LG Optimus G Review
Dec 19, 2012 7:26 AM –
The LG Optimus G, what I consider the beast of a smartphone that lead the way to Google’s new pure Android phone, the Nexus 4, as they’re both manufactured by LG. The phone is extremely zippy fast thanks to a quad-core 1.5GHz processor- in some benchmark tests it sits at the top for the moment. Featuring all other perks of a top Android phone, it runs Ice Cream Sandwich (4.0.4), boasts a 13-megapixel rear camera and loads of software unique to the device; such as a feature to capture frames even before you press the shutter button (so you don’t miss that perfect moment.)
Price: $199.99 with 2 year contract
Carrier: Sprint, AT&T
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Pros & Cons:
- Lightning fast… the fastest Android phone to date!
- Brilliant 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS+ display with Gorilla Glass 2 on front and back!
- 4G LTE capable!
- Good call quality but some dropped calls!
- Comes with 32 GB of internal storage, plus 50 GB of free Box.net storage!
- NFC capable for tap to pay/share technology!
- Loaded with extra software features that are unique to the phone!
- Megapixels don’t mean a thing as the picture quality is just disappointingly average.
- Testing in Chicago, on Sprint’s new LTE network, I did not have an LTE experience.
- No expandable SD card storage option, but does over large internal and additional cloud storage option.
Just like the Nexus 4’s design the Optimus G is encased in luxurious Gorilla Glass on the front and back, which makes it very scratch resistant. Do note, however, it is not scatter resistant so you’ll still need a case to cover all that glass. The rear glass is polarized which reveals this cool pattern deep in the layers of the back panel. Speaking on the glass it has a vivid and gorgeous 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS+ display with 1280×768 pixels resolution (the technology found in LG televisions).
LG Optimus G Sheek
The shape takes on the candy bar slate similar to the iPhone 5- it’s sheek and feels premium and solid in the hand. Being flat on the sides, coming to rounded corners, and unveiling a silver trim around the bezel. Like most modern Android phones it only has 3 hard buttons and the 3 soft buttons along the bottom for Back, Home and Menu (this in contrary to Nexus soft buttons; Back, Home and Recent Apps).
On the rear where the camera lives, and similar to the Nexus 4, the shooter is on the top left and LED flash resides just below it. The camera body pokes a slight bump out a bit and doesn’t allow the device to lay completely flush on its back. It measures 131.9 x 68.9 x 8.45mm and weighs 145g.
Features & Unique Features
QMemo is an app that allows you to write or doodle atop a screenshot and share it. Dual Screen Dual Play offers ability to wirelessly beam phone content to a TV (granted is you have a Miracast hardware dongle). So it not only allows mirroring between the smartphone and a TV, it also has the ability to display different content on each screen. For example, a slide presentation can be displayed on the TV while the Optimus G shows the accompanying speaking notes. And as seen in their television commercial, you can play a video stored locally (not streaming like YouTube) transparent in the background and do other things in the foreground; like write an email- novel but cool.
LG Optimus G Eco and Power Saver Modes
The Optimus G has an Eco mode, when enabled it optimizes the quad core CPU to extend battery life throttling processor speeds, turning off cores, toggling Sync, Wi-Fi & Bluetooth, etc. when not used. It runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad-core processor with Adreno 320 GPU, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB of internal storage expandable another 50 GB with Box.net cloud storage. Lastly, it has NFC for tap to share or tap to quick configure settings. Embedded in the phone is the LG Tag+ app which walks you through how easy it is create and configure NFC tags you purchase from your wireless retailer.
The Optimus G runs Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) with LG’s user interface atop, we’re unsure when it will receive a Jelly Bean (4.2) update, but predict it should happen within a few quarters. This UI allows for switching between themes and it’s actually not too heavily customized. I found many areas of this UI more user friendly than we do sometimes find the in robotic flavor of pure Android.
LG Optimus G Switchable Themes
I was slightly disappointed at the 13 megapixel camera on the rear…
LG Optimus G Sample Pictures in Daylight (Click to Enlarge)
LG Optimus G Sample Pictures in Low Light (Click to Enlarge)
LG Optimus G Sample Pictures in Higher Artificial Light (Click to Enlarge)
The front-facing camera is 1.3-megapixels. I was slightly disappointed at the 13 megapixel camera on the rear. Even though I know a ton of megapixels doesn’t necessarily make a camera great- it didn’t even improve the Optimus G camera past average. See in the photo comparison below of Galaxy S3 (8-megapixels) vs Optimus G (13 megapixels).
LG Optimus G Sample Picture Comparison (Click to Enlarge)
Samsung Galaxy S3 Sample Picture Comparison (Click to Enlarge)
Once you come down from the crash of the photo quality not being superior over other camera phones, you can rejoice at the cool features within the camera. They include:
- Cheese shutter. Either say “Cheese”, “Smile” or “Whiskey” and the camera will snap. I’ve personally found this great for take vanity or group vanity shots with the better quality rear shooter versus the front, or in low light when you need the flash.
- Time Catch Shot is something we all wish we had in the camera phone for when you want to take a quick pic or vid and those precious first few seconds are the vital ones. This feature captures the missing moments before pressing the shutter button. The biggest caveat is that it must be enabled prior. 😀 😡
- HDR (High Dynamic Range) and Panoramic photos.
- Drill into some DSLR like settings: exposure, ISO, white balance.
- Snap pictures while recording HD video.
- Shoot video in 720p or full 1080p HD.
- Live zooming while recording video.
- Add live effects to video for a fun element: big mouth, nose & eye, small mouth & eyes, or squeezed face. Plus fun background including Disco, In space, and Sunset.
4G LTE & Call Quality
LG Optimus G Speedtest Results
Call quality was good but I did have a few dropped calls. Testing in Chicago, on Sprint’s new LTE network, I did not have an LTE experience regarding Internet data speeds. On average I got about 5Mbps download and 3.7Mbps upload. When I drove out of the “4G” areas the speed difference was noticeably slow. Lately I’ve been having this issue on Sprint LTE phones and I truly hope it improves.
Performance and Battery life
I can’t rave enough just how fast this phone is!
LG Optimus G Antutu and Quadrant Performance Benchmark Tests
I can’t rave enough just how fast this phone is! If it’s not evident in the results of the performance test results above from Antutu and Quadrant, then let me confirm this is the first thing you’ll notice when using the phone. Any high-end game you throw at it just glides without hitch. Check out the video with the phone in action!
I used the Optimus G moderated and can confirm that it lasted on average 12-15 hours. This was mostly without the use of the Eco mode, which manages screen brightness, toggles Wi-Fi & Bluetooth and turns off unused processor cores when you dip below 30% power.
LG Optimus G
LG Optimus G Back Glass
LG Optimus G Rear-Facing 13 Megapixel Camera
LG Optimus G Front-Facing Camera
LG Optimus G Sheek
Tags: Android 4.0
, Android Smartphone
, Dual Screen Dual Play
, Ice Cream Sandwich
, LG Optimus G
, LG Optimus G Android Apps
, LG Optimus G Apps
, LG Optimus G Review
, LG Tag+
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