LG Optimus G Android Smartphone Review - HotHardware

LG Optimus G Android Smartphone Review

31 thumbs up
LG's Optimus G is the first high-end smartphone from the company to have a serious presence in America. In the past, LG's offerings in the U.S. have largely been mid-range handsets that were, in large part, easy to overlook. Its mobile marketing efforts in the U.S. have also been somewhat unimpressive, hindering the company's chances to increase its market share. But the Optimus G is something different. It's a fresh and powerful piece of kit that seems to hit all of the right marks, at least from a technical standpoint.


What's most interesting about the overall design of the Optimus G is its size. With a 4.7" display, it falls somewhere in between a larger-than-average size smartphone and a phablet. It feels huge compared to the iPhone 4S, but a bit on the small side compared to the Galaxy Note II. Ultimately, the phone feels wide overall, but we suspect those that like larger screens will dig the Optimus G.


The 4.7" display is clearly the star of the show. The company's Zerogap Touch technology places the capacitive layer inside of the panel, enabling LG to make the phone a little bit slimmer, and the images on the panel a little bit clearer. At first glance, images are pin sharp, and colors are remarkably vibrant. It's easily one of the more stunning mobile panels in terms of clarity. But there's an issue here that you'll notice after you spend an extended amount of time with the phone: if you tilt the screen at a more extreme angle, you'll notice a subtle discoloration. Whites turn a slight off-white, almost yellow, and based on the information we have available, this issue seems to be uniform across these devices. It's not a huge issue until you tilt the screen at fairly extreme angles, but most other devices don't have the same issue. For a flagship phone, it's fairly disheartening to see such an obvious weak spot in the panel.

The front of the phone is a glossy black, with a 1.3MP (720p) front-facing webcam in the top right corner. The right edge of the phone is home to a power / screen lock key (with an illumination light for notifications), while the top edge has a 3.5mm headphone jack. The left edge is home to a volume up / down rocker, as well as a pop-out lid that hides the micro-SIM slot and microSD slot. (AT&T's version of the Optimus G has 16GB of onboard storage + 16GB microSD card.) The bottom edge is home to a microUSB / MHL port. The rear of the phone is home to an 8MP sensor and an LED flash, as well as a silver AT&T logo. Oddly, the global version of the Optimus G (and Sprint's version) has a 13MP camera.


Overall, the phone feels like a rigid device, but it's an ultra-slick piece of hardware that may slip out of your hand as easily as in your pocket. Clumsy hands best opt for a case with some grip. At over five ounces, it also feels a tad on the heavy side, but most concerning is the somewhat underwhelming feel of the build materials. Unlike the iPhone, which uses metals that are smooth to the touch or even the cheaper RAZR M, which relies on a svelte Kevlar backing, this phone relies on cheaper plastics from top to bottom. For a low-end or mid-range phone, this would be expected. For a flagship product that costs $549.99 (off-contract), we were left longing for more premium materials.
 

Article Index:

1 2 Next
-2
+ -

This is one BORNING looking phone, completely square, flat, with a Kevlar backing ripped off of Motorola

0
+ -

@sevaggs - are you shopping for a phone, or a chrome-covered jacked-up 4x4 pickup? Does the phone have to actually work, or are you just going to use it to impress idiots with its looks?

 

And to the author: "if you tilt the screen at a more extreme angle, you'll notice a subtle discoloration. Whites turn a slight off-white, almost yellow, and based on the information we have available, this issue seems to be uniform across these devices. It's not a huge issue until you tilt the screen at fairly extreme angles, but most other devices don't have the same issue. For a flagship phone, it's fairly disheartening to see such an obvious weak spot in the panel."

Who's going to do that in normal use? This is not an "antennagate" issue, it's something that no one would ever have a problem with if they were using their device like everyone else uses theirs. Do you frequently lay your LCD TV down on its back, and then watch it at an extreme angle? That's the same kind of thing - and will get you similar results.


0
+ -

its not kevlar, its glass.

0
+ -

I was wary of getting this phone for a few reasons.

-My previous experience with LG cell phones was limited to a flip phone several years ago, which became next to useless after ~9 months.

-I hadn't heard people talk about LG cell phones since the Chocolate.

-LG makes smartphones?

I was upgrading from a Samsung Infuse 4G (think Galaxy S with a larger screen, HSPA+, and less support and accessories). I liked the big screen (still bigger than the iPhone) and the microSD slot of the Infuse; I did not like the slow pace of OS updates from Samsung, and the cheap-feeling back cover.

I had been looking at the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X+ before reading about the Optimus G (and it's brother, the Nexus 4). While the speed and feel of the One X+ was very nice, and I've never heard a bad thing from friends with other HTC models, I didn't like that I couldn't expand the storage (although 64 GB built in is impressive). While the GS3 has sold like an iPhone (therefore would have support from Samsung and/or the rooting and modding community, not to mention cases and accessories), and it has a large screen and expandable storage, it felt cheap to me with it's flimsy plastic back (much like the Infuse), and the AT&T version only packs a dual-core CPU. While an easily replaceable battery is nice, I haven't had a problem with dead batteries in electronics since my 3rd gen iPod.

Now to sell the Optimus G. I've had it for about a week now, and I love it. It originally caught my eye due to it's technical specs: 4.7" 720p (approx) display, quad-core CPU, 2 GB RAM, etc. I'm a little annoyed that the AT&T version has an 8MP back camera (vs. 13MP of most other Optimus G models), but I do like the flat, flush back panel that the 8MP camera allows, and the AT&T model is the only Optimus G model with a microSD slot. What I didn't realize until I've had it for awhile, and now one of my favorite things about it, is it's fit and finish. While I don't doubt that Samsung makes quality phones, the GS3 doesn't feel as nice as this. The Optimus G looks and feels like an expensive, high-quality device. While I will be putting it in a case, I REALLY don't want to - it looks that good. It does feel a bit slippery without a case, though, and I do want to protect it.

Downsides? It still has Ice Cream Sandwich - LG needs to get that Jelly Bean update out ASAP. Also, since it probably won't sell as well as the iPhone and GS3, case selection will be limited, and support from the mod/root community won't be as extensive (if that's your thing).

In short, this phone is awesome - it's fast, it's easy to use, and DAMN it looks good. Get it.

PS: for best deal of the Optimus G, I suggest check at: Androidphonegreatdeals.blogspot.com/p/lg-optimus-g.html

Enjoy!

0
+ -

I like the design, and the power, but I feel like it's falling short in some area's that I personally would enjoy. It could have a little higher screen resolution like some of the newer phones coming out, the battery life is just down right horrible, I couldn't expect this thing to last through a typical workday without plugging it in.

The camera seems to be about average, maybe a little above average with the available software to help the image look a little better. The screen size is a little big for me, I like the smaller screens, I think the iphone 5 at 4" is plenty for me, however I've never actually owned a phone bigger than that, so my opinion isn't from experience.

Not a bad phone overall though, I'll have to have my wife check it out, she might like it. She's still telling me everyday she wants a Note II, but doesn't want a huge screen.

0
+ -

Why is this phone SO much more powerful than the Google Nexus 4 when they are essentially the same phone with a few minor differences????

0
+ -

acarzt:

Why is this phone SO much more powerful than the Google Nexus 4 when they are essentially the same phone with a few minor differences????

Not sure about the power but I've heard the Nexus 4 has heat issues.

0
+ -

digitaldd:

acarzt:

Why is this phone SO much more powerful than the Google Nexus 4 when they are essentially the same phone with a few minor differences????

Not sure about the power but I've heard the Nexus 4 has heat issues.

Mine does get quite hot... but it doesn't appear to have caused any problems for me... yet

0
+ -

Hey Acarzt; it is a quad core processor phone, has more memory, and I am pretty sure a higher memory bandwidth internally as well. Oh and an enhanced GPU as well!

 

0
+ -

rapid1:

Hey Acarzt; it is a quad core processor phone, has more memory, and I am pretty sure a higher memory bandwidth internally as well.

Yep, and the benchmark scores on this phone are crazy.

1 2 Next
Login or Register to Comment
Post a Comment
Username:   Password: