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HolidayBuyer's Guide

U.S. Cellular's LG Optimus F7

A vivid touch screen

Just a bit hefty

Battery door with some style

Roaming on its call network too

A decent battery charge

Snapping a magazine spread

Equipped with an 8-megapixel camera, a 4.7-inch IPS display, and a dual-core processor, the Optimus F7 is a solid handset for U.S. Cellular customers for $100 with a new two-year contract. It will also be available on the prepaid network, Boost Mobile, starting June 27 for $299.99.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The device has an excellent, 4.7-inch True HD IPS display with a 1,280x720-pixel resolution. It also runs on Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean and comes with Google goodies like Chrome, Gmail, Search, and Google+.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The F7 looks like your typical midlevel Optimus device. It's a sturdy, well-constructed handset that measures 5.16 inches tall, 2.71 inches wide, and 0.38 inch thick. At 4.7 ounces, I noticed it was a bit on the heavy side, but not enough that it's overwhelming or uncomfortable in the hand.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

One design note that I like is the back plate. Though I'm not a fan of glossy plastic (it traps fingerprints like a magnet and this is no exception), it makes the phone look a bit more premium, and the brushed-faux-metal look is a nice touch.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

Because the carrier's 4G LTE network is unavailable in our San Francisco area, I experienced U.S. Cellular's 3G network. Unfortunately, even when compared with other 3G networks, speeds were quite slow. For example, it took more than 30 minutes, on average, to download the 32.41MB game Temple Run 2.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The device is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a 2,540mAh battery, which has a reported talk time of 13 hours and a standby time of 12.5 days.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

The 8-megapixel camera comes with loads of options, such as seven photo sizes (from 1,536x864 to 3,264x2,448 pixels); a 15x digital zoom; a flash; geotagging; a timer; four color effects; five white balances; five ISO options (from 100 to 400); six scene modes; two focuses; and more.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET
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