Samsung and HTC lead in producing high-send Android smartphones but LG is intent to do some catching up this year. Now they bring us the LG Spectrum, a 4G LTE device for the sub-300 dollar price range! That sounds great but don’t get you’re hopes up just yet.
The Spectrum is made to look like the LG Nitro HD, but just more square edged. The phone has a massive 4.5-inch display, just a tad smaller than the Galaxy Nexus, but this a bit thicker as well. But if you are more interested in what’s inside of the Spectrum, this is where it sounds really good. The Spectrum packs a 1.5GHZ dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor (the most current processor) and it has 1GB of RAM to keep most of your sessions on for quick reopening. There is some serious muscle behind this sleek device.
The LG Spectrum looks odd to say the least. We appreciate LG wanting to be different from the others, but sprinkling little bits of chrome isn’t the way. We are okay with the border around the phone being chrome, but right under the home button is also chrome. It gives it this weird illusion that its a physical home button which frankly its not. Off the weird bit on the front, the Spectrum is easy on the eyes. It’s a black slab with bits of chrome on random parts, but it feels very solid and well built which is a plus.
LG is pushing their TruHD, True HD, or whatever they call it. But this display absolutely……….KICKS BUTT! This is a 4.5-inch display but the resolution is 1,280×720 which is 720P in the world of televisions. Its also an IPS (in-plane-switching) display to maximize viewing angles. Colors really pop here and they are super accurate in terms of tone of color.
Now for some reason the display feels like its not right at the screen, this is thanks to Gorilla Glass on the front, but the screen feels far away. Not that most will notice but I just thought to let you know. The screen did show some pixelation on some text documents but only on rare occasions. Overall the display won our hearts to be called a HD display.
The camera on the Spectrum is an eight-megapixel shooter with the ability of shooting 1080P HD video at 30 frames per second. Honestly we weren’t blown away by the quality since its probably a microscopic sensor inside delivering artifacts when it gets too dim. Judge yourself with the gallery and video below.
LG has already come out and said 4.0 will be available by June of this year for the Nitro and Spectrum but for the time being you have to live with Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Its not bad but what LG did to 2.3 is what we dislike. Feels like LG just changed everything and for some parts it makes the device better but for other parts it makes it incredibly clunk and unnecessary. For example the way LG customized the App drawer by type of applications just makes it a pain when searching for one. And there are tons of bloatware on this device from Verizon so you will be doing a bit of scrolling from the gecko.
I also dislike the color theme over the UI, blue and lighter blue just doesn’t work. Its not really nice to look at and you might get disgusted. Maybe I made that last part up but I made my point.
Also going through applications and going back to the home screen sometimes feels like an eternity, its the usual lag from Android but it seems that I get it more often with the Spectrum thanks for LG’s ‘animations’. Also some of LG’s widgets are incredibly hard to use, especially the media widget since you can click on it when you want to scroll through. LG made some weird choices on how they want their customers to use their widgets.
Now we get to the browser, its actually one of the best we’ve seen on a LG product but it showed some slow down when it was loading Gadget Experts or similar websites like Engadget, The Verge, Gizmodo. It struggles in scrolling as well, even after its done loading. But for mobile browsing it seems pretty solid for a day to day use but not for hardcore browsing and extensive websites.
Battery Life and Performance
The battery of the Spectrum is rated at 1830 MaH which sounds like a lot, but some how the Spectrum finds ways to suck that all up. In our testing we were lucky to get 7 hours of battery life which is average. But on some days with heavy usage, 4 hours until we get the low battery warning. I would pick up an extra battery and keep the car charger inside your car if I we’re you.
The performance on the other hand is where we got a smile from. The 1.5GHZ dual-core Snapdragon was coping with all of our applications but sometimes showed some lag when going back home, but this is general with most Android devices. Quadrant scores we’re between 2180-2350.
LG’s latest smartphone may prove that LG is still in the game, but they are slipping up on some stupid stuff here. Their trend of wanting to change everything they can is not the way to go, but LG did prove they can compete with the big dogs when it comes down to smartphones. The Spectrum is definitely