Now where have I seen this smartphone before? If that wasn’t the first thing that popped in your head then you probably haven’t seen the LG Nitro HD by AT&T. The LG Spectrum is basically Verizon’s version of the same phone, with a different name and we are not sure what else actually. However seeing that it still sports a cool 1.5GHz dual-core processor and the same 4.5 inch display there is still something to look forward to. Verizon’s 4G LTE connection on the LG Spectrum would surely be the focal point with this phone as you can get pretty much the same phone with AT&T. So let’s see if this phone has what it takes to beat its competitors.
As mentioned earlier, this phone is similar to the LG Nitro HD by AT&T in terms of design. We are not sure if you know this, but the LG Optimus LTE is actually the Korean model of the exact same phone as well. The first impression is the same; it has a rather plain looking design. Probably the most noticeable difference comes on the back of the LG Spectrum as it has an all new glossy and smooth plastic back cover. Not sure if you will like it though as LG somehow overlooked the fact that the back doubles as a place where the forensics guys can look for fingerprints. To pile on the misery, the back also attracts much more scratches than the textured cover on the LG Nitro HD. The measurements are 5.33 x 2.71 x 0.42 inches, and that means it’s not thick either so it fits well in your hands. Weighing in at only 4.99 oz also means that it is really good to carry around.
On the front of the LG Spectrum is where the 4.5 inch True HD IPS screen sits. It is one of the things we like and I’m sure Verizon fans will like as well as it’s the first phone to have this screen under the service provider. Nevertheless, it is definitely not something new for everyone else especially those who are already using the LG Nitro HD. The screen comes with a resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels. You will find all the ports at the top edge phone. They are the microUSB port as well as the standard audio jack. The power button is actually on the top as well and we like that it is not flush with the chassis. Meanwhile on the left is where you will find the responsive volume rocker. Flip the phone and on the back is where you have an 8MP camera that has both auto-focus as well as LED flash.
This phone is powered by a 1.5GHZ dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 CPU that definitely got most of the easy tasks out of the way. However even with the 1GB of RAM onboard, we found some choppiness when we used apps or did tasks that were processor intensive. However, we understand that slight choppiness because after all, the LG Spectrum sports a 720p display.
Just as we have seen on other LG smartphones from last year, the LG Spectrum also has the Optimus 2.0 as its graphic user interface. The operating system however is not Android Ice Cream Sandwich, but rather Android v2.3.5 Gingerbread. The fact that it’s not running the latest OS available may turn some users away from the phone, but we can expect and upgrade sometime in the future. We like LG’s efforts in coming with their own user interface as it definitely provides some nice looks as well as some customization options that you will like. You will also be happy to hear that your homescreen gets some new widgets to keep you hooked to the phone. Of course you might also look forward to Optimus UI 2.0’s motion gesture offerings. For instance, flipping over the phone when the alarm rings or when you are getting a phone call will automatically mute the phone. Meanwhile giving the phone a tap on the side can help move your cursor when typing or browsing through the gallery. These motion gestures might not be everyone’s cup of tea but we sure loved it. If you don’t like it, you can always turn them off. Typing messages or typing anything on the LG Spectrum can be done in a breeze as the screen is huge and that it is consolidated by the good processor.
Just as we had seen on the AT&T version of this phone, the LG Spectrum also has the same 4.5 inch True HD IPS screen. It gives us a very good reason to love the phone as it not only has a high definition resolution of 720 x 1280 pixels but it also has some very natural looking colors. Wide viewing angles are also something to look forward too. In all, we couldn’t find any reason not to love this screen.
Talking about the camera, let’s talk about the camera interface. There are definitely many modes and settings to meddle with on the LG Spectrum which is always something good. However, this makes the interface look a little cluttered. Moving on to the quality of pictures taken using the 8MP camera, we didn’t like it very much. Yes it’s an 8MP camera, but the colors were poorly reproduced. You also get very little details when you take photos in the dark. The camcorder didn’t do too much better although it boasted some good numbers with its 1080p recording capability and its 29 fps rate. However, we found our recordings to be over-exposed causing the fine details to lose out. Needless to say, recording under low lighting, you get even poorer results with a lot of noise as well.
So it’s the 4G LTE connection on the LG Spectrum that is going to distinguish it from the LG Nitro HD. So how does the Verizon version fare? It does great at 4G LTE locations as we were able to get a download speed of up to 33Mbps. Web browsing on this phone wasn’t the best with some choppiness evident when you are trying to navigate through the page. However, there were no problems loading pages and so on. In terms of connectivity options, you get the usual suspects like aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0 as well as Wi-Fi and mobile hotspot functionality to go with it.
The call quality on this phone is great. You not only get loud and clear voice on your end but the guys on the other end also enjoyed the same great quality we had on our end. In terms of battery life, the LG Spectrum is powered by a 1830mAh battery which would definitely dry up pretty quickly if you use the 4G LTE network often.
Pros and Cons
It is very affordable at $199.99 on contract and the LG Spectrum has that great 4.5 inch True HD IPS screen. The calling quality was also pretty amazing.
Battery life is poor much like other 4G LTE powered phones. The design was nothing refreshing and we think the camera should have been better.
LG Spectrum definitely turns out to be one of Verizon’s cheaper 4G LTE phones at $199.99, however at that price range you could also find some better designed and better performing smartphones. However if you are a fan of Verizon and LG, this phone will not let you down.