LG Optimus G Review

Posted by at 10:00 pm on January 28, 2013

Optimus GToT has been doing a long term test of the LG Optimus G and it has become one of our favorite of this year’s crop of smart phones.

Design and Layout

The power/lock button is on the upper right side of the device and the volume buttons mirror this placement on the left. The top of the phone features a 3.5mm headphone jack and the bottom includes a microUSB charging port. The square-shaped camera protrudes from the Optimus G by about a millimeter. Below the camera, centered, is the LG logo in shiny silver lettering. In the bottom right corner of the back is a narrow strip, about 3 quarters of an inch, for the microphone.

The back of the Optimus G has subtle patterning underneath a polycarbonate film. The front has a nicely shaped bezel that complements the phone’s tailored appearance.

What’s Inside

Under the hood, the Optimus G sports a fast Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 CPU, with four cores and running at 1.5GHz and 2GB of system RAM. The CPU and GPU-intensive games and apps run smooth on the ample 4.7″ display. Combining the CPU power with fast 4G LTE connectivity makes for snappy performance surfing the web and watching streamed video content. The stock 16GB media storage is upgrade-able via a micro SDHC card that snaps into the side of the phone under a protective cover.

One downside of all this performance capability is that the Optimus will need pretty frequent fuel ups. The 2,100 mAh battery can probable get an average user through a typical 9 to 10 hour day. But if you are like me and want to watch lots of video and surf continuously keep the charging cable handy.

Display and Audio

The Optimus G has a 4.7-inch WXGA HD IPS Plus display with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, which gave us plenty of detail on websites and when flipping through pictures. Viewing angles were excellent when we watched video from an off center position. The colors were bright and accurately rendered.

ZeroGap Touch, LG’s high-gloss, tempered-glass design, reduced screen glare and allowed us to view the screen even in direct sunlight. The display on the Optimus G is also bright, measuring 344 lux. The Gorilla Glass 2 makes it a tough customer. Audio quality is also clear and bright, with more volume than many other smart phone. When Nexus G is set on a counter or table though, the volume is noticeably muffled.

Keyboard

The Optimus G has multiple options for inputting information. There is a QWERTY keyboard that supports Path input, which allows you to draw a line through multiple letters to spell a word. There’s also a Phone keyboard,and Handwriting input. Both the phone keyboard and the QWERTY keyboard provide strong haptic feedback.

Camera and Camcorder

The LG Optimus G has a 8 megapixel camera. We took several photos, inside and outside under varying light conditions. All the colors were rich and full and edges were clean and clear. The Sprint version had a 13 megapixel camera, but as years of digital imaging have taught us all, more megapixels do not necessarily mean better pictures. The built in LED flash does help improve portrait type shots in low light situations, but doesn’t have a range to be of much use in wider shots.

We had a lot of fun playing with the “Say Cheese” feature, which allows you to take a picture when a specified phrase is spoken. The magic words that activate the Optimus G’s shutter are “cheese,” “smile,” “kimchi,” “LG” and “Whiskey.” This feature is fun, but is also pretty sensitive. When we tried “Say Cheese” in a few different conversations and tones of voice the shutter constantly activated.
The front-facing camera has a 1.2-MP sensor. There was noticeable noise around edges, but colors were still bright and vivid.

Other camera features include a “Live Shot” ability that lets you snap still images while recording video, and “Time Catch” which automatically grabs a few extra shots prior to snapping your picture in case you’re too slow with the shutter.

The rear-facing camera also records HD 1280 x 720p video. It is easy to make out cars and people in both the shade and the sun.
The Optimus G also supports live zooming during video playback, allowing you to pinch and zoom in and out on specific areas of interest. You can also slide a finger horizontally to fast forward and rewind the recording, and swiping horizontally adjusted the video brightness.

Software

The Optimus G ships with Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), which provides a pretty complete set of overall capabilities and uniformity of experience. There’s no official word on a Jelly Bean (4.2) update, but rumors abound that one will come out at some point. What is does come with right out of the box is a handy set up from AT&T that lets you configure a bunch of settings and programs on the phone from virtually any web browser. You type in a URL, answer some straight forward questions and then your choices are sent to the phone and you are ready to go talk, surf or whatever.

Some LG-specific enhancements that are worth of note  include the home screens that are very configurable. You can drag and drop icons onto one or multiple screens, as well as into folders, and to customize the on-screen size of folders. You can even create your own custom icons for applications.

LG’s Quickmemo feature lets you grab and share a screenshot of anything you’re looking at and add handwritten notes or annotations – a very handy feature activated by pulling down the notification bar and tapping the Quickmemo icon. The feature offers a variety of different pen styles, and even a see-through highlighter.

Overall

We’ve had a great time with the LG Optimus G and will miss it when it goes home. The combination of speed, build quality, industrial design and awesome screen make it a real winner.

Rating 4.5

Pros

  • Attractive design
  • Feels Sturdy
  • Quad Core CP
  • 4G Speed
  • BIG Screen
  • Fun Features

Cons

  • Battery Usage

DISCLOSURE STATEMENT

I have a material connection because  I received a cash payment, gift or item of nominal value from a company affiliated with a brand, topic and/or product that is mentioned herein. This review is however, an unbiased opinion of the product, and was not influenced by the manufacturer. 

 

 

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