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LG Optimus Net Dual P698 Review

on March 26, 2012 – 4:37 pmNo Comment


Here is the FoneArena review of the LG Optimus Net Dual P698, Dual SIM Android phone with Dual Standby. The phone went on pre-order last December and went on sale this January. It is powered by 800 MHz processor and runs on Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) similar to the Optimus Pro that we reviewed last year.

Box Contents

  • Charger
  • Stereo Ear Microphone
  • USB Data Cable
  • User Manual
  • 2GB Memory Card
  • Additional back- cover

Hardware


The phone has similar features as the single SIM version such as 3.2-inch (320 x 480 pixels) capacitive touch screen display, 512MB RAM etc.


It is 11.mm thick and slightly heavier than the Optimus Net at 124g.


The LG logo is at the top below the ear piece.


There is a Dual SIM branding below the display. There is physical menu button, home button, back button and a SIM switch button instead of search button in the single SIM version.


The volume rocker is on the right side.


USB port is on the left, protected by a plastic cover.


The 3.5mm audio jack is at the top.

The lock/ power button is next ti the 3.5mm audio jack.


The 3MP auto focus CMOS camera is at the back.


When you open the plastic back cover you can see the 1500 mAh BL-4JJN Li-Ion battery. You also get an addition silver back cover other than this black colored one. When you remove the battery you can see the SIM 1 slot at the top and the SIM 2 slot at the bottom. The micro SD slot is at the top next to the camera that supports up to 32GB.

Camera


The phone has 3 MP CMOS auto focus camera with VGA video recording at a maximum of 640 x 480 pixel resolution. The camera takes decent shots but not great while focusing an object nearby and there is no macro mode.It has options to change image size, ISO settings (Auto, 400, 200 and 100), White Balance (Auto, Incandescent, Sunny, florescent and Cloudy), Timer, Image quality, Shutter sounds and Geo tagging. There are also on-screen camera options such as digital zoom (up to 4x), Contrast and scene modes (Mono, Negative, Solarize, Sepia and Aqua). There is no dedicated camera button or LED flash.

Here are some camera samples for you to check out.

Software

UI


The phone has similar UI as the other touch screen LG phones with slide to unlock feature. You can pinch the screen to add home screens or set one as default. It support maximum 7 screens, and one home screen could be set as default.


To add widgets, shortcuts and folders or change the wallpaper, you need to long press the screen that would list the widgets and shorts and you could simply touch them to add it on the screen. There is a Dual SIM status widget that shows the name of active connections. You can also add apps and folders in the similar way that would place them in the grids.You can press and hold the downloaded apps to move it to other position or click the app to uninstall.


The notification bar has shortcuts to control the Sound, WiFi , Bluetooth , GPS and Accelerometer.The music player is present below and could be turned-off if needed. You need to slide up to unlock the screen, that is similar to other LG phones.

Apps


The phone comes with ebuddy, eBuddy SMS, Gmail, Google Search, Polaris document Viewer (Excle, Power Point, Word, PDF) and YouTube. SmartShare app enable you share music and video to DLNA compatible media devices. The utility apps include Calculator, Calendar, Clock and Voice Recorder. There is Social+ widget to connect to Facebook, Twitter and Myspace from a single place.


The recent applications could be viewed from the home screen when you press and hold the home button. There is no app manager in the recent app list like some of the other LG phones but you can access it from the settings. The application manager lets your view running and installed app and shows the RAM usage. There is LG World and Android Market place to download more apps. Even though you can move apps to the SD card, 160MB internal memory seems less.

Media Player and FM Radio


The Music player plays MP3, WAV, AAC, AMR and WMA pretty good. There is party shuffle but no equalizer is present . The sound quality is good with the bundled headphones but not very loud in the loudspeaker. The loudspeaker grill is actually not visible. The Video Player supports .avi, and .mp4 but doesn’t support .mkv and high-resolution 720p videos.

The FM Radio has auto scan option and has pretty neat UI with channel shortcuts at the bottom. You can also edit the station name manually and can change to loudspeaker / headphone using listen via button below.

Browser


The browser is the normal Android webkit browser. There are tabs support and it can remember passwords. There is no flash support.

Dialer and Messaging


The Dialer is similar to other Android dialers. You can press the SIM switch button to call from either SIMs. The call log display recent incoming, outgoing and missed calls. You can Sync from your Google contacts and import contacts from either SIM cards and export it to SIM or MicroSD card. Since it has dual standby, you can receive calls on both the SIM cards.

The phone has default LG e-mail support (Microsoft Exchange, Others, Google Mail, AOL, Yahoo!, Hotmail) other than the Gmail app.

The text messages inbox shows the SIM card number to know from which SIM the message has come from. You can use the SIM switch button to send a message from a particular SIM.

Connectivity


The phone has 3G support with HSDPA up to 3.6Mbps, Wi-Fi b/g/n with hotspot feature, Bluetooth 3.0 and a Micro USB port. You can keep one SIM as 3G and other SIM in 2G network. You can switch the data to either SIM cards using the SIM switch button.

Verdict

The phone looks good even though it is made of plastic. The Dual SIM with Dual standby with active 3G connection in one and 2G in other is a great advantage. The 512MB is sufficient to run background apps without any problem, but the 160MB internal memory is less.The battery lasts for a day for heavy users on 3G with few phone calls, SMS, few hours of audio playback and lasts for more than a day with average usage. The loud speaker output is average, otherwise this is a good Dual SIM Android phone with SIM / Data switch button that is absent in other Dual SIM Android phones in the market.
Pros
  • Dual SIM with dual standby
  • Dedicated SIM switch button
  • 512MB RAM
Cons
  • Below par loudspeaker output
  • Average camera quality
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Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He is currently using the Motorola Moto G. You can follow him on Twitter @ssrivatsan and on Google+