HolidayBuyer's Guide

LG's Optimus L5 is a confused smartphone

The Optimus L5 could have been a nice midrange Android smartphone, but no, LG had to go mess things up with its custom user interface.

The LG Optimus L5 may pack Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0), but still feels like it's lacking something.Photo by Aloysius Low/CNET Asia

BARCELONA, Spain--Sadly, the LG Optimus L5, a midrange Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) smartphone from the Korean chaebol, is one you should likely avoid.

While it's great to know affordable ICS devices will be made available, the Optimus L5 doesn't seem to have what it takes to wow even the budget consumer.

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If you thought buying the handset would give you access to Google's latest mobile OS cheaply, you would be partially right. Sadly, the Optimus L5 comes with a custom UI layer that makes the experience more like Gingerbread than ICS.

Our palms flew to our foreheads when we saw what LG did with the menu button.Photo by Jacqueline Seng/CNET Asia

The worst thing about LG's tinkering: The company has switched the Recent Apps button to one that launches the various menu settings for the launcher and themes. This is the same for most LG handsets equipped with ICS. The custom UI is also saddled with unnecessary effects--the phone unlocks with a circular opening transition effect that's just hideous to watch.

Of course, it could be that this is just a prototype handset with beta software, so we ought to cut the company some slack. However, that still doesn't explain the physical home button that seems copy-pasted from the Samsung lineup.

Sigh.

(Source: CNET Asia)

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