Samsung Galaxy Y vs LG L3

Budget Android Comparison

If there’s anything the budget conscious techie can appreciate, it’s a budget smartphone that can still manage to do it all. The Samsung Galaxy Y is a favorite because it does just that. It’s been the budget handset to beat and has held that spot since it came out in October of 2011. It’s hard for me to miss how popular the Galaxy Y has become, with accessories for it being sold everywhere I go. And why not? It runs on the popular Android 2.3 Gingerbread platform, costs barely more than Php5k, and can even browse the internet at speeds of up to 7.2mbps!

LG is hoping to mix things up with the introduction of the LG L3. It’s the least powerful of the trio of L-series Android phones that LG has just recently released, the other two being the L5 and the L7. What sets the L-series apart is the attention to styling. Indeed, if you’re familiar with the LG Prada 3.0 that came out last January, you’ll find that some of the minimalistic design cues have trickled down to the L-series. Of course, the L3 is no Prada 3.0, but it still looks better than the average budget smartphone while retaining the Php5k+ price.

Still, the L3 is a little late to the game. It originally came out in the international market in February but didn’t make it to Philippine shores until April. Does it have what it takes to dethrone the Galaxy Y? It’s still too early to tell, but here’s my take on it.

Spec by Spec Comparison

If you’re somehow expecting these phones to wow you, try to lower your standards. Take note these are budget smartphones that retail for less than Php6k.


The screen on the L3 is larger at 3.2 inches while the Galaxy Y sports a 3 inch screen, however they both sport the same 240 x 320 resolution. The pixel density on the Galaxy Y was atrocious to begin with, but the L3 takes it up a notch. On the plus side, you won’t have to hold the L3 as close to your face if you wanted to read text. Both screens are capacitive, which means you barely have to touch it for the screens to recognize you want to do something with the phones.


The CPU is responsible for running all the active and background tasks, and basically the higher the number, the better. That being said, both of them run on similar CPUs with the Galaxy Y running at 830MHz while the L3 runs at 800MHz. One might think that the Galaxy Y has the edge because of the slight bump in clock speed, however it is an older ARMv6 that can’t run Flash, while the L3 sports an ARMv7. There is still a lot of Flash content that can be found on the Web these days, and it’s nice that the L3 can play them if you really wanted it to. Also, the L3 has a separate Adreno 200 GPU for handling graphics, so if you like playing games, the L3 would still be the phone for you.


Internal storage on the Galaxy Y is a paltry 160MB compared to a whopping 1GB on the L3. That simply means more music, videos and other files that you can store directly on the L3. However the Galaxy Y retail box does come with a 2GB microSD card.

RAM on both phones is on the low side. The Galaxy Y has a total 290MB user available RAM while the L3 does a little better with 384MB. In real world usage, that won’t seem like much though.


The Galaxy Y features a measly 2MP rear camera while the L3 sports a better 3.15MP shooter. Based on numbers alone, the L3 should give you better photos. Both phones are also capable of recording video, but please don’t. The L3 can record up to VGA quality at 24 frames per second while the Galaxy Y is much, much worse, recording at 15 frames per second in QVGA (Quarter VGA) quality. Neither phone has a front camera, so video calling is out of the question. Anyway, it’s not like a lot of people do that here in the Philippines.


One of the great thing about budget smartphones is their internals don’t use as much juice as the high end stuff you would find on their more expensive brethren. The Galaxy Y comes with a 1200mAh Li-Ion battery, which is enough to get you through the day, even if you’re a heavy user. If you only use the phone for messaging and browse the internet only on occasion, the phone might even get you past 2 or 3 days. The L3 comes with a larger 1500mAh Li-Ion battery, although the larger screen will sip slightly more power. To put things into perspective, the Galaxy S2 powers itself using a 1650mAh battery. That’s some serious juice. Both phones will last for at least an entire day on a full charge, but if you ever find yourself on a road trip or vacation with limited access to power outlets, the L3 should you last you a bit longer.


Both phones are fairly complete when it comes to the connectivity department. They both support WiFi 802.11 b/g/n standards and can double as WiFi hotspots. They come with Bluetooth 3.0 for file transfers or connecting wirelessly to Bluetooth accessories such as headsets and keyboards. The only major difference is the Galaxy Y can surf at speeds of up to 7.2Mbps HSDPA while the L3 can only go up to 3.6Mbps HSDPA. Of course, take note that coverage for 3.6Mbps speeds on local networks like Globe, Smart and Sun Cellular is wider compared to 7.6Mbps HSDPA. Still, being able to browse at 7.6Mbps is nice to take advantage of when it’s available. My Galaxy Note supports it and I was able to download an 800MB game in no time at all when I gave it a try.


Although Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) is already powering some of the new phones that are coming out, the Galaxy Y and L3 are stuck on Gingerbread (Android 2.3) with no hope of ever being upgraded to ICS. That’s mostly due to the internals. ICS requires a 1Ghz CPU and 512MB of RAM just to run smoothly enough, and neither phone meets those requirements. Gingerbread isn’t bad though. When it first came out, it solved a lot of the Force Close issues that plagued earlier versions of Android, and most apps are compatible with Android 2.1 (Eclair) and up, so neither phone should have an issue with app compatibility being restricted by the software.

Cellphone manufacturers that make use of Android like to put their own skin on top of the stock software, and the Galaxy Y and L3 are no exception. The Galaxy Y is skinned with TouchWiz UI while the L3 comes with the Optimus UI. Skins are mostly a love-it-or-hate-it affair, but most people find the aesthetics of TouchWiz to be more tolerable compared to the Optimus skin. It might be something to do with the Optimus UI icons appearing too bland and basic, but that’s just my opinion.

More Points to Ponder

Of course, choosing the right phone between the two should be more than just about comparing spec sheets. For example, the Galaxy Y is much older in the market and already has a ton of accessories available for it. If you’re a fan of personalizing your gadgets, the Galaxy Y will give you your fix. Not so with the L3, which is comparatively much newer to the market.

Also, the SRP for both phones at the time of launch was at Php5,990. However, the selling price of a brand new Galaxy Y these days is down to around Php5.5k compared to the L3 that still retails at Php5,990. It gets even better if you want to buy a secondhand Galaxy Y. You can go to sites like and find secondhand units for as low as just Php4k. Most people will still try to sell their used L3 for about Php5k-5.5k.


Quite frankly, I’ve got to give it to the L3 on this one. It outperforms the Galaxy Y in several important areas and even manages to look better too. If there’s anything that would make me hesitate about recommending the L3 over the Galaxy Y, it’s the choice of accessories, but that should solve itself in time.

Sources: GSMArena, PhoneArena, Yugatech