LG Packs a Punch with the Optimus L90

From having developed the first handset to feature a color display in 2001, to introducing the first touchscreen phone in 2007, and finally to launching the first wrist watch phone in 2009, LG has consistently remained a major player in the evolution of the smartphone. In 2013, LG launches the LG G2, the first smartphone with a rear-key design.

Now, in April 2014, LG announces the release of a new budget-focused device, the LG Optimus L90. Launched by T-Mobile and heir to such programs offered by the service provider as no contract, some free 4G LTE service, and an easy payment plan ($0 down and 24 monthly payments of $9.50 each), the LG Optimus L90 is not as advanced as the flagship LG G2, but it holds its own in terms of appearance and functionality.

it gets the job done

The LG Optimus L90 includes a 4.7-inch display, which is enough to play with, though the 960 X 540 resolution does not necessarily offer the sharpest screen you will see. The 4.7 inch qHD display is satisfactory for viewing images, browsing websites, and reading text messages, but it leaves a little to be desired when used for watching movies. Parting with the design of the LG G2, the LG Optimus L90 omits the on-screen navigation in favor of below-the-screen buttons. This adds some additional length to the handset, but the device still fits comfortably in your hand while the textured rear cover offers added grip.

The device features the power/lock key on the right, while the volume rocker switch is well- placed on the left. Pretty straightforward until you realize that the developers have added an additional feature at the top of the device: an IR blaster that allows you to control home  entertainment devices like your TVs, DVD players and set top boxes. Such functionality is usually reserved for higher-tiered devices, but the feature has been artfully incorporated into the LG Optimus L90’s design and the intuitive application makes for painless programming to control your other devices.

The LG Optimus L90 also comes equipped with Android’s 4.4 KitKat, the latest version of Google’s mobile platform. In addition, it has a security overlay, called Knockcode, on top of the Android OS, which requires the user to unlock the device by tapping out a code of two to eight knocks before the device is usable.

The first ever smartphone with rear-key design.

Armed with 1.2GHz quad-core processor and 1GB of RAM the LG Optimus L90 isn’t performing at the pinnacle of power and speed, but it gets the job done.

The 8MP rear camera is also adequate for the random shot or two, but you will likely not want to use it for the more professional-type images some of the higher-tier smartphone cameras can snap.

The LG Optimus L90 does include a microSD card slot for storage expansion if desired. All in all, the LG Optimus L90 is a well-designed entrance into the more affordable and budget-friendly smartphone market.

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Jessica is a freelance journalist who loves to cover technology news and the ways that technology makes life easier. She also blogs at FreshlyTechy.com. Check her out on Twitter @TechyJessy.