Killer price for an unlocked smartphone, Fast next-generation CPU and GPU
Google has delivered an impressive smartphone with the Nexus 5 from LG, an unlocked powerhouse with a palatable price and solid performance, and the new Android 4.4.1 KitKat update largely fixes the phone's initial camera problems.
Great screen, Low price, Blazing performance
Although the issues we take with the Nexus 5 are considerable, they're not enough to keep us from recommending this device.
One of the issues we have, which is the lackluster camera, might be resolved with a software fix. And even if it were a minor fix, it's not so bad that you'll never be able to take good photos with it.
What really gets us here is what we're not used to seeing, and that's a device with these kinds of specs at this price point.
Impressively spec'd smartphone at a bargain price
It's a year since Google made a splash with an impressively spec'd smartphone at a bargain price. The Nexus 4 wasn't a financial success perhaps but making a profit off selling hardware is rarely the first thing on Google's mind. The pure Android experience was the major selling point and getting more people into their cloud services must've been worth the investment - the Nexus price is clearly subsidized, the way Amazon subsidizes its Kindle tablets so it can make profit on selling content.
Great features at a low price with no contract commitment
The Nexus 5 isn't the best smartphone on the market. In fact, there isn't a "best phone", because folks' needs are different: some want a small phone, others want lots of software features and still others want a phablet or a pen. The Nexus 5 is undoubtedly the best smartphone you can buy for just $349 full retail. It has a great mix of features for the price including a very fast CPU, a sharp full HD IPS display and the promise of always running the latest OS.
Pros: Value for money, display.
There's a lot packed into the Nexus 5, particularly given the £299 and £339 pricepoints for 16GB and 32GB respectively. For that money, you get a display that rivals devices that cost some £200 more, and a chipset that is, in many cases, more powerful. In addition to that, you have a Nexus device, meaning it's uncluttered by bloat and first in line for Android updates.
Great camera with 1080p video recording at 60 fps
The LG G2 is an outstanding smartphone almost every way you look at it. The screen is beautiful, albeit a bit off in terms of color temperature, while the camera is simply outstanding - definitely among the very best out there. Under the hood, the Snapdragon 800 processor is doing exactly what you'd expect it to do - making sure that everything operates perfectly smoothly with no hiccups or delays.
Amazing colors, viewing angles, great brightness and contrast
The LG G2 is not just the company's next flagship. It is LG's hope of getting their best shape back after quite a few uninspiring attempts. And this time around, the stakes are higher than ever as the competition out there is in its top form too.
The first thing LG got right is the timing, staying put well after Samsung and HTC unveiled their flagships. This allowed LG to offer the best chipset from Qualcomm, essentially coming up with a 2014 flagship in 2013.
Stunning 5.2-inch edge-to-edge display
The LG G2 is an impressive return to smartphone prominence for the South Korean company but one which still falls slightly short. It is a worthy rival to the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One but thanks to plastic build, peculiar button placement and less than gripping camera is unlikely to worry its more illustrious competition too much.
Large and lovely full HD IPS display, great camera
The LG G2 is assuredly the company's best Android phone yet. We were bullish on the also very good Optimus G Pro, but the G2 is all that and more in a more mainstream size. The display is top notch, performance is fast and fluid, the camera is excellent and the rear buttons actually work nicely. We'd love to see a more interesting and attractive casing that didn't turn murky with fingerprints so quickly, but the phone is nonetheless solidly built and curved nicely to fit in the hand.
Pros: Visually appealing, feels great as a phone.
The G2 is easily a competitor for every other high-end smartphone out there. The "weird" button layout works for us, and it's paired with some smart touch functions that are well thought out. The phone looks and feels great, and just works as a smartphone should. There are some minor things about the G2 we don't like, but our overwhelming sense is that this phone does what we want and it does it well, with style and smoothness.
Very light and compact for the screen size
LG is taking a sizeable risk by putting stellar specs in a 5.5-incher - despite that the phone is surprisingly compact and light for such a screen size, thanks to the minimum bezel, it still feels a bit unwieldy for anything but a Shaq-sized hand, though less so than the Note II with the same screen size, for instance.
New Snapdragon 600 chipset
The LG Optimus G Pro is the most advanced phablet on the market at the moment. It's also one of the few devices with a 1080p screen that's bigger than 5". The new Snapdragon 600 chipset is still rare enough too.
The updated version of QSlide is there to make full use of the hardware - you can have up to two floating apps running alongside a full screen app, the big screen and fast quad-core Krait 300 CPU wouldn't be giving their 100% otherwise.
Screen transitions and animations are extremely smooth and fast
The LG Optimus G Pro is a very fast and capable phone, let down slightly by a poorly designed user interface and a camera that doesn't quite live up to the billing. It is, however, one of the better large screen smartphones currently available if you can live with these annoying, but not terminal, flaws. You can pick up one of these phablets for as little as $99.00 with a two-year plan from AT&T (amongst other carriers), which is less than half the cost of the Samsung Galaxy Note and Note 2.
Huge IPS full HD display, very fast CPU and GPU, very good camera
The LG Optimus G Pro has everything a super-phone should, except Samsung and Apple's glorious reputations and marketing budgets. In fact, I do wonder if this Android smartphone will get all the respect it deserves. It's LG's best Android phone to date, and we're impressed at the rapid progress they show here in both hardware and software. Yes, it could look more chic and elegant, but one could easily say the same of other Android phones.
Competition to Note II
Seriously, this is one tough competitor to Note 2. I just played with it at my friend's place. Screen is amazing. 1080 x 1920 pixels, 5.5 inches (~401 ppi pixel density). Without the stylus, it is same size as Note 2. The crapware on this is incredible. I tried the AT&T version. It has LG and AT&T crapware, and is locked, otherwise the international unlocked and AT&T versions are similar in specs. On the AT&T, out of 32 GB, around 10GB was gobbled up by stock firmware and other crap.
Large, pretty screen, Snappy performance
While not perfect, the LG Optimus L9 II is definitely among the better-made mid-range Androids that we've come across lately. Sure, it might seem like a pretty humble smartphone at a glance, but trust us, once you take it for a spin, you realize that it is a device with plenty of potential. Or if we have to be more specific, it is a sleek and compact handset with a pretty screen and good performance - traits that make it a phone worthy of attention.
Excel at battery life, call quality, and data strength
Sequels are rarely better than the original when it comes to entertainment, but they are always better in technology. The nature of advancement and upgrades dictates that improvement is a given, so no one should be surprised that the LG Lucid 2 is a noticeable step up from its predecessor. What might catch some people off guard is that this is a step up from many midrange devices currently on the market.
Free with contract, Pleasing size
Since the LG Lucid 2 is currently available for free with a 2-year Verizon contract, there is a lot to like about the device. It is small and lightweight, making it easy to carry around, the 4.3" qHD display is a nice size with clear text and images, the user interface is well laid-out and easy to use, not to mention the device has good call quality and a larger capacity battery.
You won't get a top-tier display or camera, but it's a good value
Overall, the Lucid 2 is a fantastic deal -- it's a great bang for the buck device at a great price. Sure, neither the screen nor the camera is top-tier, but you aren't paying a high-end price as well. I can't think of a better budget device on the market.
Manageable size, sharp display, removable battery
If you're in the market for an Android smartphone on Verizon but don't want to spend much money for the phone itself, the LG Lucid 2 is easy to recommend. That doesn't mean the Lucid 2 lacks solid competition if you're open to other platforms: from the older iPhone 4, to the relatively new Nokia Lumia 822 running Windows Phone 8 for $50 or less.
Extremely responsive with the dual-core processor
So in closing is the Lucid a device we'd recommend to someone who is considering the iPhone 5, Galaxy S III (or S4) or any other high end device? Nope! Nor does the device deserve any such sort of recommendation. What we will say is for a teenager or a first time smartphone buyer the Lucid 2 for free is a pretty good option, and something worth taking a look at in a store near you.
Powerful processor, Good rear camera
If you have eyes, it is obvious that the LG Lucid 2 is not the most glamorous phone available on Verizon. But with a price of free ($200 cheaper than many competitors), it's not a bad choice for those on a budget. If you can spend an extra $50, we do like the Motorola Droid Razr M a lot, and it is similarly sized, but there isn't much to dislike about the Lucid 2. She could use a prettier chassis, a little more memory, and a higher resolution screen, but all-in-all, we like what we see.
Nice looking display for a mid-ranger
Taking into consideration everything we've checked out with the LG Optimus F7, we have to admit that it's a very well rounded contender that's above most other mid-rangers that are out on the market. And to an extent, it can very well hold its ground against some higher-end devices, especially when it's priced to attract at $100 with a 2-year contract.
Exceptional call quality, Good fit and finish
As you would expect LG has made some compromises to keep the Optimus F6 affordable, but for a mid-range device they have put together an overall nice package. The device is well-built, has a good display for its class and incorporates many of the software features from LG's higher end devices. While the camera performance wasn't great, it was acceptable for Instagram and Facebook shots, and the call quality was outstanding.
Calls routed to the speakerphone were scratchy and prone to distortion
For $49 down, the LG Optimus F6 offers T-Mobile customers a lot of value. The phone's hardware may be a bit boring, but it is well put together and all the buttons and controls function without issue. The screen is very good for this class of device, and the network performance was among the best I've seen on a T-Mobile device in recent memory. It's a shame that call quality was at best average, and that the battery didn't seem to last past dinner.
The software all works well.
High pixel densitiy screen, over 250ppi
The LG Optimus F5 is sporting a 4.3-inch IPS display with qHD resolution (960 by 540 pixels). It is powered by a 1.2GHz dual-core processor of undisclosed make and model, backed up by 1GB of RAM. You also get a 5-megapixel auto-focus camera, a 1.3-megapixel front-facing snapper, 8 gigs of storage and a microSD card slot. The LG Optimus F5 has a thickness of 9.3 millimeters, which is okay considering that there's a 2,150mAh battery at its back.
LTE module, high contrast, good images
The first impression is often decisive and so it was with the LG P875 Optimus F5's. Already the first hands-on was boring. Design and haptics are not particularly innovative and the hardware can be found in many devices. It features an SoC from Qualcomm with a clock rate of 1.2 GHz and 1 GB RAM. In addition, the Optimus F5 comes with the usual wireless modules including LTE, NFC, and Bluetooth. Admittedly, the smartphone performs well and achieves satisfactory results in the benchmarks.
Great outdoor visibility with its great display
For the first time in a long time, it's quite possible that LG's fortunes might turn around for the better thanks to the LG Optimus G, especially when it's packing that dreamy combination of a mighty quad-core processor and 4G LTE connectivity. To sweeten the pot even more, both AT&T and Sprint intend to sell this beauty for $199.99 with a 2-year contract thus, presenting it as an admirable option for those looking to get a premier smartphone.
Beefy hardware makes for a fast phone
Thanks to powerful hardware and (some) 4G service, the Optimus G is most capable smartphone LG has ever produced. Media, games, web browsing and even Google Maps all benefit from that large and ever-so sharp display.
Only a few things stand in the way of a more enthusiastic endorsement of Sprint's Optimus G. First, the phone is huge, not so heavy but a whopping 5-inches tall.
Bold and assertive styling
The raw performance of the LG Optimus G is nothing short of superb - you will never feel short on processing power with the latest quad-core silicon and 2GB of RAM at your service. There's a flagship look and feel to the device as well - a first in the US for quite some time.
Nice software additions
LG's finally cracked the high end market with the Optimus G. While other LG Android smartphones have looked good on paper, the Optimus G actually delivers a captivating experience with enjoyable software additions and superlative performance. The 4.7" IPS display is among the best and the phone is good looking too. One caveat, this is a big phone with none of the curvy tricks others employ to make it look and feel smaller.
Fast as Hell!
With the recent price drop, this phone is a no-brainer. Get it, you'll love it. However, if you're prone to dropping your phone a lot, maybe look at the One X+ or the SGS3 instead since I don't think this will hold up to a ton of drops and falls without cracking one of the two large glass panels.
Great screen, Fast performance
The LG Optimus G isn't a bad smartphone: it's fast, has a lot of storage, a good screen, and a decent (albeit not extraordinary) battery life. However, the two biggest features that are intended to make it stand out of the pack -- the quad core processor and the 13 megapixel camera -- both seriously fail to impress. And without those, there isn't really much to recommend it over other more noteworthy devices.
Employs some of the new LG Optimus UI enhancements
Indeed, there's just so much where an entry-level smartphone can go - especially when last year's mid-rangers tend to occupy the same space nowadays. Looking at the $29.99 on-contract price point of the LG Optimus F3, it might not scare the pants off us with its meager specs sheet, but at least it's treated to some of the enhancements that are found with LG's higher-end offerings.
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