LG, a company that has been overshadowed by their big Korean rival Samsung, just introduced a new flagship device, the Optimus G. So what do I think of this new phone? Pretty impressed actually.
First a big thanks to my friends over at AT&T for sending me the test unit. With AT&T's ever expanding LTE reach, I'm happy to be able to test this device with LTE service.
Let me just start off by saying that after having used the Galaxy S3 for a couple of months, I was not the biggest fan. Don't get me wrong, the Galaxy is a high end capable device, but some things did bother me. Similarly, my last LG phone was the original LG Prada. Yes I was a fashion victim back then, and still probably am, but never felt LG was a big player. The design, the interface, and producing mostly middle to lower tier phones did not help. Will the Optimus G change this? Only time will tell, but first impressions are excellent.
I first received the phone last week and began unboxing it right away. When first held in hand and promptly turning on the phone, 2 things jumped out at me. One is how solid the phone felt. Although the Galaxy felt solid as well, in that the phone did not have any creaking or cracking when held (even though the back cover is removable), it just never felt as premium to me as the LG because of plastic material used in manufacturing the phone. The Samsung just did not feel as exquisite or as expensive as the LG Optimus' glass front and back. Secondly, the screen. Will you take a look at that gorgeous screen! The 4.7 inch LCD screen was impressive. Colors were vibrant and crisp and under direct sunlight the screen was easily readable, which was unlike the Galaxy S3 in which I found it more difficult to read under sunlight. I actually think the LG's screen is better than Apple's retina display, but that's another article altogether. Also, on the Optimus, the SIM and micro SD cards could be accessed from the outside, while on the Galaxy S3 you had to peel off the back cover in order to get to both. Not a deal breaker for most people, but certainly more convenient on the LG. For some the hot swappable battery on the Samsung is a must and on the LG this is not possible. However, the battery has been great right out of the box and with a 2100 mAh battery, I was easily able to get a full day and a half with my normal use. So far I've never had to charge it before the end of the day, which in my opinion is all you need.
On the software side, LG provides only 3 home screens. Again this is something that does not bother me, but may annoy some whom have come to be accustomed to having several home screen on their Android phones. The Optimus' OS was very smooth and fluent and I felt no lag whatsoever. While my memory of the Samsung was that there were times when the phone would slow or hang. Of course, the LG does not have as much packed into it as the Samsung with S voice and gesture operations, but nonetheless it's got all the bells and whistles of most top Android phones. As some whom may have read in my previous post about the Galaxy S3, I was not too fond of the stock keyboard. I'm happy to report that the LG keyboard is a joy to use. The auto-correct works much better in my opinion than on the Galaxy.
As first impressions go, I'm pleased with the LG. I know most in the tech field regard the Galaxy S3 as the best of all Android phones, but for me it's not. So far in my daily use, I found the LG to be as capable in performance as the Galaxy S3. On top of that, I prefer the keyboard, the usability of the screen outdoor, and the feel of the material. With both phones costing just $199 with a new 2 year contract on AT&T, you can stop by your local store and take a test drive yourself. For me it's the LG and maybe, just maybe that's why this time around Google decided to go with LG as it's partner for its Google Nexus line of phones……just a thought.
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