If you have read this blog for any amount of time, you know I am a happy T-Mobile customer. Through an odd series of events and mail server changes, I had to replace my Windows Phone with an Android device. My budget was “cheap”, so I looked at what T-Mobile sold as a prepaid android device or what other carriers call “off-contract”.
I had a set budget I wanted to stay near, and A Galaxy S4, iPhone 5s, or LG G2 were not in that price range. My price range was a lot lower. I called the “local” corporate store (30 miles away), And asked about pricing and what was in stock. The helpful sales associate also gave the option of looking into “prepaid packaging” which gives all the original accessories and warranty as a new “carrier” model but you get a prepaid SIM card with it. You can often save $50 or more, by getting different packaging.
Based on my budget and their pricing, I went with an LG Optimus L3. It is an Android 4.1.2 based smartphone (That is allegedly getting a KitKat 4.4 upgrade this Summer). It has a 4″ Screen, 1.2 Ghz Dual Core Processor, etc… (specs here). Basically it has the “flagship specs” of about 2 years ago. It has also packed some surprises as well. to keep the post short, here are my 4:
1) Onscreen Phone – I have used the app AirDroid in the past. Very neat idea. Essentially you can send texts over your phone, using a web interface. This feature in the new LG phones takes the concept one step farther, using WiFi, USB or Bluetooth, you can actually see “your phone” from your PC, and control it from your PC. You can also use it as a remote trigger for the Camera. Fun Stuff.
2) Ease of Root. There is not a lot of “App Space” on the F3. There is also a fair amount of “bloatware” that both LG and T-Mobile includes. Thankfully with a USB cable and about 5 minutes, gaining root was quick and painless. This allowed me to clear out a large portion of the bloat, and install the apps I choose. You’ll see from the screenshot, I am using Aviate Launcher.
3) LTE. This is the first LTE device I have tried on T-Mobile’s network. In areas where they have upgraded to LTE (For me that includes Indianapolis and Lafayette, IN), I was very pleased. This thing has the horsepower to deal with the faster downloads.
4) The Battery. This phone ships with a 2460mah battery and a 4-inch screen. It is rare for me to use even half of the battery in a day with WiFi calling, and OnScreen Phone over WiFi. Its similar to what I have experienced in the past with Blackberries and iPhones that sipped battery power and gave you two days plus of usage. I could see getting two days out of this phone between charges in the right environment. On a 2G network (where I live and work) it is very efficient.
What do you look for in a Smartphone? Share in the comments below!