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LG Optimus F3 delights in being an average budget phone

Hayden Dingman | Aug. 21, 2013
The LG Optimus F3 is a no frills budget phone for people who only want to make phone calls.

LG optimus

The LG Optimus F3 is a triumph of mediocrity, a symphony of plain, and a stunning achievement in merely existing. Put it up against the other members of the Optimus family of smartphones and you'll find that this Android phone lacks any of the pizzazz that made its predecessors worth noting.

Neither some fetishized work of art, nor a dead albatross stuffed in your pocket, the F3 is simply what it was always meant to be: A phone for people who value making phone calls more than fancy features.

4-inches of ordinary
The F3 is a sturdy little phone, but I thought it felt heavy considering its diminutive size. The phone is actually a bit too small for my hands to feel comfortable, but keep in mind that I also adore LG's Optimus G Pro for it's ability to rest comfortably in my hand. The phone is mostly made up of plastic but the back panel deserves special acclaim: It's composed of the same material as the rest of the phone, but the texture prevents fingerprints and gives the F3 a more premium feel.

After previously reviewing the LG Optimus G Pro, I was less than dazzled by the low resolution, 4-inch display on the F3. Although the phone's screen size is pretty standard—especially among budget handsets—I wasn't prepared for how fuzzy it would look after a recent spate of better devices. Reading through pages of text is particularly uncomfortable on the F3, the slightly-out-of-focus screen causing eye strain after moderate use.

If camera excellence is your first and foremost concern, I suggest you look elsewhere. The 5-megapixel camera on the F3 is okay for the occasional snapshot, but colors tend to look washed out and don't even try using the phone to take pictures in dark environments. If you want a phone that's capable of taking photos you can be proud of, you'll need to spend the extra cash and buy a more premium smartphone.

This ain't a cheetah
Like the rest of the device, the hardware under the hood isn't anything to write home about. The F3 runs on a 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor and 1GB of RAM. The Snapdragon 400 processor isn't bad, per se, but keep in mind it means the F3 isn't very future-proofed. A budget phone like the F3 already seems sluggish next to the current heavyweights of the smartphone kingdom, and within months will be even more outgunned. People who use a phone as just a phone won't hit the ceiling for a while, but I already experienced a bit of slowdown in the most graphically intensive games, and things can only get worse.


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