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LG Optimus G - First Impressions


LG Optimus G - First Impressions

I thought I should make a separate thread for first impressions.  And with that, I'll start with mine.

Performance.  ICS is just a dream compared to Gingerbread on my EVO.  The Optimus G is a very fast phone.  I'm not much of a gamer, but I do like puzzle games (jewel quest, jewel maze, etc.), and they run much faster and better on the Optimus G than on my EVO.  4 cores.....who knew?

Customization.  I've found that the Optimus G is very customizable.  I like that I can pin my most used apps to the bottom bar and of course, the homescreens have the usual customization.  I've only just started getting into all that the phone is capable of so I expect to find that using it is a great deal better than the peculiarities of the HTC sense UI.

Screen.  It's bigger, brighter, sharper, and just gorgeous.  I don't know that I would want it any bigger than 4.7 inches.  I think the GNII is a nice phone, but I can't comfortably hold and navigate it with the hand I'm holding it with like I can with this phone.  I don't know why anyone would want a bigger screen, honestly.  The optimus G's screen is amazing.

Battery life.  Good so far.  Since 7 this morning, with casual use, browser time, banking app, calling people, a few text messages, and several minutes playing angry birds (star wars edition, of course), I'm down to 69%.  And that's without turning on the ECO mode, or quad-core optimization, which are both supposed to extend battery life.  Not bad.  Will test their usefulness over the coming days.  The real test will be idle time at work on Monday.

Internal storage.  I thought this phone was advertised as having 16gb of internal storage, but checked and saw that was true for the AT&T version (suck it AT&T!), this one has 32, 25 of which was free for me to populate with as much porn and third eye blind as I see fit....jk.  I have about 8gb of music stored there now so plenty of space left.  Maybe someday I'll trust the cloud, but for now I keep my mp3's on /root.

Also, I love quiet time.  Very useful.

Haven't really got into the NFC function yet, but I suspect I won't have an immediate need so I'd love for anyone to share their thoughts on it.

So those are some of my initial impressions.  Feel free to add your experience, and I'll add anything else I find that I like.




I'm hoping to pick on of these up soon myself. I'm tired of my Motorola Photon being so bad. I've head that ICS is amazing compared to Gingerbread and that this phone will get Jelly Bean in December.


I received mine yesterday (Friday the 9th), and I squandered hours and hours familiarizing myself with it, customizing and adding apps, trying out e-mail and web browsing, and of course, making some phone calls.

Look and feel:  I had high hopes for the iPhone 5, but I felt it was sorely overpriced, given the iPhone's new, cheaper aluminum-backed construction and lower component costs (rip-off pricing for flash memory).  In contrast, the Optimus G is beautifully-designed and precision-built, impossibly thin, with super-durable Corning Gorilla Glass 2 front and back.  At 32GB of flash memory, it's $100 cheaper than a comparable iPhone.  Despite the large screen, it's usable with one (adult male) hand.  The glass back and beveled black plastic sides give it a luxury look and feeling in the hand, unlike the plastic-y Samsung models.

Performance:  as you mentioned, it's screamingly fast.  On WiFi, there's virtually no lag at all when surfing web pages, watching You Tube videos, and running apps. I have a 25/25Mb FiOS internet connection and a high-end dual-band WiFi router, and the Optimus G supports the 5GHz band 802.11n, for the best performance on WiFi I have ever seen on a phone.  I was astounded at how fast the Red Laser app was able to recognize and decode a QR code in a magazine, compared to my iPod Touch, thanks to the 13MP camera and fast processor.  Speaking of the camera, ignore the negative reviews of the 13MP Sprint version vs. the 8MP competitor version.  People are getting fooled by less-detailed images and harsh edged-details; the 13MP version has better resolution of subtle details.  Autofocus works great.  It's amazing that such a sophisticated camera assembly can be squished into such a small space.  I had no trouble pairing it with a Plantronics Bluetooth headset, and the sound quality on a call was great.

LG has several interviews with it's engineers and designers on their Korean site, describing their advanced optical and battery technology.  Bottom line, this phone combines the latest, fastest Qualcomm chipset with LG's and Corning's best materials science and a well-implemented build of Android.

I fully-charged it, then used it continuously for a good 6-8 hours of full-performance use, before the battery reached 15%.  I suspect it will run even longer after a couple of charge cycles.  I talked for over an hour today, and didn't see much drain on the battery.  I have dismal Sprint 2/3G coverage at my house, and I use an older, 2G-only Samsung Airave for voice.  Speedtest.net tests of Sprint's 3G EV-DO Rev. A today ranged around 500Kbps down, varying + or - 200Kbps between trials, with generally only 1-3 bars of signal.  At least it isn't dropping out entirely.  Here's hoping Network Vision upgrades will come to Western Washington state soon.

LG and Sprint have limited their customization of Android ICS, which is a good thing (it's not too far from stock ICS), and I haven't found any changes that I dislike so far.  This is my first Android phone, but I've been learning the OS for a few months now on a Google Nexus 7 tablet (Andoid Jelly Bean).  I was prepared for a let-down with ICS, but overall, don't worry about it -- JB will bring a few nice feature improvements, and an even faster/smoother feel to the OS.  iOS still has some features that haven't been copied by Android (likely due to the Apple/Samsung patent wars), and iOS 6 remains my favorite portable device OS.  I miss touching the top of any page to quickly scroll to the top, and swiping emails or other app items to delete, and clicking on a package tracking number in an e-mail to go to the shipper's tracking site, for example.  But JB is a huge improvement in feature-matching to iOS, compared to the Android 2.x generation of phones.

Finally, not to end on a sour note, but the Sprint service activation procedure to swap out my old phone was a minor PITA.  The online, self-service activation process failed after I completed all the steps, and I had to call customer service.  The rep was very low-skilled, and she had to put me on hold 3 times, and ask repeatedly for the same information, before somebody apparently helped her solve whatever provisioning system problem prevented the swap.  After all these years of training and improvement in customer service, there are still some system limitations and dummies working as 1st-level CSRs.

I can recommend this phone wholeheartedly, and I have no regrets at selecting it in a marketplace rich with great choices like the Samsung Galaxy SIII, iPhone 5 and other top competitors.


I'm loving my phone so far. At first I thought having a skin and the downgrade to ICS would be a problem since I had the nexus s 4g with no skin and jelly bean. But I have to say I'm enjoying the little extras of the skin and this phone is much faster than my nexus. The phone runs smooth and it feels great in hand. The display is lovely too and I like the quality of the pictures I take so far. People were concerned about the picture quality not being as good as some of the other phone models out there but you have to understand that LG built the camera and the display to display more natural colors which I like. The colors aren't over saturated like with Samsung and HTC phones.

My only dislikes so far is the camera settings can be a little confusing and you can't install flash player even if it shows in your list of legacy apps, but that's not LG's fault but Adobe's fault. I hope we get jelly bean next month too like the Korean phones are expected to get. That update will make our phones even faster! I'm greedy I guess!


I payed with one in a sprint store yesterday and directly compared it to a Samsung Galaxy Note II.  I only compared it to the Note II for performance reasons because it also has a quad core processor (its quad core is on an older arm architecture though).

My impressions:

Performance: Blazing fast!!!!!! Side by side with the Note II the LG consistently loaded web pages 2-5 seconds faster. Scrolling was smooth and easy and pinch zooming was super smooth.  Have never seen a phone this fast before.

Build: Dissapointed by build quality. To me it felt to plasticy, light, and flimsy.  My wife owns a Galaxy SIII which we already did not think felt super premium but compared to the LG the GSIII feels better constructed.

Screen:  Very nice with great colors, brightness, and viewing angles.

I was very dissapointed to see it only is shipping with Ice Cream Sandwich as Jelly Bean should be the build for a premium flagship phone right now.  I am the current owner of an Optimus S and it has been pure hell the entire time we have owned it.  Botched updates, buggy firmware, terrible touch repsonse on screen.   LG currently has the absolute worst track record of software updates for Android phone than any other manufacturer on the market.

I really want to get the phone but am skeptical due to issues with my current Optimus S and also the impressions I had on build quality.

I am going to keep track of the Optimus G threads and if come Christmas there are no major issues and LG has upgraded this phone to Jelly Bean (as they supposedly have promised) I may go ahead and get this.


I have to disagree with you about the build quality.  I can just see the LG engineers banging their heads against the table and sobbing now.

Most customers always want thinner and lighter products, with elegant design (unless you need a rugedized MIL-SPEC phone).  Look at the iPhone 4 generation:  it was the best design possible at the time, using the materials available at that time.  The LG Optimus G is so thin and light because of three state-of-the-art material advances.  As strange as this sounds, the thin-and-light feel of this phone is so extreme that it has the illusion of being cheaply built, but in fact, it's not:

I learned this from the LG Korean website, which has some videos of their engineers and designers explaining the advances:

First, it is NOT plastic; it's almost enrirely made of GLASS -- Corning Gorilla Glass 2 (2nd generation) on both front and back.  Corning has some background and technical info on ths stuf on their website.  It's impossibly thin, yet strong and actually flexible, thanks to the chemical + heat tempering it undergoes.  It feels like plastic because it is so thin, it conducts heat better, and doesn't store cold like regular, thicker glass when you touch it.  The only plastic is the thin band around the sides, which has a metal trim strip imbedded in it.  Unlike my Asus/Google Nexus 7 tablet, the screen and the sides are manufactured so precisely that there are no gaps, squeeks, or other symptoms of glued-together construction.

Second, the non-removable LiPo battery uses advanced chemistry to increase capacity and charge cycles and can be molded to the precise form of the interior (this is similar to what Apple does now).  This also means thinner and ligher cases.

Finally, the screen assembly is thiner and ligher because they bond the touchscreen directely to the glass, eliminating a layer and an air gap.  Again, same as the latest Apple technology.

Having held and used one of these since Friday, I can say that it is the best quality phone I've ever owned.


I'm very pleased.  My 2 yr old Evo with extended battery would drop 20% in 2 hours, and never would make a full day without charge.

I haven't run the G for a full day yet without charging, but the life seems much better.

5GHz wifi is a bonus, although I don't yet know how to tell the phone to "prefer" that band. It may be automatic.

The EVO has been taken off the account, and it now lives as a wifi only pad at home, which isn't a bad fate for it.

I did the Smartbench 2012 app, and I get edged out by some tablets, but it's WAY past the evo in performance.

I can see both sides of the build quality argument.  I think there's a perception that customers want lighter and thinner, but I think there actually is some optimal heft and thickness that is best.  They used to try for smaller and smaller, and finally realized that we don't want keychain phones that don't align with the distance between the ear and mouth.  Bellcore knew that in the 50s. 


ColoDave, I agree on the limits of "you can never be too thin and light" concept.  I can just hear the discussions in the LG hardware design group.  Manager:  "LG is getting it's butt kicked by Samsung.  Apple keeps designing their stuff to be thinner and thinner.  Go design the thinnest, lightest, yet most powerful phone ever made!"  Months later, "This is TOO thin and light!  Go back and add a chunk of cast iron inside to make it heavier!"  I am glad they didn't do that, but to each his/her own.  BTW, as a fan of the old Bell System designs, if you liked the old 500-series handset, check out nativeunion.com who sells a comical retro handset that plugs into any 3.5mm headset jack, or even works over Bluetooth.  It would get you some stares to walk down the street talking on a giant handset with a curly-cord going into your pocket.

RE:  how to  have your device(s) select 5GHz over 2.4GHz:  The devices (phone, laptop, tablet, etc) don't have a "prefer 5GHz" setting as far as I know.  The way to do this, if you have a dual-band router, is to give the 2.4GHz and 5GHz portions (the router's WiFi access points) two different SSID names, for example "ColoDave" and "ColoDave_5G".  When you set up your phone's WiFi, you will see both SSIDs offered, and you then select the 5G one and ignore the other.  The phone will remember this for future connections.  One caveat:  5G has more bandwidth, but less range (5GHz doesn't propagate through walls or obstacles as well as 2.4GHz).  So, if you find the 5G connection poor from some distance away, you may want to switch to 2.4G.


My first impression is I got a bad unit....totally disgusted.  Read here:


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