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Review: LG Optimus F3 for Sprint

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  1  

Jul 24, 2013, 3:34 PM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Jul 26, 2013, 5:18 PM

The LG Optimus F3 is a low-cost Android smartphone for Sprint. It may not include all the bells and whistles, but it still impresses with solid performance. Read Phone Scoop's full report.

Is It Your Type

The LG Optimus F3 is a $30 Android smartphone for Sprint and Virgin. It you're looking for a small, inexpensive device that still offers a decent camera and LTE 4G, the F3 is a good starting point.

Body

LG has made compact and cheap smartphones for years. The F3 fits in well with LG's broad product range, and finds a spot in Sprint's entry-level lineup. The F3 may be a follow-up to last year's Viper, but it still has its own identity.

LG put some effort into the F3's design. LG used four different shades to help define its shape and look. The front is black and rimmed with a chrome frame. There's a thin, light gray strip that runs around the outer edge of the F3, and the back cover is a darker, patterned gray. The camera is set apart with its own chrome frame. There's nothing bold about the design, but at least it's not a boring black slab.

The F3 is small and light. The rounded side edges help it to fit comfortably in your palm. The materials aren't the best I've ever seen, but they are far from the worst. The seams all fit together snugly, and the overall fit and finish is befitting the F3's low price point. It will easily slip into most pockets, thanks to the smooth surfaces and small profile.

 

Body

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

The F3's front face is about 80% display. The bezels that run along the side edges of the display are nice and thin, and there's a minimal amount of black space above and below the screen, as well. The chrome frame that surrounds the entire front fascia has a slight rim, which protects the display when the F3 is put face down on a flat surface. The home button is a physical key that also includes a programmable notification light. It can be set to show different colors for different sorts of alerts, and really lights up when used with the alarm. The button is easy to find and use. It’s flanked by capacitive back and menu buttons; those also worked well.

The volume toggle is on the left edge and has a nice surprise. Typically, volume toggles have something resembling a "U" shape. The two ends are generally raised a bit to make it easier to tell when you're pressing the up or down part of the toggle. The F3's volume toggle is the opposite. The middle part of the button is raised and the ends are lowered. It is still easy to tell which part of the toggle your thumb is pressing and the travel and feedback is good. Here's the real surprise, though: the volume toggle doubles as a camera button. If you press the raised, middle part of the button, it fires off a shot.

The lock button is on the right edge. It's a bit small, but isn't too hard to find. Travel and feedback are spot on. The stereo headphone jack is on the top and the mircoUSB port is on the bottom.

The battery cover, which forms the entire back surface of the F3, is easy to pop off. The battery is removable, and in fact needs to be pulled in order to access the SIM card. The microSD memory card slot can be accessed without pulling the battery.

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Video - is it stabilized? Syndil Aug 5, 2013, 6:04 AM
 
 
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