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printed December 21, 2014
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Review: LG Optimus L9 for T-Mobile USA

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  

Screen

The L9's display measures 4.5-inches across the diagonal and offers qHD resolution (540 x 960 pixels). It’s an LCD, and a good one at that. It’s bright, offers wide viewing angles, and is densely packed with pixels. You can see individual pixels only if you hold it a few inches from your eyeballs, but at normal reading distance (about 18 inches) you can't see them. It's not bad at all for a $79 phone.

Signal

T-Mobile's network was an easy target for the L9. It latched on tight and never let go. Most of the time I tested the L9, it was using HSPA or HSPA+. It dropped down to EDGE once or twice, but only when inside large buildings. The rest of the time it was using T-Mobile's fastest-available network. Network speeds were quite snappy in most cases. I only noticed it was slow at roaming the internet when on EDGE. It had no issues at all connecting voice calls and never dropped any, even when traveling in a car at highway speeds (don't worry, hands-free was in use!)

Sound

The L9 has a very loud, sharp sound to the earpiece. Conversations were easy to hear, but often painful when the volume was set up all the way. Voices come through the speaker with a really spikey, needle-like quality, but hey, they're loud as heck. You won't have any problem hearing conversations in most places. The speakerphone is similarly loud, but introduces some scratchy interference. I didn't have any trouble hearing the ringtones, beeps, and other alerts above the screaming children at a local park, but the vibrate alert was a bit weak.

Battery

I was pleased with the L9's battery life. In short, it lasted more than 24 hours on a single charge consistently, no matter how intensely I used the device to take pictures or check up on my social networks. Most users will want to charge the battery every night, but if you forget, you won't have to worry about the battery until close to lunch.

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