Review: LG Optimus L3 E400

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When Samsung’s Galaxy Y was announced earlier last year, most tech elitists dismissed the potential of the small, relatively inexpensive entry-level Android device. Little did they know that the Galaxy Y would be one of the hottest gadgets during the run-up to the holiday season, with prices soaring over the suggested SRP because of the high demand. That particular success has been noticed by other manufacturers, with LG being one of them. The result is the Optimus L3, a budget Android device that could give the current king of the budget ‘droid a run for its money.

The Optimus L3 represents the unified style strategy of LG, and adopts the design sensibilities of the members of the higher end Optimus family such as the L5 and the L7. The L3 has eschews round corners for a more angular design and has a textured back finish, allowing for a better grip on the device.

Since the Optimus L3 slides neatly into the budget Android category, it’s safe to say that you’ll definitely won’t be blown away by its hardware. The Optimus L3 has a 3.2-inch, 240 x 320 resolution 256K capacitive screen which is paired with an 800 MHz processor and is powered with Android 2.3 (Gingerbread). LG has provided a 3-megapixel camera on the back of the device, with no front facing camera. Connectivity-wise, you’re looking at WiFi, 3G and Bluetooth.

Like their other devices, LG has implemented a UI overlay on top of Android. Unlike other UI overlays however, LG’s offering isn’t pretty, something that really surprised me considering the fact that they managed to pull off the absolutely gorgeous UI on the LG Prada 3.0.

There’s nothing much to say about the hardware, suffice to say that the 800 MHz processor on the device is capable of running basic apps and games without issues. It goes without saying though, that newer, more graphically intense games and apps won’t run quite as smooth on the Optimus L3.

Performance-wise, the Optimus L3 runs smooth enough – in its stock form with few apps installed, the Optimus L3 was able to keep up with me during my daily grind.  Of course, the low resolution screen was a bit of a downer especially when compared to my regular Android device – which made typing a bit of a hassle – but that’s not unusual for budget Android smartphones.

Of course, one of the advantages of having a low-resolution screen and slower processor is that the device consumes far less battery than higher spec devices. Combine that with the 1540 mAh battery means that Optimus L3 lasts far longer than most other Android devices. During its time with me, it managed to outlast my HTC Sensation XE by a good day and a half – which says something about the device’s longevity.

Now to address the question everyone’s asking by now: should you get this or the Samsung Galaxy Y? To be honest, both budget Android devices are almost similar in both specs and price – the Galaxy Y runs on an 830 MHz processor and has a 3-inch, 240 x 320 resolution 256K screen and has a 2-megapixel camera and retails for under Php 6,000. Your choice would probably be dictated by three things – availability, bundles (the Galaxy Y is offered by all three telcos while the LG Optimus L3 is just getting off the ground) and design.

The LG Optimus L3 isn’t a bad budget Android smartphone – truth be told it’s actually pretty good for a device of its class, but it has the misfortune of going against an already established budget device that already has 5-month head start in the market. The LG Optimus L3 retails for Php 5,990.

 

What’s Hot:

Long battery life

Stylish design

Relatively inexpensive

 

What’s Not:

Low-resolution screen

Small screen makes it hard to type

 

Bottomline:

The LG Optimus L3 E400 is a solid, budget Android device that almost everyone can afford.

 

Buymeter: 4

 

Tech Specs:

  • Operating System: Android 2.3 (Gingerbread)
  • CPU: 800 MHz
  • LCD size: 3.2-inch, 240 x 320 resolution 256K capacitive screen
  • Physical Dimensions: 102.6 x 61.6 x 11.7 mm
  • Band: GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, HSDPA 900 / 2100