Need a new feature phone? Verizon's LG Exalt LTE might be for you

Need a new feature phone? Verizon's LG Exalt LTE might be for you
Verizon Wireless this week started selling a feature phone (i.e. not a smartphone) made by LG: the LG Exalt LTE.

Presented as the carrier's "first 4G LTE basic phone," the new LG Exalt doesn't feature CDMA connectivity at all, and seems to be Verizon's first handset to do so. Of course, Verizon's LTE network is currently covering most of the US, and the carrier plans to phase out CDMA services in December 2019, so we could say that the LG Exalt LTE kind of represents the future - a weird thing to say about a feature phone, we know.

The LG Exalt LTE sports a 3-inch internal display with 240 x 400 pixels, and is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor clocked at 1.1 GHz (likely a Snapdragon 21x model). In addition to LTE, the handset features Wi-Fi, support for HD voice, Bluetooth 4.1, an integrated text-to-speech function, and a 5 MP camera with 720p video recording. Moreover, users will find a 1,470 mAh battery on board, as well as 8 GB of internal memory, plus a microSD card slot (for cards up to 32 GB).

Verizon is selling the LG Exalt LTE for $7.00 per month for 24 months, or $168 outright. If you really want an LTE-capable flip phone, perhaps you'll think this is a fair price. If not, you may want to get an affordable smartphone instead - Verizon has a few decent smartphones that cost less than $200, including the Android Nougat-based LG K20 V.


sources: Verizon Wireless, LG

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21 Comments

1. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

But why...?

2. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Not everyone wants a smartphone, and some older people don't want to deal with touchscreens, my dad being one of them. What I don't get is why go straight to an LTE only phone. Why not have some hybrid LTE/3G devices? Verizon's LTE coverage isn't as robust as their 3G network is, so why have a device that will most likely be unusable in those areas where LTE is lacking? Makes no sense to me.

3. kent-gaga

Posts: 609; Member since: Apr 10, 2012

that's what I'm not getting. why would you even need 4G on a feature phone 3G is enough and it use less power to connect with wider coverage too

4. Dr.Phil

Posts: 2340; Member since: Feb 14, 2011

Verizon has more 4G LTE coverage than they do 3G. You can look at their map and compare. You will find the LTE covers more area than the 3G. Also, I would suspect that once 5G becomes a thing later this year, they will phase out 3G coverage just like they did 2G coverage as everyone transitioned to 4G.

8. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

That's actually incorrect. They're using the same 3G towers for their LTE equipment and the LTE equipment doesn't have the reach that 3G does. That was confirmed to me by a Verizon engineer when I was trying to find out why the signal in our area suddenly has holes in the coverage. And that's the way it's been with every new network they introduce. The speeds go up, but the range drops. Old analog could stretch out as much as 30-40 miles. According to the engineer, LTE effective range is around 5-10 miles. So u less they add more towers to compensate for the short range, they'll have gaps in their coverage. And according to this engineer, as far as Verizon's concerned, their network switchover is done and no more towers are planned. But you are correct in the reason they're doing this, because when they drop their LTE network, current feature phones will no longer work on their network.

13. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

That is more than likely not true. Reach of cell service has a lot to do with how tall the cell towers are. It is true that because more people use cell phones for capacity reasons towers are now closer together. I did do some technical reading and the maximum distance LTE signal has been tested is 64 Miles.

14. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Ok, sorry but I'm gonna take the word of an engineer who actually works with said equipment. The reason for the conversation is because of the drop off in signal coverage since I moved back to this area. In the last 7 years, the signal.stregnth has gone from -82dBm to -105dBm. That's a huge drip in terms of signal strength. And where there didn't used to be many, if any, holes in service, now there are numerous and large ones. I opened a trouble ticket with my local Verizon regional office. So these are people who live and work in my area, not just someone at a call center on the other side of the country.

5. applesnapple93

Posts: 302; Member since: Jan 06, 2016

theyre not ready for a 4g only phone. I attempted using my Pixel set to LTE only and disabled CDMA. There are a lot of areas where my phone wouldnt have any service with LTE only and I would turn on CDMA radio and connect to 3G.

6. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

interesting I also have a Pixel and here in Minneapolis I have seen 3g once in the past year or so and that was down in Mankato in a steel roof building. My work phone is t-mobile and it fared worse with only 2g inside the building.

9. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Not everyone lives in a city though, and that's where this falls apart. They blanket cities in LTE due to the dense population, but leave a city and that's where the gaps in coverage appear. Btw, Hi neighbor. (Central South Dakota resident)

12. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I have traveled in South Dakota quite a bit, my previous job I had a sales territory of Minnesota,North Dakota,South Dakota, Iowa, Nebraska, Wisconsin, and the UP of Michigan. Verizon LTE is good I cant think of a place where I got 3g over LTE with minor exceptions

15. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

I had a job installing and repairing communications equipment for the Eastern half of SD, the southwest corner of MAN, and the northwest corner of IA, and there were quite a few areas with little to no coverage. Now if you stick to the interstates, you most likely won't have an issue, but move away from them and you'll start to see things fall off.

17. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

My was in the auto industry so wherever there were auto shops that where I would travel. Major highways for sure but I did tend to get off the beaten path.

7. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

One other question is how do you do LTE only? Under network selection my Pixel XL gives 3 options 1 Global 2 LTE/CDMA 3 LTE/GSM/UMTS i dont see a LTE only

10. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3122; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

Did you guys not read the article? This is Verizon's first LTE-only device and it's going to be a guinea pig to test the performance of VoLTE. They're getting rid of CDMA, which is what they currently use for voice & SMS transmission, in a little over 2 years. Chances are your current phones may be worthless in 2+ years. Certainly their legacy CDMA/3G devices will be obsolete when this comes.

11. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

I did yes and I know the guy who says he has a Pixel that has LTE only mode is not telling the truth

16. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

This is from the XDA site, and is the same way to do it on previous LTE devices. There are even apps in the Playstore that do the same thing automatically. Just search LTE only or LTE switch. To switch the Pixel to LTE only mode enter -- *#*#4636#*#* -- Into the dialer, then go to "Phone Information", and under "Set Preferred Network Type" select "LTE only". I have done the same in my area (testing in LTE only mode) and the results aren't spectacular.

18. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Ok I will try it, I bet here in Minnesota they are very good

19. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

And that could very well be. The thing to understand is, with the old 3G network, pretty much everyone was covered in the rural areas. To keep that same coverage footprint, they'd need to increase the number of towers to compensate for the shorter range of the new equipment. But as a business, they're going to look at the population density and determine if it's cost effective or not, which is why many rural areas are going to have coverage deadspots they may not have had under the 3G network. Another consideration will be traffic, by which I mean if the road has a lot of vehicle traffic, they will most likely add towers because of the number of people using it. As far as being off the beaten path, your destinations are still cities, which if they have even a modest amount of people will have a tower to support them. I do not live in a city, I moved back to my family farm after my father's health issues. Now you're not seeing 1000 people in a few square miles, you're seeing a couple to a few hundred people in 10 square miles. The only thing that makes me hopeful is that both AT&T and T-Mobile are supposed to be adding towers in my area, as they are in many other areas of SD. But it seems like Verizon feels it's good enough and that's the end of it. When I asked the engineer and his superiors about what I'm supposed to do, they offered to let me out of my contract for nothing. Which was ridiculous since I'm not on contract with them anymore (month to month). Being with them for 20 years because they did have the best network in my area, and now it seems like they're saying "Thanks for the cash, don't let the door hit ya where the good Lord split ya!"

20. tuminatr

Posts: 1120; Member since: Feb 23, 2009

Well if that what they have planned they are setting themselves up for failure. I dont think they are that dumb. One other thing is that typically Verizon's LTE network has a longer reach (here in MN anyway) because of the fact its deployed at 700mhz for LTE vs 850mhz for CDMA is yes I do realize they use 1700/2100 mhz for LTE in XLTE in some parts of the country. I seem to remember a story talking about how much cheaper it was for t-mobile to build out the 700mhz spectrum they bought from Verizon because of how many less towers they would need.

21. VZWuser76

Posts: 4974; Member since: Mar 04, 2010

Not really. If they're doing this in areas with low population density, it won't affect as many people. And yes I understand the principles of frequency propagation, it was part of my curriculum when I went for electronics. However, and again this is according to Verizon's own engineer, LTE has a much shorter range. Anyone who knows anything about frequencies would assume, the lower the frequency, the longer it travels. Same reason why AM radio travels further than FM. But why would an engineer, who's talking with me to resolve a low signal issue, go so far as to lie? It doesn't make sense. If there's an issue with a part of their network, why lie and make up an excuse rather than just fix it?

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