LG's tiny L40 makes it MWC debut (hands-on)

Announced ahead of the mobile show, we finally got to see the petite 3.5-inch starter phone alongside its L-series siblings.

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BARCELONA, Spain -- The most diminutive in LG's new series of three shown off at Mobile World Congress, the L40 fits in the palm and slides into pockets. Its only 3.5-inch display keeps it portable to the highest degree, but the tradeoff, of course, is a cramped virtual keyboard that mocks thick-fingered typists.

A measly 480x320 pixel resolution is still more or less adequate for the L40, but the screen certainly doesn't shine as brightly as do its L70 and L90 siblings at maximum brightness. A silvery trim perks up the otherwise dark display, and the phone possesses the same barely-roughed-up back panel and pill-shaped home button as its cohort.

Keeping in mind that the L-series offers more modest hardware than the high-flying G Series, you can put the L40's 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 4GB of internal memory, and 512GB of RAM into perspective. On the plus side, the 3G-only phone does carry Android 4.4 KitKat, Google's most current release.

Meet LG's new family of L series phones (pictures)

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In addition, you'll get a 3-megapixel camera on the back (though, don't expect to take any prize-winning snaps with a camera of that meager resolution). Depending on your region, the device will also feature either a 1,700mAh or 1,540mAh removable battery.

While the L40 is almost guaranteed to be very cheap, that low-resolution display is worrying. These days a smartphone with a stunning display can be had for $349 (enter the gorgeous Nexus 5), so the L40 will need to prove that this petite device is good value with an extremely low price tag.

Check out more of CNET's MWC 2014 coverage.

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