LG Optimus G E975 Review

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Nexus 4 has been an outcome of LG’s latest creation, the Optimus G. Coming with a great build quality, impressive specifications and subtle design, LG Optimus G adds certain weight to smartphone lineup at LG Inc. However, with fast growing, specification driven mobile phone market, can it compete the likes of other meaner and leaner devices? Read on to find out!

Specifications

Let me just take you through the specifications quickly. Below are some of the worth mentioning key specifications:

  • 2 GB RAM
  • 13 megapixel rear camera (with LED Flash)
  • 1.3 megapixel front camera
  • 32 GB internal memory (25 GB available for use)
  • CPU – Quad-core 1.5 GHz Krait
  • GPU – Adreno 320
  • No microSD card slot
  • 4.7″ inch IPS display with resolution of 1280×768 pixels
  • Running Android 4.1
  • 2100 mAh, non-removable battery
  • LED Notification light
  • Zero gap technology (touch sensor and main display assembly are fused together, thus allowing reasonably faster screen response time)

Appearance

LG Optimus G carries an all glass design which was not accepted well back in iPhone 4 days. The device sports an all glass front and back design language. On the face of it Optimus G feels like a rectangular glass block. However there’s a twist in this, LG has adopted an interesting stippled pattern for the back panel which resides beneath the Gorilla glass frame. This gives a nice outlook to back of the device thus imitating the feel of using an expensive device while straying away from the usual “plasticiky” trend being followed in market.

LG Optimus G

Measuring at 8.5 mm and 145 grams, Optimus G is neither the slimmest nor the thickest device. And the contender for adding extra weight is the glass back (mainly).

For the first time users, you won’t feel the bulkiness of device itself. However, all those who have previously used Samsung Galaxy S range are bound to feel the difference, as was the case with me. But, a week into regular usage and the difference diminishes!

Talking about the rear glass back, another point of concern is the fragility factor. Although the back looks attractive but there have been a number of complaints with regards to breaking of back glass.

The front features a button less design carrying a 4.7″ inch TrueHD+ IPS display. There’s also a LED notification light next to front camera, which duly lights up when there is a missed call, message, e-mail etc. At the bottom of front screen there are 3 capacitive buttons (with standard android functionality), and located at the top of the display is a 1.3 MP secondary camera accompanied with in-built sensors.

On the sidelines, Optimus G has some sort of rubber/plastic material (not really sure), which helps in improving the ergonomics of the device in addition to providing a degree of comfort while holding the device.

Coming back to the rear side, again there’s disappointment, for altogether a different reason though. The back panel is not user removable. This is a real deal breaker for me. Not that 2100 mAh battery isn’t sufficient for a days use. But come on, it is really nice to carry an extra set of battries just in case you need added juice along the way.

Software

I usually stay away from discussing software performance since at the heart, it’s all Android that is working plus the usual bloatware. However, with LG’s recently launched UX design, their UI is far less intrusive and nearer to providing stock android experience as compared to other manufacturers (Psst… Did somebody say TouchWiz?!).

My only issue with software department is availability for software update. LG really needs to work on pushing out the updates faster (as a matter of fact Optimus G is still stuck on Android 4.1 when Nexus 4 has Android 4.2).

A handful of features I’d like to mention which I found were unique viz. the uber cool lockscreen animations, ability to theme (almost all aspects of device) and option to enable landscape mode for the home screen. All of these are nifty inclusions but very useful.

Connectivity

Optimus G offers a host of connectivity features including 3G HSPA+, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, WiFi Direct, Bluetooth, GPS/aGPS and NFC. It also comes with programmable NFC tags in the box, which can be used with LG Tag+ app to change profile, open URLs, save contacts and do lot of other things.

The USB port has MHL support allowing you to connect Optimus G to compatible external display. There is also USB OTG (On The Go) feature that lets you transfer data to and fro from external storage directly to Optimus G via USB OTG cable.

Performance

Powered by quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chip, clocked at 1.5GHz, Optimus G is buttery smooth for daily use. Plus the availabilty of Adreno 320 GPU and 2 GB RAM lets you run a dozen of applications without any lag. And the same applies for resource intensive gaming applications. No fuss. Just buttery smooth!

The camera aspect, doesn’t disappoint either, 13 MP rear camera takes some really nice captures in sufficient daylight. However, it suffers in low-light, the image quality is not that good, but so is the case with majority of smartphones (let’s not talk about PureView technology!).

Battery life managed to serve at most 16 hours of usage time with Gmail, Gtalk, Whatsapp, Facebook, Hike, Twitter, Google Reader, Skype running background sync with Wifi turned on for majority of time and casual surfing. Also, the power saving mode helped me achieved this time period. Not bad at all but inability to remove battery is a turn off for me.

Summarizing

Talking straight in terms of hardware specifications, software performance, build quality, LG Optimus G is a device to look out for. Throw in the price factor and you’ll stray away to alternatives.

I personally feel LG has banished Optimus G, with the launch of Nexus 4. Take Indian market as an example, In India Nexus 4 costs Rs 25,990 whereas LG Optimus G costs Rs. 32990. Both the devices offer identical features while Nexus 4, being cheaper with almost same specifications, also carries the tag of serving updates from Google itself, on priority basis.

In short, if I were to choose from Optimus G or Nexus 4, I’d ditch Optimus G right-away.

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