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LG Optimus G (AT&T & Sprint) Review

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: 441; 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: 3565; 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 (Posts: 302; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


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 (Posts: 24; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


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: 311; 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: 152; Member since: 15 Jul 2013)


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

posted on 15 Aug 2013, 07:35

72. MANGUELPR (Posts: 24; Member since: 15 Aug 2013)


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: 370; 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: 239; 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: 44; 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: 370; 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 (Posts: 302; Member since: 12 Nov 2011)


The Nexus 4. 9.5/10

posted on 19 Oct 2012, 16:21

64. Berzerk000 (Posts: 3649; 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: 2964; 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: 239; 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: 531; 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: 434; 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: 2964; 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: 27; 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: 257; 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.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 13:01 4

22. IHateApple (banned) (Posts: 122; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


The best way to make an Android phone:-

1. Make all the hardware in the best way you can.
2. Get all the drivers for all the hardware components.
3. Call up Cyanogenmod and hire them to port the latest Android to the device.
4. Tell CM team that their phone should be the first phone to get the stable release of the latest CM. No other phone should worked upon during this period.
5. Release the phone and get 10/10 from PA.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 13:10 2

23. roldefol (Posts: 2855; Member since: 28 Jan 2011)


And then make few sales because it's not labelled iPhone, Galaxy or DROID. Sad but true.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 13:17 4

24. yasir-921 (Posts: 74; Member since: 02 Oct 2012)


This review seems biased. Why Q-Slide feature is distracting? Its a new feature and after spending some time using this feature, it will definitely be a fantastic experience.
We should wait for the International model. Carriers' phones are not the phones which exactly the Universal models are.
Lets see what the International version does.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 13:41 7

25. downphoenix (Posts: 2232; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)


The score is right, the review is wrong.

1) The camera is very good on both deviecs. It may not be the BEST on the market but it stacks up among the better ones.

2) The nighttime video they show is stacked against this, when they did the nighttime video for the iphone 5, it was CLEARLY a better lit area. Of COURSE the video is going to look better in that case.

3) Saying the Q slide is distracting but the pop up play is not does not compute, when its essentially the same thing, except it seems the Q Slide feature has more options from what I've seen of it, such as setting transparency, which is nice.

4) Overall the choice is apples and oranges I guess. Its nice that the ATT version has the Microsd slot, and the Sprint version seems to fair slightly better in the camera department. Any other differences they cited, like the call quality being iffy on the sprint version, seems to be bogus. They mentioned themselves in the review that the signal in their area wasnt as good with Sprint, so Id wager something like that is attributed to the signal in their area rather than an actual difference in the earpiece of the phones or how the phones handle the calls. Also the quadrant they rant on the sprint vs AT&T version is questionable, given that the other benchmarks were pretty much identical, sounds like a background app may have interfered with the benchmark on the sprint version.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 15:00

28. gauravkrishna121 (Posts: 6; Member since: 29 Aug 2012)


phonearena....... r u having fight with sony??????????

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 16:09 2

30. Mke5Mke (Posts: 18; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)


This phone was given a 9. The HTC One X only got an 8.5 and it's an incredible phone. I'm not sure how seriously this rating system can be taken. That said, the LG Optimus G will most likely be my next device come November 2.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 16:10 1

31. osanilevich (Posts: 228; Member since: 29 Sep 2009)


kind of annoying how ATT ditched the reflective crystal thing and put a glass slab on the back instead

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 17:23 3

33. dicemoney (Posts: 57; Member since: 28 Mar 2011)


By may next year this phone will be forgotten just as always LG is always first but always end up being last

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 17:34 1

35. Mke5Mke (Posts: 18; Member since: 10 Oct 2012)


By May next year, the iPhone 5s will be all anyone is talking about. The iPhone 5 will be forgotten. The iPad Mini will be forgotten.

I'm not sure you understand that 8 months is a lifetime in mobile-technology years.

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 17:26 5

34. jaoowolabi (Posts: 201; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)


the G stands for Gangnam Style...

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 03:27 1

49. Seymur (unregistered)


^YouTube comment

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 16:36 1

56. jaoowolabi (Posts: 201; Member since: 07 Jun 2012)


haha ohhh man.. (:

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 22:07 1

43. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. boring! this thing will be one penny by Christmas on amazon. trust me, lg phones have piss poor resale value. they are like that cheap kia car that tries to compete with a honda, same specs and all but when you drive, it, it is missing the refinement and fluidity of the big boys. maybe one day they will get it right. they could start by stop putting that ugly gold looking att globe logo thing on their phones. make them look soooo cheap!

posted on 17 Oct 2012, 22:08 4

44. droiddomination (Posts: 203; Member since: 01 Dec 2011)


i mean that lg logo, they need to totally redign their logo. might work for their refrigerators but not for a phone.

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 02:46 2

48. linneti15 (Posts: 49; Member since: 26 Sep 2012)


PHONEARENA IT IS NOT THE WORLD'S FIRST QUAD CORE WITH LTE, IN AUSTRALIA THERE IS THE GALAXY S3 4G WHICH SHIPS WITH ANDROID 4.1, QUAD CORE EXYNOS AND LTE. AND IM SURE THERE HAVE BEEN QUAD CORE'S FROM SAMSUNG IN KOREA THAT HAVE LTE TO. AMERICA ISN'T THE ENTIRE WORLD YOU KNOW!!!! THERE ARE OTHER COUNTRIES, DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE MAKING SUCH BOLD STATEMENTS. IT IS THE FIRST IN USA WITH QUAD CORE AND LTE.

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 19:32 1

57. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


SG3 DualCore in US
US is part of the world
LG Optimus G has no dual core phones anywhere in the world

LG Optimus G FRIST

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 05:54 1

50. maxha97 (Posts: 6; Member since: 28 Aug 2012)


In south korea, lg promised optimus g jellybean update until november and optimus lte2 jellybean update until this year. It is faster than samsung..... I expect optimus g of us version can get jellybean update soon!

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 06:29

51. Shino (Posts: 159; Member since: 23 Jul 2012)


"...In this day and age, we’re bombarded by many smartphones packing extraordinarily large displays, which seems to be the trend with today’s premier smartphones." - PA, WTF?! The best selling smarphone on the market for years has a 3,5" display, what trend are you talking about? If it is the trend in Android or WP phones, than it is corect. About this LG - all I can say is: The same ol' yellow brick, only a little worse than Samsung. Nothing impressive, really nothing.

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 14:30

55. dok2005 (Posts: 55; Member since: 18 Apr 2012)


lol nothing impressive so the specs not impressive at all really i suppose to believe that those bench marks is not running circles around the competition. lol so what you call impressive. second iphone as a brand been selling like hotcakes, but even they change there screen size correct me if im wrong. to top it off further than that as far as phones sales last time i check samsung in number one mobile operator in the world. also there plenty of phones that i can name on top of head and so can you that screen sizes just been getting bigger and bigger. so they have a valid point duh.

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 19:41

60. BadAssAbe (Posts: 434; Member since: 22 Apr 2011)


Iphone6 20XX
QuadCore
2GB of RAM
LTE
Bigger 4.X in Screen
WIFI direct Steaming
MHL Support
NFC

iFans= OMG its magically revolutionary

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 08:22

52. ey1108 (Posts: 1; Member since: 18 Oct 2012)


will all lg optimus g's featres be on the lg nexus?

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 19:33

58. barondebxl (Posts: 101; Member since: 04 Nov 2011)


How can LG launch this amazing spec'ed phone with ICS in october 2012? That tells you a lot about LG. With that being said, this phone is the most powerful phone on the market, even more powerful than my beloved note 2. But more powerful doesnt mean better!

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 19:40

59. 12013E12T (Posts: 37; Member since: 08 Sep 2009)


So much for the hype around "32GB of native storage and 32GB microSD slot." :(

posted on 18 Oct 2012, 22:42

62. taz89 (Posts: 1944; Member since: 03 May 2011)


at&t version looks rubbish compared to sprints,,,sprints looks much more slick..the phones looks nice spec wise but i still cant accept high end phones being released 5 months after the release of jb coming out with ics

posted on 19 Oct 2012, 15:16

63. dok2005 (Posts: 55; Member since: 18 Apr 2012)


true coming out with ics seems like bad move but think about when the phone was made and went into production and you know how carriers are constantly testing out firmware t make sure it work so thats the reason why it coming out with ics with reports of jb update soon to follow. yet again im one of those people whose not waiting on carriers i will wait on developers in xda/ other communities to make this bad boy deliver us to the promise land.

posted on 19 Oct 2012, 22:40

65. ChiX017 (Posts: 308; Member since: 09 Nov 2011)


I finally figured out why LG never succeeds in smartphones (apart from their lack of support), they never innovate but always jump ahead, while others (Samsung, Nokia) create new paths(competition) like Pureview, S Beam e.t.c doing the best of what currently is, doesn't necessarily put you on top but as first especially when there is no proper support.

posted on 04 Dec 2012, 12:44

69. monkeytown (Posts: 89; Member since: 26 Jul 2012)


again no ics buttons, oh boy :(

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