Hands-on with LG's low-cost L70 phone

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/ Updated: February 23, 2014 9:28 AM PST

BARCELONA, Spain -- The middle child in LG's new lineup of 3G-only L-series devices, the 4.5-inch LG L70 is only 0.2 inch shorter than the L90. Be that as it may, it's a much more generic handset, meant to bring an affordable Android option to emerging markets where it'll be sold.

Android 4.4 KitKat is one constant, and a smart addition on LG's part. Not only is the OS more current, it's also adapted for running on handsets with more modest memory -- like the L70's 4GB -- so it should (in theory at least) run smoothly on LG's newest toy.

On the L70, these include an ordinary 800x400 pixel resolution, a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, and a 2,100mAh removable battery. You get 1GB of RAM and -- depending on where you are in the world, either an 8- or 5-megapixel rear-facing camera. A VGA front-facing camera means that you can take selfies and video calls, but don't expect stellar quality.

What you can expect is a handset that looks pretty decent for the affordable price that we anticipate -- we saw it in black, like the L90 and even more basic L40. Just like its brethren, it has curved shoulders and a very slightly nubbly backing. A wide, narrow home button handles smoothly,and the phone is small enough to work one-handed.

The L70 may not astound, but it has three potentially redeeming features. The first, as we mentioned, is price -- with unspectacular hardware, we're not expecting the L70 will set you back much in terms of cash. The second is Android 4.4, which we hope will keep the lower-powered L70 feeling slick and responsive to use will tell us a lot about whether Google's low-memory ploy has worked. Finally, the phone can expand to up to 32GB in extra storage.

For more on smartphones here at the world's largest mobile show, check out more of CNET's MWC 2014 coverage.

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