Interface and Software:

With a base of Android 4.0.4, LG has skinned the Optimus L9 with their familiar Optimus UI. There’s nothing new to talk about here, and the Optimus L9 features a few of LG’s unique features like QuickMemo allowing you to notate screenshots and SmartShare which lets you stream content to a DLNA device. It lacks some of the Optimus G’s standout features like QSlide and Live Zooming, which are possible due to the Optimus G’s quad-core processor. The overall Optimus UI is not as expansive as HTC Sense or Samsung’s Nature UX, but that isn’t a knock on it. Overall the performance is fluid and the skin does not seem to slow down the phone, which is more than we can say for other manufacturer attempts.

There are a number of pre-loaded apps with the Optimus L9, which is becoming a real problem for carrier branded phones. There are nine T-Mobile apps alone, and when starting the phone initially the user is presented with a number of apps, wallpapers and widgets to install.

Processor and Memory:

The Optimus L9 uses a dual-core TI OMAP 4430 processor, up from the single core unit used in the L7. It is paired with 1GB of RAM and 4GB of internal storage. Over half of that is used for the system, but the user can easily increase storage capability with a microSD card. The Optimus L9 may not have the most impressive hardware specs, but the performance is solid and we didn’t have any noticeable lag or hang-ups while using the L9.

Connectivity and Internet:

Technically a 4G device, the Optimus L9 runs on T-Mobile’s 21Mbps network, but doesn’t support the faster 42Mbps network. Other connectivity options include Wi-Fi, GPS and Bluetooth 3.0 but the Optimus L9 curiously lacks NFC found in the smaller L7 and most other recent Android handsets. The Optimus L9 does offer Wi-Fi direct for easy file-sharing.

Browsing on both the stock browser and Chrome was as you would expect. Page loads were quick, and panning, tapping and pinching produced reliable results.

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