LG Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy review
Mid-range smartphones with premium design and features
LG make a big promise with the LG Magna, LG Spirit, LG Leon an LG Joy and in my multi-phone review we find out if a premium design and premium features are really on the cards!
The build quality and design elements certainly mirror those that we have seen reserved for premium phones in the LG range. Having said this though I must be careful to highlight that there are two versions of each of these phones with different design characteristics.
The 4G versions of the Magna, Spirit, Leon and Joy have premium metallic back covers while the 3G versions of each have a plastic patterned back cover and whilst until recently even manufacturers like Samsung had used plastic covers on their flagship Galaxy range it is hard to argue that the non-metallic format is a premium characteristic.
One of the most distinguishing features between each of these smartphones is screen size and resolution. The Magna is the largest phone offering a 5” display with a resolution of 294 pixels per inch, making this model great for enjoying videos, catch-up TV or photography.
Next is the Spirit with a 4.7” display at 312ppi followed by the Leon with a 4.5” display with 220ppi and finally the Joy with a 4” display and 223ppi. In-cell touch displays have been used and these are usually a premium phone inclusion. In-cell displays minimise bezels, make the phone look slimmer while maximising display areas and produce images that are closer to the surface of the screen and so offer faster touch recognition and better outdoor visibility.
The Magna, Spirit and Leon use a 1.2GHz quad-core processor with 1GB RAM and have an ample internal memory of 8GB. The LG Joy, being the most budget friendly of the quartet has a 1.2GHz dual-core processor with 512MB RAM and has a less impressive 4GB internal memory.
All of these LG smartphones have plenty to literally get to grips with and in the order mentioned before this equates to 10.2mm, 9.9mm, 10.9mm and 11.9mm thicknesses. In a time when some premium phones are sub 7mm thick these don’t have that cutting edge super-sleek look but the 4G metallic models certainly do feel premium in the hand.
Phone Set Up
These mid-range LG smartphones provide the stock Android experience so your setup might well include visiting Google Play to download your favourite apps or you might visit Play Music, Play Newsstand or Play Books for additional content.
The first three of these LG phones come with the Android Lollipop operating system which has the latest look and enhancements. The LG Joy however offers a cost saving by running the slightly older Android KitKat operating system.
There isn’t a mass of exciting features to discover on these smartphones but with app downloads there really isn’t anything that they cannot do. This means that social networking, working with documents, streaming YouTube videos and playing graphically intense games is all on offer.
One nice touch added by LG is the that even when the screen is off you can swipe down with Glance View to quickly see key data such as the time, missed calls or recent messages.
Camera & Video
The camera combinations once again depend upon the model of choice with the best reserved for the LG Magna. This model has an 8MP main shooter with s 5MP camera on the front which has been designed for high quality selfies.
The Spirit follows closely behind with the same main camera but a 1MP selfie camera and the LG Leon follows along the same path with the selfie camera downgraded to VGA quality. The LG Joy fairs worst of all with a 5MP main camera and VGA selfie camera.
All of these models do feature the new and improved Gesture Shot which allows you to activate the shutter with a hand gesture combined with a 3-second countdown for better selfies. Gesture Shot now recognises hand gestures from further away to accommodate its use in conjunction with selfie sticks.
The 2,540mAh battery on the LG Magna lasts all day even under a heavy usage scenario. The Magna’s 2,100mAh battery performs well with the small reduction in capacity offset by the smaller screen. Both the LG Leon and LG Joy have a 1,900mAh battery.
LG Magna, LG Spirit, LG Leon and LG Joy verdict: To fulfill LG’s promise of mid-range smartphones with premium design and features I feel that LG should have stopped at the LG Magna and LG Spirit with 4G and the metallic elements. The Leon really doesn’t match up to its hype and the LG Joy is blatantly budget. So if you aren’t going to splash out on an LG G3 or LG G Flex 2 this year then opt for the LG Magna or LG Spirit instead and forget the rest.
Written by: Michael Brown