Performance, Battery Life
On multiple occasions, we felt the Spectrum was not as responsive as other phones with similar hardware. For example, there were many instances when we would press the application button, wait for the phone to respond, assume it didn't register our command, press the button again, and then see the application menu pop up and close quickly. This happened with other on-screen icons as well. We're hoping the update to Ice Cream Sandwich and/or another software update to the phone will fix this issue, but we don't have any guarantees at this point.
Considering the Spectrum has a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and 1GB of RAM, we see no reason this phone should have much of a lag when opening and closing various applications and menus. We've used phones with slower processors and the same OS in the past from other manufacturers and have not experienced sluggish responsiveness as we have with the Spectrum.
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Although there were more than a few instances when we felt the phone was a bit slow to respond, there were also many instances where the phone performed quickly and smoothly. We were able to use the phone for various everyday tasks without issues—checking email, browsing the web, placing calls, launching apps, etc. Overall call quality on the LG spectrum was very good.
One of the selling points of the LG Spectrum is its high resolution 4.5-inch True HD IPS touchscreen. With a resolution of 1280 x 720, this phone has a higher resolution than most other phones we've seen. During our tests, we felt the screen was very vibrant, colorful, and sharp. The screen also offered excellent viewing angles.
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While using the phone outdoors under direct sunlight, we felt the Spectrum's screen was much easier to read than most other screens we've seen.
Although the LG Spectrum is a little lean on internal storage (4GB), it does come with a 16GB microSD card preloaded in the phone. Of course, you can swap cards as needed for additional storage, and we appreciate that LG has made the microSD card slot accessible without removing the battery (although you will have to remove the back cover plate of the phone to access the card slot).
The LG Spectrum has an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with flash. In some instances our test images (particularly indoor shots) appeared a little drab, but many of our outdoor shots were quite vibrant.
With any LTE phone, battery life is often an issue. LG claims you should be able to enjoy up to 498 minutes (about 8.3 hours) of usage time and up to 348 hours (about 14.5 days) of standby time from the phone's 1830 mAh battery. To put these numbers to the test, we put the LG Spectrum through our standard HotHardware battery test. In this test, we set up a webpage with a mix of graphics and text. The page automatically refreshed itself every three minutes. We set the Spectrum's display to 50% brightness and turned off Wi-Fi.
When we ran this test, the Spectrum lasted for 235 minutes while connected to the Verizon Wireless network in an LTE coverage area before giving up. In our real world testing of the phone, the Spectrum's battery often made it through a light work day (approximately 8-10 hours) while checking email, surfing the web, making calls, etc without needing a charge. Of course, your mileage will vary depending on how much you demand of the phone.