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Showing 1-10 of 79 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 106 reviews
on September 17, 2013
What attracted me to this phone most were two things; the size and android (also the price). I needed a phone that I could keep in my pocket (with a case on it) and not feel like I'm carrying a tablet in there. I used to have a blackberry curve 9360, and I loved the size of the phone and the QWERTY keyboard, but Blackberry just doesn't have much for apps, and they are slowly losing app support from google. Also they don't do activesync email which was a problem for my work. I couldn't find any other android phones (that work with Tmobile) in this size category (similar to an iphone size).

The performance of this phone is very fast for day to day use (I'm not a gamer), and of course Android is awesome. I will say that with the smaller screen it is more difficult to type than on my wife's Galaxy SII (I would assume this is the same with Iphones too), but with the auto-correct or SWYPE, it really isn't that bad. I'm getting faster at typing on it. The phone does feel "cheap", but that really is just because it is so small and so light (relative to other android devices). Put a case on it and it feels great, I've got big hands and it still fits well. The screen is very nice.

The camera is normal, nothing to write home about it. For me it gets the job done. With the addition of an SD card I have no issues with the small amount of memory available. If you're super paranoid about running out of application memory the phone can be rooted and you have options for storing apps on the SD card. My wife's samsung came with much more bloatware than LG put on this guy, so no complaints there.

All in all I'm very happy with the purchase, especially for $199.

Update 9/23/2013
After having this phone for a few weeks, I love it even more. It really is fast, the LTE is blazing fast when I have it, and the battery lasts forever. I love the smaller size of this phone, and have completely gotten used to typing on it normally, and with Swype typing (and I have big hands and fingers). There is definitely a bug with Swype with the stock LG keyboard (noted in other LG phone reviews) where it deletes the second word every time, but I just downloaded the google keyboard, and it works awesome. Not sure what other people want that this phone doesn't have, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. The camera really is decent, and the panoramic shot this camera does is really fantastic.
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UPDATE Nov 10, 2013
We now have three of these and have put aside our feature phones and iPod Touch devices. We've converted fully over to the LG F3. During my test phase I had few opportunities to use the LG's phone features. We now have all made and received calls and are quite pleased with the clarity of the phone. I've been using a Samsung Convoy 2 feature phone for a couple of years. This LG is much clearer and easier to understand the voice conversation than the Samsung was.

UPDATE Nov 5,2013
I've now had the LG F3 for a couple of weeks. The best way I can describe how pleased I am with it is to say that two days ago I ordered two more for use by my wife and son.

The limited internal memory is a concern but I've loaded most of the apps I really need and I still have over 300MB left. A few apps can be moved to the SD card. If you tend to load a lot of apps this phone will restrict you. You may want to look elsewhere. I have 28 apps loaded and may have room for about 10 more. I've been able to move just a few of the apps to the SD card but most don't allow that. I have 132 apps on my iPod Touch, of which I could easily delete about 1/2 of them and not miss them. So in my case I guess I'd like to have about 60 apps but will be restricted to something like 40. Of course apps are all different sizes so your mileage may vary. If only LG had doubled the internal memory this would be a perfect smartphone in this price range.

Original Review follows...

Okay I've only had the LG F3 for 24 hours but I'm quite pleased with it.

Here's a brief overview with a longer review to follow.

Pros:
- A user replaceable battery. My #1 feature for a smartphone. I really don't want a phone without this feature.

- A microSD card slot. I have a 32GB card installed.

- At $199 it is a lot of smartphone for the money.

- The screen resolution is quite good. I think the 4" display (small size for today's smartphones) helps. 233 PPI isn't the lowest in this size display, and it certainly isn't the highest. I think it looks sharp and clear.

- At 4 ounces it is comfortably light

- The plastic back doesn't feel cheap to me as many reviews suggested. In fact I like the texture that makes it less likely to drop because you can get a decent grip on it.

- The dark blue, almost black, back and side edge along with the silver strip on the sides and bottom look elegant to me. I just don't understand the comments about this phone not looking nice from most reviewers.

- Loaded with Android 4.1.2 it has good operating system features such as notifications, Widgets, and a huge array of apps available from the store, many if not most are free. I do wonder how it will hold up over time, but I'm pretty easy on my phone.

- A decent set of apps pre-installed including Maps, photo and video, alarm clock, Chrome, Memo, Messaging, Music, etc.

- The LG F3 is responsive, and the touch screen has the right amount of sensitivity.

- This model, sold on Amazon, works perfectly on T-Mobile including their LTE service.

- GPS, WiFi, tethering, and Bluetooth. I don't need more than that.

Cons:
- As others have said the 1.27GB available internally is just sad. I have been able to move two apps to the SD card and I still have over 500MB of storage left after loading 10 apps. This might be the one thing that could drive me to get a different phone. We'll see if we run out of memory after loading those we normally want. There are several apps that came loaded on the phone that I could delete to make space.

- The camera works and you can get good daytime photos from it, but it's nothing to write home about. Good enough for Facebook sharing I'd say.

- The max volume is about 15% too low out of the speakerphone, and also from my Bluetooth connected speaker.

- The WiFi isn't dual band so I can't use it on my faster 5MHz band at home.

Personal preferences:
- I don't like having the power button on the side. It seems more natural to me on the top.

- The start button is physical. I prefer a capacitive touch button. But perhaps the physical button is the right thing for this phone because that is how you wake the phone. If it was capacitive touch it might turn on in my pocket.

- I don't like having the earphone socket on the top. I prefer it on the bottom. That way if I have the phone plugged into a USB cable for any reason then both cables come out of the same place.

- I'm not a big game player. If you can find games that will install on the SD card you might then be faced with insufficient computing power. I'd say this phone isn't the one to buy if you like CPU demanding games. I'm more of a Minesweeper, Freecell, Bejeweled, kind of player which this phone is fine for.

In my opinion spending three times the money to get a Galaxy 4 or iPhone 5S won't bring three times the features, functions, or usability. You might want a different phone if you want a better camera, or if you need more space for apps.

Longer Review:

My reference for evaluating this phone is mostly from several years of using iPod Touch devices. An iPod Touch is almost an iPhone without the phone. My iPod Touch 5th gen with a 4" screen cost me $399, double the cost of the LG F3. And to tell you the truth I really can't see double the value in the Apple product. Furthermore I can't replace the battery in the iPod Touch, and the lack of user customization of Apple products drives me crazy. The new iOS 7 design was too much for me. Time to move on.

I've never owned a smartphone until recently because I simply don't want to pay the high prices for a data plan. But I discovered some positive changes by T-Mobile recently that made me realize I don't have to pay high prices to get data plans.

This is a T-Mobile phone so I thought it appropriate to include some T-Mobile information as part of my review.

T-Mobile may not have the best coverage but they are doing some things that will pull more customers their way. First they have an agreement with AT&T (long story) to use AT&T towers for voice only roaming at no charge to T-Mobile customers. This means we can count on decent voice service from T-Mobile. Second T-Mobile has been building out its LTE data service and it pretty much fully covers our small city of Redding CA. Third T-Mobile no longer has contracts on any of their plans. Very Cool! No more 2 year commitments. To top it off T-Mobile has some interesting plans.

We currently pay $100 a month for service on three feature phones, two of which have 250 text plans. We make few calls, use few texts, and don't use any data. I'm tired of paying $100 a month for so little use. Switching to T-Mobile and smartphones (virtual keyboard instead of just a number pad) will allow us to use text more often, and most of all we'll have internet access.

T-Mobile has an "unlimited" family plan for $90/mo for three lines that will give each of the three of us unlimited talk and text. After the first 500MB of data each is used up the system will drop us from the LTE/4G/3G data down to 2G. But with this plan we will be paying a few dollars less a month than we are with Verizon, and we'll have data access! Very Cool!

So the only real questions are which phone to buy, and will T-Mobile's coverage be good enough. To that end I started out buying a Nokia Lumia 521 which I liked but found the Windows Phone 8 lacking both in terms of the OS features and available apps. I then switched to an unlocked Samsung Galaxy S2 Skyrocket which was a lot of phone but it won't work (without jail breaking) on the T-Mobile LTE service, and the phone sucked battery power. So here I am on the LG F3.

It's gonna kill me to pay Verizon termination charges to get out of the contracts there. And I'll end up spending $600 on three of these LG Optimus F3 phones perhaps. But I don't mind one time charges so much. It is those high month to month charges that really kill me.

If I were to go with Verizon and get three iPhone 5C phones my monthly bill would be $200 vs $90 on this T-Mobile plan. I might have better service but for $110 a month difference I'll put up with waiting a little while until I'm in a better service area.

T-Mobile also lets me use my home WiFi to make calls while at home so I don't have to worry about how close to a T-Mobile tower we are. Also T-Mobile doesn't charge for tethering.

This phone has enough space for apps so I can have news, weather, stocks, podcasts, maps, photos, videos, watch movies, play simple games, skype video, email, message, Facebook, browse the internet, shop with apps such as Amazon or Best Buy, and use the calendar. It is quite enough for me.
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on November 9, 2013
I really don't have any complaints about this device.

It has good speed with it's Krait architecture and dual core Snapdragon processor.
The 1GB of installed ram helps, as well.
Very fast on T-Mobile's LTE network and where there is not LTE coverage I am getting great speeds on their 42+ frequency.

It has EXCELLENT battery life with it's beefy lithium-ion 2,460 MAH battery... and for me, i am a heavy user who is constantly checking my phone throughout the day and I get 24 hours without having to recharge, a HUGE plus!

The screen is very bright at only a setting of 20% and is very good in it's true to nature colors IPS display.

The thing I would add, is to make sure and get an micro sd card as the 4GB of ROM is mostly taken up by the bloatware of T-Mobile so you will need to have that extra storage capacity.

Highly recommended!
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on September 24, 2013
My most recent T-Mobile devices have been an SIII and the LG L9. With the exception of LTE the SIII was superior in every way so this review will focus on the comparing the F3 to the L9. I got mine on here on Amazon for $199 but I've seen the price since come down to $188 on two occasions. The F3 has a slightly lower resolution but the smaller screen makes up for this. The processor is faster at 1.2GHz vs 1.0GHz and is noticeable. It won't blow your doors off but day to day you'll notice the slight lag between similar tasks get smaller. Available space is the same but thats not saying much as I ran into space problems with the L9 and was never able to get it rooted (too difficult). I've read some people have gotten the F3 rooted via motochopper which makes me optimistic. I will try this method and update when complete. As for the battery, there's a lot of talk about the battery size vs the screen size and how it should result in better life. To be honest, I'm only seeing a couple more hours of additional use but I have a heavy user with lots of screen time and data use (unlimited). HSDPA is very power efficient versus LTE and that's becoming apparent with the F3. The main drawback of the L9 was the inclusion of a 21Mbps radio vs the 42Mbps the SIII had. To me 42Mbps felt as fast as Verizon LTE. I would frequently see 10-15Mbps in the Chicagoland area which is more than enough to be usable and I would have been happy to keep the SIII. Due to marketing necessities T-Mobile had to move to LTE. The day T-Mobile began reframing in Chicago I saw my HSDPA speeds drastically drop and my latency skyrocket epically in the Loop. I've been told these are not related but I doubt it and was very unhappy with my service. The move onto LTE via the F3 has been refreshing and I now have good data service again at my office. For me this device is a place holder until the Nexus 5 comes out or I pull the trigger on LG G2 or the Sony Z1 (I need a big battery but don't want a phablet). These mid range devices like the F3 and L9 save money but they make a lot of sacrifices. For example, the F3 still doesn't have an auto screen dimmer like every other premium device out there. With the inclusion of LTE, notification light, larger battery and more comfortable size there is no reason to consider the L9 over the F3. I would recommend going with a more premium device over the F3 but if funds or something else is holding you back the F3 is a good compromise.

Update, 9/30/2013. Rooting via motochopper method was easy and done in less than five minutes. The removal of Lookout probably helped the most. If you search for "root LG F3" the results should come up on the first page and are dated 8/18/13.

Update 10/7/2013. The GPS at times seems to get confused causing the pointer arrow (within Google maps) to change directions or even report me being on the wrong street. This usually happens when I'm driving slowly or stopped and seems to go away when I start moving again. I haven't had this happen on my other devices and LGs track record of updating leads me to believe this won't get corrected.

Update 10/30/2013. The tiny amount of storage space on this phone is killing me. I find myself clearing out the cache on Chrome, Currents, ect, a couple times a week. Even 4Gigs would have been better.

Update 11/18/2013. The "email" app on this phone which is used to sync all non gmail accounts seems to only work over WIFI. GPS problems persist. I did start moving my apps to the SD card which has marginally helped with the storage issues.

Update 12/13/2013. 2 updates have come out in the past week. These are the first since owning the phone. Neither broke the root but it also doesn't seem like they did anything as I'm still on 4.1....

Update 12/22/2013. 1 more update since the last but I still don't see any decernable differences. This will be my last update as I purchased a Moto X. Comparatively the Moto X has much worse battery life but a nicer screen, faster processor and far more storage. I guess I didn't realize how good the battery life was on the LG F3. Don't underestimate it.
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on September 23, 2013
To preface, I am a power Android user who uses a Google Nexus 4 as a primary smartphone. In the last two months, I have purchased an LG Optimus L9 (the precursor of this phone) for my fiancé, and this Optimus F3 for my sister.

The phone comes in the same pre-paid, off-the-shelf look as if it were purchased in Best Buy, and it includes a Micro-SIM card for pre-paid activation. However, the phone is only locked to T-Mobile's network, so activating a post-paid account with the phone worked just fine as well. The setup is fairly painless, with the prerequisite Google account to download contacts, settings etc. Coming from a stock Android experience, this build is a little heavy with bloatware apps, especially T-Mobile's services and things like mobile security. However, for a new smartphone user, you would probably not even notice.

Despite only having 1GB of RAM, the phone is very responsive even with several apps running in the background. The LTE is quick, and T-Mobile has a preconfigured notification telling you how much data you have used. Speaking of preconfigured notifications, if you use all of the Q-settings from LG and the T-Mobile reports and the virus scan reports, you will have virtually no room on the 4 inch screen for the actual notifications such as texts and missed calls. I would highly recommend disabling some of the stock notifications.

Aside from the user interface, the hardware is very nice. Having a 4 inch screen in a land of 5 inch monsters is very good for those with small hands or pockets. People coming from an iPhone or iPod touch will be right at home with size. The phone is small and light, but packs a HUGE battery (2460 mAh vs 2100 mAh in even a Nexus 4). That combined with the fairly small screen and dual core processor should yield amazing battery life. The notification light around the home button is a much needed improvement over the L9. The camera is not the selling point of this phone, but using tap-to-focus will make pictures usable.

As a last point, make sure when shopping for cases to find products for the T-Mobile variant (MS659 model number). The other model for Virgin Mobile has four rounded corners, so the cases will not fit. Overall, this will make a perfect phone for non-power users who need an off-contract phone for T-Mobile. It won't hold a candle to a Galaxy or iPhone, but at 1/3 of the price, that is to be expected. Get this phone and a Simple Choice plan, and you will save lots of $$$.
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on October 27, 2013
I don't normally write reviews, but this phone has definitely inspired me to. I needed to make the leap to a smart phone and one specifically that would make use of T-Mobile's LTE network since I live in an area where it has been rolled out. I don't particularly like large phones and cannot see paying $400-600 for such a device. I wanted something that would allow for High-Speed (3G+/4G)data when necessary, but also allow me to restrict my data usage to 2G AND allow for Wi-Fi calling while at home. I also needed an Android based phone running ICS (or better) so that I could download apps from the Google Play store to side-load on my Amazon Kindle HD tablet. The LG Optimus F3 (MS659) met all of these requirements.

The F3 is small enough to put in a shirt or pants pocket. It also has an insanely long battery life (24 hrs of moderate usage only reduced the battery to 17% and 36 hrs of light usage still left the battery with a 37% charge!!!) The default setting with the T-Mobile F3 is Wi-Fi calling first and then cell network calling when no Wi-Fi is available. I make sure when I am home to turn off the GPS and when I go out to turn off the Wi-Fi unless I am using them. The 1.2MHz processor is plenty fast enough for my needs as I do not game on the device and rarely stream videos on it. Perfect for music from Pandora or I Heart Radio.

The biggest downside is the lack of internal memory. You NEED a micro SD card to use with this device. I transferred a 16GB device from my old phone and have found that to work perfectly. The T-Mobile does come with a fair amount of bloatware (much of which cannot be removed without rooting), BUT some of the apps you install CAN be moved to the SD card (go Apps > Settings > Storage > Apps > Move to SD Card).

Another concern is finding a good case or skin since, as other reviewers have stated, the back panel on this phone is very thin. I chose the Body Glove Dimensions case which provided enough protection without making the phone too bulky. This item is generally available in either light blue or lavender online but T-Mobile stores also carry it in black. If ordering online make sure you are getting the one that fits the MS659 model (T-Mobile/MetroPCS) and not the LS720 model(Sprint/Virgin Mobile) as the dimensions are different.

PROS:
Size, battery life, Wi-Fi calling, speed

CONS:
Internal memory, limited selection of accessories
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on October 1, 2013
I need a cell phone for communication - not for gaming or photos or music or wasting time on social sites. I use it for business as well as personal. I have always purchased unlocked which I could use on T-Mobile network as well as in Europe. I looked at the Moto X and iPhone, but why spend $600 for a mini-computer that will be obsolete in two years? I have an iPad and a PC. I just need a phone with the following attributes.
Compact size - this phone is at my limit of 4" screen and it's very thin.
Touchscreen - uncluttered, clear, responsive (a tad more sensitive than my iPad 2).
Bluetooth - works great with my old, favorite Motorola earpiece headset.
Long battery life - even with some data, lots of text and talk, this phone is awesome.
Voice control - I installed Google Now to command the phone and have had no problem with speech recognition accuracy (with and without headset).
Stability - after one month in, I haven't had to reboot.
3G/4G/Wifi - I have TMo 4G and can speedily view customer balances on my QuickBooks file online.
Voice announce of callers - I don't want to have to look at my phone to see who's calling. Neither Win, iOS nor Android include this function (Symbion did) - I had to install Talking Caller ID+ and it works like a charm.
Outlook sync - still working on this. Unlike Win and iOS, I haven't found the right app yet.
The Android software took some getting used to (more buggy and inconsistent than iOS or Win), but this LG phone has already exceeded my expectations. An excellent phone for this price point.
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on January 29, 2014
My daughter's screen cracked on her Samsung Galaxy Exhibit 4G. Fixing it cost almost as much as a new phone. The new LG F3 was an outstanding upgrade with improvements across the board. Very easy to switch the T-Mobile number to the new phone. I took it to the store, because the F3 needed a smaller sim card than the old phone had. Took 3 minutes and zero dollars.

The screen is 4.0 inches, the same size of an iPhone. Perfect for a pants pocket. The 800x480 resolution is crisp and very readable in all conditions except very bright direct sunlight.

The dual core 1.2Ghz process is up to all but the most demanding tasks. Texting, emailing, web surfing, and camera tasks are easily handled by the brain in this unit. So far, my daughter has had no complaints about games running poorly. I expect unless you are playing the latest 3D games, this phone is more than up to any gaming task.

4G LTE with T-Mobile is much faster than 4G. Works perfectly in wi-fi mode as well.

The dual cameras are fine, and similar in quality to all but the highest end camera phones, such as the latest iPhone, Galaxy S-class, or Nexus phone. The out-facing camera is a respectable 5MP. The F3 has image stabilization, which is a nice feature. Also has a flash, burst mode, and auto focus. Also records 1080p HD video.

GPS is very accurate and quick. Navigation works as one expects.

1GB of RAM and 4GB of ROM are adequate, and equal or better than many phones in this price range.

The 2,460 mAh battery easily lasts all day, and spares are inexpensive.

The phone will soon be receiving the Kitkat (Android 4.4) upgrade, with no rooting required, which will put this model in elite standing among smartphones. Other models that came out shortly before this one are being left out of the upgrade path to Kitkat.

I threw in a 32BG microsd card from Amazon, and it was ready for music, photos, and videos galore.

There are oodles of very nice cases on Amazon at excellent prices. Got the daughter a pink/white polka dot case that fits perfectly, isn't too bulky, yet provides amazing protection, and looks very nice.

For about 175 bones, this phone is a true winner. You (or your high school daughter) will not be disappointed.
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on January 29, 2014
I selected this phone for its size and weight. "Practical" for me is something I can keep in my shirt pocket. It's shorter and lighter then a iPhone with a welcome increase in screen width.

Upon my first week of use, I've been pleasantly surprised with its performance. This is the first digital phone that I can say has sound quality equal or better than a desk phone. Turning up the volume in a noisy environment, does not result in distortion. Even music-on-hold, actually sounds like music.

Then there is this wonderful LED light behind the "home" button. Messaging applications (like Email) can blink this LED with a specified color to indicate a new message. I have two Email accounts. I set one to green and the other is blue. Text messages are orange. If the phone is on your desk, for instance, and the light isn't blinking, you do not have a new message. There is no need to pick up your phone, turn it on and check. I can't tell you how much time this saves. I didn't have this feature on my iPhone. (Until I break the habit, I still find myself turning it on and checking...)

The home button has buttons on each side. The right button, basically "drills down" into an application, and the left button, "drills up" -or- more commonly, serves as a "return" key. With these three buttons, there is very little need to "click" on the screen to navigate around applications.

I'm finding that charging every other day is adequate. If you use WiFi, you may notice that it connects almost instantaneously. There are places inside my workplace, that do not have sufficient cellular signal, and the phone is set to use "WiFi calling" instead. Great feature!

If there is a down side, it would be about a dozen pre-installed "system" applications that can't be uninstalled. I think this is true of most Androids so I'm not going to remove a star for it. I don't use them now, but maybe some day I will.

I've grown to love this phone so much, I bought one for my wife. With a bright clear screen, easy to use buttons, LED message notification, WiFi calling and great sound quality, it's a joy to use.
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on December 27, 2013
This phone is a great STARTER phone maybe for a person wanting to enter the arena of smart phones etc, or a teen. Has all the basic features you need. Phone is quite small compared to other models on the market. The display is average at best. Has 4g LTE. Camera is serviceable. As mentioned by others you probably need to order a MicroSD card to expand the VERY MINIMAL internal storage of this phone. Also invest in a case/screen protector (as you should with all smartphones) this one is partically light feeling in the hand. I'm not quite sure if that's a good thing or not.
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