Earlier this year I had written about how I was trying out a Google Chromebook. Since that time I am pleased to say that the Chromebook has exceeded expectations and I am becoming increasingly comfortable using the Chromebook for nearly all my daily tasks and activities. I literally use the Chromebook for all my computing with exception to gaming.
Since my experience with the Chromebook has been pleasant and my productivity is increasing, I was curious to how the Android smartphones stack up. Now that I use Google Docs and Sheets for all of my word processor and spreadsheet needs I have interest in easily accessing items I create on my phone as well. Prior to the Chromebook I was exclusively an iOS user and It is interesting to note that my experience thus far is that the Google productivity apps run faster and smoother than the comparable native iOS apps (iWork) on the iOS devices.
Recently I discovered that TracFone offers a no contract Android smartphone for under $100. When purchased through HSN they include 1 year of service and triple minutes for life. For the specific offer I purchased, I received 1,350 minutes, 1,350 text messages, and 1,350 MB of cellular data. Given the favorable terms of this offer, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try an Android smartphone.
My expectation with this phone was that it would be a “good enough phone” to see if I found the Google services to be useful on my smartphone as well as Chromebook. As with the Chromebook I was pleasantly surprised. The LG Sunset is more than good enough. It is a highly capable full service mobile phone without the burden of a contract.
This particular phone has the following features:
-4.5″ Touchscreen Display
-Android 5.0, Lollipop
-5 MP Camera/Video Recorder
The TracFone service arrangement offers the following benefits:
-No contract and no bills
-No credit check
-No credit card required to activate
-No activation fees with the purchase of a TracFone device and no cancellation fees
The LG Sunset arrives pre-loaded with the standard Google apps and a few custom LG apps. Users of the Google productivity suite and Google Calendar will find the experience on the LG Sunset seamless. The display looks nice and the phone feels nice and comfortable in the hand.
So far I have been able to use my favorite apps that I am accustomed to using on iOS. Amazon, Pandora, Netflix, and Nest all work great with comparable performance. I am having some difficulty syncing my Misfit Shine through the bluetooth interface, but I haven’t really spent much time trying to resolve this issue. One area that has been a slight disappointment has been with the Etsy and Shopify apps. Both Etsy and Shopify will only allow you to access one shop within their app without having to logout and login to a new shop. For those with multiple e-commerce shops, this can be a bit cumbersome at times. I discovered that this has been been an Android user request for a couple of years now for both Etsy and Shopify. While it this isn’t a huge deal, it would be nice to have this convenience on Android as well.
I have even used the LG Sunset quite a bit for mobile gaming. One of my favorites is Conquest 3 Kingdoms which is a great strategy game. Fans of Romance of the Three Kingdoms from the early Nintendo days will love this game just as much as the original. Beyond Conquest 3 Kingdoms you are able to access the Google Play store with the many apps within that store.
The bottom line is that I have found the LG Sunset to be a very capable phone which meets all of my needs. There are a couple of convenience features which could add to the experience, but given the reduced price point and lack of a contract requirement, I am pleased overall. I really appreciate the fact that I could try an Android smartphone without entering a contract and it’s very appealing that Android smartphones cover nearly every price point. Potential Android users may enter the Android ecosystem at a lower cost alternative and grow into the premium models over time.
The LG Sunset is a great example of the impact of technology on our society. The offering of such smartphones is adding capability and driving down costs which allow this technology to become accessible to a wider swath of the population.