes out hugely at a slight angle. It also feels too tiny for comfortable use.

The L1 II Dual features a 3-inch display that quite frankly is too tiny for comfortable use. Reason is you’d often hit the wrong button or icon (assuming you have an average-sized hand, kids might be okay with the size), and just get frustrated with the smartphone experience rather than enjoy it.

Colors on it look vivid and generally nice when you look squarely at the display and that’s very important. The display is far from perfect, though, as viewing angles are horrible and colors wash out hugely when you tilt the device just slightly. The resolution is also poor at 240 x 320 pixels, which works out to very poor pixel density of 133ppi. This means that smaller text is close to impossible to read because of pixelization, and the overall picture does not look sharp at all.

We’re not surprised that there is no ambient light sensor (such affordable devices rarely have one), but it’s nonetheless annoying to manually tweak the brightness. Outdoors, the screen is hard to read because of its low brightness.




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