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Hands-On with LG's Entry-Level L7 II Smartphone

If you thought LG was all tapped out of new devices after introducing its Optimus G Pro halo phone and Optimus Vu II phablet, you don't know LG. The company has also introduced the follow-up to its L Series entry-level smartphones, the L Series II. The lineup consists of the L3 II, L5 II and the L7 II, but to get a feel for the series, we demoed the top-of-the-line L7 II here at Mobile World Congress 2013.

Measuring  4.8 x 2.6 x 0.4 inches the L7 II offers a 4.3-inch 800 x 480 display that, while low on pixel resolution, still produced bright, clear images. The L7 II gets its power from a 1-GHz dual-core Qualcomm processor and includes 768MB of RAM. On-board storage is limited to just 8GB, but that can be offset via the smartphone's microSD card slot.

Despite its entry-level specs, the Android Jelly Bean-equipped L7 II proved snappy during our brief hands-on. Apps opened quickly and swiping through home screen and apps menus was buttery smooth. On the downside, the L7 II will only come with 3G data connectivity.

Cameras include 8-megapixel rear-facing and VGA front-facing shooters. But the biggest draw for users is the L7 II's massive 2,460 mAh battery. Coupled with its low-powered display and dual-core processor, users should be able to get several hours of usage out of this battery pack. And while the L7 II may not have all of the cool features of the Optimus G Pro, it certainly has its own great apps including QSlide and LG's Safety Care personal safety suite.

Unfortunately, because L7 II doesn't have the kind of processing power of the high-end Optimus G Pro, LG could only load the phone with the first-generation version of QSlide, meaning the only windowed app you'll be able to open is the video player. The Optimus G Pro can open multiple windowed apps including the video player, calculator, calendar and others.

LG hasn't announced whether the L Series II will come to the U.S., but if the company chooses to do so, it could have a compelling option for budget conscious smartphone users. That said, the lack of a 4G data connection could turn off many potential customers.