LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!

LG Leon, when this phone was first announced in PH few months back, it's supposedly the must buy entry level phone from a well established and trusted international brand. However, it faced some difficulties as the level of competition and pricing gets tougher. Fortunately LG Philippines was up to that challenged as they just slashed 1,000 Pesos off from its original price tag which make this device now priced at just 4,990 Pesos.
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
LG Leon review, the goodness of Lollipop on a budget

In that way the LG Leon was able to position itself a bit better against their other well known rivals from the big boys of the smartphone industry. Then luckily we we're able to secure a demo unit from LG to share with you guys what we think about it.

In case you missed it, LG Leon is a 4.5 inch device that's powered by quad core processor that has the design language that and most features made the LG G2 and LG G3 highly successful. Let's go thru the specs first.

LG Leon Specs

Display: 4.5 Inch FWGA screen at 220 ppi
CPU: 1.3 GHz MT6582 quad core processor
GPU: Mali 400
RAM: 768 MB
ROM: 4 GB expandable via micro SD card slot
Back Camera: 8 MP
Selfie Camera: VGA
OS: Android 5.0 Lollipop
Battery: 1,900 mAh removable
Connectivity: WiFi, 3G, HSPA+, Bluetooth, GPS, A GPS, GLONASS, FM Radio, Dual SIM
Sensors: Light, accelerometer, compass, proximity
Dimensions: 129.9 x 64.9 x 10.9 mm
Weight: 140 g
Price: 4,990 Pesos

Unboxing / Accessories

LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
LG Leon box

The LG Leon comes with a simple white box that has most of the basic information you need to know about the phone. After opening the box due to massive excitement, I was able to see a standard wall charger, micro USB data cable / charger, some paper manuals / documentations and the LG Leon itself.
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
Inside the box

What LG should consider next time it to make the package more value packed, they can add a silicon case or even just a screen protector just like what others normally practice.

Build Quality / Design

LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
The familiar back design of LG present here

The LG Leon is designed like the little brother of their popular models especially the LG G3. It also has a semi curve back design that can give you a better grip. Then the ergonomically placed buttons at the back contains the volume rocker and power switch.
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
Microphone and micro USB data / charging port below
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
On top there's another microphone together with the 3.5 mm female port visible
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
This phone is quite thick at 10.9 mm

What I liked with this phone is it feels very well made and durable. The Leon still has all plastic feel, but a sincerely solid one. They just have to make the phone a bit thick to my liking have that type of ruggedness.

Display Quality

LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
The screen of LG Leon

The LG Leon was supposedly a bad display due to the use of an FWGA screen with low resolution, but I was wrong. LG was able to do some sort of magic here that made the display look actually decent. It's bright, quite sharp, has a balanced tone, has good viewing angles and a nice touch response.

Upon inspection I noticed that the LG Leon is arguably the most affordable handset right now that has 10 point multi touch on a smaller screen! That is a good sign for those who love mobile gaming and for people who can navigate really fast in their screen that requires a lot of responsiveness.

Maybe the only thing missing here is some sort of glass protection to prevent scratches. Fortunately that can be remedied by adding a screen protector film or tempered glass. It's still not the best display here, but it's right there in the middle of those who have a decent one. 

Audio Quality

LG is one of those few brands that really cares about the quality of audio and the Leon is fortunately one of them even on a low budget. While the speakers isn't the best out there, it has nice clarity and probably one of the airiest outputs out there. It also has a louder than average out that lets me use just 60 - 70% of the volume to get my desired loudness.

Then here comes the revelation, the LG Leon is one of the best sounding budget smartphone I've tried apart from MyPhone Rio 2 and SKK Lynx. It has a very clean sound with neutral sound and great clarity. This phone also presents a louder than the average driving power against the competition. The best part again here is the separation of sound and soundstage, as this device features one of the best I've heard from a budget phone. They really used a good type of audio chip here which I liked.

By the way I almost forgot to mention that the use of a dual microphone setup was able to make this device a good phone for calls and alike.

Overall, it would be a more than decent alternative for those who have a dedicated HiFi player and a main music phone for those who don't have one.

Battery

LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
The battery life

Rated at just 1,900 mAh of battery, even with a smaller type of screen and resolution, I did not expect this type of performance from Leon. It's long lasting, efficient and doesn't drain that fast. LG did a good job in optimizing the power of this one that makes it last with me on a full day in a single charge of normal usage. Under heavy gaming, watching movies and data on harsh setting the battery life is still quite impressive as it lasted over 5 hours on our test.

Camera

The camera, there are some positive points here and some parts that needs improvement. The rear camera is actually decent and performs well in good lighting condition, however it falls short at night which is commonly found in budget devices. It also struggles with macro focusing on subjects near to you. What I like with it's back camera is the speed of shutter and the focus is pretty fast too. In general, the rear camera used here is decent for the asking price.

The weakness that I was talking about earlier is the front camera. It uses just a VGA display that's quite pixelated even with good lighting. The good things of having it is the point of having it instead of not and the you can use the screen as a flash replacement when taking photos in the dark. LG should not use this type of front camera in their future releases.

Sample Shots

LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
There are some struggles in close up shots
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
It's surprisingly good with this frame
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
Quite decent results here
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
Selfie shot indoors with good lighting
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
Selfie shot with not that good lighting

Performance

LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
The UI of LG Leon

The LG Leon does most of the little things right in for your first Android device. It has pretty good speed, responsiveness and overall performance even if it has some pre-installed apps (bloatwares). The Android 5.0 Lollipop custom UI they used here is also quite easy to understand. This phone also has my favorite LG feature which is the knock code that enables you to open and close your screen by double tapping it and some basic Android gestures.
LG Leon Review, A Sweet Lollipop LG Experience On A Budget!
The expected antutu score and the surprising 10 point multi touch

What I like here is it has good memory management even if it only has 768 MB of RAM. You'll only experience some lags when you try to open a bit too many apps at the same time. I also noticed that the internal storage of 4 GB only gives you usable space of just 1.56 GB. That may require you to use an external micro SD card for additional space.

Pro's - Solidly built, android lollipop powered, good display, long battery life
Con's - A bit thick design, older type of processor used, just 768 of RAM

Verdict

First I'd like to laud LG for coming up with something decent at this price point which is quite rare from a well known international brand. Not even It may not be the best performing device in this price range, but this phone boast long battery life, one of the cleanest audio out thru headphones on a budget and runs on Android Lollipop on board against Kitkat only from other phones. Overall, I'll recommend this to those who wanted a decent entry level phone from LG.

GIZ Rating: 3.25 / 5 Stars
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