Tracfone LG Ultimate 2 Review

ultimate-0The LG Ultimate 2 brings another sequel to a popular old school Tracfone Android. Don’t let the name fool you because this revised version is far and away better than the original. If this is the first you’ve heard of the Ultimate name, then simply disregard the part “deux” name because this is an all new device for the Tracfone Android calling plan. The Ultimate 2 is a CDMA phone with 3g data speeds so it will be activated with either Verizon or Sprint. Check Tracfone LG Ultimate 2 Availability

The Good: Great features at an entry level price. This phone comes to us with a perfectly sized 4.5″ screen and a powerful processor with a new Android Operating system in the way of Android 4.4.  An excellent priced phone which is probably the best price to specs ratio available directly from Tracfone.

The Bad: I couldn’t find much wrong with this phone other than the rather poor sound quality delivered by the tiny rear speaker. Does not come with a pre-installed SD card so you will need to run out and purchase one on your own dime.

Tracfone LG Ultimate 2 Specs at a Glance

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Tracfone LG Ultimate 2

Dimensions Height 5.00″ x Width 2.52″ x Thickness .38″
Weight 4.25 oz
Style Medium Candybar Touchscreen with 4.5″ screen
Network & Technology CDMA with 3g data network and WiFi – Activated with Verizon or Sprint
Processor Speed 1.2 ghz Quad Core
SD Card/Internal Memory None included- Supports Up to 32gb compatible
Android OS 4.4 KitKat
Digital Camera/Video Rec 5.0mp main with LED flash/1.3 mp front
Screen Size 4.5″
Battery 10 days stand by & up to 7.5hrs talk
Below Screen Button Types Center physical push with LED mood lighting flanked by 2 capacitive touch buttons
USB microUSB v2.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Tracfone Price $129.99

Design Notes

The first thing I will mention about the LG Ultimate 2 is that it is handsome device. While it is all plastic construction, no surprise there, it features a nice aluminum look silver trim in between the screen bezel and the battery cover. Speaking of the battery cover, the Ultimate 2 features a cool blue/black pixilated look battery cover that kind of shimmers as you move it. I found that to be pretty cool and unexpected!

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Moving on to the Android buttons, we find the typical 3 button layout. What’s cool here is the physical push center button that is surrounded by an LED “mood” light of sorts.  Now don’t get excited because the phone can’t detect your mood or anything. Instead, it flashes different color patterns depending on what the phone is doing. So for example, when you get a phone call it turns green. The alarm makes it turn multicolors and so on.  A nice touch indeed to the dated push button.  Said button is flanked by 2 capacitive touch buttons.

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As I mentioned before, the phone is all plastic construction and the layout is pretty straight forward. All buttons and ancillaries are found in typical Android locations. On the left hand side you find the volume buttons, the iPod type headphone jack is top left, the power/lock button is on the upper right hand side and the charge port is bottom center. Both the volume and power buttons are also finished in an aluminum look finish.

Performance

Performance is the highlight of this particular model. The Ultimate 2 just felt much faster than any previous Tracfone Android. This includes the all new Alcatel OneTouch Pop Icon which happens to be $20 more expensive.  Navigation is seamless and smooth without the slightest hesitation.

The one thing that really impressed me was the responsiveness of the keyboard. I found that there was not the slightest hesitation on letter taps as can be the case on some of the older lower end Tracfones Androids. The keys were also quite accurate so when you tap a letter, you get the letter you expect.

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Now for about the only negative I found on the phone, the poor sound quality. This phone has a tiny speaker on the back which is rather weak and has that tin can sound. You will definitely have to use headphones with this phone.

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Operating System and Interfaces

The LG Ultimate 2 comes with one of the latest Android versions available in the form of 4.4 aka KitKat. While not ultimate latest, it is fairly new. One cool item is something called a “Tap knock code”.  This is an easy way to have a lock code without actually having a lock code. The way it works is that it displays a square section that is divided into 4 blocks. To unlock, you tap these 4 sections in whatever sequence you programmed it.  You can have as little as 4 taps or as many as 8. As a back up, it still has the usual 4 pin code. This feature can be enabled or disabled.

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The Ultimate 2 has 3 home screens that are navigated from left to right and vice versa. These screens have a nice animation when switching from one to the other and switch very seamlessly. These can also be customized in various ways.

The apps and remaining navigation is pretty standard as you find all the usual suspects such as Youtube, GMail, Google Play store, Google Maps, etc. This device does not have anything by way of extras such as built in Radio. Speaking of Google Play store.

Overall, navigation is best described as seamless , smooth and intuitive. There is nothing new or tricky here as it is all standard Android fare.

Conclusion

The LG Ultimate 2 brings a much needed medium sized device by way of a perfectly sized 4.5″ screen. I found this device to be in the Goldie Locks range in sizing. That is to say, not too big but not too small, just perfect. The phone is more than powerful enough to run any app out there and navigation between screens is very smooth. I would say this is my favorite Tracfone Android to date because it does everything well and is priced at an attractive $129.99.