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Thread: OFFICIAL: LG Ultimate 2 (LG L41C) reviews!

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    OFFICIAL: LG Ultimate 2 (LG L41C) reviews!

    I know there's another thread for the LG Ultimate 2 with various questions being asked and answered but I'm starting a new thread with my own review.

    I'll preface my review by saying I've had TracFone since the late 90s and still do as a way to have a phone on Verizon's extensive network. It works everywhere both at home and while traveling, and Verizon seems to have the most capacity and uptime during natural disasters. My main phone is on T-Mobile but I do carry my TracFone with me daily as does my gf. We never thought we would see the day that TracFone had smartphones!

    I've used these smartphones on TracFone:
    - LG Optimus Dynamic I & II
    - Moto Droid X2
    - iPhone 4
    - iPhone 4S
    - Galaxy Centura
    - Galaxy Fascinate

    LG Ultimate 2

    Pros:
    - Good quality 4.5" screen
    - 1.2GHz dual-core CPU w/ 1GB RAM makes a big difference compared to the other TracFone Androids
    - Both front and rear facing cameras; the rear facing camera has auto focus and flash and is actually fairly capable
    - Great battery life
    - Physical home button w/ color changing LEDs is GREAT!

    Cons:
    - Price.. it's been released at $129.99, but I'm sure it will be down to $99 if you can wait till Christmas
    - Hard to find accessories for it: the LG Realm and Exceed 2 accessories should fit but double check
    - Volume could always be louder but only so much sound can come out of a tiny speaker.. I have a Bluetooth speaker that I pair up with my phones/tablets if it's not loud enough

    First impressions:
    Definitely more upscale than anything that's been available previously. Personally, a 4.5-4.7" screen is ideal for my use. So, I really like the 4.5" size on this LG. The screen is not super high resolution or anything but it is significantly clearer (and better) than the Dynamic II. Not quite as sharp as the iPhone 4/4S but it can hold its own. Colors and brightness are good. Responsiveness of the screen is excellent. No need to keep tapping a selection, everything goes on the first press.


    ^ LG Ultimate 2 next to an LG L39C/D


    ^ iPhone 6, LG Ultimate 2, iPhone 4S, LG Dynamic II


    ^ Same as the above but sideways to show the thickness of each phone


    ^ Customizable LED notification around the home key is a nice touch! I had this on my old Optimus F6 and while not extremely useful, it's still cool and having a service light of any kind is great. It's a quick way to know if you have any notifications waiting.

    Performance:
    I think a lot of folks have been wanting something with more horsepower and a more up to date version of Android. This delivers both. It packs a modest 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon 200 CPU w/ 1GB of RAM which probably won't be good for any type of demanding games but for day to day apps, I haven't experienced any noticeable lag. There's little 'bloatware' and I actually like the LG skin/overly on Android. Below is its Antutu benchmark score. It's not a superphone but it is worlds better in terms of usability compared to the Dynamic II or the Centura/Valet.

    EDIT: Netflix and Hulu run just fine. Haven't run it over 3G (obviously it's going to burn through my data) but over WiFi it's great. Volume at max is loud enough. You can also use this with a Chromecast to stream to your TV. I highly recommend getting a Chromecast if you like to stream movies and shows - and having the phone as your remote is handy!

    The screenshot below shows the CPU as being rated "poor" but I'm telling you that day to day apps run without lag. Facebook, Instagram, WordFeud, Yelp, eBay, HowardForums, Messages/Phone/Contacts, everything.

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    Storage:
    A hair under 5GB available for apps out of the box before installing or updating anything. Pretty good! That means the phone should have 8GB ROM total, so after the Android OS and what not, we're left with about 5GB of space. I'm sure people will still complain that's not enough space but the Dynamic I has only ~100MB for apps and the Dynamic II only has less than 2GB. All in all, a big bump in storage and much better than what I thought it would be.

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    Camera:
    I know this also has been a deal breaker for many people. All of TracFone's offerings had crappy fixed focus cameras, no front facing camera, and even if it had a flash (like the Valet), what's the use when it can't focus on anything. You may think "I don't care about the camera because I don't do social media" but many people, myself included, use our phones to do mobile check deposit. You really need a phone with auto focus for that.

    The camera ranges from mediocre (indoors, low light) to pretty dang good (outdoors, bright light) - basically, it'll do the job much better than the other TracFones but don't expect to be a photo journalist for Nat Geo using your cell phone. The iPhone 4S (which can be activated under the Bring Your Own Phone program) is by far the best phone available as far as cameras go, but then you have to find one, it'll probably be at least 2 years old, and it's expensive.

    I'm attaching some sample pictures and I tried to vary the conditions. Overall, I'm happy with the camera. It's actually usable now. I had zero pictures on my Dynamic II because the camera wasn't so great.

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    ^ Indoors, low-ish light, no flash of "the bad dog" laying down. The picture is slightly soft but the phone did a great job of keeping the noise down and I'm actually pretty impressed.

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    ^ Extremely low light (almost dark) with flash of a 2013 Corolla engine. The camera struggles to focus which didn't surprise me. My iPhone has a very strong flash and does better but this is a brutal test for most camera phones.

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    ^ Very bright light outdoors of a Seal Point Siamese cat. Bad subject cause she kept rolling around (which is why she's dirty!) but I noticed the camera struggled with the overly bright background. Picture still looks fine to me!

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    ^ Front facing camera in bright light outdoors. No auto focus which is apparent, but it did good. The front facing camera is almost unusable in low light but most are. I rarely use the front facing camera on my iPhone because it's still not very good even if it's a high end phone.

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    ^ Rear end of a 2013 Corolla. Again, the camera struggles with the bright background light but everything is focused well and I don't really have a complaint considering this LG is not a high end expensive phone.

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    ^ Afternoon skyline.. turned out great!

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    ^ Macro (close up) shot of a new papaya forming on our tree. This picture came out VERY nice. Tack sharp focus with a nice blur in the background.

    All in all, a very good camera in good light. It struggles in low light but even the high end phones do, it's just a limitation of a tiny sensor that can only grab so much light for a picture.

    Cell/Data/WiFi/bluetooth performance:
    This LG does well in terms of reception, both to the cell network and WiFi. Zero problems here. It's not like the Valet and other phones with a weak WiFi antenna. I'm disappointed TracFone put out the Valet, knowing that TracFone users would be relying on it heavily to avoid using up all their data. I did a speed test on the cell network and got very acceptable results. Below is a screen shot. Note: I haven't really used Bluetooth and my car doesn't have Bluetooth. I can pair it up with the 2013 Corolla (which does have touch screen audio w/ Bluetooth) if anyone wants me to.

    EDIT: I use a widget called Network Signal Info so I can pull exact dBm readings for signal strength, I never just look at "bars" - the LG Ultimate 2 is reading -45dBm for WiFi, -65dBm for cell connection. The Dynamic II is reading -49dBm for WiFi, -65dBm for cell connection. Lower is better. This is on par with my iPhone 4S on TracFone so I have no complaints.



    Call quality & volume:
    So far so good. Volume could always be louder but that's how most phones are since they have such a tiny speaker. The earpiece gets plenty loud, speakerphone could be louder but it's more than usable for me. I don't use my speakerphone much so I'm not picky. The speaker volume does well for things like YouTube and streaming audio. It's not quite as loud as I'd like it to be when it rings IF you have a custom MP3 ringtone. The factory LG ringtones were louder. Either way, I still don't have any major problems with the volume.

    Conclusion:
    I am very happy. It works well and has no weird glitches as of yet. I know everyone will be tempted by the 5" screen of the Alcatel OneTouch Pop, but if it is like its GSM sibling on T-Mobile, expect lots of little software bugs and a sometimes unresponsive screen. I personally really like LG's latest line of both budget and high end phones so it was a no brainer for me to go with the LG instead and I have no regrets. This isn't my main phone but I did try and use it more and battery life seems to be very good.

    If you're coming from one of the lower end phones like the Valet or Centura with their small 3.5" screens, this is a really nice upgrade. If you're coming from the slightly more expensive Dynamic II, this is still a great upgrade. The larger screen and extra horsepower really make a difference. Plus, it's already running the latest version of Android. No fussing with the Bring Your Own Phone program, no flashing/ROMs to deal with, everything just works out of the box INCLUDING their My Account app which has always been a problem for me.

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    ^ WORKING My Account app! The text messages you get with your balance are also correct. Those on Bring Your Own Phone know that the totals are all messed up and the app doesn't work.

    Any questions or something you want me to check out? Just post and I'll do my best!

    EDIT: http://tracfone.deviceanywhere.com/s...C&locale=en_US link to TracFone's tutorial, along with the user's manual (bottom left, it's a PDF) if you want to look it over before or after receiving the phone.

    If you plan to buy this LG or any other TracFone from TracFone's website, right now one of the more popular "deal sites" are offering 30% cash back (expect to wait anywhere from 2-8 weeks to get it, it's not instant, but it is free money!) and $10 on top of that for both you and me. PM me if interested, I think it's against the forum rules for me to have a referral of any type.
    Last edited by IsLand_BoY; 10-26-2014 at 11:25 AM.
    Castrol EDGE 0W-20 is my drug of choice.

    Primary: iPhone 7 Plus, Galaxy S8
    Secondary: TracFones: iPhone 6s [AT&T] & iPhone 7 [Verizon]
    Mobile Broadband: ZTE Z915 LTE hotspot (5GB for $10) + iPad Mini 4 w/ T-Mobile LTE

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    Good review, the light up home button looks really nice, is the 207 ppi good enough?

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    Thanks for the review. Sounds like the one to upgrade from my Valet. Sent you a PM about the deal site.

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    IsLand_BoY,
    Thanks for the detailed review
    # Could you try Bluetoothing some files between phones?
    # Could you post some pictures of rear side and other edges if you have time?
    # Have you tried moving any apps to external SD?
    # How does the L41C compare with your Droid X2?

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    As always, a very comprehensive review. Hopefully you will receive many PM`s for the deal site, to help with your cost in helping others.

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    Great review - Thank you so much! Only one other question I have, and that's if the screen has Gorilla Glass. I've seen some say it does.
    On behalf of all of us reading this forum THANKS for your hard work and getting this out to us so fast!!!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tedm3 View Post
    Great review - Thank you so much! Only one other question I have, and that's if the screen has Gorilla Glass. I've seen some say it does.
    On behalf of all of us reading this forum THANKS for your hard work and getting this out to us so fast!!!!!
    Good question, but how can you tell or test for Gorilla Glass ?
    Cheers!

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    Thought something on the Tracfone package or literature might have said something about the glass. Maybe we'll find out in time. I did see one comment in another forum stating the LG L41c had Gorilla Glass 3. Sure hope so but not counting on it...

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    Great review Island_Boy! Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts on this phone!

    I read somewhere that the phone has a light sensor.
    Do the menu and back buttons light up in low light? The L39C buttons didn't light up as you and others with this phone know.

    Thanks!

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    Thanks for the review ... anyone ordering from the Tracfone website, use the promo code " friend1 " for $5.00 off your order and Tracfone also has free overnight shipping right now...

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    Island_Boy,
    Do the Navigation Keys light up (back and menu soft key and home button) when you push/touch them?

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    Can you root this phone? Does it also have Wifi tethering?

    In time, you may want to update you review as well. The Valet runs good when it's new/unused, but overtime becomes slow.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anangrygrape View Post
    Good review, the light up home button looks really nice, is the 207 ppi good enough?
    The screen is actually pretty nice for a phone in this price range. I don't think it is IPS but the viewing angles are still very good. The resolution while not super HD, is just fine for a 4.5" screen. Would a higher pixel density screen be nice? Of course, but I think most folks will be perfectly happy. Especially coming from the older TracFone Androids.

    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    Thanks for the review. Sounds like the one to upgrade from my Valet. Sent you a PM about the deal site.
    PM'd you back

    Quote Originally Posted by tfusr19 View Post
    IsLand_BoY,
    Thanks for the detailed review
    # Could you try Bluetoothing some files between phones?
    # Could you post some pictures of rear side and other edges if you have time?
    # Have you tried moving any apps to external SD?
    # How does the L41C compare with your Droid X2?
    1. I was going to pair up my iPhone and the Ultimate 2, but figured I should use my old Dynamic II to better replicate what existing TracFone users might be doing when they upgrade. Works fine! Very fast.
    2. Sure, I'll post some later today. Remind me if I forget!
    3. Yep! Works fine, though not all apps will have the "Move to SD card" option. With 5GB of available space, this isn't a problem for me and it isn't the phone's fault, it's Android 4.4 aka KitKat.
    4. No comparison, I would take the L41C over the X2. The X2 felt clunky, the 4 physical buttons on the bottom of the X2 are a thing of the past, and the camera on the LG is way better. The X2 was a nice phone for its time but its time has past. The LG also has much better battery life than the X2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracfancier View Post
    As always, a very comprehensive review. Hopefully you will receive many PM`s for the deal site, to help with your cost in helping others.
    I appreciate the kind words. I don't mind being the first to jump for a new phone. I figured at the very least I could warn everyone and return it if it was junk, or put my recommendation on it if it was good. Luckily it was the latter! I hate to say this without even trying the Alcatel, but I think the LG is going to be the better buy here.

    You and many others here are invaluable resources. I love seeing people take the time to help each other. God knows we all need that considering TracFone's (non) customer service!

    Quote Originally Posted by tedm3 View Post
    Great review - Thank you so much! Only one other question I have, and that's if the screen has Gorilla Glass. I've seen some say it does.
    On behalf of all of us reading this forum THANKS for your hard work and getting this out to us so fast!!!!!
    I don't think it has Gorilla Glass - looks like that was one of the corners that were cut to get a lower price. I had a generic screen protector which I cut to fit my phone just in case. And thank you for the kind words! I know a lot of people have been waiting for new phones to drop (me too!) so I wanted to grab one and write a review. I know everyone is debating between the LG and the Alcatel - I wouldn't mind trying the Alcatel but I have a feeling I wouldn't like it if the reviews for its T-Mobile sibling apply to the TracFone version.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tensilver View Post
    Great review Island_Boy! Thank you for taking the time to post your thoughts on this phone!

    I read somewhere that the phone has a light sensor.
    Do the menu and back buttons light up in low light? The L39C buttons didn't light up as you and others with this phone know.

    Thanks!
    The phone does NOT have a light sensor and the bottom keys do NOT light up . They're just silver and slightly reflective like the L39C. Not a deal breaker but it wouldn't been nice to have both a light sensor and light up keys. The phone does however, have a proximity sensor so the screen will turn on and off when you put it up to your ear and bring it back down to hang up.

    Quote Originally Posted by duckman2000 View Post
    Thanks for the review ... anyone ordering from the Tracfone website, use the promo code " friend1 " for $5.00 off your order and Tracfone also has free overnight shipping right now...
    Keep in mind for those who have or will PM me about the cash back deal, it's either the 30% back OR $5 off. I know some folks would rather just skip the cash back and go straight to TracFone, in which case the $5 will help offset tax. Pick either or as the cash back websites must not get paid commission (which they pass on to us) if we use a coupon because they all have a similar exclusion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Already In Use View Post
    Can you root this phone? Does it also have Wifi tethering?

    In time, you may want to update you review as well. The Valet runs good when it's new/unused, but overtime becomes slow.
    I haven't tried rooting it and won't, and there is no built-in WiFi tethering. I'm not sure if you can root it to enable that but I recommend treading lightly. The old timers here know TracFone is very heavy handed with its fraud prevention policies so don't be surprised if your service gets shut off, phone blacklisted, and no refund on what airtime you had left.

    I will most definitely keep posting (as I'm sure others will) on the performance over time, which is a good point. I think the newer (and dual-core) processor with double the RAM of the Valet (1GB) should keep things running smoothly, as long as we don't overload the phone with rubbish apps.
    Last edited by IsLand_BoY; 10-26-2014 at 11:26 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by IsLand_BoY View Post
    4. No comparison, I would take the L41C over the X2. The X2 felt clunky, the 4 physical buttons on the bottom of the X2 are a thing of the past, and the camera on the LG is way better. The X2 was a nice phone for its time but its time has past. The LG also has much better battery life than the X2.
    Interesting. My son really likes the X2 he has, and he spent time with a lot of phones (helping others and repairing).
    The time I and my wife have with the Droid3 has been very positive as well and it is a contemporary with very similar specs.

    Daughter just got a Droid4 and after setting it up for her I wish it was usable on an MVNO other than Page Plus (more than I want to spend). It's at least as good as my Nook HD just with a smaller screen and cameras.

    I'm sure a lot of the X2/Droid battery issues are due to the age of the batteries (or the low quality of replacements).

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    Just wanted to remind everyone of the tutorial link for this phone which contains a PDF User's Guide link that answers many questions including showing all sides off the phone like I wanted to know about.

    Tracfone L41C Tutorial: http://tracfone.deviceanywhere.com/t...C&locale=en_US

    Also reference camera focus, home button LED, and lots of other good stuff .

    Under BATTERY SAVING ITEMS, they list
    * Home button LED – Turns off the Home button LED.

    I wonder how much battery the LED consumes.

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