LG unveils Optimus L9, misses traditional carriers

LG Optimus L9 available now for $399 outright

The LG Optimus L9 ($399).

The LG Optimus L9 ($399).

LG has announced the latest addition to its aggressively priced L-Style range of Android smartphones but the new device won't be sold through Australia's traditional carriers.

Read our comprehensive preview of the LG Optimus L9 here

The LG Optimus L9, the flagship model in the company's L-Series prepaid range of Android phones, will initially be available through MVNO's Allphones, Crazy John's and Dodo, along with Dick Smith retail stores.

It will retail for $399 as an outright and unlocked purchase and will be available on selected plans, depending on the carrier. Allphones will sell the white version of the Optimus L9 exclusively, while the black model will be sold through other selected retailers.

Unlike LG's Optimus L7, which retails for $229 as a prepaid device through Optus, and the $79 Optimus L3 which sells through Telstra, the Optimus L9 will not be sold through one of Australia's big three carriers — Telstra, Optus or Vodafone.

LG Australia's General Manager of Marketing, Lambro Skropidis, had this to say about the Optimus L9:

"The Optimus L9 is a great smartphone and will appeal to discerning and extremely style driven consumers that are after a well featured premium handset with Android software."

"LG will continue to offer differentiated value throughout our handset range and the Optimus L9 is a fantastic example of the great feature set and technology we can deliver in a compelling price package."

The LG Optimus L9 has a 4.7in IPS screen, is powered by a dual-core processor and comes with a 5-megapixel camera. The screen is one of the largest on a prepaid Android phone sold in Australia and features a qHD resolution of 960x540. This is significantly higher than most other prepaid phones on the market.

The LG Optimus L9 has 4GB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for extra storage and also features a front-facing VGA camera for video calls.

There are also two software features of note on the Optimus L9. The first is a redesigned keyboard called My Style Keypad, which allows users to change the key layout depending on whether they're using the phone with one hand or two.

In addition, a QTranslator app uses optical character recognition (OCR) to translate sentences and phrases into other languages by simply capturing a photo of text.

Earlier this year, LG admitted to PC World Australia that it had "dropped the ball" in smartphones in the last 12-18 months. At the time, the company promised to launch at least four 4G smartphones in Australia by early 2013 in a bid to turn around its fortunes.

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