Mobile World Congress 2012 has seen the release of a number of handsets from LG including the entry-level Optimus L3, a handset which hopes to bring serious smartphone features at what is expected to be a budget-conscious price. We managed to get our hands on a pre-production L3 before it hit the MWC stand in order to give our first impressions of the device.
Featuring a soap-bar form factor and 3.2-inch QVGA screen, the L3 offers a classic smartphone feel despite being slightly bulky with a thickness of 11.8mm. The silver edging and rounded back panel in particular give the handset an impressive presence in the hand. Hardware specs are competent if not inspiring, with the device powered along by an 800MHz processor and only 1GB of internal memory (although MicroSD support up to 32GB is available).
The 3.2MP on-board camera is limited for anything beyond point and shoot duties but remains usable for everyday snapshot situations.
The OS of choice for the Optimus L3 is Android Gingerbread which, considering the 800MHz CPU, ran extremely smoothly during our time with the phone and there was no lag to speak of.
The Optimus 2.0 Lite UI keeps excessive overlays and skins to a minimum but the usual Android customisation options and functionality makes personalisation easy.
Connectivity capabilities within the L3 are more than adequate with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB and GPS all included. Those looking for a future-proof device might be disappointed with the lack of NFC and DLNA, however we suspect that LG are not aiming the handset at that market sector.
Our first impressions of the Optimus L3 were encouraging, especially considering that the phone is expected to be pointed at the entry-level consumer. The device felt well-built with smart features and minimalist design, with the stripped-back Android OS adding to the aura of utilitarian functionality. We are hoping to get hold of a final production model very soon and when we do a full review will be posted on the Dialaphone blog.