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printed October 23, 2017
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Review: LG Optimus F60 for MetroPCS

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Menus

The F60 runs Android 4.4.2 KitKat with LG's user experience plopped on top.

The lock screen is fairly adjustable. It supports LG's KnockOn and Knock Code for viewing notifications and unlocking the device, respectively. It includes normal security options (PIN, password, pattern) and you can opt to view a clock, or a clock along with some shortcuts.

There are five home screen panels active out of the box and three of them are crammed with MetroPCS widgets and shortcuts. As with all Android devices, however, you can strip these away and customize the home screens to your heart's content.

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LG has long included a highly configurable app menu with its handsets. The default setting is a grid with several pre-filled folders of Google and MetroPCS' apps. You can set the icons to small or large sizes, and view them in alpha, custom, or downloaded order. I've always enjoyed LG's tools for hiding and uninstalling apps, which make it a breeze to rid your device of bloatware (or at least tuck it out of sight.)

The notification shade works pretty much the same as it does on other Android devices. The shortcuts and other controls can be adjusted to suit your tastes. The F60 ha LG's QSlide apps on board, but you can't access them from the notification shade as on other LG handsets; instead, you have to turn them on/off from within the supported apps directly (more on these later). The F60 doesn't include LG's Easy Mode for first-time users.

The settings menu is arranged as a single list. It includes a wide array of options for customizing the phone's behavior, such as a handful of fonts and font sizes, wallpapers, themes, ringtones, default apps, and so on.

Many entry-level handsets rely on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 400 processor and the F60 is no different in that respect. The 1.2 GHz quad-core engine is more than adequate to power the F60, which showed no signs of sluggishness or slowing down. All of the apps I installed on the phone ran smoothly and without trouble.

Menus  

Calls and Contacts

The phone and contact apps are identical to those seen on most LG Android handsets released in the last year. The phone app offers a nice dialer in addition to tabbed access to call history, contacts, favorites, and groups along the top. In-call options include the ability to add a line, send to Bluetooth, hold, reject with message, or mute. You can also open the notepad and messaging apps. The F60 supports T-Mobile/MetroPCS' WiFi Calling service. I found the service worked well. Calls connected in a snap and sounded really good.

Calls  

LG's contacts application lets users choose which account(s) it syncs with and/or displays, how contacts are arranged, and easily lump contacts together into groups. The F60 has several contact widgets for the home screen.

Contacts  

Both the phone and contact apps are available as QSlide mini-apps. There's a button in the phone dialer and a corresponding one on the contact screen to minimize the app, but leave it open and running on top of other apps. This means you can always have the phone controls or your contacts front and center while performing other tasks.

QSlide Apps  

Messaging

The F60 offers only the most basic messaging tools expected from a modern smartphone. There is a generic messaging app for traditional SMS/MMS, as well as Google Hangouts, which incorporates live video chats and IM. The Google-made Gmail app is on board, as is the generic Google email app. Google+ is the only social network pre-installed. You'll have to download Facebook, Twitter, and any other third-party messaging apps on your own.

I like the latest version of Gmail, which lets you add your Yahoo, Exchange, Hotmail, AOL, or other email accounts. You can select either the stock messaging app or Hangouts for SMS. I think the stock app (default) is the easier to use of the two and it can be used as a QSlide app.

MetroPCS has a tool called "Block It" that applies to the phone and to messaging. It lets users easily sidestep calls and messages from old flings, telemarketers, and creepy stalkers.

Messaging  

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