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LG Optimus L9 II Review

LG Optimus L9 II 8

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The quickest way to access the 8MP main camera on the LG Optimus L9 II is with the help of a lock screen shortcut. Once opened, the camera application presents us with an interface that offers a fair amount of settings to tweak and modes to apply. Sure, there's not exactly a ton of them, but the ones we're allowed to play with are the ones we're most likely to need – Panorama, HDR, Macro, Burst shot, and the likes.

In terms of image quality, the camera on LG Optimus L9 II is an average performer. It can take some pretty good shots when used outdoors, with accurate colors and sufficient detail, but due to the heavy presence of digital noise, 100% zoom crops aren't pleasant to look at. The snapper tends to struggle with dynamics scenes, which is why using the built-in HDR mode when appropriate is advisable. Indoor shots are a hit or miss. Some scenes do look acceptable, but others may turn out blurry or out of focus.

While technically the Optimus L9 II can capture 1080p video, footage quality is average at best. It lacks fine details and it is simply not smooth enough for something supposedly taken at 30 frames per second. Sound in videos, however, is loud, clear, and natural.

On the front of the Optimus L9 II resides a 1.3MP cam for self portraits and video chats. Its images are noisy, but usable.


We threw several music albums onto the Optimus L9 II and launched its Music player, provided courtesy of LG. The app seems simple, but it is pretty functional, providing all the necessary features you'd expect out of it. There's an equalizer for fine-tuning audio reproduction and widgets for controlling playback while the app is in the background. If you have a DLNA-certified device nearby, you can stream music to it straight from the player.

To our disappointment, the stock earphones provided with the L9 II are of low quality. Their output is weak and needs some serious equalization in order to sound acceptable. The single loudspeaker placed on the handset's bottom can't impress us either as it just doesn't sound loud enough.

We wouldn't mind watching videos on the LG Optimus L9 II as it is more than suitable for the purpose. Its video player runs all kinds of videos at up to 1080p without dropping a frame and they look great on the phone's high-res display. The app itself has a few tricks up its sleeve. Its UI is optimized for quick fast-forwarding with a swipe anywhere on the screen, which is nice.

Surprisingly, the LG Optimus L9 II is one of the very few phones sporting a built-in infra-red emitter. This handy little perk allows us to control TVs, DVD and Blu-ray players remotely. A pre-loaded app called QuickRemote is used for the purpose. When launched for the first time, it takes you through a quick and straightforward setup process pairing the handset with your electronic device.

Audio output

Headphones output power (Volts)
Higher is better
LG Optimus L9 II 0.49
Samsung Galaxy Core 0.28
Sony Xperia SP 0.33
HTC Desire 500 0.43
Loudspeaker loudness (dB)
Higher is better
LG Optimus L9 II 72
Samsung Galaxy Core 76
Sony Xperia SP 73
HTC Desire 500 78
View all

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posted on 12 Dec 2013, 08:18

1. R-vjn (Posts: 261; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)

For a mid-range device, this is really good, but still 4.1.2..!!???? :O

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 14:25

4. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)

4.1.2 >>>4.2.2 in terms of stability of software.
I don't know about 4.3 or KitKat.

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 08:25

2. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4278; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)

Glad I stuck with SP...this is still a good option thought.
Nick, I tried downloading Asphalt 8 on my SP and it says it's not compatible....why's that?? I thought the CPU and GPU are quite capable. kind of disappointed.

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 08:48

3. Smokin (Posts: 120; Member since: 10 Oct 2013)

me too. i used SP because of its size but im kinda dissaponted.. alot of apps from play store says that file is not compatible

posted on 12 Dec 2013, 14:26

5. AppleHateBoy (unregistered)

Same here.

But a hacked/pirated version of Asphalt 8 works just fine.

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 01:49

6. najib1312 (Posts: 154; Member since: 08 May 2013)

I'm having no isssue with any game titles so far on my SP. But I download my games from Torrents......much faster

posted on 13 Dec 2013, 10:46

7. LGisgood (Posts: 833; Member since: 23 Jun 2012)

L9-II is a Great Phone....

good camera
good simple design
good video recording

sweet UI

FAST as we expect for its category...
i recommended this for those you can't afford G2!

posted on 16 Dec 2013, 20:34

8. ArtZGraphic (Posts: 16; Member since: 04 Sep 2013)

nice phone with a beatiful screen and faster processor, good camera and video recording and other useful multimedia features. i recommended this phone rather than L7 II. and its boxy design looked quite elegant.

posted on 23 Dec 2013, 03:04

9. alfealicious11 (Posts: 2; Member since: 31 Dec 2011)

Android 4.1.2 at this time is bull. Other manufacturers will eat LG alive.

posted on 23 Dec 2013, 06:09

10. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)

You are wrong. It might have come with 4.1.2 but it will probably get an update to 4.4. Who cares if its 4.1.2 or 4.2 out of box? Now give me an example of similiar phones to this in this price range? So?

posted on 29 Dec 2013, 09:06

11. R-vjn (Posts: 261; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)

Galaxy S4 mini is only a tad higher in price but comes with 4.2.2 and it was released way back in July. Same is Xperia C, comes with 4.2.2 and released in July.
Nothing against LG, but this phone should have released with 4.3 at least.

posted on 30 Dec 2013, 06:53

12. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)

Its 50€, thats not a tad. Well I'd rather have a 4.1 android than laggy TouchWiz.

Whats the difference between 4.1 and 4.2 or 4.3 anyway?

posted on 02 Jan 2014, 05:49

13. R-vjn (Posts: 261; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)

well, touchwiz is sure laggy. I'm just saying the OS that this phone comes with is just horrible. Its more than an year old my friend..!

To know the differences between the 3 versions, i suggest you check this link out and you will know.


I'm pretty sure you have no experience on the 3 versions. lols

posted on 02 Jan 2014, 06:19

14. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)

Okay but there is nothing significant that would make all the phones run faster, just some little fixes.

I agree that between 4.1 and 4.4 there is a difference, but previous ones not really.

And the OS is not horrible, do you even have this phone? I runs very well, who cares its 1 year old? Its smooth, snappy what else do you want? Even phones with newer androids have more laggy UI, the well known TouchWiz is a great example.

I would be happy if this phone receives 4.4 update, that would be cool, but besides the transparent bar and difference in icons, app drawer, etc. there is not much of performance boost.

posted on 03 Jan 2014, 11:28

15. R-vjn (Posts: 261; Member since: 07 Jan 2013)

I admit that Touchwiz is dead laggy, and personally I hate that too. And LG's UI always are much more fluidic even though its heavy.
My friend, the different versions also brings supports for many things as you might have read in that link, its not just the bug fixes. Also a lot more shortcuts. The lockscreen widgets and 2 finger notification bars are just examples. And also better battery and app management, which can again be improved by LG's own software tweeks.
I would be really happy if this gets 4.4 soon, and even I hope it will, coz I've shortlisted this phone for someone. ;-) :-)

posted on 04 Jan 2014, 07:33

16. TheRiseAgainst (Posts: 5; Member since: 23 Dec 2013)

I only checked it quicky, I didnt read it all but most of them are not that important. Personally I like the UI changes but look: Refreshed interface with white elements instead of blue, Wireless printing capability, etc. There is only one thats important and its: Optimizations for performance on devices...

It will get some updates, I contacted LG support so hopefully there were telling the truth. And 4.4 would be the best, I would much more welcome that than if they did update sooner but only to 4.2 or 4.3. Its still pretty new phone so they should update it.

posted on 02 Feb 2014, 06:14

17. TomiQo_o (Posts: 1; Member since: 02 Feb 2014)

Please Sony Xperia SP or that LG Optimus L9 II

posted on 17 Jun 2014, 18:16

18. SorinMares (Posts: 1; Member since: 17 Jun 2014)

bought this one few days back now. Updated flawlessly to kitkat, works like a drean with a ton of apps installed; full hd movies run great, sceen has vibrant colors, camera is good. only thing to object is the sd slot not accesible without removing the cover.

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LG Optimus L9 II

LG Optimus L9 II

OS: Android 4.4.2 4.1.2
view full specs
Display4.7 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels (312 ppi) IPS LCD
Camera8 megapixels
Qualcomm Snapdragon 400, Dual-core, 1400 MHz
Size5.06 x 2.62 x 0.37 inches
(128.4 x 66.5 x 9.4 mm)
4.23 oz  (120 g)
Battery2150 mAh, 7.4 hours talk time

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