LG Optimus F3 a $30 Android phone for blind, hearing-impaired

At an accessibility conference, LG debuts the Optimus F3, an Android Jelly Bean phone that includes Google's TalkBack feature.

LG Optimus F3 for Sprint
LG

LG will want to sell the Optimus F3 it announced on Thursday to everyone, but the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean smartphone comes with some features specifically meant for blind and hearing-impaired users.

Most notably, the phone automatically integrates Google TalkBack, a text-to-speech accessibility app that you would ordinarily have to download and activate to use.

Students can also download the Accessible Education ID pack using Sprint ID. It contains Web apps that center heavily on math and target students who struggle to read print.

For hearing-impaired users, the Optimus F3 color-codes a spectrum of LED colors and pulse patterns to differentiate among phone calls, text messages, incoming messages, calendar appointments, and so on.

The Android handset's other features place it into the middle of the road, with a 4-inch LCD screen, a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor. Rest assured that Sprint's Optimus F3 is ready and waiting for 4G LTE.

Surprisingly, the phone promises pumped-up battery life on its 2,460mAh ticker; and LG adds its own apps for extra flavor, like the LG Tag+ feature for sharing content using NFC.

Customers of any type will be lured in by the price, just $29.99 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a new two-year service agreement. The phone goes on sale in silver or purple starting June 14 online, or later this summer in-store.

The LG Optimus F3 launched at today's M-enabling conference in Arlington, Va., which also saw the birth of Odin Mobile , a carrier catering to blind phone users, and the Huawei Vision with Project Ray, an OS made specifically for seeing-impaired individuals.

Read the full CNET Review

LG Optimus F3

The Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a compact Android handset, the LG Optimus F3 will satisfy prepaid customers. As an on-contract phone, however, look to other free smartphones that are better. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Huawei Vision with Ray (Odin Mobile)

The Project Ray operating system can turn a modest Android phone like the Huawei Vision into a device for the seeing-impaired. Get CNET's first impressions of the reenvisioned smartphone here. / Read full review

About the author

Jessica Dolcourt reviews smartphones and cell phones, covers handset news, and pens the monthly column Smartphones Unlocked. A senior editor, she started at CNET in 2006 and spent four years reviewing mobile and desktop software before taking on devices.

 

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