Straight Talk LG Premier LTE Review

Specs – Straight Talk LG Premier

lg_premierStraight Talk LG Premier Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.75″ x Width 2.94″ x Thickness .34″
Weight 4.4 Ounces
Form Factor Medium/Large Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 Ghz Quadcore processor
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 5.1 Lolipop
Digital Camera 8 mega pixels/5 mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 5.3″ Diagonal
Battery Life 11 days stand by & up to 14 hrs talk
Button Types Floating on-screen Android buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $129.oo

About the LG Premier

The LG Premier is a largish 5.3″ screen device with some nice features despite the relatively low $129 price tag. The features I like are the 8mp main camera and a nice 5mp front camera which makes this the highest combined camera resolution phone at this price point. I think many will like the size on this one because it is fairly large without being obnoxiously big. That is to say, it will still fit in your pocket.

Note that this phone is a CDMA phone so you will need to have Verizon LTE coverage for you to use the LTE data speeds.

Design and Build Quality

At first, the design on this phone looks rather basic but on closer inspection I think the design is pretty good. The main thing of note in the design department is the lack of the typical power and volume buttons on the sides and top. Instead, this phone has the power and volume buttons all on the back.  It takes a little getting used to but I like it. The back also has the camera of course as well as an led flash. The charge port and head phone jack are on the bottom.

lg_premier

The other cool thing about this phone is that it is super slim. The phone measures just .35 inches thin so it is quite thin. Finally, the last cool feature worth mentioning is that the screen plastic goes just about all the way to edge of the device. While the screen does not go all the way to top and bottom, it does go just about to the left and right edges. There is only about 1/8″ bezel on the left and right hand sides of the phone. Though the screen does not expand to the very top and bottom of the phone, the screen real estate is larger than you would expect since there are no physical buttons on the phone. Instead, the phone uses the floating type buttons that the phone hides when necessary and are shown when you tap the screen (depending on the app of course).

As expected, the phone is all plastic construction including the screen. That said, the screen feels like a quality unit as it is quite smooth unlike some cheaper phones which have a bit of texture to their screens. The front of the phone is mostly all gloss black since the screen material basically takes up the entire front.  There are two very slight chrome looking trim pieces on the left and the right. The back is all black with a lightly textured battery cover. There is a very think chrome trim around the back buttons and camera.

IMG_0485

Performance and Usability

The 1.2 quad core processor makes the Premier a super solid performer. Navigation from screen to screen is fast and seamless.  Apps on the phone all perform great. You will be hard pressed to find an app this phone does not run. Of course LTE speeds certainly help as well but make sure you have CDMA  Verizon coverage in your area.

The one stand out item on this phone is video. The screen is bright and very crisp. It helps that the screen expands to the left and right edges of the phone. Unfortunately, the screen edge does not expand to the top and bottom as there is approx. 1/2″ of space above and below the screen.

IMG_0487

My one complaint in the usability department is that the floating buttons disappear in certain apps and you are left to guess on how to get them back. In youtube for example, the buttons will hide when a video starts and can be brought back by tapping the screen. On the camera app, on the other hand, the buttons disappear completely and do not return until you exit the camera app. It does another thing when you edit images on the photo Gallery app.  So this takes some getting used to.  One last item of note is that the keyboard icons are quite small when in portrait mode so be aware of this when texting and/or searching Google, YouTube, etc.

Camera

The camera on this phone is pretty good. Most impressive is the fact that it has a 5mp front facing camera. The main camera is 8mp so it’s quite good as well.  The first image below was taken with the main 8mp camera and the second was taken with the front facing camera so you can see there is not much difference in quality. This is a far cry from some of the older LG Straight Talk phones whose front facing camera was way below 1mp.

images_front_rearThe camera has some decent options for editing your images.  You can Auto adjust, brightness, color, pop and vignette. The first 3 are pretty self explanatory, the pop option kind of makes your images more vivid and the vignette makes it kind of tunnel vision. You can also crop and rotate. Lastly, the phone has numerous filters you can apply. Below are most of the options you can get.

camera_opts

Conclusion

I think the Premier is a fine phone that’s perfectly priced for the performance. I really liked the slimness of this phone , the great looking screen and the great overall LG quality. If I were to choose a mid range phone currently on Straight Talk, the Premier would be it. At $129, the phone is super affordable yet has similar specs and performance to the $149+ models.

Straight Talk LG Rebel LTE Review

Specs – Straight Talk LG Rebel

lg_rebelStraight Talk LG Rebel Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.00″ x Width 2.50″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.1 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM LTE with WiFi
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.1 Ghz Quadcore processor
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 5.1 Lolipop
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/2 mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 4.5″ Diagonal
Battery Life 9 days stand by & up to 9 hrs talk
Button Types Floating on-screen Android buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $79.oo

About the LG Rebel

The LG Rebel is what I would call a premium entry level phone as it shares most of the same features found in the $99+ level phones minus a few minor items. The Rebel is a 4.5″ screen device yet comes with a powerful 1.1 ghz quad core processor. One nice feature that is a nice upgrade over most of the other phones at this price is the 2mp front facing camera and the Android 5.1 Lolipop operating system. The design is a bit on the dated side in that there is nothing particularly special or noteworthy about it other than maybe the floating Android buttons.

Design and Build Quality

As I said in the intro, the Rebel design is pretty much nondescript. It has the typical oval design we’ve been seeing for many, many years. The front is gloss black with silver trim, volume is located on the upper left, power is upper right and charge/headphone jack are on the bottom. The back is like a dark slate gray. The phone does have the floating Android buttons which I like and makes the phone feel a bit more modern despite the vanilla design. I don’t think it’s a bad design, it’s just that I have seen it at least 100 times before. That said, it wouldn’t stop me from buying this phone though I think there are better options out there if you don’t care about the front camera resolution. I think a fine option instead of this would be the LG Sunset as it has all the same basic features though the Sunset has a sub 1mp camera.

lg_rebel

Build quality is great as is always the case with LG phones. The phone is the typical all plastic construction just like every other phone in this price range. Don’t expect gorilla glass here because the screen is all plastic as well.

IMG_0498

Performance and Usability

Performance is on par with the more expensive $99+ LG models. The phone does have a 1.1ghz quad core processor which is plenty powerful for any app you may want to run and also makes the user interface quite quick and easy to use.

One strange thing about the phone which was a bit annoying was the fact that you couldn’t rotate maps in the Maps app. I couldn’t find any setting that disallowed this so I think this is a limitation of the phone.

Next, is the video quality which is about average as is always the case with smaller screened phones. The screen has some dark spots if you look at it at certain angles so viewing is best done head on.  Having just reviewed the LG Premier and the LG Treasure which have much larger screens, the difference is quite striking which may be the reason this phone’s video quality feels just about average. Sound quality is good for a phone this size.

There is nothing in the Performance/Usability department that I would say is poor on this phone other than the Maps rotating thing. As I said above, the video quality is about average but not what I would call horrible.

Conclusion

As of this writing there are exactly 4 Straight Talk phones in the $79 price point. 2 are Android 5.x (including this one)while the other two are Android 4.x. So the Rebel has the slight edge over the $79 lot simply because the front facing camera has a better resolution and comes with a fairly new Android operating system..

My basic conclusion is that this is probably not a phone worth upgrading for but it would make a fine device for a first time phone, particularly if you care about the higher front camera resolution. If you don’t care about that, then you may be happier with the LG Sunset as I mentioned.

Straight Talk LG Treasure LTE Review

Specs – Straight Talk LG Treasure

lg_treasureStraight Talk LG Treasure Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.6″ x Width 2.8″ x Thickness .34″
Weight 4.95 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi/Activates with Verizon
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.1 Ghz Quadcore processor
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 5.1 Lolipop
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/5 mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 5″ Diagonal
Battery Life 11 days stand by & up to 9 hrs talk
Button Types Floating on-screen Android buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $99.oo

About the LG Treasure

The LG Treasure is a handsome mid level device retailing for $99. Worthwhile features here are the nicely sized 5″ screen which falls under the “just right” size in my book, 1.1 ghz Quad Core processor and 5mp main rear camera. It also features fast LTE data speeds and comes with the fairly new Android Lolipop 5.1 os. Note that this phone would be activated with Verizon. As with many of the latest LG devices, this one comes with the floating on screen Android buttons instead of the true physical touch variety. The phone is fairly attractive with some nicely beveled left and right edges. One of the more impressive features for me at this price range is the 5mp front facing camera since the last batch of Straight Talk LG’s were sub 1 mp yet were still priced about the same as this one. In terms of specs, this one of the better selections if you’re looking for a phone in the $100 range.

Design and Build Quality

I was initially underwhelmed by the design based on the initial images of this thing but when in hand it feels and looks much better than the images suggest. For starters, the phone has nicely beveled screen edges which suggests a much higher price than what was really paid.  This gives the illusion that the screen is almost edge to edge (at least on the sides) and also make the screen appear as though it is made of glass when in fact it is plastic.  Another impressive thing about the screen is that it is quite smooth for it being plastic. I would have said this was a gorilla glass phone if I didn’t know any better. One design feature is that the power/volume buttons are on the back of the phone so there are not buttons on the sides of this phone. The charge port and head phone jack are on the bottom.

lg_treasure_2

As far as fancy trims are concerned, this phone comes with a chrome look trim that goes all around the bezel. The side chrome look trim has a nice hammered type texture to it. The back is plain dark charcoal plastic with a very thin chrome look bezel around the camera and buttons.  As I mentioned earlier, this one has the floating Android buttons so there are no physical buttons on the front which give you a bit more screen real estate to work with.

IMG_0490

Overall, the most impressive thing about this phone really is its build quality because it really does feel like a much more expensive phone than it really is.

Performance

Performance here is excellent. The phone has a 1.1 ghz quad core processor which is more than enough juice to run just about anything.  Another nice thing is that the phone is only 1 Android version behind the current (as of this writing) so it comes with Lolipop 5.1. There may be some getting used to this Android version along with the on screen floating Android buttons as they tend to disappear in some apps when using certain features. For example, they disappear in YouTube when watching a video full screen. It is a matter of taping the screen to get them back. Also, the buttons disappear when the phone is locked so you need to either press the rear lock/power button or double tap the screen to turn the screen back on.  Sounds trivial but may take getting accustomed to if you are coming from an older Android version.

Video quality here is quite nice. The 5″ screen makes for some nice viewing because it’s clear and bright. As I mentioned above, I like that the Android buttons hide away when the video is in full screen which frees up quite a bit of real estate. I would say this is one of the strong suits of this phone. Sound quality is good though not great. Overall, this is a very good multimedia phone. Below is a screen grab from the phone which I would say is indicative of the video quality you can expect from this phone.

Screenshot_2016-05-17-22-08-55

Camera

One great thing on this phone is the front camera. The last batch of Straight Talk LGs came with some very low resolution front facing cameras. This particular model bumps up the front facing camera resolution to 5mp, making it just as good as the main rear facing camera. Here is an example of two similar images, the first taken with the main camera and second with the front camera. Both images result in identical size and resolution.

treas_f_b_picsCamera editing options are good and you do get geo tagging with your images. Exiting has standard options for Auto Adjusting, Brightness and Color. There are two additional options called pop and vignette. Below are examples of each with pop on the left and vignette on the right.

treasure_pop_vignette

Lastly are some screen grabs of what all the camera options look like. In addition to the above there are various filters you can apply to your images.

camera_opts

Conclusion

Of the current $99 phones on Straight Talk (as of this writing there are 3), this is probably the best choice in terms of specs and I believe the only one that can be activated with Verizon 4g LTE coverage. Namely because of the 5mp front facing camera and Android 5.1. The build quality on this phone so you will be hard pressed in fining another one that’s as good as this. The other option that may be slightly better than this one in terms of hardware is the LG Access namely because the Access comes with a Gorilla Glass screen. That said, the LG Access has Android 4.0 which is pretty dated now so would require some upgrading on your part.

Straight Talk LG Sunset Review

Specs – Straight Talk LG Sunset

lg_powerStraight Talk LG Sunset Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.11″ x Width 2.52″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.2 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM LTE with WiFi
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 Ghz Quadcore processor
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 5.0 Lolipop
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/.3 mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 4.5″ Diagonal
Battery Life 10 days stand by & up to 7 hrs talk
Button Types Floating on-screen Android buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $99.oo

About the LG Sunset

The LG Sunset is a GSM LTE device with the same design as the LG Power and LG Destiny. The main difference between the Sunset and Power/Destiny is that the Sunset is an LTE device. This explains the $20 price difference between then. Aside from that, the specs and design are identical to the other two phones. One item to keep in mind is that the LG Sunset is GSM so it will be activated with either AT&T or TMobile. Make sure that you have LTE coverage in your area in order to take advantage of the fast data.

Design and Build Quality

As I mentioned above the design is identical to the Power/Destiny models. This means the power/lock and volume buttons are located on the back. Another cool design feature on these phones are the floating Android buttons that are part of the operating system.  What that means is that the phone does not have any actual physical android buttons, they are part of the operating system as you can see in the image below.

destiny_frontdestiny_back

As far as the quality is concerned, the Sunset is excellent considering the price. The phone is all plastic but it has an attractive metal look finish on the back. The main highlight is the screen because even though it is plastic, it feels super smooth to your finger.  This makes the phone feel very responsive when swiping, rotating, zooming.

Performance and Usability

Performance here is great when combined with Android 5.0! The 1.2 ghz Quadcore processor makes for a very fast and usable phone. I did not notice even the slightest of hesitation when using apps. The screen resolution is another highlight here because it is very bright and crisp. The resolution on this phone is on par with phones costing twice as much.  Watching videos on this phone is a pleasure because they look great and the sound quality is excellent as well.

In case you’re wondering what’s new on Android 5.0, the answer is not much. At least not much that I noticed anyway. All of the typical Android apps still available and I did not notice anything new in that department. About the only noticeable difference that I could notice was the right Android button which now brings up your active apps. The middle and left buttons still perform their usual functions.

Do note that the buttons on the back to take a bit of getting used to. You will find yourself reaching for the side buttons your used to but once you get used to it then using the phone is just as easy as the traditional button layout. I would not say that the back buttons are deal breaker at all.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a great little phone for the price. I would say it’s possible one of the best LTE phones I have tested in this price range. That said, if LTE does not interest you, then you should probably go with either the LG Power or LG Destiny.

 

Straight Talk ZTE ZMax 2 Preview

Specs – Straight Talk ZTE ZMax 2

zte_lever
Dimensions Height 6.4″ x Width 3.3″ x Thickness .3″
Weight 6.5 Ounces
Form Factor Large Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM LTE with WiFi
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 Ghz Quadcore processor
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS TBA
Digital Camera 8 mega pixels
Screen Size 5.7″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price Approximately $200

About the ZTE ZMax 2

While the original ZTE ZMax had it’s flaws, the price for such a phone was quite attractive.  Though the original never made it to Straight Talk, the hopefully new and improved ZTE ZMax 2 will hopefully show up for Straight Talk Soon. Like the original, the ZMax 2 will feature a large form factor screen in the 5.5 to 5.7 inch size. Hopefully, the new version will improve on the original’s somewhat dim screen. Now this is going to be a large phone so it will be heavy and somewhat clunky. That said, this is a budget large form factor device so that is just something one has to live with. We shall see what the new ZMax 2 will hold. That said, this may be a large phone worth taking a look at for those of you to whom size matters.

Straight Talk LG Power and LG Destiny Review

Specs – Straight Talk LG Power & LG Destiny

lg_powerStraight Talk LG Power & Destiny Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.11″ x Width 2.52″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.2 Ounces
Form Factor Compact Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology LG Destiny-GSM 4G (Enhanced 3g), WiFi/Activated with AT&TLG Power – CDMA 3G, WiFi/Activated with Verizon
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 ghz Quad core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 5.0 Lolipop
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/.3 mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen 4.5″ Diagonal
Battery Life 10 days stand by & up to 7 hrs talk
Button Types Floating on-screen Android buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $79.99

About the LG Power and LG Destiny

The main attraction here is the fact that the phones are the first Android 5.0 Lolipop phones from Straight Talk. There is also a bit of an interesting twist in the design which I will talk about a little later. The one thing to note is the fact that the difference between these two phones boils down to one being for Verizon (the Power) while the other is for AT&T (the Destiny). The remaining specs are identical on both phones. One thing you will notice on the Destiny is the fact that the box says 4G, but don’t mistake that for 4G LTE because they are not the same. The Destiny has what they call “enhanced” 3G which is to say just a bit faster than standard. In reality, I cannot tell much by way of speed difference from one to the other.

I would say that these phones are sized just about perfectly as they both fit nicely in the hand thanks to the slight curve in the back and the perfectly sized screen. What I really enjoy, however, is the slick modern design which I will talk about a bit later.

Design and Build Quality

As I touched on earlier, the one thing that stands out to me, other than the new Android 5.0, is the slick modern form factor on these phones.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it will take a bit of getting used to because these phones have the power and volume buttons on the back. The buttons are incorporated into the battery cover and located just below the camera and LED flash. Speaking of the battery cover, it has a brushed metal look (yes, it is plastic) which is quite attractive.

destiny_backdestiny_side

While I will admit, the button thing is just trying to be different rather than better, I will say that the front of these phones is very attractive. They don’t have any fancy trim or anything like that, but since the Android “buttons” are on screen, just about the entire front of the phones is screen. That is to say, there is no wasted real estate on the usual hardware buttons located just below the screen.

destiny_front

Another item that I give these phones a gold star in is the screen material. While they are plastic screened phones, I do like the fact that they are very smooth, almost as smooth as their glass screened counterparts. The reason why I mention this is because many of these entry level phones have less than smooth screens on them so you always feel a bit annoying resistance when you glide your finger across the screen to perform say a swipe. These phones are free of that sensation.

Performance and Usability

I really enjoyed the performance of these phones. They have plenty of power to run just about anything. The Maps app for example, is a breeze to zoom, rotate and pan on. There isn’t the slightest bit of hesitation when zooming and panning on the loaded map. Of course there is still a bit of a lag when the phone has to load a new section of the map but that has more to do with the data speed.

Usability on Android 5.0 is great! Not much has changed since the 4.x versions other than the different button icons so you will need to get used to those. One button of note is the right most button which now just brings up the active apps instead of what used to be the app menu. The center circle button is still the home and the left arrow is still the back button.

The phone comes with the usual suite of Android apps such as Chrome, GMail, Maps, Play Store YouTube, etc. About the only little extra on the phone is the hardware based FM radio which allows you to use the radio without using up data.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about the video quality because it is quite good for a phone at this price range. It has a wide viewing angle so it does not darken when you tilt the phone slightly. Unlike other lower end phones, you do not have to watch it dead on to get good video. That said, the sound quality is about average.

Camera

The camera here is pretty good. You get good image quality in both low light and normal conditions. The flash is also nice and bright with the ability to turn it on/off/auto.  I will tell you that all of those cool camera filters people like to play with cannot be applied before taking a picture but rather you can only apply the cool effect stuff after you take a picture and go into edit mode. One thing I was unable to find was the landscape mode. Cool filters included vintage, drama, black & white, HDR Scape, Retrolux, Center Focus, tilt shift and frames. Of course you can crop and rotate images as well.

destiny_camera

One thing to note is that the front facing camera’s resolution is very low so most images take with that will be on the poor side.

Here are some sample shots with a couple of filters applied, drama, vintage and normal.

destiny_pic_3 destiny_pic_2 destiny_pic_1

Conclusion

I would say these are two great little phones. I think the price is right for the content and specs. I really liked the modern design on these phones. Particularly the fact that the entire face of the phones are essentially just the screen. The back facing buttons are interesting though some may find them a bit annoying or just something new to get used to. Overall, I would highly recommend either phone. Just keep in mind that the Power is for Verizon and the Destiny is for AT&T. Don’t be too alarmed that the Verizon model does not say 4G because there really is no difference in download speeds between the two.

Straight Talk ZTE Lever LTE Preview

Specs – Straight Talk ZTE Lever LTE

zte_lever
Dimensions Height 6.50″ x Width 3.27″ x Thickness .31″
Weight 5.99 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi/TBA
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor TBA
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS TBA
Digital Camera 8 mega pixels
Screen Size 6.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the ZTE Lever LTE

The ZTE Lever is a premium level device at a more entry level price. The lever will be available with the large 6″ screen size so this will be a great multi media device. Another impressive feature on this phone is the 8 mp resolution digital camera. Of course it will be LTE so it will provide fast data. I believe this phone will be a CDMA device as this new round of upcoming Straight Talk LTE phones will introduce the CDMA (Verizon) market to LTE devices. Previous LTE were all GSM (AT&T models).

The one thing that I like about ZTE devices is that basically you get a fairly high end phone for quite affordable prices. This model should be no different. Specs look great on this device particularly if you like the large screen form factor. This will be an interesting phone to review once the phone becomes available.

Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Nova LTE Preview

Specs – Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Nova LTE

pop_nova
Dimensions Height 4.78″ x Width 2.54″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.9 Ounces
Form Factor Medium Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi/TBA
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor TBA
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS TBA
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/1mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 4.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price TBA

About the Pop Nova LTE

The Pop Nova LTE is an interesting model in that it essentially the same as the Pop Star, and Pop Star 2. Just about all specs are identical to the Pop Star 2 including dimensions, weight, camera resolution and processor speeds. So other than a different name, there is really nothing new on this particular model. What this leads me to believe is that this will more than likely be a CDMA LTE model. This is a relative new thing for Straight Talk as I believe all previous LTE models were for GSM, basically AT&T. These new models will now be CDMA which will give you the ability to select the correct phone for your coverage.

Conclusion here is that this phone will likely be identical to the Pop Star 2 other than perhaps the coverage area being CDMA on the Pop Nova LTE. The price will more than likely be in the $150 range.

Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Star 2 LTE Review

Specs – Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Star 2 LTE

pop_star_2
Dimensions Height 4.75″ x Width 2.50″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.85 Ounces
Form Factor Small Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology GSM LTE with WiFi/Activated with AT&T
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 Quad Core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS 4.4 Kit Kat
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/.3 mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 4.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $79.99

About the Pop Star 2 LTE

In this post, we review another Straight Talk/Tracfone Alcatel sequel in the form of the Pop Star 2 LTE. The original Pop Star model came with the very popular 4″ screen size and was priced quite affordably for an LTE model. So despite different buttons and a slight increase in size, I am having a hard time detecting significant upgrades over the orginal Pop Star as both phones are LTE models that will be activated with AT&T.

As I touched on above, though the buttons look like the new Android 5.0 Lolipop buttons, this phone is indeed Android 4.4. As such, functionality remains about the same as the original Pop Star.

Essentially, the main highlight of this phone is the attractive price tag and the very compact size.

Design and Build Quality

The design and build quality on this phone is very much typical Android. I will say that other than the new cryptic button design, this phone is not any different than any other Android on the market.

One thing I will mention is the fact that the screen does have a bit of resistance to it when swiping the screen. Though very slight, it is worth mentioning and it is something that is quite typical on entry level plastic screened phones such as this. There is not much to speak of on the remainder of the design elements other than a slight rubberized battery cover and all new button design. The head phone jack and power/lock buttons are located at the top, the volume rocker is on the upper right and the charge port is at the bottom. There is nothing by way of fancy trim and the Android buttons are not backlit.

The one plus I will give this phone is the fact that the phone is quite compact for an LTE device. This may not sound like much but many of the LTE devices out there tend to be of the larger variety so it is always nice to find one that is not sized obnoxiously large.

Video  and Sound Quality

I was somewhat disappointed in the sound and video quality of this phone. The issue is that the video quality is not the best when viewed at slight angles, more so when the phone is viewed in landscape mode. Basically what I’m saying here is that you will notice some screen darkening unless the phone is viewed dead on.

The sound quality is below average as the speaker is small so this one has a tendency to sound somewhat like a hollow tin can. This is not surprising as many of these smaller screened devices have this problem.

Digital Camera

I was quite happy with the camera on this phone as it has many nice camera features. For one, you can take panoramic shots as well as having the ability to apply various filters and previewing them before you take your picture. Of particular note is the ability to see 9 different filter previews before taking your image. Additionally, you do get a front facing .3mp camera with an led flash.

Conclusion

While there is nothing truly outstanding here other than a few cool camera features, this phone is worth taking a look at because it is priced quite attractively considering it is an LTE device. The other item of note that may attract buyers is the fact that this is rare breed in that it is quite compact considering it is an LTE phone.

Straight Talk Alcatel Pop Icon 2 LTE Preview

Specs – Tracfone Alcatel Pop Icon 2

pop_icon_2
Dimensions Height 5.55″ x Width 2.84″ x Thickness .38″
Weight 5.30 Ounces
Form Factor Large Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology CDMA LTE with WiFi/Activated with either Verizon or Sprint
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 plan
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor TBA
SD Card/Internal Storage Up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 4.4
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/front facing camera/LED flash
Screen Size 5.0″ Diagonal
Battery Life 15 days stand by & up to 11 hrs talk
Button Types Capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price

TBA

About the Alcatel Pop Icon 2 LTE

Today we take a sneak peak at the Alcatel Pop Icon 2 LTE. This is a sequel if you will to the popular Pop Icon which was introduced about 6 months ago. What made that phone popular remains in this new model in the form of the large 5″ diagonal screen at a very reasonable price. There is one significant upgrade on this one and that is the upgrade from regular 3g to the much faster LTE.

About every other spec remains about the same except for perhaps the operating system. Currently, the phone is slated to be introduced with Android 4.4, but I would not be surprised if it were intruded with the much newer Android 5.0 Lolipop.  Dimensions and weight remain the same over the original model. Expect this new model to be slightly more expensive than the original but not by much.