LG Revolution Review

Introduction and Design

Completing the trifecta of 4G LTE smartphones first presented to us way back at CES early in the year, LG’s presence is largely going to be known even more on Verizon’s lineup now that the LG Revolution VS910 is finally here. Needless to say that its next-generation 4G LTE connectivity is indeed revolutionary, but considering that it’s following after the HTC ThunderBolt and Samsung Droid Charge, there are literally going to be more things required to keep in fresh from the pack – and more importantly, capture the jaded attention of consumers. Timing is obviously crucial to garner success in this heated market already, and taking into account the back-to-back release nature of Big Red’s 4G LTE smartphones, the LG Revolution might have some challenges in its path in what can be perceived to be an already saturated market.

The package contains:

  • LG Revolution
  • 16GB microSD card preloaded
  • microUSB cable
  • Wall Charger
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Product Safety & Warranty Brochure


Gazing upon the LG Revolution for the first time, it doesn’t stray far from the design philosophy that we’ve seen thus far with Verizon’s 4G LTE smartphones – meaning, they’re rather big, bulky, and undeniably contemporary. Visually, there’s nothing really new to boast about with its design, especially when it’s straightforward with its plastic construction, hard lines, and soft touch matte back cover. Naturally, it’s relatively clean looking for the most part, but it doesn’t quite exhibit the solid build quality of the ThunderBolt – though, it’s slightly ahead of the Droid Charge. Honestly, the LG Revolution doesn’t come off as being a memorable looking handset.

You can compare the LG Revolution with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

Even though it might not be as glorified as the Samsung Droid Charge’s Super AMOLED Plus display, we’re still nonetheless mesmerized by the Revolution’s 4.3” WVGA (480 x 800) LCD display with support for 16.7 million colors. Actually, it looks ever so much better than the ThunderBolt’s display, and at the same time, it’s capable of delivering some sharp looking visuals, high contrast, and saturated looking colors. At first, we question if it’s simply a regular LCD display or something better, but in any event, its luminance is able to capture our attention right from the start – while making it quite useful outdoors under direct sunlight. Additionally, it does exhibit some good viewing angles, though, it does begin to fade at extreme angles.

Beneath the display, we find the usual suspect of touch sensitive Android buttons, but the extra spacing between them and the bottom edge reduces the amount of accidental presses. Oppositely, you can use the 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera for things like video chat and shooting self-portraits.

Placed along the chrome accent on the left edge of the phone, the handset’s microUSB port is hidden behind the plastic flap. Meanwhile, the separated volume keys are laid flush along the right side, but still offer a nice tactile feel when pressed. Also, we find a microHDMI port on the same edge, which provides a mirrored experience when connected to a high-definition television.

Unfortunately, its tiny sized dedicated power button is just too flat to make out with our finger – thus causing us to fumble around before pressing it. Additionally, the 3.5mm headset jack is placed customarily at the top edge as well.

Turning it around to get a peek at its rear, the 5-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash and various logos are all located on a mirrored finished strip. Plus, the narrow looking speaker grill is perpendicularly placed next to the same strip with a directional microphone nearby. Finally, yanking off the plastic back cover provides access to the 1,500 mAh battery, SIM card, and microSD card slots – albeit, the latter two require the battery to be removed before gaining access to them.

LG Revolution 360-degrees View:


Again, there’s nothing too revolutionary with the 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8655 processor that’s powering the LG Revolution, but then again, it does a wonderful job in offering a responsive and lightning quick performance. Although some might be attracted to the dual-core processor of the Motorola DROID X2, we actually find the single-core processor of the Revolution to be adequate since it exhibits slightly more fluid responsiveness with various operations. From kinetic scrolling to navigating across its homescreens with a graphically intensive live wallpaper activated, it executes smoothly with very few instances of delay or slowdown.

Relying on the same Optimus UI 2.0 experience running on other LG Android smartphones like the Optimus 2X, there is no denying the breath of personalization it brings to the table. We do find it appealing thanks to its useful widgets that splash a bit of personality to the experience, but it doesn’t quite come off as polished compared to HTC’s Sense UI.  Much like the two previous 4G LTE smartphones, it’s actually running Android 2.2.2 out of the box, but unlike them, it has been retrofitted with Bing’s presence. Meaning, instead of finding things like Google Search or Maps, it has been replaced with the Bing experience – so it might frighten some people to say the least. If you want to learn more about its customized experience, you can read about it in our LG Optimus 2X review.

By default, the app panel is set to a categorized view that we find frustrating to use when it comes to actually looking for specific apps since we find ourselves looking at each category before getting the one we want. We imagine that anyone can get used to it over time, even more when you can manage the categories and placement of apps, but you can always revert to an alphabetical listing view to make browsing easier from the onset. There is an abundance of third party apps and games preloaded on the handset to get you by – these include Amazon Kindle, Bitbop, Blockbuster, City ID, Let's Golf 2, Netflix, Polaris Office, Rhapsody, Rock Band, Slacker, and TuneWiki. Moreover, it’s not a Verizon device if we don’t find the usual crew of apps such as Backup Assistant, My Verizon Mobile, V CAST Apps, V CAST Media Manager, and VZ Navigator.

Organizer and Messaging:

Nothing out of the ordinary when it comes to the Calendar, Alarm/Clock, and Voice Recorder apps since they’re essentially the stock experience, but we actually like the animated presentation of the Weather and DesktopHome apps. Meanwhile, the Today+ widget combines many of the organizer functions by tastefully giving us access to things like the news, weather, stocks, and calendar.

Dishing up plenty of room with its sizable display, the messaging experience is rather easy on the fingers thanks to its decently sized keyboard buttons and instantaneous response. Still, it lacks the added flexibility of what we find with HTC’s Sense keyboard – like quick access to some numbers and punctuations. Fortunately though, the Swype keyboard is a great alternative for those accustomed to its unique input method. And as always, the landscape options provide the most comfortable and natural typing experience with their spacious layout.

Finding the usual Gmail experience, the only thing we see advantageous with the LG Revolution is the fact that you don’t have to scroll as much thanks to its large display. Then again, that’s what you naturally expect with anything boasting such a massive display. Setup is also a breeze with other email clients seeing that you normally need to provide your email address and password for automatic setup, though, it’ll require additional pieces of information for other lesser-known services.

Thankfully, Verizon loads its Mobile IM app to offer us access to instant messaging services like AIM, Windows Live Messenger, and Yahoo Messenger. Seeing that it’s an Android smartphone and all, we also find Google Talk as another solution for all your chatting needs.


A nice touch to the camera's interface is that the on-screen buttons follow the handset's orientation. Browsing through the camera menu reveals that the camera on the Revolution supports both automatic and manual focus, face recognition, and sensor sensitivities from 100 ISO up to 400 ISO, which can be adjusted manually as well as automatically. There is no dedicated shutter key anywhere in sight, but that is not that much of an issue as the Revolution is not bragging to be a born shooter.

Sadly though, it’s graced with a 5-megapixel shooter as opposed to the 8-megapixel ones on the HTC ThunderBolt and Samsung Droid Charge. Whether it's due to that shortcoming or not we don't know, but pictures taken with the LG Revolution appear to be lacking much fine detail. Additionally, color production is on the cooler side, making for some overall unattractive shots. At least we’re glad to see that the phone handles macro shots effortlessly. Overall quality degrades greatly with indoor shots under artificial lighting since they mainly look under-exposed and lack any deepness with their pale colors. Thankfully, the LED flash manages to illuminate dimly lit environments, although this cannot make up for the poor quality of the pictures.

We’ve seen quite a few recent high-end Android smartphones dishing up some ghastly looking 720p videos, but the LG Revolution manages to present us with some average looking ones. Besides its muffled sounding audio recording and sensitive exposure, it’s still able to capture passable video at the smooth rate of 30 frames per second with no hiccups to its recording. More than tolerable, the handset still lags behind to make it a standout winner in video recording.

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LG Revolution Sample Video:


Jumping around to the Gallery app, we don’t find any sort of customization with it, but rather, it’s nothing more than the usual stock interface. Nonetheless, we’re still greeted with the familiar 3D-like interface where you’ll be able to share content and even make some minor edits to photos.

Using the same exact music player found with the LG Optimus 2X and Black, we find a straightforward approach to playing some tunes. All songs loaded on the smartphone are loaded into the playlist where they can be arranged in the order the user pleases. Flip the phone in landscape mode and you get a neat 3D like display of your media library, completed with album art and sorted alphabetically. In terms of audio quality, it’s rather reserved and missing those deep tones to make it acceptably bombastic – though, its tone is on the shrill side on the loudest setting.

Commanding such a beautiful display, especially with its brilliant looks and colorful palette, you know that it’s going to be every bit of the perfect concoction for a pleasurable video watching experience. Loading a video encoded in MPEG-4 1280 x 720 resolution, it plays elegantly with its smooth frame rate, rich details, and saturated looking colors. Yeah it’s more than equipped to handle all your high-definition watching needs, but the Samsung Droid Charge’s Super AMOLED Plus display is still going to captivate more people.

Boasting a microHDMI port, it’s ever so nice to know that you can receive a mirrored experience on your high-definition television set. Not only can you easily share content on the big screen, but the mirrored experience truly comes to life with things like gaming and web browsing. In reality, it’s undeniably an extra feature that anyone will appreciate, but you’ll need to turn it on in the settings menu since it’s set to off by default.

Out of the box, the handset has 12GB of free internal storage, while the additional 16GB microSD card brings its total tally to 28GB. However, you can still increase it by replacing the card with a 32GB one if you so happen to desire additional memory.

Internet and Connectivity:

Without question, one of the best things about surfing the web with the Revolution is that it’s astonishingly quick with page loads – thanks of course to its 4G LTE connectivity. In fact, it’s so wicked fast that we’re able to navigate through many sites without much pause in between. Running a couple of tests using Ookala’s Speedtest.net app, we’re able to obtain download and upload speeds of up to 6.02 Mbps and 5.36 Mbps respectively. But more importantly, we’re even more impressed with average latency results of 50ms in all our testing in the greater Philadelphia region.

Aside from that, the overall experience is still pretty good thanks to its responsiveness and desktop-like approach with Flash support. However, there is some hint of slowdown and lag when there is an abundant amount of Flash content on-screen. Regardless of that, we’re enthralled to see how swift the handset operates when getting in and out of web pages.

Much like any CDMA device out there, the LG Revolution will only operate domestically and lacks any connectivity to cellular networks abroad. Though, you still have 802.11 b/g/n as an alternative data connection, while Bluetooth 3.0 allows you to connect it with other devices wirelessly. Lastly, aGPS is on board to quickly work with a variety of location based services – and it doesn’t take long getting a general fix of our position.

As much as we adore its 4G speeds, we’re seemingly frustrated with the constant disconnects whenever we attempt to connect devices via its 4G mobile hotspot functionality. At first, it seems to connect properly, but after 5 minutes of continuous web surfing, our computer loses connection altogether. Of course, it’s super annoying when it happens constantly!

It's also worth mentioning that Verizon has been showing off its upcoming VoLTE feature on the LG Revolution, but it has been said that the handset won't see this new functionality until sometime next year (when many other worthwhile offerings will be available).


Unfortunately, calling quality is rather less than appealing since the earpiece is on the weak side with its output – while voices sound muffled through it. Moreover, our callers state that our voice is rather mute in tone on their side, but still audible enough to make out. Switching to the speakerphone, it exhibits the same muffled tones heard through the regular earpiece, which can be challenging to comprehend voices.

Using the handset outdoors, it naturally retains a solid connection to the network – even 4G LTE. Indoors though, it seems to handle very well when we’re close to windows and deep into some rooms, but it loses 4G LTE connectivity in completely walled rooms with no windows.

You can forget about battery life with this one because it’s absolutely atrocious in even trying to get us through an 8-hour work shift without any worries. Talk time with the handset is the worst thus far amongst the 4G LTE devices we’ve tested seeing that we managed to get 6 hours of continuous talk time on a full charge. Therefore, if you’re a power user, then you might want to invest in an extra battery or keep a spare charger at work. Finally, we notice the handset getting a little bit toasty in the rear after some moderate usage, but it gets worse if you happen to use its mobile hotspot functionality.


Being the third 4G LTE smartphone for Verizon, the LG Revolution finds itself in a pickle from the onset seeing that it’s going to be facing some uphill battles trying to find its identity on Big Red’s lineup. First and foremost, this is the third straight month that we’re seeing a similarly spec’d high-end LTE smartphone becoming available with the carrier – plus, it has to compete with the other recent high caliber non-4G smartphones that they currently offer. Secondly, it doesn’t necessarily come off as something truly revolutionary as its name implies, but rather, it’s actually more of the same. Lastly, some might be turned off by the fact that it doesn’t employ the usual Google experience we find with most other Android smartphones, but instead, it’s giving us the full Bing experience.

On the design side, it does beat out the Samsung Droid Charge, but doesn’t quite come off as being superior to the HTC ThunderBolt. Naturally, the display is by no means a slouch with its brilliant looks, but when you compare it to the Super AMOLED Plus display of the Droid Charge, you’ll see why it’s again finishing in second place. Of course, it has 4G LTE connectivity to offer lightning fast data speeds, but then again, it’s nothing that we haven’t seen before. In the end, there’s nothing revolutionary about it, and even worse, it doesn’t have anything new to concretely give it sole possession of something to call its own. Still a decent offering if you’re willing to spend the cash, but you’ll have to meticulously weigh in the pros and cons between this and similarly priced ThunderBolt before making a decision.

Software version of the reviewed unit:
Android 2.2.2
Kernel Version: lg-electronics@area88 #1
Build Number: VS910ZV4
SW Version: VS910ZV4

LG Revolution Video Review:


  • Fast 4G LTE speeds
  • Crisp looking display
  • HDMI-out functionality


  • Horrible battery life
  • Below average calling quality
  • Constant disconnects with its mobile hotspot functionality
  • Bing-afied
  • Poor camera

PhoneArena Rating:


User Rating:

9 Reviews

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