We go hands-on with the LG Optimus F5, a budget smartphone with 4G connectivity.
We've just got our hands on the LG Optimus F5. It's a budget smartphone with 4G connectivity and one of the first 4G devices to be sold on prepaid. It's actually the first 4G prepaid smartphone sold in Australia by Optus. Let's take a look!
The LG Optimus F5 Australian retail box. There's no carrier branding on this one, aside from "Opt" printed on the side label denoting this is an Optus handset. It's unlocked though, so it will work on any Australian network including Telstra and Vodafone. Do note though that the phone does not support the 850MHz network band, which is used by both Telstra (Next G) and Vodafone.
LTE goodness. That's 4G for us Aussies.
Unboxing the Optimus F5.
In the box you get a USB to micro-USB cable that's used for charging and connecting to a PC, an AC adapter, a user guide and a pair of headphones with in-line microphone and controls.
The LG Optimus F5 is about the same size as an iPhone 5, though it has a larger 4.3in screen. It's available in black and white variants. At 9.3mm, it's thicker than the iPhone but it feels comfortable to hold.
The back of the LG Optimus F5 uses a glossy plastic finish with a 3D-looking cube pattern. It's a pretty attractive look and adds a touch of class to the handset, though the glossy surface can make it feel quite slippery.
On the back there's a 5-megapixel camera without a flash. It sits just above an etched LG logo.
There's two small slits on the back of the case that house the speaker. It's reasonably loud but predictably lacks bass and sounds tinny for music playback.
On the front there's a 1.3-megapixel camera that can be used for video calls, or selfies. Disappointingly, there's no ambient light sensor so the screen brightness can't be auto adjusted.
On the right side you'll find a power/lock screen button. Most users should find it comfortable to press when holding the phone single-handedly.
On the left side is a volume rocker. Right handed users may find this layout a little awkward.
The back cover of the Optimus F5 is removable. Underneath you'll find a microSD card slot and a micro-SIM card slot.
The Optimus F5 has a large 2150mAh battery. It's obviously removable and therefore replaceable.
This shows you the side profile of the Optimus F5. As you can see the edges are rounded towards the front and back of the handset.
When you first turn on the Optimus F5 you're greeted with an Optus logo. However, the device is unlocked and will accept any Australian SIM card.
Below the screen are three capacitive shortcut keys for back, home and menu. They work well and are very responsive.
The Optimus F5 has a 4.3in IPS screen with a qHD resolution of 960x540. It's a very good screen considering the price with notable viewing angles.
LG's UI overlay adds plenty of extra features to the standard Android interface. In the notifications panel you'll find a range of customisable quick toggles and what LG calls Q Slide apps. These are small apps that can appear over the top of already running apps.
There's also LG's QuickMemo function which allows users to write notes on the screen using their finger.
LG's application manager allows users to install any LG or Optus apps that come pre-loaded on the handset.
The app drawer on the Optimus F5 allows users to sort by alphabetical or download date. You can also choose to display a 5x6 grid instead of the standard 4x5, therefore fitting more apps on a single page.
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. We'll have a full review of the Optimus F5 in the coming week.
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