LG Optimus L5 Review

The L series of LG are meant to be affordable, yet stylish handsets that cover the gamut of screen sizes.

The Optimus L5 is the middle child in that range, with a 4” display, and the same single-core Qualcomm processor that is in the L3 and L7.

Does it stand a chance against the other affordable handsets which ship with dual-core processors and better screen pixel densities nowadays? Read on the review to find out...


Middle kids usually have it the worst, but the LG Optimus L5 doesn't seem to suffer from that syndrome. It is a very good size to fit well in the hand, and be easily operated with one hand, while the Optimus L3 was a little too small with its 3.2” display, and the Optimus L7 is a solid 4.3” slab.

You can compare the LG Optimus L5 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The handset is not extremely thin, but still sub-10mm, so it is comfortable to hold, and the tapered back cover has LG's typical “snake skin” pattern, thus involuntary slippage is out of the question. The design is actually pretty good for such an affordable handset, and certainly more interesting than what Samsung manages to produce in the category. The faux metal siding and the rim around the 5MP camera and LED flash on the back add a touch of pizzazz to the styling.

The power/lock key up top plus the volume rocker on the left are easy to feel and press, as is the large home key underneath the 4” display. Unfortunately there is no front-facing camera, so if you are in the whole video chat scene, it will be a bummer.


The L series have pretty abysmal pixel densities, and the L5 is no exception. Its 320x480 pixels on a 4” display make the images appear much coarser than what you are used to with even the cheapest Sony or Samsung Android phones these days, for example, and is another evidence that LG has cut a bunch of corners to achieve that price point.

The display is sufficiently bright for operation outside on a sunny day, but the viewing angles are weak, especially the vertical ones, where the slightest tilt washes out color and contrast, as if the image is drawn with a water paint and rain is pouring on it.



1. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

If I were LG, this is what I would have done with the L Series. The L7 would have a dual core 1 ghz Nova Thor processor, and 768 Megabytes of ram. The L5 would have has screen resolution of 480 by 720 still at 4 inches, and have a dual core 800 mhz Nova Thor processor and 512 MB of ram. The L3 would have a 3.68 inch screen at 640 by 480 and a 1.4 GHz S2 processor and 384 MB of ram. All the devices would have screens that moved up by intervals of .3 inches by model and have an the same ppi of 217. That's just perfect budget hardware in my opinion.... Software would have been stock ICS which could have saved money..... L7 would be 380$, L5 would have been 300$ and the L3 would have been 210$. Just my humble opinion so don't slay me in the comments..

4. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

That was great sense.You should be employed by them!

8. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Thanks. My point in saying that is because we all know the Lg Opitmus 4X is a great device and there is no in between device that LG has produced that can be powerful yet budget friendly. Look at the Galaxy ace 2 or the Xperia sola. lol Those two phones make the L7 look like a Lg Revolution to a Droid Razr. LG is trying hard but they are so naive. lol

11. scmc0310

Posts: 6; Member since: Jan 20, 2012

There is a great in between device in the Lucid. Only $49 at Verizon right now, and it's a great device option for people who don't want to pay a lot of money for a really good handset. I love mine. You can also check out the Viper($79.99 -Sprint). Both are great mid range cell phone options.

12. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I know. i meant international though...I'm still trying to think. Help me out. lol Comparing LG to Samsung (which I hate to do) Samsung has a device that ocupies every possible niche but LG has a major gap in the middle...(I mean in the international market). I still feel like I'm missing something though. Tell me if I am.

13. Sharky

Posts: 259; Member since: Jun 24, 2008

Don't think you are missing anything. You'e completely right. I'm not really sure what LG is thinking right now, unless they plan on introducing even more phones to flood the market ala Samsung. But even with Samsung there is a general feel for what their range is like. This L series just isn't doing anything for me. Like you said, its the L series, then nothing, then the 4X. Its great that LG wants to attack the low end market, but did they really need to make all 3 this low end? Don't think so. First gen qualcomm processors, screens with bad resolution, and subpar call quality. It just doesn't add up.


Posts: 210; Member since: Jul 02, 2012

LG is lame! but it's a great game they're playing though..

2. thunderising

Posts: 232; Member since: Nov 25, 2011

Whats wrong with LG and their stupidly low screen resolutions?

3. Aaron_R96 unregistered

You could also pay less than this and get the xperia u aswell, just a slightly smaller (iphone-sized) screen on the U, but dual core processor and most likely better camera (both 5mp) the L series by LG is way behind the competition here..

9. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

it is suppose to cheap so u cant really expect much from e L Series

18. randomguest

Posts: 20; Member since: Jun 26, 2012

But it's not cheap enough, the point he is making is that even tough it is much better the Xperia U is less expensive. The L5 is just too expensive for what it is.

29. Raymond_htc

Posts: 430; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

BOOHOO. my 2G 2year plan for the L5 is $0.

5. mercorp

Posts: 1045; Member since: Jan 28, 2012

Idea specs... L3-just change the screen to a hvga one. L5-Make the screen 3.5 inches,and use a 1.2ghz s1 snapdragon. L7-use a nova thor 1ghz dual core with hd recording.

14. OptimusOne

Posts: 694; Member since: May 22, 2012

that would increase the price

17. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011


6. OpTiMuS_BlAcK

Posts: 418; Member since: May 04, 2012

They're pretty considerable phones for the low budget users. The only thing I hate is the L5's resolution, everything else seems fine.... But that's just me.

10. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

i agree

7. smallworld

Posts: 523; Member since: Jul 13, 2012

In France the xperia mini is less than 230 usd unlocked much better than the L3.


Posts: 210; Member since: Jul 02, 2012

It's quite obvious that LG copied the sharp-edged/corners design from Sony! LG was in a hurry in releasing its L series (the cheap L3 was released ahead) to overtake Sony's release of new breed of Xperia that's why the L series' specs are sooooo crappy!

16. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

the L series is suppose to be for the low end to lower mid range market, hence their specs. u really should read up before posting nonsense like tt. and LG dint copy the sharp-edged/corners design from Sony. it is more likely the other way. rmb the LG newchocolate bl40? which was released YEARS AGO. and rmb the PRAD Phone by LG 3.0? released/announced before the Xperia S was launched. and the L series is designed by PRADA too (read it up, phonearena posted it). get your fact right! LG dint copy!


Posts: 210; Member since: Jul 02, 2012

ok. but admit it! the Sony's Xperia line is better than LG's Optimus line.. with all the mobile BraviaEngine, Exmor Tech, xLoud Experience, PlayStation Certified, Sony Entertainment Network and etc, i'm sure LG can't copy or beat that! :D

21. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I'm a sony fan bitch die hard, but I'd prefer the LG optimus 4X over my Xperia S...

22. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

honestly that is personal opinion.. i can say the Xperia line sucks to the core because they use the s**tty S3. so yea. personal preference

23. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

and BraviaEngine isn't that great. terrible viewing angles.. and lets not forget, LG Displays are award winning! in fact LG Displays are among the best. LG can use Exmor Tech, xLoud Experience if Sony licenses it.. and LG can beat Sony. LG is first in so many things in the mobile industry so yea.. and LG's mobile division has already turned a profit whereas Sony's hasn't. now, im not saying Sony is lousy or anything, in fact the only two brands i will support is LG and Sony (never getting Samsung once my contract expires! my G Note is bulls**t!). but i cannot take it when people post nonsense and closed minded logic like that. so yea. no hate

24. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

oh and LG has their own version of the Sony Entertainment Network! works in a different way though.. using NFC

25. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

I must inform you this because obviously haven't played with the Sony Xperia S. It is a lagless device... It is just like the GSII in that aspect... And the viewing angles are not terrible they are not great but they are still very good. The only screen issue I had was when two weeks after I got the device the screen turned straight yellow but I got a replacement....

26. u-suck-more

Posts: 529; Member since: Aug 26, 2011

i have used e Xperia S, viewing angles are not that good. and yes i know the phone has lag, but it still doesnt change the fact that it is using the lousy S3.. and i have never said that it was laggy device. go hate and thumb down all you want, i dont care. my life is going to end because you thumbed down my comment

27. Birds

Posts: 1172; Member since: Nov 21, 2011

Eh...lol I didn't thumbs you down....The s3 isn't even a bad chipset. Its just when the HP WebOS tablet came out....Well you know the story...lol

28. vxenos

Posts: 1; Member since: Oct 28, 2012

if you compare lg optimus l5 with sony xperia sola,p,u etc ...you will see that lg has the lowest radiation...personally I want an up to date,affordable and cool phone with low levels of radiation....lg is my choise

30. mickey

Posts: 1; Member since: Dec 12, 2012

Hi folks i need some help got an LG-E617g yesterday and am trying to get past the Emergency call pad without any success, can someone assist me.
Optimus L5
  • Display 4.0" 320 x 480 pixels
  • Camera 5 MP
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon S1, Single core, 800 MHz
  • Storage 2.5GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 1540 mAh(9.6h 3G talk time)

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