updated 02:03 pm EST, Tue February 26, 2013
Refreshed versions of Optimus L smartphone line
LG is showing off a number of other handsets in the Optimus range aside from the Optimus Pro G, as part of their product launch at Mobile World Congress. The Optimus L 5 II and Optimus L 7 II are upgraded and refreshed versions of existing Optimus L phones, including the addition of a single core 1GHz processor to the L 5 II, and a dual-core variant for the L 7 II. Electronista put both Optimus L handsets through their paces at the event.
The mid-range Optimus L 5 II houses a 4-inch WVGA-resolution IPS display, which is supposed to be a "floating mass display" according to previous reports but doesn't seem to pull it off. Navigating the menus was a quick affair, despite a strange icon-stretching effect when trying to navigate past the end of a run of home screens, and thanks to its upgraded 1GHz processor, it manages to avoid most of the stuttering we saw when the Optimus L range were introduced last year.
The LG representative demonstrating the phone showed off the Quick Memo app, which allowed the user to write on the screen a note that stays on top of the background until it is dismissed, as well as the Cheese Shutter effect for the 5-megapixel camera. Though the shutter worked first time, triggered by the keyword "cheese," the representative mentioned that it had not been working earlier in the day, and was likely down to her using the stretched-out version usually employed by group photographers.
At first glance, the Optimus L 7 II doesn't appear that much different from the L 5 II, except from a slight size increase to accommodate the 4.3-inch screen. Menu navigation was even smoother, which is likely down to a dual-core version of the 1GHz processor. The 8-megapixel camera takes shots fairly quickly and adequately, and also includes the Cheese Shutter feature. Physically, it is a lighter handset than expected, considering its 2,460mAh battery, and like the L 5 II, it has multicolored LED lighting illuminating the single button on the phone face.
While both the Optimus L 5 II and L 7 II seem to be a suitable expansion on the existing Optimus L theme, there is a nagging feeling that they are not enough of a leap to keep LG's existing user base from looking elsewhere for their next phone.