LG Optimus G Smart Phone
LG is getting ready launch their latest smart phone, the Optimus G. There is little about the LG Optimus G that isn't cutting edge. At the heart of the LG Optimus G resides the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro quad-core processor that tops out at 1.5GHz with 2GB of system RAM! The Screen which is the window into the soul of the LG Optimus G features a True HD IPS plus display with a resolution of 768x1280 that measures 4.7 inches. The top layer of the display is Corning Gorilla Glass 2 which is 20% thinner than the original, this helps to keep the LG Optimus G measuring only .33 inches thick while maintaining durability.
The LG Optimus G comes packaged in the traditional box from AT&T, at least ours did. The Optimus G is also going to be available from Sprint, as well as in different regions of the world. There are a couple of differences between ours and the others. For starters, the rear facing camera varies. The Sprint version of the LG Optimus G and others across the pond will be using a 13 megapixel camera, the AT&T Optimus G is only using an 8 megapixel camera. There is also a dimensional difference between the Sprint Optimus G and the AT&T Optimus G. The AT&T Optimus G is slightly wider by .11 inches (2.8mm) and .04 inches shorter (1mm). The Optimus G regardless of carrier measures only .33 inches (8.45mm) thick, roughly the same thickness of a typical BIC pen.
There isn't much that comes inside the packaging for the LG Optimus G, though there isn't much that is needed either. Obviously we have the phone, but we also have a product safety and warranty information booklet, wall charger, and a USB cable. What wasn't realized until after the fact is that LG included a 16Gb micro-SD card inside the Optimus G as well
Taking a look at the included 16Gb micro-SD card that is included with the LG Optimus G, we can see that there is no branding on it and it is a class 4 card. Being a class 4 micro-SD card it isn't going to have the fastest read and right speeds, but depending what you're using it for it may suffice for you.
- 4G Technology - HSPA+, LTE
- Processor - 1.5 GHz Quad-Core Processor
- Network - GSM Quad Band/UTMS Tri Band/LTE Dual Band
- Frequencies - GSM/GPRS 900/1800 MHz, HSPA+21 Mbps 850/1900/2100 MHz, LTE Cat. 3 CSFB 700/1700/ MHz
- Dimensions - 5.15" (H) x 2.82" (W) x 0.33" (D)
- Weight - 5.19 oz.
- Display - 4.7" (768 x 1280) True HD IPS Plus Display
- Battery Capacity - 2,100mAh
- Talk Time - up to 10 hours
- Standby Time - up to 13.5 days
- Internal Memory - 32GB total memory (16GB built in memory and 16GB microSD card), and support for up to 64 GB of expandable memory
LG Optimus G External Features
The LG Optimus G really is a sharp looking phone, though I suppose it's kind of hard not to be when it is mostly screen these days. The Optimus G measure 5.15"(H) x 2.82"(W) x 0.33", the screen measures 4.7" diagonally. The LG Optimus G uses LG's Zerogap Touch technology that puts the capacitive layer right inside the non-PenTile screen and allows for an ultra thin display. The LG Optimus G screen has a resolution of 1280x768 pixels and provides very nice, crisp and bright colors.
The only markings on the front of the LG Optimus G is the LG Logo top center of the phone. On the upper right corner of the Optimus G we can see the 1.3 Megapixel front facing camera that is ideal for video chatting.
Along the bottom of the LG Optimus G there are three capacitive buttons. The left is the back butting, center is the home button, and the right is the menu button. The only issue I had with these buttons is that they aren't always lit up, only when the back light is on. Whether they are lit up or not they always function, I just kept forgetting which side was the button that I needed and the exact position of the button.
The back of the LG Optimus G features an 8mp camera that can also shoot high definition videos at 1080P. The default video resolution is 1280 x 720, so if you're looking to shoot at 1920x1080 you will have adjust the settings. The 8MP camera has a default resolution of 3264 x 2448 which also happens to be the maximum. Just below the camera lens, we can find the single LED flash to light up the pictures.
The first side of the LG Optimus G has the rocker button for the volume as well as a removable cover for the micro SIM and micro SD card.
Hidden underneath the side cover on the Optimus G we can find the Micro Sim as well as the Micro SD card. As we mentioned on the first page, the LG Optimus G includes a 16Gb Micro SD card, but it can be upgraded to a 64Gb should you so choose.>
This side of the LG Optimus G is pretty bare with the exception of the power button that also acts as the screen lock.
LG Optimus G Software & OS
The LG Optimus G is currently running with Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich), though LG does state that it will be rolling out an update to the latest 4.1.1 (Jelly Bean) in the coming months. On top of the Ice Cream Sandwich OS, LG is running their UI 3.0 interface. The UI 3.0 interface isn't new to the Optimus G and has been seen on several previous models.
Navigating through the apps on the LG Optimus G was quite easy and fluid. The LG Zerogap touch was very responsive to touch and we haven't run into any issues with it, nor do we expect to.
The 'About Phone' doesn't really show us anything about the LG Optimus G. Though id does lead us in the right direction. From here we can access the software update, network information, phone identity (for those of us who forget our number), software information, and a few other key pieces of information.
The software information page shows us the version of Android (4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich), Kernel version (3.0.21), as well as the Baseband version, Build number, and software version.
While I was tooling around with the LG Optimus G, I noticed that every time that I searched for something with the LG Optimus G I would receive the option to use the Android browser or Google.
Pulling down the menu we have the quick options available to us, these include QuickMemo, Vibrate (On/Off), WiFi (On/Off), Bluetooth (On/Off), NFC (Near Field Communication), GPS, as well as Airplane mode.
LG gives us a quick little guide to using QuickMemo. QuickMemo allows you to make notes on a photo, screen capture, or even on the home screen. It's a pretty cool little app, that I could definitely see myself taking advantage of if I were holding onto the LG Optimus G.
Above you can see I was able to make a memo right on the screen.
LG QuickMemo also has a yellow scratch pad that you can use for your memos.
LG Optimus G CPU Benchmarks
We tested the Motorola Atrix, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, Samsung Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III, Galaxy II Note and the Apple iPhone 5 Smartphones.
The LG Optimus G was only able to score 502 points in Futuremark's Peacekeeper benchmark. Though looking at the results I don't believe it is a lack of hardware that is the issue. More the version of the Android OS that it is using. All of the different versions are grouped together, the three smart phones using Android 4.0.4 range from 477 points to 521 points despite the LG Optimus G having much faster hardware including the processor and RAM.
Once again it looks like the Optimus G is being held back by the Android 4.0.4 Ice Cream Sandwich. LG is planning on updating the OS to Jelly bean in the coming months which will hopefully give us a significant boost in browser performance.
Quadrant is a CPU, I/O and 3D graphics benchmark. The Standard Edition requires an Internet connection to compute benchmark results and is supported by ads, but that should be fine for most users. We used version v2.1.1 for benchmarking the tablets.
Quadrant really shows what the LG Optimus G is made of, with 2Gb of RAM and the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Quad-core CPU at 1.5GHz the Optimus G dominated the field! Previously the fastest phone that we had tested was the Samsung Galaxy Note II which had a score of 5955. The Optimus G was nearly 1450 points, or about 24% faster with a score of 7393!
GLBenchmark 2.5.1 is an OpenGL ES 2.0 benchmark that we are using for the very first time since you can run it in offscreen mode, which means that you can test devices at the same resolution no matter what the screen size really is. The majority of the tests focus on graphic resources, measuring the quality and performance of the underlying OpenGL ES 2.x implementation. The benchmark, among other features, contains high-level 3D animations; low-level graphic measurements; a possibility to create personalized benchmarking suites by changing settings.
When it comes to this OpenGL ES 2.0 performance the LG Optimus G had a very solid performance at 61 frames per second in the 2.1 Egypt Classic benchmark.
LG Optimus G Camera Testing
The LG Optimus G uses an 8 megapixel rear facing camera, figured we could take a few shots and see what kind of pictures it will take.
This is a simple shot out over the horizon at day break, as the sun is rising there is a lot of color in the sky. The LG Optimus G did a great job capturing the sunrise that morning.
The LG Optimus G did a fair job of capturing the fish inside the tank at our local Cabelas. The tank glass is reflecting a lot of light from behind me which makes this a rather difficult picture to take, overall though, it didn't turn out to bad.
With less light reflecting off of the glass we get a much clearer image inside the fish tank.
The LG Optimus G has a feature that allows you to catch the moments before the picture is taken. The Time Catch Shot grabs the few moments just before you actually take the picture and allows you to pick from thefive options. This is great in fast moving instances, or any number of circumstances where anything can go awry!
LG Optimus G AT&T 4G LTE Testing
This review wouldn't be complete if we didn't try out the 4G LTE wireless speeds on the AT&T network as that is one of the most important things with any 4G LTE smartphone!
We Fired up the SpeedTest.net app to see just how fast AT&T's 4G LTE service is in the suburbs of Chicago Il. The fastest that we saw was an impressive 17.58Mbps download and 8.12Mbps upload! The download speed is nearly as fast as my Comcast cable internet, and the upload speed is more than double the ~3Mbps that I usually see!
Taking a look at several of the tests that we ran in different locations and times, the results were all over the board. Though while in 4G LTE areas we never dropped below 6Mbps download and our upload never dropped below 2Mbps. When in a 4G only area we saw speeds of 1.58Mbps down and .78Mbps up, which seems rather paltry after looking at the 4G LTE results.
AT&T 4G LTE Data plans for Smartphones:
- DataPlus - $20 monthly access for 300MB monthly allowance
- DataPro - $30 monthly access for 3GB monthly allowance
- DataPro - $50 monthly access for 5GB monthly allowance and mobile hotspot
When you buy a LG Optimus G from AT&T you have a choice between the three data plans ranging between 300MB per month for $20, up to 5GB per month for $50. If you go over your allowed bandwidth usage you are charged more. For example if you go over the 300MB allowance on the DataPlus plan you will be billed $20 for each additional 300MB used. If the allowance on a DataPro plan is exceeded, an additional 1GB is automatically provided at a rate of $10 for each additional 1GB. As you can see data plans can get very pricey and when your download and upload speeds are over 10MB/s!
LG Optimus G Battery Testing
GLBenchmark 2.5 performance testing utility measures different graphic and computation capabilities of your mobile device. The majority of the tests focus on graphic resources, measuring the quality and performance of the underlying OpenGL ES 2.x implementation. The benchmark contains high-level 3D animations (the new Egypt HD and Egypt Classic from GLBenchmark 2.1) and low-level graphic measurements. GLBenchmark Egypt HD is the upgraded version of the old Egypt 2.1 test: it is more complex, uses more and higher resolution textures and is optimized for 1080p. GLBenchmark 2.5 offers the possibility of creating personalized benchmarking suites by changing settings.
We opted to run the classic 2.1 Egypt benchmark battery test. The settings of our chosen benchmark set the display brightness to 100% and locked the frame rate at 30 frames per second. We started the benchmark at 100% battery and ran it down to 15%.
The LG Optimus G was able to run the Egypt 2.1 battery benchmark for 2 hours 25 minutes. This isn't nearly as long as we had hoped, under the same circumstances the Samsung Galaxy Note II was able to run the GL Benchmark for 5 hours and 46 minutes. That's a very significant difference, but we are really comparing apples to oranges this time around. Every thing is different between these two phones, processor, display, battery, even the version of Android is different. The LG Optimus G is running Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) while the Note II is running 4.1.1. Though the likely culprit is the battery capacity, the Optimus G battery capacity is 2100mAH while the Note II uses a 3100mAH battery.
LG Optimus G Flash Memory Tests
Before we conclude our testing on the LG Optimus G we wanted to see how fast the phone could read and write to the microSD card and its own internal storage. One of the main selling points of Android smartphones is that nearly all of them have expandable storage. We wanted to see how fast the phone could read and write data to this interface.
Since the LG Optimus G comes with a 16GB class 4 micro SD already installed into the expansion slot, we are going to stick with that one for our testing today.
The total capacity of the included class 4 micro SD card is 14.62GB and it is showing 14.61GB free. We ran the SD Card Tester v1.0.5 App and found that it worked great on the LG Optimus G
When it comes to the phones internal memory speeds we found that it had roughly 15MB/s of read and write speeds. The writing portion of the SD Card Tester benchmark was able to hit 15.37MB/s while the reading portion was at 15.1MB/s.
When mounting the external 16GB class 4 memory card the performance was noticeably slower. For example the write speeds were just 4.95 MB/s while the read speeds were 13.91 MB/s. A higher class memory card would likely help write speeds, though for most of us the class 4 card that is included with the LG Optimus G will do the job we need it to.
Final Thoughts & Conclusions
It doesn't seem that long ago that smart phones were just beginning to show up in the market place, now it seems that just about everyone has one. While smart phones may be a dime a dozen these days, few will be able to truly compete for the top performance. The LG Optimus G is certainly one of the few that can! Taking a look under the hood, the LG Optimus G features the latest Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5GHz quad core processor from Qualcomm. If that's not enough, it also comes with 2GB of system RAM to ensure plenty of memory for multi-tasking.
We were able to use the LG Optimus G on the AT&T 4G LTE network for a little over a weeks time. In the time that we had the Optimus G we browsed the web, made our typical phone calls, and played a few games. Ultimately we were able to get a very good overall feel for the Optimus G. The only issue we ran into, was more an issue with the software than the Optimus G itself. When trying to set up our facebook account, the device wasn't recognized. Typically not an issue since all you have to do is open up the browser and login, put in a captcha to prove your human, and answer a couple of questions. The second part is where we ran into an minor issue.
The top portion of the image above, is using the Android 4.0.4 (Ice Cream Sandwich) browser. While we are meant to input the Captcha text, it doesn't show up in the Android Browser. Fortunately the LG Optimus G comes with Google Chrome pre-installed, once we fired up Chrome we were able to finish setting up the our Facebook account on the LG Optimus G.
Aside from our little issue with setting up Facebook, everything went perfectly smooth with the Optimus G. The LG Zerogap Touch technology was incredibly smooth, and responsive. Everything application that we opened on the Optimus G ran nice and smooth, no lag in the games. Watching movies on the Optimus G was enjoyable, though the speakers might be a little on the quiet side, but I'm not a good judge of volume (just ask my wife, I never hear her) and typically use a nice set of ear buds like my V-Moda's. Overall I would just have to say that the LG Optimus G is a phenomenal phone and I would easily recommend it to anyone looking for a new phone! The LG Optimus G can be found for $199.99 with a 2-year contract via AT&T!
Legit Bottom Line: The LG Optimus G is by far the nicest smart phone I have used. It runs incredibly fast, smooth, and is very easy to use! All features that when put together make a winning combination!