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LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

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Posted: , by John V.

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The Optimus G is running on Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich, which kind of disappointed us. We hope the Jelly Bean upgrade will come soon! LG’s previous efforts with its Optimus UI has never really won us over, especially more when the competition, namely Samsung and HTC, has proven to us that their offerings are more comprehensive in terms of functionality and practicality, but there’s a nice change of pace found this time around. Well, before we get into the nitty and gritty surrounding it, in terms of the overall look and feel of the custom Android experience, it’s still a bit too cartoony. Indeed, we surely appreciate the cool transition effects littered throughout the UI, such as the various ones when moving between each homescreen pane, which does sprinkle some much-needed eye candy, but it simply doesn’t add enough substance to steer it away from the cartoony side of things.

Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Homescreens - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

Homescreens


Visually speaking, it’s not one of its strong points, but rather, we appreciate the finer customizations found with it – like the availability of different themes/animations, the useful access to various connection functions from within the notifications panel, and the ability to use custom images with select icons that are placed on the homescreen. Looking at the app panel, however, there’s nothing out of the ordinary as LG resorts to employing the typical grid-like format.

The app panel - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
The app panel - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
The app panel - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
The app panel - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

The app panel


Interestingly enough, LG’s latest custom UI brings forth some new items that show some substantial growth over its previous outings, which is mainly attributed to the beefy processor it’s packing under the hood. Therefore, let’s take a look at them!

Qslide:

Out of all the new features with the custom Android experience, the QSlide function stands out the most for its sheer ability to show off the processing prowess of the LG Optimus G. Specifically, it’s LG’s take on video multi-tasking with the handset, since we’re able to watch a video and do something else entirely – like browsing the web, reading emails, or simply composing a text. Essentially, the video continues to play, while a slider comes up that enables us to adjust its transparency on the fly. Honestly, it’s more of a distraction than anything else, seeing that our attention is never placed on a single task at hand – whether it’s the video or something else. It is not as practical alternative to Samsung’s Pop up play feature.

QSlide - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

QSlide



Live Zooming:

Again, to further show off its effortless performance, the Live Zooming feature with the custom experience allows us to zoom into a video as it’s playing by executing the appropriate pinch gestures. Therefore, if you want to see something in the video more closely, this will prove to be a useful thing – though, it’s best situated for 1080p video to minimize the loss of detail with lower quality stuff.

The Live Zooming feature in the video player - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
The Live Zooming feature in the video player - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

The Live Zooming feature in the video player



Screen Zooming:

Likewise, the Screen Zooming features offers the same functionality as Live Zooming, but it’s mainly reserved for the Gallery and Messaging apps. In the Gallery, we can pinch zoom to see more or less content on the display. Meanwhile, as we’re typing up a text, we can also execute pinch gestures to increase/decrease the size of the text on the fly. Sure it’s a neat feature, although it’s not something we find ourselves using a lot.

The Screen Zooming feature in the e-mail app - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
The Screen Zooming feature in the e-mail app - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

The Screen Zooming feature in the e-mail app



Dual Screen/Dual Play:


Connecting the handset to a high-def TV wirelessly or with an MHL adapter, we can use its Dual Screen/Dual Play feature to run two things simultaneously. For example, we can play a 1080p video on the big screen – while using the handset to do other things, like browsing the web or typing up an email. Additionally, it’s a great tool for presentations since it can play a slideshow on a TV, with us being able to read notes off the handset.


QuickMemo:

This specific feature isn’t particularly new, seeing that we’ve seen it already on other devices like the LG Intuition and Escape. More of a jotting function than anything else, we either press the QuickMemo icon in the notifications panel or simultaneously press the both volume buttons together, to take a screenshot of whatever we’re doing. From here, we’re given tools to doodle over the screenshot.

QuickMemo - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
QuickMemo - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

QuickMemo



Wise Screen:

Similar to what we’ve seen already on the Samsung Galaxy S III, the Wise Screen feature merely keeps the display on as the front-facing camera is able to make out a face.

Bloatware: 

So those are some of the cool new features found with both versions of the LG Optimus G, but there are still some differences between the two. Specifically, the AT&T model is littered from head-to-toe with a bunch of bloatware, which is comprised mostly by AT&T’s usual fanfare of branded apps. Conversely, Sprint’s variant is employing the carrier’s familiar Sprint ID packs, which basically provides us with some additional personalization to the interface.

Sprint ID on LG Optimus G Sprint - Preinstalled apps - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
LG Optimus G AT&T - Preinstalled apps - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Preinstalled apps - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review
Preinstalled apps - LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

Sprint ID on LG Optimus G Sprint

LG Optimus G AT&T

  

Preinstalled apps


Overall, the new custom Android experience is undoubtedly the biggest undertaking by LG thus far! However, as much as we appreciate its deeper set of features, it doesn’t quite leap over the competition, and instead, it merely emulates some of the features we’ve seen in play already.

71 Comments
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posted on 17 Oct 2012, 09:56 17

2. ryq24 (Posts: 737; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


lg always comes out with the first of everything in mobile phone but always lose to samsung in the end. maybe they need to improve their marketing strategy instead of always trying to be the first in everything.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:05 6

4. sheik (Posts: 249; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


The reason is they just wait and see what other OEMs offer and then come up with a better specs with a tag "Being first"... They even conducted a survey here by comparing their new device with more than half year old S III and one X. They are always late in to the party... the problem is specs isn't everything. Its the whole user experience that we get with the phone... They should play their own game here after... Anyway great review as usual...

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 14:08 12

26. -box- (Posts: 3991; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


...what?

Let's review their accomplishments (at least for the U.S. market):
FIrst dual core phone.
First quad core phone.
First phone with a 720p display
First (to market) screen-dominated-design touchscreen phone(original Prada).
First with a 3D camera and display

What are they lagging in, exactly?

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 17:47 8

37. aoikemono27 (Posts: 177; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)


First does not mean good. The first dual-core G2x had a ton of hardware problems. The first 3D display was a gimmick that ahd no useful functions and the phone itself was big and heavy and mediocre. First 720p display was still running Gingerbread (or maybe even Froyo) and couldn't utilize it properly, and the other aspects of the phone were meh as well. These firsts are only ONE aspect of the phone, and if you fail at all the others, you might have an advantage in that one area, but the rest just drags you down to mediocrity.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 17:56 3

40. OptimusOne (Posts: 694; Member since: 22 May 2012)


first doesn't mean anything. look at iphone, the only first it had was the apple logo, but why is it selling well?

the real story is how LG executes it.
if LG messes up on marketting, or there are numerous bugs, glitches, crashes, none of the features would matter.

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 10:04 4

54. Jericho (unregistered)


Optimus G LG's Next Big thing.

posted on 29 Nov 2012, 15:08

68. cornpops (Posts: 1; Member since: 29 Nov 2012)


ummm which one of LG's phones was the first to have a quad core processor?

posted on 15 Aug 2013, 07:29

71. MANGUELPR (unregistered)


LG Optimus G, First Quad Core for all Carriers, not only that it was the first Quad Core Qualcomm Snapdragon thats why its rapped any phone in history till middle of 2013 and also won the CES 2013 Award the Most Advanced Phone ever made.

//plus.google.com/+LG/posts/J5c417jzJP6

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 21:54 2

61. doejon (Posts: 398; Member since: 31 Jul 2012)


yep and samsung will bring a tuned exynos 5250 and will f**k the s**t out of this phone with a flexible screen 1080p hd amoled plus ultra display with 4000 map new batterytechnolgy (removable) sd card up to 128 gb and of course samsungs own camerasensor with 13 mp and it kill this optimus g and lumia 920 4 sure :-) u will see and dont forget the
kevlar ceramic unibody xD

ok.. ok ok.. we will see but a dream would be come true :P

bring it on samsung!

posted on 16 Jul 2013, 21:48

70. HeWhoDoesNothing (Posts: 157; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


Still waiting....................... LOL

posted on 15 Aug 2013, 07:35

72. MANGUELPR (unregistered)


LG is the actually first company in bring up the full OLED Ulta Flexible and it will be sold to other companies. keep waiting for Samsung, LG already had the product done not a concept jaja.

knowyourmobile.com/lg/20492/lg-will-produce-phone-​flexible-ultra-hd-oled-display-end-year

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:04 15

3. darac (Posts: 2156; Member since: 17 Oct 2011)


LG really, and finally, put everything they have into a product.
The result?
Best phone on Earth right now

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:05 10

5. MeoCao (unregistered)


After HTC Butterfly everything else looks very boring.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:10 11

6. jan25 (Posts: 470; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


this phone got a 9? hallelujah, i can only imagine how awesome the Nexus will be if it is based on this pone :D

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:27 4

8. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


Hope they used a different camera module on the Nexus cause it doesn't perform very well on the Optimus G

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 11:05

12. proto (Posts: 59; Member since: 12 Sep 2012)


I will be very happy, when they use same camara module on nexus 4 cause camera was always weakness on nexus devices and this one isnt best but decent and that's still 3 time better than on last SG nexus.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 11:32

15. jan25 (Posts: 470; Member since: 26 Feb 2012)


at least we got the better performer 8 mp camera. for what it seems, that's the only department where the Nexus 4 will not be on par with the competition. perfectly fine by me.

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 09:58 1

53. Jericho (unregistered)


The Nexus 4. 9.5/10

posted on 19 Oct 2012, 16:21

64. Berzerk000 (Posts: 4275; Member since: 26 Jun 2011)


Probably a 9.5 if it's the same reviewer. I would dock the Optimus G down a full point just for the custom UI, but that's gone with the Nexus.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:24 3

7. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4002; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


I knew LG won't be doing good even if they were working on a new camera sensor. I commented and everyone didn't agree...and here it is.
Well, at least 9 was expected but i don't know why, going through the review wasn't exciting at all. Blame it on the pre-release hype??

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:29 1

9. Retro-touch (Posts: 273; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


I know what you mean I expected a better camera at the least, everything else is great but they should have made an equal or better camera than Samsung if they wanna edge em out, specs are great but I expect issues with this product

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:49 2

10. The_Innovation (Posts: 610; Member since: 18 Jul 2012)


I'm not quite understanding why the benchmarks are so different, if it's the same phone.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 17:49

38. bxbomber718 (Posts: 15; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)


I noticed that too but it seems the reviewer and everyone else overlooked this...

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 10:49 1

11. BadAssAbe (Posts: 456; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


13MP or Expandable memory?

Kinda wish US got a working TV tuner.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 11:27 4

14. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)


or you can get the unlocked one! NO BLOATWARE TOO

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 11:38 2

16. Nathan_ingx (Posts: 4002; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


I'm not saying it is a bad phone. Hell, who am i to say the phone is crap? The specs are a kill!
I wrote negatively on the camera because in the past, there was an article about LG working on a new camera sensor for the G here in PA. If they were working on it, the result here is not worth what i read then.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 12:33

19. bhagi108 (Posts: 21; Member since: 09 May 2012)


why is it so hard to get a good QUAD core phone on t-mobile?

well I am going to give the Huawei Ascend D1 XL U9510E a try.

lets see how that works out!

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 17:36

36. bxbomber718 (Posts: 15; Member since: 13 Dec 2010)


That is if the US gov't doesn't ban it first...smh

posted on 19 Oct 2012, 23:21

66. enGet (Posts: 31; Member since: 19 Oct 2012)


Which they should do. Only fools trust the Chiense. I live in china, I know.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 12:52 1

21. scsa852k (Posts: 329; Member since: 16 Oct 2012)


$199.99 for a phone with spec like this sounds almost like a steal.
But sad reality is that LG products will never outsell Apple or Samsung.

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