LG's L90 tops the new L series (hands-on)

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February 23, 2014 4:00 AM PST / Updated: February 23, 2014 9:12 AM PST

BARCELONA, Spain -- LG trotted out a trio of entry-level and midrange devices ahead of Mobile World Congress, but it was only at the show that we got our first peek of the LG L90, L70, and L40.

Design They're all extremely similar, varying only in size and components, but very much looking like triplets, with the same rounded corners, oblong physical home button, and lightly textured backing (which I think feels a little like cardboard.)

They all also run on 3G, and only 3G, and feature Android 4.4 KitKat as its OS, a step in the right direction.

The L90's IPS display measures 4.7 inches on the diagonal, and sports a reasonable 960x540 pixel resolution (qHD) that looks colorful and bright with the screen at max brightness. If you're not a fan of palm-filling 5-inch-plus mobiles, this more modestly sized phone could appeal. It measures 131.6mm by 66mm by 9.7mm.

Key components and features The L90 doesn't skimp on power, with a 1.2GHz quad-core chip humming away under the hood -- though this isn't one of Qualcomm's finest; definitely not lofty enough to earn the Snapdragon designation of the 400 series and above.

As the only of LG's new L Series mobiles to feature a quad-core processor, this should make the L90 feel comparatively speedy to use, and capable of handling most graphically intensive games.

LG has packed in 1GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, as well as an 8-megapixel rear camera, joined by a 1.3-megapixel sensor in the front. You may breathe a sigh of relief: its 2,540mAh battery is removable.

LG L90 and L70
Two of the three newest members of LG's L series are the L90 (left) and the L70. Sarah Tew/CNET

Often mid-range phones don't get treated to the latest version of Android, so we're happy to see the L90 is running Android 4.4 KiKat right from the outset. KitKat is the most advanced edition of Google's operating system, and is designed to run well on phones with less memory (8GB here), so it should be well placed to run smoothly on the L90.

Outlook Bound for emerging global markets in Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East for instance, the L90 will be the priciest of the three, but should also come in at a competitive rate, especially compared to premium phones.

The L90 launches in March in Russia, with other countries to follow.

Check out more of CNET's MWC 2014 coverage.

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About The Author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

About The Author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.