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Getting optimal with the Optimus

Sleek, chic and highly affordable, the LG L9 could be the smartphone for you



An attractive and very affordable Android-based smartphone boasting a large 4.7-inch screen, the LG Optimus L9 is available in both black and white though I much prefer the white version, which is decidedly more elegant.

It's skinny too, with a 9.1mm body that has a slimming metallic streak, weighs just 125 grammes and is comfortable to grip.

Its 4.7-inch IPS (in-plane switching) display is bright with high resolution of 960 x 540 pixels or 235 pixel per inch. It has the brightness of 450 nit and at full brightness, the screen is readable under direct sunlight.

The large screen is good for reading web pages and emails as well as for watching video clips and viewing photos.

The L9 is powered by 1 GHz dual core processor and has 1 gigabyte of RAM or active memory and 4 GB onboard storage, which can be expanded with a microSD card.

During the test, its touch screen and menus were responsive and the scrolling was fast and smooth.

The L9 supports the HSPA 3G connection of all mobile phone operators in Thailand and I tested it on TrueMove H's 850 MHz network. I had no problems updating and checking my Facebook and Foursquare accounts.

Applications could be downloaded for installations and updating was fast and smooth.

Snapshots too were easy to upload to social networking sites, like Google Plus and Picasa Web Album and my emails went off at great speed.

The L9 has an 8 megapixel camera at the back and a VGA camera at the front. The main camera captures good quality snapshots for a mobile phone.

The camera has panorama and continuous shot modes. For the continuous shot, it will fire six shots immediately after each other and you can select the best one.

The camera also has a fun mode called Cheese Shutter, which allows you to say "Cheese", "Smile", "Whisky", "Kimchi" or "LG" for the shutter to fire automatically.

The smartphone has a hardware home button at the bottom of the screen, which you press to exit from the sleep mode and to return to the home screen.

It runs on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system with LG's own interface on top of the OS.

LG's interface, the Optimus UI 3.0, uses cute icons to show the most-used functions - phone, messaging, email and camera - at the bottom of the screen.

Although the screen is locked, you can jump directly to one of the four functions by tapping and holding it then swiping it in any direction.

This is a quick and convenient way to exit the sleep mode and bring up the camera, for example.

The Android 4.0.4 makes it very convenient if you have to change your smartphones.

Apart from automatically storing and retrieving your contact list on the Google server, the Android 4 also remembers the apps you installed on the previous phone as well as your Wi-Fi accounts and connections.

When you start the L9 for the first time, it will prompt you to enter your Gmail account, then automatically install the apps you used on your previous Android 4 smartphone and retrieve all the Wi-Fi settings from the Google server.

The L9 also functions as good quality MP3 player. I tested it with my Sony premium in-ear headphones and enjoyed the music clarity.

It allows you to adjust audio effects by selecting options of Bass reducer, Treble booster, Bass booster, Vocal booster or Headset enhancer.

The L9 also comes with a nice and useful app called LG Quick Memo.

While it allows you to write or draw on the touch screen with your finger, I'd recommend getting a stylus pen to enjoy it with precision. Then, you can save your writing or drawing as a memo or share it on your social networking account.

It allows you to select one of four types of pens and 16 colours.

The LG Quick Memo can be conveniently accessed by swiping the top part of the screen downwards to show the five options under the phone's functions.

The L9 uses a high-density 2,150 mAh battery that allowed me to survive for more than a day on one charge.

LG Optimus L9 has a suggested retail price of just Bt11,900.

Key specs

_ OS: Android ICS / Optimus UI 3.0

_ Chipset: XMM6260 1.0 GHZ Dual-Core

_ Networks: GSM: 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 MHz, 3G HSPA: 850/900/1900/2100 MHz

_ Display: qHD (960 x 540) 4.7 inches touch-screen IPS LCD

_ Cameras: 8 MP back, VGA front

_ Connectivity: Bluetooth, DLNA, WI - FI DIRECT, A-GPS, USB 2.0

_ Memory: 1GB DDR2

_ Storage: 4 GB e-MMC, expandable with microSD of up to 32GB

_ Battery: Li-Ion, 2150mAh

_ Dimensions: 131.9 x 68.2 x 9.1 mm

_ Weight: 125 g


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