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.

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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.

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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.

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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.