Having played with the LG Optimus L5 2 for a little while now, we can reach our verdict. We were a little disappointed initially with the specification sheet reading remarkably similar to its cheaper, smaller brother the Optimus L3 2, and the little brother to the Huawei Ascend G510, the Ascend G330.
That said, with other areas upgraded, and a newer OS, the Optimus L5 2 manages to give its competition a run for their money.
The biggest plus point we found with the LG Optimus L5 2 was the battery life. This is possibly the most subjective of all the points that we could raise, but the lower processor speed seemed to have worked wonders on the battery longevity. We don't really ever see us hitting the two days that LG has quoted, but one day's use is more than viable.
We also loved the Quick Button. It is only a very minor thing at first, and we don't really see much use for the Quick Memo app other than to doodle on images... ok we see a lot of use for Quick Memo.
The Quick Button really comes into its own though, when used to quickly launch the camera app, as it then doubles up as a shutter button, something that we really wish was on more smart phones.
The inclusion of NFC was also a nice bonus as it's a technology that we predict will slowly infiltrate itself to all manner of devices, the most obvious being other phones, and payment points.
This isn't something that might be one of our top features on a PAYG phone, but if you are signing up to a two year contract, it's nice to know that the Optimus L5 2 has some level of future-proofing.
We were also impressed with the UI. Overall it felt very intuitive, and allowed for a certain level of customisation such as home screen, or conversation themes. LG has also put some effort into giving stock apps a more attractive and smarter feel. Often it was small touches, but LG has got it right.
We really did like the UI, but this might have proved a bit taxing on the smaller processing power. The single core 1GHz innards are by no means the most powerful, and with the Optimus L3 2 also being blessed with the same chip, we can't help but feel a little cheated.
We also feel a little hard done by, as there is no auto brightness feature. This is something that seems to have made its way to nigh on every smart phone going, so its exclusion is almost unfathomable.
As for the keyboard, maybe we have larger fingers but we found that it was very fiddly at times, with correcting mistakes also being a little bit difficult.
The autocorrect was also rather poor. We have seen far better keyboards on similar devices, HTC's being notable for their superb offerings. There was also a lack of Swype style feature.
Our other biggest gripe with the LG Optimus L5 2 was the lack of a front facing camera. We thought that front facing camera's, even VGA camera's that appear on the older Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 or the Sony Xperia J, were becoming a more standard feature.
It does mean less pouty duck face profile pictures (thank goodness), but it also means no Skype video calling.
The LG Optimus L5 2 is a very interesting proposition. Single handedly, it will certainly not propel LG back to the forefront of the mobile market. Then again, it was never meant to.
LG' s Optimus range is pitched very squarely against its Korean brethren's Galaxy range, and in all honesty it is hard to see the Galaxy range of devices ever coming out underneath.
The clout that Samsung has created with its highest end devices propel every other device to the fore. The L5 2 also sits awkwardly in the L series range, with near identical internal specs as the smaller Optimus L3 2. This means it is hard to see the L5 2 selling in any sort of massive numbers.
This is very disappointing really, as the Optimus L5 2 is a decent device. In a less crowded market, or against less of its siblings, we could see the L5 2 carving out a bit of a name for itself.
With a very decent battery life and NFC , it has enough to take on the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 and the Huawei Ascend G510.
We can easily see this being a popular phone amongst younger users, and their parents as the safety care app is a smart choice. For £10-15pm, or £120 out right, compromises were always going to have to be made, the question is, can you forgive the lack of front camera and the smaller processor?
If you can, check the LG Optimus L5 2 out for yourself, if not, then this won't ever be the phone for you.