After a couple of Nexus phones back to back and a hit flagship like G2, it was about the time LG re-tried the midrange phones. LG did have the presence here but today, its name is visible than ever. The L-series has been doing its job and now we have 3rd generation of phones from L-series.
The one we got to review, L90 Dual is the highest in L-series. L90 goes as far as competing with hugely popular Moto G with identical specsheet with some extras. Priced at Rs.16,500 or $250 (conversion), handset sure looks good to both pockets and on performance.
LG L90’s design is a simple one. Unlike it’s other Korean brother, LG isn’t using its flagship’s or any of the Nexus’s designs to cache on. It resembles the design of G Pro but with soft keys on the bottom. Phone’s dimensions are 131.6 x 66 x 9.7 mm and the phone still seats perfectly and comfortably in the hand.
L90 has a 4.7 inch display with slim bezels, making the maximum use of the front. Above the display, you will see an earpiece grill. Next to it, on the right, are proximity and ambient light sensors and a 1.3 MP front camera.
Below the display there are four soft touch keys with one of them being the shortcut for dual SIM functions. There still is “Menu” key instead of task switcher so switching between the apps is done by long pressing the Home key.
On the right side there’s a power cum lock key while volume rocker is on the left. On the top there’s a 3.5 mm audio jack and (drum rolls please) IR blaster which lets L90 act as a remote control for your appliances. On the bottom it has a microUSB port and a mic.
Back is made of plastic which is of average quality, just good enough for a smartphone in this range. Back has thin mesh pattern yet it doesn’t give good grip making it prone to drops. There’s 8MP AF camera on the back with accompanying flash and speaker is near bottom.
Open the back and you see a 2540 mAh battery, dare we say biggest in this range? Right above it you should see a microSD card slot and couple of SIM card slots. Good thing with L90 is that it uses standard or mini SIM whereas many phones nowadays are using microSIM. This makes swapping SIMs very easy as you don’t need to cut SIMs. Unfortunately, neither of them is hot swappable.
Specifications, Performance and Battery:
LG L90 Dual has Snapdragon 400 SoC (MSM8226) which has quad core processor clocking at 1.2 GHz and Adreno 305 GPU. All this is coupled with 1GB of RAM out of which around 880 MB is free to user. It uses 4.7 inch IPS display with qHD resolution. Has 4GB of internal memory and supports extension via microSD cards up to 32GB.
During our day to day usage, LG L90 performed quite good. There wasn’t any noticeable lag. Phone was quick to respond. Snapdragon 400 is quite good and is coupled with optimized and latest Android KitKat 4.4.2. Since it has a display with lesser pixel density, it has to work less, compared to similar Moto G which has 720p screen.
Although, the display has good viewing angles, it fails to impress under sunlight. Indoor sure it works good and outdoor too but under strong,direct sunlight you’ll need to cover it. Another thing we noticed that if the phone heats up to certain level, it wouldn’t let you increase the brightness above 60%.
L90’s 2540 mAh battery has enough stamina to keep the device running for around 12-15 hours. Again, that depends on how you use it. If you’re on 3G, then expect higher battery drain than on WiFi. Plus, our mileage was with single SIM inside, so obviously with both the SIMs enabled and used actively, 8-10 hours would be our best bet.
Snapdragon 400 isn’t a number crunching one for sure but we would say it’s the best offering at this price point from Qualcomm. Surprisingly, it came close to Nexus 4 in benchmarks, which feature Snapdragon 600 SoC. Snapdragon 400 has quite enough power to handle the tasks you throw at it, it could run games smoothly too and with optimized Android KitKat, whole combo feels just right.
L90 Dual has 8MP AF camera with LED flash with f/2.4. 8MP isn’t outdated just yet. There aren’t any bells and whistles with its camera like OIS. Talking about the picture quality, the 8MP sensor doesn’t do the justice. Amount of details resolved is just about satisfactory. Video quality was better than stills. L90 can record Full HD videos at 30 fps.
On the software side, Camera UI is neat and clean in the viewfinder mode. But as soon as you access settings, the whole screen is cluttered with various options. There are plenty of settings to chose from but LG has failed to put them in a properly arranged way. It’s nearly impossible to see the effects simultaneously as you modify various parameters.
Surprisingly, L90 Dual lets you adjust the focus manually, a feature which is rare on Android phones and Lumias are the ones which offer this feature. It’s not very precise though. Other features include ability to take “time catch shots” as LG calls it. You can also start the camera while the phone is in sleep just by long pressing the volume down button.