LG amps up smartphones with six models priced from $99

LG’s getting its mitts into smartphones in a big way, updating its L series and Google Nexus smartphones, while introducing a new model that could see 4G put in the hands of anyone and everyone.

It’s a big week for technology, and we can feel it already. While GadgetGuy’s Valens Quinn hits up Computex in Taipei this week, there’s plenty happening locally in Australia, and LG is at the forefront, announcing several new products that will be hitting stores soon. Very soon.

First up is a minor update to the Google Nexus built by LG: it now comes in white.

It’s still the same 3G phone with quad-core processing, 2GB RAM, ands a $419 price plan, but it comes with a new coat of paint and Google’s stock Android 4.2 “Jelly Bean” operating system.

So that’s a minor update, but the good news is that there are better things happening at LG.

One of these is the Optimus F5, the first phone in LG’s “F” series that brings 4G for a more budget-friendly price point.

For $299 on prepaid at both Optus and Virgin (or on post-paid plan), the LG Optimus F5 packs in a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, 8GB storage, microSD, 1GB RAM, and a 4.3 inch 940×540 qHD display viewable from practically every angle thanks to the IPS technology.

You’ll also find a 5 megapixel rear camera, 2150mAh battery, and all the regulars, such as Bluetooth 4.0, GPS, WiFi 802.11 a/b/g/n, and Android 4.1.2 “Jelly Bean.”

Oh, and then there’s that 4G thing, which at the moment only comes in at a similar price point with Telstra’s own 4G offering produced by ZTE.

“The Optimus F5 is a great addition to the LG mobile range, delivering 4G capability and the features that our customers have been raving about from the release of our flagship Optimus G,” said Jonathan Banks, Head of Mobiles for LG Australia.

“With the Optimus F5 we’re confident we can capture an untapped market of new and upgrading smartphone users who crave a feature-rich 4G device, but are not ready to commit to the higher priced post-paid offerings in the market.”

We have one in our hands and should have a review shortly, but in the mean time, those of you who don’t need 4G but do need a new smartphone can feast your eyes on the new phones LG is releasing for between $100 and $249.

Three of the new phones from the LG L series II.

Four models are coming between now and July, upgrading the L series from last year and bringing it into the second-generation, increasing specs, and adding a high-grade IPS screen to practically every model. The design is being tightened across the board, and there is now the inclusion of an LED notification light under the main physical button on the front face, to tell you when things are happening, such as phone calls, messages, and when the battery needs charging.

“LG has a history of design innovation with our mobile products when it comes to style, and the Optimus L Series II builds on that heritage,” continued Banks.

“Last year we received a positive reaction from our customers for the L Series products based on the very innovative visual appeal of the handsets along with our targeted approach to marketing the devices to a style conscious and youthful audience that have traditionally been very responsive to the LG brand.”

Unlike the F5, there’s no 4G here, but every one of these will offer Android with 3G at a competitive price point.

At the budget end of the spectrum is the L3 II and L5 II, the former of which comes to Telstra for $99 while the latter is Boost Mobile specific (also Telstra) for $149 in July.

Last year’s Optimus L7 will see a spec bump in the L7 II, as well as an increase to a 2460mAh battery, which could yield between two and three days of life. The L7 comes in tag $229 on Optus prepaid, while a special dual-SIM version will also be open and unlocked for $249.

No word yet on an update to last year’s L9, but we suspect we’ll hear something in the next few months.