LG has announced two new entry-level smartphones in its L Series, the Bello and Fino, offering first-time smartphone owners decently-specced 3G devices at "accessible" prices.
LG's new 4.5-inch Fino and five-inch Bello smartphones appear designed to capture some of the interest Motorola carved out with its Moto G and Moto E — both well-priced smartphones below $200 that offer more than a no-frills experience, but lack higher-end features such as high-resolution displays and LTE connectivity.
Of course, Motorola isn't the only manufacturer to find success in the sub-$200 market. According to analyst firm IDC, 58.6 percent of the 255 million Android smartphones that shipped worldwide in the second quarter of this year cost less than $200 off contract and the firm expects that trend to continue thanks to Google's $100 Android One reference designs for OEMs.
Designed for first-time smartphone owners and teenagers, specs for the two new devices fall well below LG's flagship smartphone, the 5.5-inch G3, but carry across some of the software features it has, such as LG's knock pattern unlocking feature, and continue with LG's signature rear key button design.
The L Fino has a 1.2GHz quad-core processor while the Bello has a slightly faster 1.3GHz quad-core. Both devices have 1GB RAM, but the Fino has a bare 4GB in-built storage, while the Bello offers a more reasonable 8GB. LG hasn't said whether either devices comes with microSD support, but you'd hope with just 4GB in the Fino, it would come as standard.
Both smartphones come with a rear eight-megapixel camera and 1GB front-facing camera, however the Bello is distinguished by auto-focus on the main camera. Also, the larger of the two devices comes with a higher capacity 2,540mAh battery while the Fino has a 1,900 mAh battery. The Fino's 4.5 inch display resolution is 800x480 pixels at 207 pixels per inch (ppi), while the Bello’s five inch display offers 854x480 pixels (196 ppi).
LG hasn't announced pricing for either device yet and plans to unveil them in early September at Berlin's IFA consumer tech fair — where LG also is rumoured to be launching a new OLED display smart watch, according to Korea Times.
Nonetheless, Dr Jong-seok Park, CEO of the LG's mobile business, said he has "high hopes" for both devices, given their specs and "accessible pricing".
Consumers shouldn't have to wait too long to find out the price though since LG plans to roll out both devices in Latin America this month. Other markets marked for subsequent releases include Europe, Asia and CIS nations.