4G (LTE) capable handsets come at somewhat of a premium the UK; where the technology is still in its infancy, but LG featured two new, recently announced handsets on their stand at Mobile World Congress which aim to change that fact. The new mid-range LG Optimus F5 should still convince users that they have a premium 4G smartphone, without paying the world to own it.
The Optimus F5 is the smaller and slightly lower specced of two new handsets, along with the fractionally beefier F7, but it still packs a decent punch. The aesthetic of the F5 is for the most part unobtrusive with a simple plastic construction, along with capacitive home, back and menu keys below its screen. The hardware controls down the 9.3mm thick sides of the F5 are limited to a volume rocker, power/lock key and a more interesting QButton; which by default acts as a hardware camera launcher and shutter control, but can be reassigned to work with any app installed on the handset, LG-made or otherwise for easy access.
Internal hardware felt more than capable of keeping the 4.1.2 Jelly Bean-based Optimus UI from feeling sluggish on the 4.3-inch qHD (540×960) IPS LCD panel which populates the front of the F5, bolstered by the inclusion of a 1.2GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM. As well as a wonderfully bright, clear and colourful screen, the F5 also utilises a 1.3-megapixel front facing camera for any 4G video calling you might fancy giving a go and a 5-megapixel rear snapper for any addition photographic action, although we found the lack of any flash unusual on a device which for a mid-range handset feels pretty well equipped otherwise.
Should streaming content not be available there’s 8GB of inbuilt storage with the option for expandability up to 64GB via microSD, meaning users shouldn’t have to worry about running out of things to watch, provided they fill the F5 in the first place. The last piece of the puzzle is the battery which, thankfully is a fairly generous 2150mAh cell on a phone of this size: important when considering how power hungry 4G-usage proves to be.
The F5 is on track for European availability in the coming months with less known about its bigger sibling the F7.