With devices getting bigger and better and increasingly with full HD display resolution, the Optimus G comes as a brilliant effort from LG. The device is an example of LG’s expertise, which has been employed in a beautiful manner.
The LG Optimus G is a powerful device, which looks good on the specification sheet as well. But how well it does in real life is what we are going to find out, so read on.
Look and feel
For some the device might feel a bit fragile the moment it comes out of the box because it comes all wrapped in scratch resistant protective covers, but it is well built and sturdy enough. The black glossy finish with chrome trimmings on the sides tries to give the device a unique look, but sadly, from a distance it is really hard to differentiate it from among the many black Android smartphones from LG. That said, the Optimus G looks great and feels great too.
The device is extremely lightweight with 145 gram total weight that includes a 2100 mAh battery pack as well. The small battery is nothing to be worried about as LG has implemented SIO+ technology, which lets manufacturers create a higher capacity Li-Ion battery while maintaining the same size.
The lack of hardware buttons on the front gives this device a sleek and clean look that makes it nice to hold. There are dual chrome accents on the sides that add a touch of glamour to the device while the carbon fiber textured glossy back cover adds to its appeal.
The sideways placement of the power/standby key really makes it easy to use. The left hand side houses the volume rocker, which is a big turn off for right handed users and cause a lot of discomfort too. We really like the volume rocker placement on the right side as most people are right handed.
The overall build quality of the device is good. It’s sturdy and can handle accidental falls quite well. The Gorilla Glass really makes a lot of difference and protects the display from scratches as well as damage from drops. Overall, we are quite happy with the way the device has been designed and with its build quality as well.
Powered by a True HD, 720p display based on In Plane Switching + technology the display on the LG Optimus G works great and offers great contrast as well as color vibrancy. Similar to the LG Optimus 4X HD the maximum brightness supported by the display makes it perfect for use even in bright sunlight. The native resolution supported by the device is 1280 x 720 pixel over 4.7 inches, making it great for viewing HD movies as well as playing HD games.
The color reproduction and black levels are good and the picture quality offered by the display is sharp and vibrant. The only downside is that too much brightness has an adverse effect on battery life as well.
Processor, hardware and display engine
The Optimus G utilizes a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset that includes a 1.5 GHz quad core processor along with an Adreno 320 GPU, giving the phone fluid touch operations and faster execution of commands and application requests.
The phone features 2 GB of RAM memory and 32 GB of internal storage, which works great for all applications. The downside is that since the device misses on an SD card slot its memory cannot be further improved with the help of external micro SDHC data cards.
With this hardware combination the Optimus G gets by really well, without any application crashing or freezing. It just glides through all the applications and does tasks of daily need as well as image and video editing with full ease. Even in terms of multitasking there is ample headroom for applications, with 2 GB RAM and a quad core processor, so don’t worry about what all the device can do; there’s plenty of muscle for everything there.
On the gaming front too the phone is capable of doing justice to most games, even HD ones. But HD gaming seems to put the processor under a lot of strain and the device heats up quite fast. That is one thing we did not like about the Optimus G-it heats up quite fast.
Based on Android’s newer Jelly Bean operating system the LG Optimus G works great with most of the applications available at the Google Play application store. In terms of compatibility, most applications work easily and flawlessly on the smartphone with its quad core plus companion core.
The Optimus User Interface 3.0 makes a lot of difference to the standard device with unique customizations that LG has added to it. The lock screen has quick access icons, which can be customized, and along with that there are six home screens and the option to add a few more as required.
The application menu has its own advantages with an icon change option and one touch uninstall by simply selecting the tool icon placed on the upper right side of the device.
Performance and usage
During the course of the review the device underwent a lot of application testing and stressing, but it never hung or froze. The 4.7 inch display is a major plus point of this device. Even its touch sensitivity is very accurate and all the gestures are very accurately registered and translated.
The Optimus G offers excellent performance that makes using this device fun and easy too. As mentioned earlier, opening many applications at the same time is not a problem and even a hardcore user won’t feel any lag.
The call performance of this device is also good. Calls are received and made without any issue. The earpiece and loudspeaker volume are abundant and the microphone also makes sure the receiver gets to hear every word loud and clear. The loudspeaker is a bit of a disappointment as it misses the mid and low frequencies, making the sound shallow.
Camera and multimedia
The 13 megapixel camera is a major point of consideration for the LG Optimus G. It is good and offers great variance in colors and full HD 1080p video recording as well at 30 frames/sec.
The image quality of the camera is good in both the outdoor and indoor modes provided the lighting is sufficient. The LED flash comes into play wherever needed, but is only effective for close objects, and it tends to give its subjects a yellowish hue too. Colors are captured nicely with details.
The problem is that the camera misses out on back light illumination that could have made a huge difference to it. The voice commands really come in handy while taking group pictures, as you don’t really need to touch the device and can focus on pictures alone. If not, users can also make use of the volume keys to capture pictures, if they like hardware keys.
On the multimedia front this device features support for all generic Android formats, plus like on any other Android device there’s a plethora of applications available at the Android Marketplace, which is now called the Google Play Store, to extend multimedia capabilities. The Loudspeaker, as we mentioned earlier, is a bit of a disappointment. The sound, though, is average but gets distorted at high levels with too much treble kicking in.
The bundled headphones are a boon to the ears with in ear design, which is very comfortable, plus they deliver good sound as well.
Backup of the battery is one big plus for the Optimus G. The device easily lasts for 1.5 days between charges and even longer for light users. The device manages power usage quite brilliantly and offers superior performance on demand. The reason behind this is the SIO+ battery technology for Lithium ion batteries, allowing manufacturers to add more power and backup without increasing the physical size of the batteries.
Everything boils down to this one final moment: is the device really worth its price? The Optimus G is a powerful device and we would not call it an over priced one. It costs between Rs 33,000 to Rs 36,000 in the Indian market. It offers superb performance, a brilliant display and great battery backup as well.
The misses would be that it does not have a full HD display and the loudspeaker is a bit of a disappointment.
Overall, the LG Optimus G is powerful, good looking and an object of desire. So if you need performance and looks, and are willing to part with Rs 30,000+ you can surely get this device and never regret it.