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Interface and functionality:

Android Ice Cream Sandwich is a blessing, of course, considering that most competitors in this price range still ship with Gingerbread onboard, and LG has spiced it up with a few tricks of its own. The QuickMemo toggle is handily placed in the pull-down notification bar for doodling directly on the current screen if you have to jot a thing or two quickly, and there is a number of handy widgets to place on your home screens.

Other than that, LG has provided its own Optimus UX overlay, which skins the stock ICS dock and icons, but that's about it, a coat of paint over Android 4.0. The biggest change over stock is the keyboard, which adds a helpful comma in the default layout, and makes the keys bigger and with more space between them, helping one-handed texting.

LG provides a few apps of its own with this interface, which you can certainly go by without, like LG SmartWorld, but also the file and document viewer Polaris Office, and handy apps for managing NFC and DLNA, like LGTag+ and SmartShare.

Processor and memory:

The Qualcomm MSM7225A is underclocked compared to the one ticking in the Optimus L7, down to 800MHz, but we have more RAM than in Optimus L3, to the tune of 512MB. See what LG did here to set the L series members apart?

We can't say that the interface and apps fly with such a silicon, which is the least we would expect from a modern Android phone, but it does the job with some waiting in-between apps.

Quadrant StandardAnTuTuNenaMark 2
LG Optimus L51470266514,2
Samsung Galaxy Ace 21953409532,4
Sony Xperia sola2294541527,7

Out of the 4GB internal memory, the user-available storage is 2.65GB, but there is an additional microSD card slot for storage expansion, which supports cards up to 32GB.

Internet and Connectivity:

The stock Android ICS browser certainly behaves better on a dual-core handset, than on the LG Optimus L5, since you don't have to wait as much for page loading and rendering. There are no extra hiccups and freezing, it is just slow to load and render – once that's done, scrolling, panning and zooming are decently fluid.

On top of that the lousy screen pixel density makes it impossible to discern anything when zoomed out, and text looks grainy when zoomed in, so it's unlikely you'll spend much time reading articles on your L5, unless you have to. At least the processor is capable of supporting Adobe Flash, so that's a comfort.

The handset offers 7.2Mbps HSDPA downloads, the bare minimum nowadays, and also has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, A-GPS, FM, DLNA and NFC radios. NFC is managed by the LGTag+ app, which allows you to scan a Sleep, Office or Car tag, and the phone will enter the respective mode.

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