Monthly Archives: February 2014

Compare Tracfone LG Dynamic 2 and ZTE Valet

In this comparison, we look at two phones with very similar specs, namely the Dynamic 2 and the ZTE Valet. Both of these phones look about the same on paper, but look quite different in person. They are also differently priced, with the Dynamic 2 being $30 more expensive, yet lacking a few items.

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tracfone-lg-optimus-dynamic

LG Optimus Dynamic 2

ZTE Valet

Phone Dimensions Height 4 1.2″ x Width 2 1/2″ x Thickness 1/2″ Height 4 1/2″ x Width 2 1/2″ x Thickness 1/2″
Weight 4.45 Ounces 4.50 Ounces
Technology CDMA with 3g Data – Activates with either Verizon or Sprint CDMA with 3g Data – Activates with either Verizon or Sprint
Included SD Card Yes – 4gb micro sd card included Yes – 4gb micro sd card included
WiFi Yes Yes
Screen Material Plastic Plastic
Processor Speed 1.0 hgz 1.0 ghz
Android OS Version 4.1 Jelly Bean 4.1 Jelly Bean
Phone Type Small Candybar Touchscreen Small Candybar Touchscreen
Camera 3.0 mega pixels no LED Flash 3.0 mega pixels with LED Flash
Screen Small 3.8″ Diagonal 3.5″ Diagonal
Button Types Capacitive touch/4 Android Button layout/ no back LED backlight Backlit/3 Android Button/ Capacitive touch with Light sensor
Price $129.99 $99.99

Which is Best?

I think you will find that on paper, the ZTE Valet is the clear winner here. Now all the important specs are basically identical, namely in the form of 1.0ghz processor and Android 4.1. In the size department, both phones are basically the same size with the Dynamic 2 having a slightly larger screen. So the reason why I say the Valet is probably the clear choice is because it costs $30 less.

In the performance category, you will be hard pressed to tell the difference between these two phones. Both phones perform essentially identical. No you should be aware that the Valet comes with the Navigation app while the Dynamic 2 does not. Both are GPS capable and both have Google Maps. All other apps are the same on both phones.

Lastly, is the design difference on both of these. The winner here is the Dynamic 2 because it looks a bit more sophisticated and not quite as clunky as the valet. So while the Dynamic 2 looks better, there are a couple of design elements where it falls short for me. For example, the Dynamic 2 does not have backlit Android buttons and the camera does not have an LED flash. The ZTE Valet has both of these items.

Conclusion

In a pure comparison, the Valet is the clear choice both on a spec and price basis. There are also some design elements where the Valet is the clear choice. That said, the Dynamic 2 looks better.

Compare Tracfone LG Optimus Dynamic and Dynamic 2

First and foremost, let me start off by saying the only thing both of these phones have in common is the name, that’s it! The original Dynamic is a much older device with inferior specs and capabilities. While the Dynamic 2 is a more modern device with a larger screen and newer Android version. The only real reason why we are comparing these 2 devices today is because they have similar names and can both be purchased for the Tracfone Android plan.

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tracfone-lg-optimus-dynamic

LG Optimus Dynamic

LG Optimus Dynamic 2

Phone Dimensions Height 3 1/2″ x Width 2 1/8″ x Thickness 1/2″ Height 4 1/2″ x Width 2 1/2″ x Thickness 1/2″
Weight 4.42 Ounces 4.45 Ounces
Technology CDMA with 3g Data – Activates with either Verizon or Sprint CDMA with 3g Data – Activates with either Verizon or Sprint
Included SD Card Yes – 4gb micro sd card included Yes – 4gb micro sd card included
WiFi Yes Yes
Screen Material Plastic Plastic
Processor Speed 800 mhz 1ghz
Android OS Version 2.3 Gingerbread 4.1 Jelly Bean
Phone Type Super compact Candybar Touchscreen Small Candybar Touchscreen
Camera 3.0 mega pixels 3.0 mega pixels / no LED Flash
Screen Small 3.2″ Diagonal 3.8″ Diagonal
Button Types Capacitive touch with middle push button Capacitive touch 4 Android button layout
Price $99.99 $129.99

Which is Best?

I think it is pretty clear that the Dynamic 2 is the far superior device here. Of course you would expect that since it is a much newer device. Now looking at the price, there is only a $30 difference between the two which suggests they are somewhat similar phones. The fact is that for the $30 more, the LG Dynamic 2 gives you what I would say is twice the phone.

The Dynamic 2 performs better in all aspects because it has a 1.0ghz processor in addition to Android 4.1. The old Dynamic on the other hand has only an 800mhz processor and the much SLOWER Android 2.3.

As far as design goes, the original Dynamic was kind of strange in that it had really a tiny screen and lots of wasted real estate all around the screen. While both of these phones are similar in size, the Dynamic 2 has a much more functional and usable screen.

Conclusion

The LG Dynamic 2 is the phone to get in this pairing. That said, you can also opt for either the Huawei Glory or ZTE Valet since both of those cost $99 and have the same basic specs as the Dynamic 2.

Tracfone LG Optimus Dynamic 2 Full Review

tracfone-dynamic-2The LG Optimus Dynamic 2 adds the best Tracfone Android model yet to it’s entry level Android line up. Don’t mistake the Dynamic 2 for the other inexpensive Dynamic because the two phones could not be any more different. In fact, I am not really sure why they are calling this model the Dynamic 2, perhaps it’s because of the original’s popularity. The Dynamic 2 is CDMA so would be activated with either Verizon or Sprint. Check Tracfone Dynamic 2 Availability

The Good: In any case, the LG Optimus Dynamic 2 gives you significant upgrades to the original for just $30 more. While this may sound like quite a bit, the original Dynamic was bare bones, old Android OS with not a whole lot of CPU power. Now the Dynamic 2, gives you a 1.0ghz processor along with Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. Additionally, you get an attractive little package with a 3.8″ nicely sized screen.

The Bad: The biggest problem I have with the LG Dynamic 2 is the fact that the price is a tad high when compared to say the Huawei Glory or the ZTE Valet both of which can be had for $99.99 at similar specs albeit a slightly smaller 3.5″ screen. Another minor problem for me was that the Android buttons are not backlit when touched.

Tracfone LG Dynamic 2 Specs at a Glance

Tracfone LG Dynamic 2

Dimensions Height 4.45″ x Width 2.47″ x Thickness .48″
Weight 4.45 oz
Style Compact Candybar Touchscreen with 3.8″ screen
Network & Technology CDMA cellular data network and WiFi – Activated with Verizon or Sprint
Processor Speed 1.0 ghz
SD Card/Internal Memory 4gb Included – Up to 32gb compatible
Android OS 4.1 Jelly Bean
Digital Camera/Video Rec 3 mp
Screen Size 3.8″
Battery 11 days stand by & up to 8.5hrs talk
Below Screen Button Types 4 Capacitive touch buttons/no led backlight
USB microUSB v2.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Tracfone Price $129.99

Design Notes

I really like the design of this phone when compared to the other Tracfone Androids. The back battery cover is a gloss piano black which makes this phone look a bit more sophisticated than you would expect. Around the phone, you find a band of  silver trim in between the battery cover and front face. What’s nice about this phone is that the screen is about as edge to edge as you can get on a small phone like this. you have maybe a 1/4″ on each side of the screen, while you have about 1/2″ above and below the screen. Basically, the entire front of the phone is the screen, this is a huge difference over the original Dynamic. Another interesting item here is the 4 capacitive button Android layout below the screen. This is the only one in the Tracfone lineup with this option if it means anything to you.

dynamic-frontdynamic-2

As you would expect, the entire phone body and screen is plastic. The layout is quite simple, other than the 4 Android buttons below the screen, you will find a volume button on the upper left hand side. On the top you have the 3.5mm headphone jack,  on the top right you have the power/lock button , on the bottom the charge port and that’s it. Moving on the back, you find the 3 mp camera but surprisingly, no LED flash. One last note on the buttons, they do not light up when touched like most other Android devices of this type.

Performance

Performance on this phone is great considering the entry level nature of it. Keep in mind that this is a 1ghz phone coupled with Android 4.1 so the phone performs quite well. You can play all your favorite games with ease. Games like Angry Birds and Candy Crush perform flawlessly on this phone. Keep in mind that this phone is 3g speed data so it is not super fast in that regard but is plenty fast for watching videos, getting on Facebook, sharing photos, etc. That said, you do get WiFi which performs plenty fast. As with any other Android, you do get the screen rotation/motion sensing.

dynamic-4 dynamic-5

The sound quality on this thing is great. Phone calls sound clear and crisp. When watching videos, putting it on speaker gives you plenty of volume so you don’t necessarily need head phones to hear anything.

About the only downside, performance wise, is the display. I found it to be a bit grainy and not quite as sharp as some of the larger screened devices.  This is just something you have to deal with on phones with small screens. This lack of resolution is more evident in some app than others. For example, regular resolution Youtube videos aren’t very crisp. However, watching Netflix gives a good resolution experience. Small fonts can be a challenge to read but you can alleviate this somewhat by increasing the font size from the settings.

Operating System and Interfaces

As mentioned previously, the Dynamic 2 comes with a stock version of Android 4.1 Jelly Bean so the user interface is pretty quick and easy to navigate. Now don’t worry that this is a Tracfone because you get access to all of the things Android has to offer.  On the Dynamic 2, we get access to the Google Play store for downloading any app you desire (both free and pad), Google Maps, Navigation, Youtube, Gmail, Chrome, etc.  Items like Facebook, Twitter, etc do not come preinstalled but can be easily downloaded from the App store free of charge. You will need a Google account to do so.

dynamic-3 dynamic-6

The Dynamic 2 comes with a  somewhat different interface than some of the other Tracfone Android phones. For example, when you switch home screens you get a neat little effect vs the standard toggling on the other Tracfone Androids. Then when going into you apps icon view screen you get a nice cloudy background vs the standard black background found on other phones. Overall, the interface is smooth and works well. The screen is quite responsive and accurate to where you touch.

Moving on to the texting interface, we find a clean and smooth design with everything we need to select the recipient, add attachments and send. The texting screen rotates according to the phones orientation but I find it a bit harder to use when in the landscape mode as you need to hit “Next” on the keyboard to go from the To field to typing your message. Whereas everything is visible when in portrait mode.  As far as the keyboard goes, the keys are a bit small when in landscape mode but increase to a more usable size when in landscape.

The phone interface is pretty basic and easy to use as in all other Android phones.

Conclusion

The LG Optimus Dynamic 2 is a great little phone. It does everything well and comes with robust specs.  About the only concern is the price as it costs $30 more than the other similarly spec’d Tracfones.