April 16, 2014

LG Optimus Dynamic II Review

Review of the Android LG Optimus Dynamic II by Tracfone

This review by TracfoneReviewer, will cover the features, specs, buying information and overall opinion for the LG Optimus Dynamic II (LG L39C) from Tracfone.

LG Optimus Dynamic II LG L39C front
Front of the LG Optimus Dynamic II
The LG Optimus Dynamic II is essentially the replacement for the somewhat underwhelming (although much cheaper) LG Optimus Dynamic that Tracfone released with three other Android Smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Centura, Huawei Glory, and ZTE Valet, in mid 2013.

The Dynamic II is for use with Tracfone prepaid wireless service, and will not work with other service providers. Tracfone is a low cost, prepaid cell phone company throughout the US and they have several other companies under them, including StraightTalk and Net10. But Phones from one will not work with other companies.

The Dynamic II, along with the other Android Smartphones offered by Tracfone, runs on Verizon's 3G CDMA network. Be sure to check how the coverage in your area is before buying this phone.

Let's get straight to the Features and Specs for the Dynamic II.

LG Optimus Dynamic II Features and Specs:

This smartphone comes with several impressive and convenient features.
  • 3.8" Touchscreen
  • Android 4.1 'Jelly Bean' with access to thousands of apps on Google Play
  • Triple Minutes for Life
  • Separate talk/text/data
  • 3G speeds on Verizon's network
  • WiFi Connectivity
  • Bluetooth
  • 4GB Micro SD card included
  • 3MP camera (fixed focus)
  • MP3 Player
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • GPS
  • Gravity/Shake/Tilt sensor
  • Mobile Web, Email, Text, Caller ID etc.
  • Handsfree speaker
  • Voice Dialing
LG L39C Specs and Dimensions:
  • Phone Size: 4.43" x 2.55" x 0.47"
  • Screen Size: 3.8" (320x480)
  • Weight: 4.44 OZ
  • 1 Ghz Processor
  • 512MB RAM
  • Compatible with up to a 32GB Micro SD card
  • Battery Life: 8 hours talk, 11 days on Standby
If one compares the Dynamic II to the Dynamic, the Dynamic II is basically an improvement in almost every category. Screen size, battery life, processor and Android OS are all improved over the older version, and even over some of the other Android offerings from Tracfone.

Let's briefly highlight some of the features we like, and don't like on the LG L39C:

LG Optimus Dynamic II - Likes and Dislikes:

What We Like About the Phone:

He Dynamic II comes with Android 4.1, which is a newer version of the OS, but not the newest (the newest is currently 4.4). However, this is one of the newest versions that Tracfone is offering.

LG Optimus Dynamic II Review
Google Maps on the LG L39C
For those that might be unaware, Android is an operating system like Apple or Windows 8 but for cell phones. It allows you to have access to thousands of apps (like programs) that give the phone a huge list of possible features, depending on which apps you install. For more information, visit Google Play.

Screen size: The LG Optimus Dynamic II comes with the largest screen size of any Tracfone yet, at 3.8 inches (measured diagonally). This makes it easier to see things, easier to read things, and provides more area to work on the phone.

To give some perspective, the older, LG Optimus Dynamic had just a 3.2" inch screen and the even older LG 800G had even less at 2.8". The other Android smartphones from Tracfone have 3.5" screens.

Additional points about the LG L39C: The phone comes with a 3MP camera which will take good pictures outdoors, but probably will major problems in low light. WiFi has been reported as quite decent, and is a great way to save your data. Just make sure you turn off data when not using it!

There are many other great features included with this phone which you can see in the feature list above. Now let's take a look at some shortcomings for this phone.

What We Dislike about the LG Optimus Dynamic II

First off, this phone is, at this time, the latest and greatest offering from Tracfone, so there is a lot that it does right. However, we do want to point out a few shortcomings, or things we wish Tracfone would change.

The internal memory and RAM are still somewhat small compared to other modern smartphones. The 512mb of RAM is decent enough, but if you load up a lot of apps, you might push this phone to its limit pretty quickly. The Dynamic II has a little less than 2GB of internal memory for apps and other storage. This is OK, but if you plan to store a lot of movies or pictures, get a large SD card and try to put it on there. (This phone does come with a 4GB SD card which is nice).

The LG Optimus Dynamic II runs on Verizon 3G, along with all of Tracfone's other smartphones, and gets fairly good connectivity and coverage. However, roaming on these phones is not good, so if you travel frequently, you might want to wait to buy a new phone.

Finally, Promo Codes no longer work with Android phones from Tracfone which is a disappointment.

Adding and Tracking Prepaid Minutes on the Dynamic II

The way your track minutes, and how minutes are split up on the Android phones from Tracfone are a bit different, so we will cover that here.

Data, Talk and Text are now split into three separate 'pools' so that when you call or use data, you will still have the same number of texts as before. (EX: If you add a 200 minute card, it will be automatically tripled, and you will receive 600mb of data, 600 minutes for talk, and 600 texts).

This is a pretty good deal for almost anyone, except those who might do a lot more texting than calling or surfing the web. However, there are free apps that will text others for free when on WiFi or Data.

To check your airtime balance:
The easiest way to check your airtime on the LG Optimus Dynamic II is to download Tracfone's Airtime App. It is pretty simple to set up, and you can add airtime through it as well. You can almost go on the Tracfone website and check your account from there.

Phone Covers and Cases for the LG L39C:

The Dynamic II is prone to scratches, especially on the glass touchscreen, so it is a good idea to get a case and screen protector.

The Thousand Eight rubberized L39C cover is a good option, or you can view all the cover choices on Amazon including screen protectors.

Overall Review and Buying Tips for the LG Optimus Dynamic II

lg optimus dynamic II review
Dynamic II on Amazon
The Dynamic II is a sleek, modern smartphone that is honestly one of the best choices from Tracfone at this time. It has a larger screen than any other phone, and the rest of its features are similar or better as well.

Users have been reporting a large number of positive reviews, with few problems unlike the ZTE Valet or older Dynamic. (the Valet has had many reports of poor WiFi connection, and the old Dynamic is slower, and smaller).

Retailing for about $110, the LG Optimus Dynamic II is $99 on Amazon at this time, and can also be found at a great deal on sites like eBay, HSN and others.

If you check out the phone on Amazon, it has received an average rating of 4.2 out of 5, and there are a number of questions and answers available for additional information.

We do want to mention that there are some new phones on the horizon coming from Tracfone: The LG Optimus Fuel (LG L34C) is currently available, and the Samsung Galaxy Ace Style and Moto E are coming soon.

Thanks for visiting and reading, and be sure to leave a comment below with your questions, or your thoughts on the LG Optimus Dynamic II.

If you're phone shopping, check out all or reviews on the Cell Phone Reviews page.

You might also want to see the Top Sales and Discounts on Tracfone Cell Phones.

Additional Resources:
LG Optimus Dynamic II Tutorial - View the full and interactive tutorial to learn more about the Dynamic II

LG Optimus Dynamic II User Guide - This is a complete, 80 page PDF user guide.

68 comments :

Andy Freeman said...

Battery life is a lot less than 8 days on standby if wifi and bluetooth are enabled.

The screen is a lot larger than the 840gs (3.8 vs 3.2) but it feels like the 840 uses its screen more effectively. End result, the screen is effectively bigger, but not as much as the size difference would suggest.

If screen usage effectiveness is an android thing, this means that the 34c will feel about the same size as the 840.

So far, I like the 39c more than I liked the 840 but I'm looking for a larger effective screen size, a newer android version, and more battery life at a very low price. I expect to find it with my next year's renewal.


Paboo said...

Great review. I turn my WIFI off when phone is in 'standby' mode. WIFI comes back on when phone is 'woke'... that seems to be the big battery drain for me.

Typo... Think you meant 'quite' not 'quick'.

Love this phone... only thing I dislike is how slick the back is. The LG840 had a nice tactile back.

Unknown said...

does anybody know if this can be used as a wifi hot spot to connect a computer to the internet?

Anonymous said...

Does anybody know anything about Verzon phasing out its 3G CDMA network? I’m thinking of buying this phone (my first smartphone), and have run across several mentions online of this happening, which would then make this phone inoperable??? Also, we spend a good deal of time at a few locations in the country, and I’m wondering where I can find out if this network is available in those locations.

Andy Freeman said...

http://www.androidauthority.com/verizons-2g-3g-cdma-networks-out-by-2021-121694/ shows verizon's cdma coverage. It also says that verizon is shutting down CDMA by 2021. Do you really think that you'll keep a phone for 3 years?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how MMS are charged versus SMS? On my current Tracfone, an LG800, an MMS text costs 1.5 minutes while an SMS text is only .30 minutes. I'm just interested in knowing if the newer phones charge the same amount of time for an MMS as an SMS...

R Wruck said...

How do you reset the time when traveling in a different time zone. Data and voice not available?

Anonymous said...

I have had this phone for 3 weeks. Live in Chicago 'burbs and have decent 2-4 bars signal almost everywhere. Even with 1 bar in some places, still have not dropped a call. Camera is good outside in good light but pretty sub-par indoors. Always have data turned off, bluetooth off when not in use (big battery drain) and wi-fi off when not in use (another big battery drain) and can get 3-4 days out of a charge with moderate web surfing at home on wi-fi. As I use this mostly as a phone with some light texting, I really like the "3 bucket" system since I am not using phone minutes to send a text. When a 400 minute / one year card gives you 1200 minutes, 1200 text messages and 1200 mb of data how can you go wrong? Yes, a larger, 5 inch screen and a better camera would be nice, but this is Tracfone, and after 11 years as a Tracfone customer, I accept that I will not have the newest technology and for me, that's OK because I have saved thousands of dollars over that time. You get what you pay for, and with Tracfone, you only pay for what you use! If it takes Tracfone another 2 years to come out with these features, I may upgrade then. In the meantime I will silently laugh at those who are spending $100/month on cell phone service.

Anonymous said...

Since you have this phone, can you answer the question about MMS and SMS? When you receive an MMS (multimedia text), how much time are you charged?

Anonymous said...

do the tracfone smartphones get android updates officially or do you have to run a root and rom?

Trink said...

Does this LG Optimus Dynamic II have a GPS antenna or use data for tracking and turn-by-turn directions?

Anonymous said...

Does the phone have a GPS antenna or use data/minutes for navigating and turn-by-turn directions?

Anonymous said...

What is the best roaming smartphone available for tracfone?

Anonymous said...

Amen to everything you said. I too feel sorry for everyone that thinks having a big fancy phone in their hands every minute of the day is worth the cost. This is a great phone for the cost and gets the job done.

Anonymous said...

Optimus Danamic II, accidently moved Goggle Microphone to "trash or Recycle". How do I restore to my home page?

Anonymous said...

Verizon lost major towers and coverage in Jan. 2014. Apparently the other carrier's towers they were using were pulled. Coverage and reception has been greatly reduced. I would check the Verizon website to find out about other locations and coverage. Personally I have this phone and am completely disappointed... the battery does not hold a charge even with nothing running and no apps downloaded... literally nothing on, the phone just on standby and it is dead in 24 hours. If I check voicemail (you need an app to just to be notified if you have a message) I lose 14%-22% of my battery. From 98% to 61% charge in one hour for four texts and 2 very brief calls. Dangerous in emergency. REGRET this phone. Will go back to the LG840. It holds a charge for a week with use, reception and coverage is far superior. Although not as trendy, but what good is a phone with a bad battery. Common problem

Anonymous said...

Nice review, thanks for the tutorial and user guide links!

Tina said...

Have had this phone for 2 months and love it! It can do everything my co workers iphones can do for pennies compared to what they pay/ month! Love the ease of having google play loaded for easy app access too. Wifi has great connectivity too.

jay swafford said...

would this phone work with the SQUARE READER?

Anonymous said...

Does it auto-focus? With so many apps enhanced by QR code reading and ao many readers not compatible with fixed focus, I'm surprized there is not a major push to add a one line nod to every review for yes or no on this. I was surprized my new LTE Tracfone does not; so I look for that in the replacement I only have a few weeks to find. Now I'm finding too many makers are taking this $5 shortcut to get lowest price and too many reviewers are leaving that out of the review.

Anonymous said...

Try listing all apps, locating the microphone, tap and hold, move to the location where you want it to be. It could be under widgets if you don't see it under Apps.

Regina Coker said...

It has a fixed focus.

Regina Coker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cheese Stinky said...

No, there are no updates and you can't root and rom it.

Cheese Stinky said...

Yes it has GPS /antenna/receiver and yes it has to use data to map it out.

Cheese Stinky said...

Perhaps you should just get a reader that is compatible with fixed focus.

Laurena said...

How do I switch from the back-of-the-phone camera to the front-of-the-phone camera? I have searched Google and user guides and can find nothing on this. There are no options that I can find in the camera mode, either. I know it works somehow, because when I first got it and was messing around with it, I remember it showing me myself as I was looking at the phone. Since then, I haven't been able to find it. Help.

Anonymous said...

Were you looking in a mirror? There is no front camera on this phone.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone tried to download WhatsApp?

Anonymous said...

Yes, I did and it works great.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Do you use it when you are connected to wi-fi? Any other details will be helpful.
WhatsApp is the main reason I am considering getting a new phone - to connect with relatives overseas in an affordable way.

mary said...

When I first got my phone I was able to send & receive pictures now after about a month I can 't do either ! Any suggestions?

Crafty said...

Does the Optimus Dynamic II send and receive texts to several numbers at one time? I'm really dumb about this stuff!

Anonymous said...

Checking your time is impossible. Downloading an app from Google is impossible. They reject my password & insist that I use the telephone number they have on file to give me a DIGITAL code. I can't get a digital code on my home phone. There don't appear to be any phone numbers or e mail to contact Google. To ask a question on their site you have to log on. If I could log on I wouldn't have to ask a question. GRRRR

Anonymous said...

Should I upgrade from my previous Optimus Dynamic to the new one?

Anonymous said...

Do you have an lg optimus dynamic 2? If you do then you must not pay much attention because mine gets updates regularly!

Anonymous said...

I bought this phone for $39 as a reconditioned phone on the Tracfone website. You have to purchase some minutes with the phone --- I'd suggest buying the minimum, because as soon as you make your first purchase of minutes, there are some good bonuses that are offered.

1. The reconditioned phone was good as new.

2. buy the minimum number of minutes the first time then buy more as needed with a nice bonus.

Anonymous said...

Just ordered this phone, pray for me! First-time android user here.

Anonymous said...

I have had my phone for about six weeks, I am having to charge the battery every day sometimes within the same day I do not have heavy usage most days I do not get or make any calls also I have trouble answering calls, hope you can help me. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I have had this phone for two months and the battery has to be charged every day has nice features but when purchased the triple for life was not added don't now why now o minutes but decent smartphone.

Anonymous said...

I got this phone for Christmas and I can't seem to receive photos. The text comes through but not the picture and it says "multimedia expired or not available". Has anyone else had the same problem

P Chambers said...

The MMS / SMS content of the post prompted the following question: in the Messaging App on an LG39C, when attaching a video, has anyone experienced the error "Attachment size limit exceeded"?

P Chambers said...

Seeing the MMS / SMS content in the post prompted this question: in the Messaging App on an LG39C, when attaching a video to a message, has anyone seen the error "Attachment size limit exceeded" immediately after selecting the video file?

Anonymous said...

I too cannot see how they can say 11 days for the battery, there is no "power save" option just on or off. I have to charge my phone daily just got it form QVC at first thought it was great now not so sure thanks for the manual there are lots of things lacking in the "how to" in the user guide that came with the phone, such as how to delete a message..

Anonymous said...

Can someone please check: Does this phone have Hot Spot feature?

Anonymous said...

Turn Off Data, Wi-Fi, Blue-Tooth. If these are on, I have to charge the battery every night. Turning these off, I can go 3-4 days w/o charging.

Renn said...

I hope someone can help with this. When someone texts, or sends a picture, I get this- "Multimedia expired or not available." OR it will have a "Download" button, but nothing downloads. I am able to send texts, but not always receive them. This is the same problem someone on Jan. 17 has. I googled this and hundreds of people have this same problem on several different brands of phones. Posts went back to 2011. Incredible that someone hasn't found a fix for it. Any thoughts?

Renn said...

I've had the same problem for months now. I did go through the rigamarole with someone from Tracfone. Fortunately her accent wasn't too bad. After several attempts with her codes and then her speaking with her "supervisor," the problem was corrected. For about 3 weeks. I just haven't decided on when I want to put up with an hour of frustration by calling Tracfone again. Also, the phone's battery needs to be charged midday. And that's with everything turned off that I can turn off. I have very few apps downloaded, so it's not that. It used to stay charged for 24 hours. I've never had it stay charged for 3 or 4 days as some have. Have you had anyone offer advice?

Anonymous said...

There is a front camera I can see it on my phone too. I can't figure out how to use it either.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to change the time on this phone?

Anonymous said...

I'm having the same problem; can't find any info anywhere!

Anonymous said...

How does one turn on the external speaker when making a phone call?

Anonymous said...

What to do when your phone goes dead? Will not light up!

b b said...

Does the mins take off 1 full min or .3 like the old phones when texting

Anonymous said...

Close to a year ago I bought this phone. This was my first Android. Not understanding even what OS means I began my journey.
The Pros: This phone can be rooted. Then customized using xposed modules. When I say customized I mean to many phone tweaks to list. Lots of YouTube Videos to explain everything in detail. Check XDA for help they have amazing people. Cons: (Limited Ram) (Only 3G) (SD limited to 32) (No front facing camera) (No Roms for any tracfones).....The only thing I could never make this phone do was become a Wi-Fi HotSpot. PS.. I bought 2 phones and my Wife still has the stock LG L39C she likes it. I have moved on but still have service on my LG L39C. I use it for testing modules, hacks, and tweaks.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone tell me if you can use a credit card reader with this phone? Specifically Amazon Local Register or Pay Pal Here reader?

Thanks so much!

Anonymous said...

Have same problem. And it doesn't even have to be a picture, sometimes plain text messages will trigger the "Download" button and then the "Multimedia expired or not available." message. In my case, turning Data on allows me to download the message. But this shouldn't be necessary for text-only messages. Dumb phone.

Anonymous said...

front camera is probably for video talking - not photos

Valerie Earl said...

I have the original Optimus Dynamic and I am looking for a cover. There are a LOT more great covers for the Dynamic II. Does anyone know if I can use them for the original Dynamic?

danielc said...

No

danielc said...

Yes! I paid 9.99 for a refurb and I love it.Just keep checking the site great deals come and go in a couple of days.They just had a LG Fuel for 9.99 but it sold out in 2 days.

Anonymous said...

There is no front camera, the so call camera you see is a Proximity Sensor that will turn off the screen when you place the phone next to your ear.

sooty said...

You must have Wi-Fi connected in order to receive ANY multimedia or photo text messages. I know this because my phone , currently w/ AT&T has shut off my internet connection at my request. Regular text messages come through just fine. I am looking into dumping AT&T, how well does service come in? I have 2 cell phones now 1 work on Verizon & the other AT& T. I like Verizon's service better. If I switch I want a phone that has WiFi access & GPS navigation. Any suggestions?

Chastity Gray said...

How do you install whatsapp on this phone?

Anonymous said...

on board memory is only 8gb, that will get gobbled up by app updates, you will have issues with downloading apps, you will get an out of memory error. i have also found this phone to be rather slow surfing the web, opening apps, closing apps and getting back to the home screen, i have an ipod touch that i use for surfing the web, facebooking, messaging and youtubing at home on my wifi because it works so much faster, i mainly use this as a phone and to send sms messages, so my overall satisfaction rating would be somewhere around a 6 out of 10. if they doubled the memory for the same price, that would be great, i would be able to keep the app updates and not delete them all so i can download an app that i want.

Anonymous said...

can I use a straight talk pre paid $45 dollar phone card with this phone

Anonymous said...

I like the phone it was a referb and works pretty good, better than my last phone a cheap Alcatel. I can't seem to load anything on my SD card. How do I get apps and other info moved to it? Any help? And... I thought I could make calls in Wi-Fi with it, but I guess I was wrong, it does down load apps okay.

Anonymous said...

On your message list page, hold down the message portion with your finger for 3 seconds. A menu box pops up with an option to delete. Select the delete to delete message.