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printed November 27, 2014
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Review: LG Optimus F3 for Sprint

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  1  

Screen

The F3's display measures 4 inches across the diagonal and has 800 by 480 pixels. Like most LG devices, the F3 uses an in-plane switching (IPS) LCD screen. Despite the mid-level resolution, the screen looks really good. Individual pixels are only visible if you hold the device really close to your eyes. Everything on the screen looks bright and crisp. I found the F3 to be a little bit difficult to read when under the bright sun, but setting the brightness up all the way helps out a lot.

Signal

The F3 performs about on par with other devices on Sprint's network in the metro NYC region. I was able to carry it with me around large portions of New Jersey and found that it never lost Sprint's network entirely. In areas where coverage was weak - such as my office - the F3 remained connected and was able to make calls (often requiring two attempts) and surf the net (albeit slowly, thanks to the lack of LTE coverage.) Calls connected the first time in areas with strong coverage, but data speeds didn't improve much. Sprint's 3G network is painfully slow. It should be better in areas served by Sprint 4G LTE.

Sound

Phone calls sounded good through the F3's earpiece, but not great. Calls sounded choppy in weak coverage areas, but were cleaner in strong coverage areas. Every now and then I heard some interference, but the bulk of calls were clear of noises. The earpiece produces good volume, just short of excellent. I was able to hear calls at a noisy concert in between sets, but once the band came on I couldn't hear a darned thing. The speakerphone also produces good quality, but not nearly enough volume. It is fine for a small, quiet room, but any environment that has the least amount of background noise will drown it out. Callers with whom I spoke said I sounded good. The alerts and ringtones could be set loud enough to get my attention from anywhere in my house, but I had a hard time feeling the vibrate alerts when the F3 was in my pocket.


Battery

The battery life is, in a word, epic. The F3 is a small phone, with a low-res screen and a medium-grade processor. Even so, LG stuffed a massive 2,460mAh battery into the F3. (To put that into perspective, the Nokia Lumia 1020 has a 2,000mAh battery.) The result is a device that goes and goes and goes. It easily lasted a day and a half on a single charge with lots of use. Those who use their device sparingly can expect close to two days per charge. Power users may want to charge it each night, but they'll have plenty of spare juice come morning if they forget. (It’s worth pointing out that we did not test the F3 under LTE coverage, which may affect battery life.)

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