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Review: LG Optimus G

Quite awhile ago, I asked Joe what the differences were between all of the smartphones out there. It seemed to me that they had a lot of the same features, and I wasn’t sure how consumers picked the phone they wanted. He replied that for many people, it comes down to screen size and camera quality.

Screen
The LG Optimus G is a great example of how a smartphone can stand out from the crowd. Its most outstanding feature is the beautiful crisp, clear HD screen. Whether you are playing one of the many games that can be downloaded from the Google Play Store, or scrolling through articles you found on twitter, the screen is easy to read and nice and clear. This screen clarity translates into great experiences watching videos. I get excited about things like pretty wallpapers and like to customize my phone frequently, and this phone has endless options for doing so. Blacks and colours are excellent in most conditions, with one exception. In low light situations, I found the camera image difficult to see. The screen is excellent for scrolling through long texts, with no lag time while you move though the site.
The battery life on this phone is impressive. With heavy data use, the battery lasted a full day. Games drained the battery more quickly but it charges quite quickly too. If you had to go without access to a charger, the phone has an ECO use setting that allows the battery to go further. The phone also allows you to monitor the way you are using your data, showing which apps are chewing through the most data and giving you the power to limit the data at a certain point – handy to avoid overage fees for lots of plans.

Browser and OS
The Optimus G comes standard with Ice Cream Sandwich Platform, (although the one I reviewed had been upgraded to Jellybean) and features Google features. Search operations default to using Google searches, both in text and voice versions, and the phone runs Google Chrome. Other browsers are available too. According to the Acid Test, the Chrome browser scores 100/100; similarly, the HTML5 test gives the phone 420 and 14 bonus points for a score of 434 out of a possible 500 points.

Camera
The camera on this phone is easy to use and the pictures are nice and clear. The phone features the Cheese Shutter option that signals the shutter when someone says “cheese!” or “whiskey!” You can also set the phone to capture the moments before and after the shutter in case of the dreaded closed eye photo.

Phone calls
The sound quality on the phone was very good, and the voice recognition of both Google searches and text messaging was impressive. I tried a lot of different phrases and speaking speeds and the phone picked up what I was saying with fewer mistakes than I made using the touchscreen keypad.

Final thoughts on this phone:
I loved it. I use my own phone as a tablet a lot at home, reading newspapers and online content and this phone was excellent for that. It was easy to use, its features are quite intuitive (my kids had games downloaded to the phone and were playing them without any adult help or even knowledge – ha!), and the bright, crisp screen made it really attractive to me.

Pros:
• Screen quality
• Google features
• Camera and video camera
• Weight and feel

Cons:
• Larger than a standard pocket
• Sometimes difficult to see the camera in low light
• Some reports of overheating with heavy use, but I didn’t experience this.

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