4G smartphones are still in their relative infancy in Australia and are mostly restricted to high-end handsets. LG is aiming to change this with the Optimus F5, a mid-range 4G handset with a competitive price tag.
The key feature of the LG Optimus F5 is obviously 4G connectivity. While this may not sound like a big deal considering the rise of 4G smartphones over the past 12 months, the Optimus F5 will be sold on pre-paid through Optus and on a $29 monthly plan through Virgin Mobile. Telstra's Frontier 4G may have beaten the Optimus F5 to the title of the first 4G smartphone on prepaid, but 4G phones at this end of the market remain a rarity.
The specifications of the LG Optimus F5 are about what you would expect from a phone that retails for under $300, 4G aside. It has a 4.3in IPS screen with a qHD resolution of 960x540, is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and has 1GB of RAM.
There's also a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls and NFC connectivity. The Optimus F5 comes with 8GB of internal memory but a microSD card slot allows users to expand the storage if they wish.
The Optimus F5 runs the 4.1 Jelly Bean version of Google's Android operating system but the software has been skinned with LG's UI overlay. The company claims the phone borrows some features first seen on the flagship Optimus G smartphone, a phone that currently retails for over $600.
These features include a QuickMemo function that allows users to write notes on the screen using their finger, a QuickTranslator feature can translate sentences and phrases using the camera to scan text, a QSlide function that enables users to open three "pop-up" apps at a time and the ability to zoom in on videos while they are playing.
The LG Optimus F5 has a 2150mAh battery that's removable and therefore replaceable.
The LG Optimus F5 is available now through Optus and Virgin Mobile stores and online. It is available for $299 through Optus prepaid and for $0 upfront on the $35 Optus Plan over 24 months, or through Virgin Mobile for $0 on the $29 Big Plan.
A promotional video of the LG Optimus F5 can be viewed below.