LG Optimus f3 2:
LG might mostly be known for the popular Nexus 4 and other premium smartphones but that only accounts for one end of its range. The LG Optimus L3 2 takes a position right at the other end as a truly entry level handset.
With a worth of roughly £90 SIM free, or offered free on contract from around £7.50 a month the LG Optimus L3 II is going up against the likes of the ZTE Blade 3, HTC Desire C and the Huawei Ascend G330.With a compact 3.2-inch low resolution screen, a 1 GHz single-core processor and just 512MB of RAM the LG Optimus L3 2 might not be up to much, but in this sort of price range that doesn’t necessarily matter.
First impressions of the handset are in line with what you’d expect from a cheap phone. The 102.6 x 61.1 x 11.9mm body is shorter and less wide than most phones, though it looks and feels quite chunky. At 107g it’s light too, but that’s no surprise given the plastic body.
The first thing that will likely notice you when you turn the LG Optimus L3 2 on is just how low resolution it is. The 3.2-inch 240 x 320 screen has just 125 pixels per inch. To put that into viewpoint the comparably priced Huawei Ascend G330 manages 233 pixels per inch. Of course that’s all just numbers but the screen on the LG Optimus L3 II is undeniably very unclear.
It really moves everything, from icons and images to text and it’s far from a enjoyable viewing experience. If you can get past screen resolution things start to look up, as actually using the touch screen isn’t bad at all.
It scrolls fairly smoothly and almost always record your taps, though there is sometimes a half second postponement between tapping on an app and it opening and it will irregularly lag in other areas such as home screen changeovers too.
When you turn the LG Optimus L3 2 on it will drop you on the lock screen, which displays the time and date on it but other than some background wallpaper there’s not much else to it. Swiping in any direction will bring up the home screen, which isn’t too far removed from the stock version of Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.
You swipe left or right to move between home screens, of which there are only three, which is a pretty prohibitive amount and limits the amount of widgets you’ll be able to use.
There’s a static dock at the bottom of the home screens with room for app shortcuts. These default to the dial pad, contacts and text messages but they can be changed if you want. There’s also a shortcut to your apps drawer on the port and this can’t be removed.
At the top of the screen there’s a notifications bar which you can swipe down to view or clear any notifications. The notifications screen also lets you put your phone on silent or vibrate, turn 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on or off, regulate the brightness, clip airplane mode and more.
You can change the theme, change the screen transition effect and setup security for the lock screen.
LG Optimus L3 2 grips contacts appealingly well. Your phone book is where you’ll find them and it pulls contacts with pictures, synced directly with Google+ and Facebook, so you should find your phone book is pretty well occupied from the off.
Adding new contacts is very easy too, you just tap the ‘+’ button at the top right of the phone book screen and fill out all the relevant fields and is in alphabetical order.
If you have a phone number for a contact there’ll be a picture of a phone next to them, which you can tap on to call them making it very quick and easy to actually make calls.
Tapping on someone’s picture brings a popup screen with options to text, call or email the person, while tapping on their name gives you their contact card, complete with email addresses, phone numbers and any other data you have on them. Pressing an email address will launch your email app, tapping on a phone number will dial it and tapping on a website will open it in your browser.
You can also alter individual ringtones and go to the text message screen from a contact card.
If you press the menu button from the main phone book screen you’ll find options to share contact details and to set up your speed dial for anyone you call a lot.
Across the top of the screen there are several other tabs, which from left to right go ‘Dial’, ‘Call Logs’, ‘Favorites’ and ‘Groups’.
‘Dial’ is the dial pad, which supports smart dialing, when you start typing a number it will bring up matches and you can also type out someone’s name on it instead of a number
When someone calls you, their name and picture is seen on the screen (if they’re in your phone book) and you can just swipe across either the ‘Answer’ or ‘Decline’ icon depending on whether or not you want to take the call.
Once on a call you have a few more options, including speaker phone, mute, hold, Bluetooth and dial pad.
You can also leave the call screen and navigate the rest of your phone without the call ending.
LG Optimus L3 2 comes with two browsers pre-installed, specifically the standard Android one and Chrome.
The Android browser has a small list of options at the bottom to go forward or backward a page, go to your home page, open a new tab or go to your bookmarks.
In both cases the bookmarking system is justly similar and direct, as having tapped on the bookmarks option you simply get thumbnails of all your bookmarks and can tap one to open it.
Both browsers are well laid out and simple to use, though there are also other options available to download from Google Play if you don’t get on with them.
LG Optimus L3 2 has a paltry 3.15 MP camera on the back and no front facing camera. The one other feature worth a mention is ‘cheese shutter’, which if enabled will cause the camera to take a picture whenever someone says ‘cheese’.
Music is one of the things that the LG Optimus L3 2 does best. The built-in music player is pretty average.it supports MP3, WAV, WMA and eAAC+ files and has options to sort your library by artist, album, song or genre.
You can also create playlists and even delve into your phone’s folders to hunt for any missing music files.
The music player enhances music panels to your notifications bar, allowing you to easily pause or skip tracks evens if you leave the player.
When in the phone’s music player you can choose to set a song as your ringtone or search for it on YouTube.
LG Optimus L3 2 packs a removable 1540 mAh battery, which is a pretty good size for such a cheap phone.
The official specs listed by LG are that the phone will last for up to 6.30 hours on standby with 3G on and manage up to 11 hours and 30 minutes of talk time with a 3G connection.
Using our famous battery test of running a 90 minute video with Wi-Fi on, push notifications activated and the screen set to full brightness, the LG Optimus L3 2 had dropped from 100% to 77% battery by the end of the video.
There’s Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with Wi-Fi hotspot support, HSDPA at 7.2Mbps, HSUPA at 5.76Mbps, Bluetooth 3.0 and GPS.
There’s also an accelerometer and a scope built into the handset, but no premium features such as NFC or DLNA support.
Most of these settings can be switched on or off from the notifications screen, which is great because it makes it very quick to use them.
- Good battery life is a main benefit for any smartphone, so it’s great to see that the LG Optimus L3 II achieves it. Contact management is done well too, drawing information in from social networks and making it as quick as possible to actually call someone.
- It’s also got a covered music player and some valuable extra features, such as the skill to have text messages pop up on the screen, and a bunch of customization options for your home screen.
- Safety Care is a possibly very convenient feature too, and along with the little price tag it makes the phone a good bet to get for a child or elderly family member.
- We actually weren’t fans of the screen on the LG Optimus L3 2. Sure, it’s reactive, which is the first screen test that a low-end handset has to pass, but it unsuccessful at the second obstacle by being extremely low resolution.
- The build quality doesn’t seem great either, since it has a rather delicate back cover. Plus there’s also not much built-in storage, the camera won’t move anyone and the phone can sometimes hold-up even when just moving around home screens.
LG Optimus L3 2 is likely to really fight to contest in the budget phone market. If you just want a feature phone you can get one for less, while if you want a smartphone you can get a substantially better one for not much more.
LG Optimus L3 2 isn’t an out and out bad phone, but neither is it really good enough to make a substantial disagreement for you to part with your hard-earned cash.