on November 27, 2012
I've been an iPhone user since the 3g, and was sorely disappointed with the iPhone 5. All they added was LTE and an extra row of icons? Really Apple? That's innovation?
Nope. I'm just plain bored with iOS at this point and want something truly new. I'm super satisfied with the decision to cut the cord with Apple and try out Android for the next 2 years. If you are a die-hard Apple fan, this won't change your mind, but if you're on the fence, this is review is probably relevant.
Here is why I'm sacrificing all the $$ I spent on the app store over the past 4 years and returned my iPhone 5 for the Optimus G...
Screen - 1280x800 vs 1156x640. The OG is truly HD, with a higher pixel density. It's also physically larger, which is nice.
Storage - 32GB on the base OG model. Only 16GB for a simlarly priced iP5. The OG is also expandable with a larger SD card.
Maps - Google maps have been around for years. Apple maps, not so much. It shows in the quality (especially street-view).
NFC - Google wallet? Pay for gas by swiping my phone? Nice. Apple passbook, not so much.
Miracast - Just like AirPlay, but you don't need an AppleTV. It's a bit more of an open standard, so you'll have more choice in receiver hardware.
Speed - Probably a tie here. LTE is LTE, so the internet is blazing fast on both phones. iOS is crazy optimized for apple hardware, so runs faster on lesser spec'd hardware. The OG makes up for this with brute force - Quad core cpu, Adreno 320 gfx, 2GB RAM, etc...
Apps - This was the primary pain point when switching. I've probably spent around $200 on apps in the Apple App store, plus there are 1 or 2 apps that I use regularly that aren't available for Android (yet). Most of that $$ spent was on games, though, and I just don't play that many games on my phone any more. My current favorites are FIFA 13, and Angry Birds Space. Both available on Android. So many games these days rely on in-app-purchase (which I hate) that I don't even bother. Everything else - Twitter, Facebook, Pandora, RunKeeper, Podcasts, etc... - are ready to go. Plus, Android has all sorts of crazy customizations available. Want to use a PS3 controller as a gamepad for a NES emulator? No problem. Want to download a video via bittorrent straight to your phone, then stream it to your TV? No problem. Battery draining too fast? Download one of a dozen battery analyzer and/or optimization apps and kill battery draining processes. This phone will go 2 days in Eco mode with a couple power management apps installed.
OS - Android is amazingly customizable. If you like to tweak and customize things to your liking, then Android is the way to go. Rows of square icons have gotten so mundane over the past 4 years, and Android's smart panels are a breath of fresh air. The phone comes with LG's version of Android 4.0.4, and they are releasing 4.1 one of these days. There is already a root/unlock solution, so custom OS's and further upgrades will become available from the Android community.
I don't want to incite Apple vs. Google flame wars with this review, but simply show that it is possible to switch from iOS to Android after several years of iPhone use. Apple has been the undisputed smartphone champion for years, and there are finally competitors worth looking at - even buying.
on November 21, 2012
This is an amazing phone. It's got the fastest processor currently available in an Android phone in the S4 Pro (as of 11/21 anyways) and it's got 2GB of dual channel RAM. This thing is smoking fast.
-Fast. Everything I do on this phone is silky smooth and responsive. And this is only ICS, meaning that it will be even better when it gets Jelly Bean and its graphical enhancements (aka project butter).
-Well Built. This phone feels sleek and expensive, but at the same time not too heavy. Just be careful, since with glass on both the front and the back this phone will slide off the arm of the couch or out of your pocket if you put your feet up too high. It will happen more than you think.
-Development Potential. It's gotten off to a slow start, but they just unlocked the bootloader over at XDA forums so custom ROMs are inbound. Also, this is basically the same phone as the Nexus 4 aka the Google Developer phone. This will get a lot of custom ROMs once more people start getting their Nexus 4 and start developing for it.
-Screen. It's beautiful. The best screen I've ever seen on a phone, and IMHO better than the One X. Not by a lot, mind you, but I think this is a little more true to color with cleaner whites. This is all based on personal preference, but I really love the screen on this phone.
-Battery. YMMV, but for me it lasts plenty long enough despite the fact that it's new and I can't help but constantly mess with it. At the end of the last few days I've been putting it on the charger before bed with 25% or more left, and when it's not so new and I'm not constantly tinkering with it I can see that number going up to 35-40% at the end of every day.
-Glass Everywhere. It looks cool and it feels great in the hand, but be careful. I'm terrified of what happens the first time I drop this thing on a hard surface.
-Optimus Rom. I'm not a huge fan of LG's custom skin, but I know it's only temporary as AOSP Jelly Bean ROMs are on the way! And to be honest, it's really not that bad, especially since you can put whatever launcher you want on it from the Play Store and use it instead.
With the recent price drop, this phone is a no-brainer. Get it, you'll love it. However, if you're prone to dropping your phone a lot, maybe look at the One X+ or the SGS3 instead since I don't think this will hold up to a ton of drops and falls without cracking one of the two large glass panels.
on November 8, 2012
I bought this phone from the AT&T store a few days ago. The first thing that strikes you about it is its size. It looks huge compared to older phones or an iPhone. It is slightly smaller than a Galaxy S3 or a HTC One X, but is still very large. The phone is remarkably thin, and looks very nice.
The dimensions do make one issue though, it feels unstable in your hand. There's no curvature, so you're just holding the two rounded slick edges, and it feels like you are going to drop it. It also has the feeling that it wouldn't survive a drop well. I'd recommend getting a case, but as of the time I bought it, none are available on Amazon, and the two at AT&T are ugly and bulky.
Now for the phone:
Looks: Gorgeous. It looks like a slab of black glass. Both sides are glass, so when you pick it up, you don't know which side is up without looking at it or feeling for the buttons.
OS: The custom UI installed is not too different from stock Android, so I like it. It's not like that awful Blur that my last phone had.
Power: The quad-core hasn't even broken a sweat yet. I don't know what I would be able to do on a phone that would bog it down. Plenty of memory.
Battery: Through moderate data use (LTE and WiFi) and minimal voice use, the battery lasts throughout the day. It doesn't look like it would go two days, though.
I haven't even come close to using all the features like the NFC or the overlay-multitasking yet, I may come back and update this once I try those out.
on March 24, 2013
I never intended to buy the LG Optimus G, my upgrade was due in May and I was going to pick up either the HTC One of the S4. But my Atrix 2 decided to completely die on me, so I was able to argue my way into an early upgrade (I really need a smartphone for work, my old blackberry was not going to cut it). The Optimus G at the time seemed like a compromise, nice phone with good specs for $100, not exactly what I'd wanted for my next phone, but given the selection, the best choice.
Fast forward about a week and I'm 110% happy I didn't wait for either the One or the S4. The Optimus G is a fantastic device, doubly so for its on contract price. It's hilarious that people still pay $199 for the S3 or OneX+ when this is half the price. Both phones are significantly lower spec'ed and older, making the OG a fantastic value.
What do I like about it-
-Build Quality- It's a very well built phone, using nice high quality plastics and gorilla glass on the front and back. It feels great in the hand (If a little slippery sans a case, which you'll want to get anyway, the bumper is great). I think it feels far nicer than the S3 and as high quality as the old One X albeit in a different way. On top of the feel, its a very attractive and striking phone and will get comments from people a lot. LG took the black slab design philosophy and executed it about as well as you can.
-Screen- Brilliant 768p IPS display. Super sharp, fantastic viewing angles, gets very bright when you need it to, natural color reproduction. It's not 1080p like the newer flagship phones (Personally I couldn't care about 320ppi vs. 440ppi, but to each their own). I'd say its the second best panel on the market right now after HTC's 720p/1080p panels on the One/OneX/DNA. Objectively they're almost identical (at least the OneX), but HTC's screens have slightly more vibrant and saturated colors. Overall though still a great screen, if HTC makes A+ screens, this is an A or at worst an A-.
-Performance- The S4 Pro inside the G keeps things moving very smoothly, thats all I have to say really. It doesn't feel like the JB project butter update will bring much more, because it already is so smooth. Basically nonexistant lag even on ICS, everything is fluid and fast, apps launch and switch quickly. No complaints.
-Software- LG's software is surprisingly unoffensive and very liveable. I always install Nova launcher so I'm not working with the LG launcher, but every other aspect of the skin is there and I don't mind at all. Notification toggles are nice (As well as customizable), the settings menu is split up and useful, and this is the first android phone I've seen that lets you adjust the auto brightness levels like an iphone (FINALLY). I usually root and flash phones to get a stock google experience, and I have no desire to do so at the moment with the G. Its fast, the skin adds a couple nice touches and otherwise stays out of the way. At this point, the only thing I'm missing is google now, but I can live without it until the JB update.
-Camera- Not an amazing camera, but it works and takes nice detailed pics with decent low light shooting. I'm not a huge camera phone guy, so it works and works fine.
Couple things I don't like
-Button arrangement- FIrst of all I prefer on screen buttons, but I can settle for good capacitive ones. But LG, listen. I use the multitasking tool about 5-10x more than the menu, give me a multitasking button that long presses to menu, it makes way more sense.
-Width- 15:9 aspect ratio is nice but takes a lot of getting used to at first, small hands beware, one handed usage is difficult at first.
-Ergonomics- Its a flat, black slab made of glass. It doesn't sit in your hand very well, and the width/weight of the device makes finding a good one handed hold difficult.
Overall I really like the Optimus G, its an underrated phone. If you need an android phone on AT&T right now, it should be on your short list next to the Note 2 (Which at 3x the price is a hard sell). The S3 and the One X/X+ are running old hardware and getting replaced soon, don't spend the money there. The optimus G is a great phone, highly recommended over basically anything in AT&T's current lineup.
on April 1, 2013
I just recently upgraded to this phone from my Motorola Atrix. When I got to the time when I could upgrade I was looking through all the phones available at the moment. The Samsung Galaxy S3, and Note II, were at the top of my list, until I saw this phone. A quad core processor just like the note, but at a quarter of the price, that definitely caught my attention.
I loved my Atrix, and there's some things, like the finger print scanner, and front facing notification led, that I miss, other than that the lg is amazingly superior.
When I got the phone home I started downloading all my old apps. ES File Explorer is a must since the latest android builds don't have a built in file explorer any more. As I was downloading the apps, and switching over my settings and contacts, I would find myself being surprised as I looked from the LG's screen to the Atrix's. Side by side the Atrix screen just seemed so much smaller and less colorful.
The LG has a large bright screen which just looks great. However the glass definitely has a glare when outside. I'm glad to say this doesn't make it impossible to read though. The glass definitely reflects shine, but with the screen brightness auto adjust on I had no trouble reading it in sunlight as long as the sun wasn't reflecting directly in my face.
The LG, despite being larger, is actually quite a bit lighter than the Atrix, and so far has a much better battery life.
The call quality and connection speed are amazing. Loading web pages the LG puts the Atrix to shame, pages load in a fraction of the time, most likely due to the LG's higher processing power and speed. Another great surprise was how fast the LG starts. I always turn my phones off at night, waiting for the Atrix to boot could take a minute or more. The LG boots in about 5 seconds. This is a HUGE improvement and something that consistently surprises me when I see it, since I'd become so used to the slow boot time of the Atrix.
The only things I don't necessarily like about the LG Optimus G are minor, first is that the notification light is on the power button, not the front, unless you lay it down with the button facing you, that makes it pretty much useless. Though seeing the power button glowing red when charging is pretty cool.
I don't really like that the charge port is on the bottom of the phone either. I liked the side mounted port of the Atrix because that allowed me to stand the phone up by my monitor to see any incoming notifications. This can easily be fixed by laying the LG down in landscape mode, but I personally just like having it standing upright better.
Aside from minor things like adjusting the keyboard, and having to download a file explorer app, the phone is great. Exactly what I expected, and even if it isn't running the absolute latest version of android, I don't particularly care honestly. Because this phone is so fast it loads everything in a flash, I have yet to experience any lag whatsoever.
I've kept my Atrix, to use as a very sturdy and dependable MP3 player, but everything else is being done through the LG and I couldn't be happier, surfing the web and such is so much faster and smoother now that I'm definitely glad I upgraded to this phone.
on March 16, 2013
This is my first Android phone, and while the Optimus G did not start out being one of my early top choices, it was the one I ended up deciding to get. I will not try to cover all the great specs and features of the phone since you can read about them elsewhere, but I will try to cover what I think about it after having used it a little over a month.
First of all I think it is a beautiful piece of gear and I don't think I would change anything about its aesthetics. Some reviewers (more on the tech sites than users) have complained that it's boring, but the look was one of its selling points for me. You just can't beat the look of the solid piece of black glass, trimmed in what looks like polished titanium (it's not titanium, just that color), when the screen is off. The back is also beautiful and makes it a tough decision whether to put the phone in a case. I grabbed an inexpensive hard case that doesn't add too much bulk and have been trying it out for the past couple weeks. I don't like hiding the phone but the case does make it easier to grip.
The overall feel of the phone is solid, just heavy enough without being a burden in the pocket. If you tap the back of the phone sometimes you can hear the volume rocker vibrate just a little bit (but you won't notice it if you use a case). It feels every bit as good as it looks. It is slightly slippery, yes, and in fact the screen has a buttery-smooth feel that makes swiping a pleasure as long as your finger is reasonably dry.
As for the size, I do find it a bit tall and wide (kind of comically so) and this was one of the reasons I was not very interested in it at first. I would say that the thinness makes up for the size, and with the trend of the more powerful phones having ever-larger screens, a smaller phone was just more of a tradeoff than I wanted to make in the end. The width makes it hard to pull out of my pocket by holding on to the edges, which means I can easily accidentally press the capacitive buttons trying to get it out of my pocket (only a problem when a call or text is coming in). Again, a case makes that no longer really an issue.
As others said, the screen is really nice, but the display quality in itself was not really a consideration for me. For me the best feature of the screen is the zerogap technology. At times it looks like the display is actually right on the outer surface of the glass rather than floating below it. It's really impressive and it makes the touchscreen experience a little nicer, especially when displaying a dark background.
For me, both the presence of the microSD slot and having it filled with a 16GB card (that'll last me for a while) were a big plus.
A couple of nice LG-isms in the software (some of these may be standard Android features): I like being able to put a few direct-access icons and choose from a couple different clock displays in the lock screen, and the visual effects you can choose from when unlocking are pleasant (if meaningless). The handy toggles in the statusbar (you can customize which ones you want there) are nice.
On the software downside is the usual AT&T bloatware. Can't be avoided out of the box I guess!
Which brings me to battery life. Reviews I've read vary a lot on this topic. On one hand, it's a good-sized battery, but on the other hand, a fast quad-core processor will use a lot of juice. Unfortunately it seems that some of the defaults on this phone (everything turned on, bloatware installed and active) do lead to less-than-great battery life. Some careful disabling of unneeded items (especially freezing some of the pre-loaded apps, if you feel like rooting) can really make it good. Another good point - it charges quickly.
Voice quality has been great for me, though the signal strength indicator tends to rarely go above mid-level (not sure whether the antenna is just not too great or the indicator is not very accurate).
The camera, on the other hand, was a real disappointment, even compared to the 3MP camera on my last phone. It is fine for anything that doesn't move, but focusing and shutter speed are real problems when taking pictures of, say, people, and using the flash results in oversaturated colors and a garish image overall. I did find that an alternative camera app can do better (I'm mostly using focal now), so it's not purely a hardware issue. I don't expect my phone to be my only camera, but it's always with me even when I don't have my camera, so it would be nice if it did better than this.
Overall I think this is a truly top-of-the-line phone that won't leave me feeling too far behind for the next 2 years. There are choices other than Apple, Samsung, and HTC!
Edit: as of 4/4/13, there is a Jellybean update available. My experience with it has been that actually getting the update may require some work, but it is out there.
on January 28, 2013
Did alot of research before I chose this phone. It was between the lg optimus g, Samsung galaxy s3, samsung Galaxy note2, and the htc one x+.
I wanted the note2 the most, but @$300 on contract it was just too much money for a phone.
The GS3 came in second, but I didn't like the rounded corners. Also was a little steep on price @$125-150 on contract given that it has been out for 6 months now.
What I liked about the one x+ was the fact it has 64gb of memory and jellybean update preinstalled out of the box. But lack of expandable storage, non-removable battery, only 1gb of ram (the GS3, note 2, and optimus g all have 2gb of ram), and at the time was $169-$199 on contract, killed it for me.
In the end, the Optimus G won out for several reasons:
1. 16gb on-board storage+ 16gb micro sd card included.
2. I really liked the square form-factor the most. Kind of a simple, industrial look.
3. Pretty much top-notch specs at the moment.
4. Closest sibling to the Nexus4.
5. Gorgeous screen. I think I drooled a little bit the first time I watched an hd video on it. FYI, I'm pretty sure LG makes the displays for the iphone.
6. Excellent value @$80 on contract (even cheaper now too).
7. No random reboots! If you have had the privelige of owning an Atrix, you know where I'm coming from.
8. Very fast! I played with the GS3 along side this and it seems faster than the gs3. Very little, if any, lag.
9. No physical "Home" button to wear out unlike the Samsung and Apple phones.
A few thing I dont like about the Optimus G:
1. Still on ics. Though Jelly Bean has been released in S. Korea and should be coming to the U.S. anytime. Also, LG's track record of timely os updates or updates at all, have been suspect. Hopefully that gets better. This bad boy shouldn't have any trouble running Key Lime Pie.
2. Lack of heavy duty cases for the AT&T version. I picked up a tpu case and a diztronic for it, but nothing more substantial like an otterbox defender or a Seidio Convert is out for it yet. This isn't really of any fault of the phone though, just is what it is.
3. Notification light is around the power button instead of on the front of the device.
4. The default keyboard is pretty buggy. It has the option for the regular android keyboard so I use that one instead.
on January 8, 2013
I was wary of getting this phone for a few reasons.
-My previous experience with LG cell phones was limited to a flip phone several years ago, which became next to useless after ~9 months.
-I hadn't heard people talk about LG cell phones since the Chocolate.
-LG makes smartphones?
I was upgrading from a Samsung Infuse 4G (think Galaxy S with a larger screen, HSPA+, and less support and accessories). I liked the big screen (still bigger than the iPhone) and the microSD slot of the Infuse; I did not like the slow pace of OS updates from Samsung, and the cheap-feeling back cover.
I had been looking at the Samsung Galaxy S III and the HTC One X+ before reading about the Optimus G (and it's brother, the Nexus 4). While the speed and feel of the One X+ was very nice, and I've never heard a bad thing from friends with other HTC models, I didn't like that I couldn't expand the storage (although 64 GB built in is impressive). While the GS3 has sold like an iPhone (therefore would have support from Samsung and/or the rooting and modding community, not to mention cases and accessories), and it has a large screen and expandable storage, it felt cheap to me with it's flimsy plastic back (much like the Infuse), and the AT&T version only packs a dual-core CPU. While an easily replaceable battery is nice, I haven't had a problem with dead batteries in electronics since my 3rd gen iPod.
Now to sell the Optimus G. I've had it for about a week now, and I love it. It originally caught my eye due to it's technical specs: 4.7" 720p (approx) display, quad-core CPU, 2 GB RAM, etc. I'm a little annoyed that the AT&T version has an 8MP back camera (vs. 13MP of most other Optimus G models), but I do like the flat, flush back panel that the 8MP camera allows, and the AT&T model is the only Optimus G model with a microSD slot. What I didn't realize until I've had it for awhile, and now one of my favorite things about it, is it's fit and finish. While I don't doubt that Samsung makes quality phones, the GS3 doesn't feel as nice as this. The Optimus G looks and feels like an expensive, high-quality device. While I will be putting it in a case, I REALLY don't want to - it looks that good. It does feel a bit slippery without a case, though, and I do want to protect it.
Downsides? It still has Ice Cream Sandwich - LG needs to get that Jelly Bean update out ASAP. Also, since it probably won't sell as well as the iPhone and GS3, case selection will be limited, and support from the mod/root community won't be as extensive (if that's your thing).
In short, this phone is awesome - it's fast, it's easy to use, and DAMN it looks good. Get it.
on November 25, 2012
Super responsive. Have had no issues with performance, and even battery life has been good. The only downside is you'll want to get a case to protect it, which means you can't look at the sleek design. Was debating between this and Nexus 4 and am glad to have LTE and SD cards capability.
on November 27, 2012
Being a Samsung Galaxy S user for the past two years, I felt worried about choosing an LG phone when I'm so used to the comfort of knowing what to expect from a Samsung product. I spent more than an hour in the store using both the LG Optimus G and the Galaxy S3 in an attempt to make the perfect decision since I would probably carry this phone for the next two years. After spending a month with this phone I discovered that my choice has been perfect. The first thing you will notice about this phone is the incredible screen; a bright 4.7 inch display that is rich and deep with colors, which makes the galaxy S3 display look "fake" in a way due to the realistic colors of the LG screen. Thanks to 2GB of ram and a quad core CPU the phone is VERY fast, from gaming to web browsing you will not feel the phone lagging or slowing down at any point. You can open several webpages , play a game while answering a phone call and the phone will remain as smooth as the second you bought it. Battery life has been mind blowing, I have been getting a MINIMUM of 12 hours on days which I constantly use the phone. The look and feel of the phone are great thanks to the glass back and front which allow the phone to stand out and turn heads. Voice quality has been on par with what I expect from a modern phone and the data speed when it comes to LTE is amazing. This phone is a must buy for anyone who is interested in a smartphone that will remain strong and updated for the next two years.