Hands on: LG L70

By Pat Pilcher

2 comments
The LG L70.
The LG L70.

L70 sits in the middle of LG's L-series smartphone range. For a reasonable $269 you get a 4.5", 800 x 480 display, 1GB of RAM and a dual core CPU.

Its 4.5" screen translates into the L70 being a smaller and more pocketable version of its larger sibling, the L90.

As you'd expected from LG, the L70's display had great viewing angles while its brightness and contrast levels were excellent.

Look and feel

The L70 packs a 1.2GHz dual-core CPU and 1GB of RAM, which is plenty for Android 4.4 KitKat to do its thing.

Design-wise the L70's all plastic grey body felt budget but there were some nice touches. Premium phones may use alloy and glass but their downside is that they weigh like small bricks.

Extended testing showed the L70 to be solid (no creaking or flexing) and light enough not to tear the lining out of my jacket pocket.

I also liked its grippy textured back which should help avoid involuntary drop tests.

In Use

The L70 wins points for LG's Android interface overlay but loses them with the Knockcode lock screen. The L70's interface is clean and all pointless customisation and cosmetic fluffery are gone.

Knockcode is an extension to the KnockOn feature which allows users to power up the L70 with a double tap. Knockcode is a lock code based on screen taps. You set how many knocks each quarter of the L70's screen gets and what rhythm unlocks the phone.

Those with a lousy sense of rhythm may find themselves entering an access pin number instead as their knock code mightn't work.

The L70 has an 8MP rear shooter which took good daylight photos. While a growing number of low end smartphones are getting rid of flashes, it was refreshing to see the L70 sporting an LED flash.

Low light shooting also delivered good results with low levels of pixel noise and good colour saturation. About the only real fly in the camera ointment was the small number of shooting modes.

Removing the L70's back reveals a removable battery, sim and Micro SD slots. Its battery is a decent-sized 2100 mAh beastie which translates into a respectable stand-by time of up to 390 hours. The addition of a micro SD card slot is also a welcome surprise at this price point too.

Verdict

The bottom and middle of the smartphone market is a competitive place. Making a smartphone at this price point requires a delicate balancing act between design, spec and cost.

Although the more L70 mightn't seem all that exciting, it wins out on three key points.

The first is its reasonable $269 sticker price (this will vary by telco and calling plan/contract term).

The second is the inclusion of Android 4.4, which ensures that the L70 is responsive in use.

The third is its expandability via to up to 32GB in MicroSD card storage which will appeal to anyone with a large media collection.

Tech Spec

RRP: $269
Network: (2G) 850/900/1800/1900 (3G) HSDPA 900/2100
WLAN WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot
Bluetooth v4.0
GPS: A-GPS support, GLONASS
Dimensions: 127.2 x 66.8 x 9.5 mm
Weight: 126.6g
Display: IPS LCD capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors, 480 x 800 4.5" (207 ppi)
Memory: MicroSD Card slot (up to 32 GB ), 1GB RAM
Camera: (Rear) 5 MP, 2592 ? 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, (front) VGA
OS: Android 4.4.2 (KitKat)
Chipset: Qualcomm MSM8210 Snapdragon 200
CPU: Dual-core 1.2 GHz Cortex-A7
GPU: Adreno 302
Radio FM radio
Battery: Li-Ion 2100 mAh battery, Stand-by Up to 390h, Talk time Up to 4 h 40 min

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