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LG Optimus G – The Plus Version of Nexus 4!

LG Optimus G teaser
LG Optimus G, a smartphone full of details. / AndroidPIT

LG decided to bet high in the first half of 2013 in Brazil, brought two devices to the domestic market that were launched globally last year. The first sentence of this test article of the LG Optimus G may seem strange for a simple reason today, the Nexus 4 arrived in Brazil at $ 1,699, while the Optimus G sells for $ 1,999, which could leave it stranded on the shelves of national retail since the similarity between the Two huge devices. But LG has an asset up its sleeve: The Optimus G is the Plus version of the Nexus 4. Continue reading this review of the LG Optimus G and notice in detail how much the Korean manufacturer believes in this device.

Regarding the material used by LG in the Optimus G, if we side by side with the Nexus 4, the devices will look a lot. Both the front and the rear come with the tough Corning Gorilla Glass 2, however much you check that the casing uses glass, this is on paper. On the sides, the display decorated by a narrow chrome trim, as well as the front, the volume knob – which also works to trigger shortcuts – and the power button. Incidentally, these are the only buttons found on the hardware. Even with the similarity to the Nexus 4, in the back LG also brought a noticeable visual effect when moving the device, but much more discreet than the device developed in partnership with Google.

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Comparing Optimus G with Xperia Z, I can see a similarity in the drawing. / AndroidPIT

The Optimus G has no home, back or physical menu / multitask buttons, instead LG has located the functions below the display and here houses a very nice detail, the buttons only appear when the backlight is triggered with a touch. The time of this illumination is adjustable (never 1.5 seconds, 3 seconds, 5 seconds or always).

LG Optimus G Buttons
Optimus G buttons only appear after the backlight is turned on. / AndroidPIT

The screen has 4.7 inches, not the largest display on the market, but enough so that a hand like mine can't get around the device, unlike a 4 inch screen like the Xperia J. But the handset has a great grip. and the 131.9 x 68.9 x 8.45 dimensions contribute a lot to this.

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At 8.45 millimeters, the Optumus G is thicker than the Xperia Z. / AndroidPIT

The main camera was positioned at the back in the upper left corner of the apparatus. J in the lower right corner is a small, narrow, elongated slit for the speaker. The audio output, where the headset can be plugged in, is left at the top of the device and at the bottom is the micro-USB slot in the center. Here it is also impossible not to make a comparison with Nexus 4, as the Optimus G also has two Torx screws on the underside of the device, which serve to give more stability to the device.

Regarding the appearance of the flagship of LG, everything looks well fitted, because nothing is loose or out of place, the device fits comfortably in the hand and quite elegant. The Optimus G proves that LG really invests in quality in the design of its devices, unlike other Korean manufacturers that rely on plastic to justify weight and participle!

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The back of the LG Optimus G laser engraved, which makes the handset look very much like the Nexus 4. / AndroidPIT

The screen of Optimus G is one of the strengths of this smartphone. The LCD screen measures 4.7 inches diagonally and is on par with the Nexus 4 or HTC One. The 318 ppi resolution is sufficient to give the phone the ability to offer rich details, a clear view even when the user comes across a small text.

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In direct comparison, the screen of the HTC One brighter. / AndroidPIT

True HD IPS + 1280x768p resolution touchscreen promises excellent contrast, good brightness and very realistic color reproduction. In fact, the display is most pleasing, the wide viewing angle, so much so that you can identify the screen seconds before it is in a straight, impressive angle. Incidentally, it reminded me a lot of my experience with my MacBook Pro in terms of image quality.

The brightness can be adjusted automatically based on the environment in which the user is in, works in daily use, but not ideal. That's why LG has set the option to manually adjust screen brightness in the notification bar, a very functional shortcut.

In terms of software, LG's flagship runs Android 4.1.2 and there is still no specific date for upgrading to the latest version of Google OS. LG has created its own user interface, in addition to its own design, also brought a number of additional applications and features. And of course for this reason we can compare LG's approach with that of Samsung, which brought a slew of new features to the Galaxy S4.

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LG Optimus G: Software information and notification bar enabled showing applications in QSlide. / AndroidPIT

The design of the icons and widgets as well as the user interface are lacking in creativity. The icons are square, hard and the design gives the impression that LG struggled so hard not to copy other manufacturers that it came back in time and brought almost naive graphic simplicity. Another thing that bothers you: the different setting options in the notification bar. Since the activation of the NFC and Wi-Fi Miracast and even the rotation of the screen – which caused a lot of fury after the Nexus 4 was launched in 2012. The impression is that the "settings menu" has been replaced by "notifications bar", which could take the name of "toolbar".

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There are so many details in the Optimus G notification bar that make the feature saturated. / AndroidPIT

A very commented feature about Optimus G software is QSlide applications that can be accessed from the notification bar. As a kind of "flexible multitasking solution", the function allows some apps to be used at the same time on top of a user's screen, and we can adjust their size, position and transparency. So you can surf the internet, for example, and at the same time read or write a message. The idea is interesting, but not functional, assuming that the most used applications do not have this feature, such as YouTube, because to send an email and at the same time watch a video, the feature can only It will be used on videos that are stored on the mobile device.

Optimus g qslide software
LG QSlide / AndroidPIT

Much more useful QuickMemo that combines images with a note function: by pressing the volume button in the middle, an image is created and the user can take notes with his finger. The intuitive operation and possibilities are endless.

G Optimus also supports Miracast, the wireless multi-standard provider for content transmission, for example between smartphone and TV. Here, too, LG uses a dual screen solution for multitasking. For example, while a large-screen video plays on TV, you can browse the web with your phone or write a message. So far, only a few devices support Miracast, so it is worth saying that LG offering such support for Optimus G.

Optimus g miracast software
Optimus G offers an almost exclusive feature for smarthones: Miracast. / AndroidPIT

Other convenient features include the preloaded Task Manager, which displays a list of running processes, including memory and processor loading, as well as the file manager, which represents all data stored in a folder structure.

One thing that caught my attention with regard to the operating system language is that there is only the European version, but I hope this is only related to the devices sold in Europe.

The Optimus G is equipped with the Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro chipset, which has a 1.5 GHz clock and an Adreno 320 GPU by its side. Point also to the memory of 2GB of RAM. When the device was launched last year, the Snapdragon S4 Pro was one of the top processors, now lagging behind the new generation Snapdragon 600/800. Below are two benchmark tests used to measure the performance of this hardware: Quadrant and Antutu.

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Optimus G in benchmark testing: AnTuTu – Quadrant./ AndroidPIT

On daily use, the processor causes good printing. The navigation between menus is very smooth and slides easily between home screens, applications launch quickly and animations run without delay. Back-up battery heating is a downside – even during normal navigation, through the menu and the variety of settings, the box gets significantly warmer. Heat production was also noted by some of my colleagues who also tested the device, a sign that it is probably something recurring.

The Optimus G's camera has a resolution of 13 MP and features settings worthy of luxury equipment. For a cell phone camera, the results are more than satisfactory, and once you learn how to equalize the features, you can make the most of the device. However, it is noteworthy that the camera has a tendency to underexpose the images.

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LG Optimus G. Settings Menu / AndroidPIT

Just as has become a trend in the smartphone scenario, there is no physical trigger for the camera, but it is not required to use it, because pressing the volume button in the center, the user shoots the photo. Therefore, the normal volume up and down zoom function is not expected.

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LG Optimus G. Image Test / AndroidPIT

Digital zoom should be used with caution. As with all digital zooms, they are not only a "real" optical zoom, as in reality the camera will only enlarge the image, which clearly affects the image quality. Here's the heel of digital smartphone cameras.

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Photo test with auto settings. / AndroidPIT

The additional features of the camera app are very interesting to use, OptimusG offers the ability to activate the camera by voice, for example, which makes self-portraits easier to do. Although during the test, this feature worked only in three of the six cases and was slightly delayed, but it does work. Incidentally, here comes an interesting question, personally, I like creative functions, and LG almost convinced in this regard, brought interesting interactions like this to the smartphone.

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And … with HDR. / AndroidPIT

The HDR function is a feature that should be used sparingly, as it can benefit an image, so you can leave it as a Playboy cover face. The feature was so disturbing that I wrote an article to explain when you should use it and when you shouldn't resort to it, which you check here.

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LG Optimus G: panoramic camera. / AndroidPIT

The Panormic function also serves the purpose and can be operated easily – the direction should not be determined in advance, first you select the direction of rotation and even the sudden movements are well corrected by the camera. "Capture time" hides a mode that records images even before the user presses the shutter button. In practice, it looks like the camera captures six images and you can choose one – the rest will be deleted if necessary.

All photos of this full size test can be found here.

The battery has a capacity of 2100mAh and an acceptable range, but it cannot be replaced, just like the Nexus 4 battery. The battery behaved very well while I tested the device for almost a day and a half, and I used the web browser a lot. And video streaming, however, due to the lack of microSD slot, I did not have my full experience, since most of my idle time I enjoy listening to music or playing.

Here, one thing that caught my attention, as the notification bar brings the soul of the device, LG left out the quick check of the percentage of battery charge remaining in the notification bar. This type of information appears only when you will unlock the screen and even then only when the charging cable is connected. Otherwise, you have to awkwardly navigate the menu. (Updated on March 28, 2013 – Following the directions of Daniel Bocchi, moderator of the AndroidPIT forum, I need to enable the "Battery Percentage" function in the "Battery Saver" settings menu so the percentage will appear in the notification bar). By the way, consider that charging the device in the socket will be much, but much more effective than through the USB cable, for example. This detail caught my attention, because I usually carry my devices quietly using this feature, in the case of Optimus G, I rethought this custom.

Putting together all the features we find in Optimus G, we can say for sure that this is one of the main devices present in the market today. In terms of display and data processing are really ahead, especially when you put the proof device in everyday life. Size and weight are acceptable, but the lack of a microSD card slot can be a problem for some users, although 25 GB of internal memory is more than enough.

Check out the main specs for LG Optimus G in detail:

  • 4.7 inch screen with 1280 x 768 pixel resolution (318 ppi)
  • Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro 1.5 GHz Processor (Quad-Core)
  • Graphic Unit: Adreno 320
  • 2 GB RAM
  • 25 GB internal memory, non-expandable
  • 13 MP rear camera
  • Front camera: 1.2 MP
  • OS: Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean
  • NFC
  • Google Now
  • QuickMemo
  • Dimensions: 131.9 x 68.9 x 8.45
  • Weight: 145 grams
  • Battery: 2100 mAh

The LG Optimus G is a very good smartphone to compete in the race for the crown in the Android smartphone market in Brazil. However, it does not come first, but still remain in the front row of this price. The disadvantage that the device carries the 2012 seal, as it is packaged by a Snapdragon S4 Pro processor and can easily be compared to the Nexus 4, with the disadvantage of not having OS updates directly from Google. However, it has the advantage of higher storage capacity.

In terms of software, LG Optimus G offers interesting and quite useful features, such as QSlide applications or QuickMemo feature, but the appearance of the user interface lacks creativity. The biggest problem with LG's flagship that hit the market is very similar to the Nexus 4 and more expensive too. Those who decide on Optimus G will receive first class equipment, but other manufacturers already offer models with more features at similar prices.

Putting Optimus G side by side with competitors in Brazil, the specs wouldn't make me buy it right now.

In your opinion, is LG Optimus G a shadow of the Nexus 4 or does it have features that set it apart from high end devices in the domestic market? Let us know what you think about this Android smartphone in the comments below.

(tagsToTranslate) LG Optimus G (t) review (t) test (t) camera (t) screen (t) design (t) processor (t) material (t) Nexus 4