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A Fact-based Reviewer of Prepaid Cell Phones from Straight Talk, Net10, TracFone, and FreedomPop. Find detailed reviews on Samsung, LG, ZTE, Alcatel, Huawei, HTC, Motorola, and Kyocera mobile phones. Each review includes pricing information, where to buy and wireless plans the phone supports. The wireless plans are monthly no-contract plans and nicely priced; ranging from 100% free to affordable premium plans.

LG Premier LTE L61AL Review

LG Reviews

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LG Premier LTE L61AL Review

James Shisiah

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What we love

  • 5.3-inch HD display
  • 4G LTE speed
  • Powerful quad-core processor.
  • 5MP front and 8MP back cameras
  • Extended battery life

Overview

LG Premier L61AL is one of the powerful Straight Talk Smartphones from LG Electronics. It's a 5.3-inch device that comes running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop. This being a GSM phone, it will be activated on the AT&T cell towers, so be sure to check that you have AT&T in your home area before making an order. There’s another LG Premier LTE L62VL which is the CDMA variant that works with Verizon cell towers. All other features are the same. LG Premier L61AL is a very powerful device boasting most of the specs found on high-end devices; for instance, the fairly high-resolution front and back cameras. I have had my hands on the LG Premier L61AL, and I found it to be a great device from the design to the specs which we are going to look at as we go along.

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Unboxing

LG Premier L61AL is a prepaid smartphone that you can order from Straight Talk. The purchase box includes the Premier L61AL device, battery, a wall adapter charger, standard USB cable, activation card, service guides, and a quick start guide. This being an Android 5.1 Lollipop device, initial setup is straightforward. It's an easy 5-minute process, and your device will be up and ready for use.

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Design

The LG Premier L61AL comes with a relatively high-end design. From the premium look to the textured back cover, the device looks good to behold and have it in your palm. It's also very slim and feels really lightweight in hand. Personally, I didn’t believe at first that all these great features were packed into a phone this thin.

The 5.3-inch display curves slightly into the bezel giving the device that premium look. The bezel is very thin on the left and right, leaving the most of the display for you. The top part of the screen is typical. We have the front camera, the earpiece and the proximity sensor embedded in the upper bezel of the screen. The lower part of the display, holds the floating navigation buttons as a norm of Android 5.1 Lollipop. The arrangement is as you would expect; the back button on the left, the home button comes in the middle and the recent apps button on the right.

Like most LG phones, the layout on the edges is very premium; it has a chrome finish snaking around the frame, and again it doesn't have buttons on any of the edges. The upper edge only has your noise cancellation mic. The lower edge has the headphone jack, your mic as well as the micro USB charging port.

On the back cover, we have the power button, volume rockers, the camera, LED flash and the speaker. The volume rockers together with the power button are arranged vertically just below the camera. The speaker is on the lower side of the back cover, so it's not entirely obscured when you lay your phone on its back. The back cover is removable to reveal the battery and SIM slot. A microSD card slides into a slot just above the SIM slot. Just in case you get this phone, you should know where the microSD card slot is. So, let’s check out the features.

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Camera

The LG Premier L61AL comes with an 8MP back camera and a 5MP front camera. I found this phone to boast some of the high-resolution cameras you could expect to find on a lower end device. In fact, getting a 5MP front camera on a lower end gadget is highly unlikely, but the LG Premier brings you this. I noticed very bright and super clear photos than I had seen on any other phone in this price range. Video quality is excellent, and you will love the video calling feature on this device.

The camera does come with some amazing features, for instance, the gesture shot that I really found to be interesting. How does it work? Take a pose in front of your camera, and raise your hand, align it in the focus box, make a fist, then unclench it to take a photo. With the gesture shot feature and wide angle lens, nothing is stopping you from capturing even more faces - families and friends.

You can press the volume down key twice to launch the camera. Remember the volume down key is on the back cover, and easily accessible by your fingers, I think this a great feature.
It has a live shot feature capability. Ever been in a situation where you don’t know whether you need take photos or videos? With the LG Premier L61AL, you can actually take pictures while recording video – then decide later, on what you don’t want to keep on your phone!

You can also take photos by issuing voice commands. On the LG Premier L61AL, you don't always have to fumble trying to find the capture button when you can just say "Cheese," or "Smile," or "LG," to take a photo. This means selfies come out straight, brilliant and high quality.

Other features I liked on the camera include Interval and Burst Shot. With Interval shot, you touch and hold the capture button to take 4 selfies in a row. The burst shot feature lets you capture as many photos as you would like in a row using the rear camera, by simply pressing and holding the capture button.

If you are looking for a budget phone that will shoot high definition selfies and has a lot of great camera features, the LG Premier L61AL is the best bet.

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Display

The display is probably the greatest feature on the LG Premier L61AL, literally. A whole 5.3-inch high definition display - what better way to stream and watch videos? It gives you a resolution of 1280 X 720 pixels meaning you can watch all the high definition YouTube videos.
Pictures show up brightly, and video quality is just amazing. Given the phone has thinner left and right bezels, you get an even wider viewing angle. It can show videos with a resolution of up to 1920 x 1080 pixels which is the quality you find in high-end smartphones. 

Indoor visibility is as you would hope for, wonderful. The phone does come with an ambient light sensor, so it adjusts brightness accordingly when you move to darker or brighter environments. The screen brightens up in brighter environments so that you don't strain to see. Similarly, in low light settings, the screen darkens automatically to prevent excessive light from affecting your eyesight.

The screen responds to the slightest touch, and the phone has one cool feature where you can wake up the phone by just double tapping on the display when it's in sleep mode. Likewise, you can lock the display by double tapping when it's unlocked.

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Battery

LG Premier L61AL comes with a powerful 2300mAh which give you a Talk time of up to 14hours and 11 days standby. Of course with a larger screen and a faster processor, more strain is placed on the battery, meaning it will drain faster. Still, with typical usage, I still got through a full working day without having to find a charging outlet. However, if you keep the screen on and do a lot of intensive operations on your phone, you may have to charge it within the day. Intensive use cases include video streaming, playing games, or live GPS navigations; you may need your charger with you after 5 to 6 hours. On days when am extremely busy, and have to check the phone for emails, return a few phone calls and texts, I got through the day and still had plenty of battery life left. I found the battery to be withstanding. 

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Storage

Storage capacity is fairly sufficient on the LG Premier L61AL. It ships with 8GB of internal storage. However, only 4GB is available for your use. This being a phone with a very powerful camera, you may think it would come with more storage. Good thing though, it supports an external microSD card of up to 32GB. If you are looking to have just a few apps on the phone, the internal storage is enough. With more photos, apps, videos, and games, you will need the external microSD card. Still, the LG Premier L61AL from Straight Talk is a great gadget to be on the lower end, and I didn't find the storage to be an issue.

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Performance

LG Electronics, being a major phone manufacturer, will always try to pack great features and performance measures in its phone releases. The LG Premier L61AL although a budget phone really impressed me with its performance. It comes running Android 5.1 Lollipop which comes with a very fluid user interface. It also gives you access to free and paid thousands of apps on Playstore which it supports. The LG Premier L61AL is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2GHz quad-core processor paired with 1GB RAM. These resources give the device impressive performance when it comes to multitasking, gaming, and even streaming high quality.

There being a quad-core processor on the device, I found no issue having several apps running in the background. The recent apps button on the navigation makes it easier to switch between recently launched apps. You will notice very smooth animations as you navigate through different screens; this is because of fairly sufficient RAM on the device.

LG Premier is a 4G LTE enabled phone. Internet connectivity is very fast. The quad-core processor ensures the device doesn't lag when running an intensive app. Streaming videos on YouTube load fast with no noticeable buffering if you are still within your Straight Talk data plans. More on the wireless plans later in the review.

Live navigation with the Google Maps app and GPS is also one thing I noticed to be amazing. The device is very responsive to touch and zooming, and the app populates location data real fast. Because the phone has a larger display, places show up even clearer.
The phone doesn't come with a lot of bloatware, but just apps you would need for your daily operations. It does include all the Google apps such as Gmail, Hangouts, Google Plus, Photos, YouTube, and Google Maps.

Other typical connectivity features on the LG Premier L61AL include Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.1. It has Accelerometer that lets you control games by tilting your phone. It also has a proximity sensor/ambient light sensor for controlling the brightness of the screen or locking it all together when you place the phone on your ear during a phone call. By turning your screen off, the ambient light sensor helps extend your battery life.
Just as the name symbolizes, the LG Premier L61AL is a premium device with premium features that you will love. Here is a list of specifications.

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Specifications

  • 4G LTE/Wi-Fi/GSM.
  • 5.3-inch Screen.
  • Android 5.1 Lollipop.
  • Camera: 8MP back, 5MP front.
  • Battery capacity: 2300mAh. Talk time up to 14 hours. Standby up to 11 days.
  • Internal Memory: 8 GB. Supports external microSD card of up to 32GB.
  • Dimensions: 5.77''(Height) x 2.94''(Weight) x 0.34''(Depth) inches.
  • Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Technology.
  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 1.2 GHz Quad-Core.
  • A-GPS/GPS Capabilities.