Sep 11 AT 3:21 PM Taylor Wimberly 83 Comments

5 reasons your next smartphone might be from LG


LG has produced some quality Android handsets over the last couple of years, but not many of them have been big winners in the US. Their devices often feature some “world’s first” piece of mobile hardware, but they haven’t been able to match the success of Samsung, HTC and Motorola. Could this be the year LG has the flagship smartphone for Android fans in the US?

This month LG will bring their best-of-best mobile technologies to their hero device the Optimus G. LG Mobile has teamed up with its sister companies LG Chem, LG Display and LG Innotek for the “ultimate battery capacity, viewing and user experience.” The global version of the device will be launched in Korea in September, and we expect it will be available over the next few months in the US on AT&T, Sprint and maybe a few other carriers.

On paper, LG appears to have created the perfect smartphone. It has all the latest technology you could hope for, but that doesn’t mean it will be a winner. LG has delivered some previous smartphones that we thought would be successful (T-Mobile G2x), but the product shipped with all kinds of hardware and software issues, and it left LG with a bad reputation among the hardcore crowd.

Let’s take a closer look at LG and the Optimus G to see if this is the year to give them another chance. We highlighted five key features that make this product stand above the rest, and then explained why we need some extended time with the device before passing judgement in our final words.

LG Optimus G Key Specifications:

  • Chipset: Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro Processor with 1.5GHz Quad-Core CPU, Adreno 320 GPU with 4G LTE
  • Operating System: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Network: 2G / 3G / 4G LTE
  • Display: 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS+ (1280×768 pixels) / 15:9 ratio
  • Memory: 32GB
  • RAM: 2GB DDR
  • Cameras: 13.0MP rear / 1.3MP front
  • Battery: 2,100 mAh
  • Size: 131.9 x 68.9 x 8.45mm
  • Weight: 145g
  • Other: Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, USB2.0 HS, A-GPS, MHL, DLNA, NFC

LG Optimus G.

1. World’s fastest mobile processor

LG teamed up with Qualcomm to produce the first commercial and global smartphone with the new Snapdragon S4 Pro (APQ8064) processor with a Quad-Core Krait CPU, LTE supported capabilities, and the newest generation Adreno 320 GPU. This latest chip promises to deliver 40 percent greater CPU performance, more than three times better graphics, and improved power efficiency compared to other quad-core chips.

Early benchmarks of the Snapsdragon S4 Pro show it is easily the fastest chip in both CPU and GPU performance. Other companies are also working on improved quad-core chips, but Qualcomm will have the fastest one available in devices this year.

2. Cutting-edge display and touchpanel

LG already produces some great mobile displays, and their latest technology looks to extend that lead. The LG Optimus G will feature a 4.7-inch WXGA True HD IPS+ Display with 320ppi high pixel density (1280×768 pixels) and Stripe RGB IPS Panel with 15:9 aspect ratio. The new display is sharper and crisper with color accuracy of sRGB 100 percent to show natural and life-like images.

This will also be the first mobile device with LG Innotek’s G2 Touch Hybrid Display technology. This display is thinner than current touchscreen panels, and it offers clearer and sharper visibility, even outdoors. The screen itself is much stronger to withstand damage from impact.

LG’s True HD ISP+ display consumes 60 percent less battery while displaying a white background, delivers 1.6x clearer images, and offers brighter outdoor visibility of two-folds when compared to an AMOLED display.

3. Next-generation battery technology

LG Chem developed a high-density 2,100 mAh battery that provides more power capacity and prolonged charging cycles. The capacity of the battery has increased 5 to 6 percent, and new battery technology extended the battery lifespan to 800 cycles at 80 percent charging capabilities. This is much greater than the lifespan of 500 cycles in regular phone batteries.

Combined with the low-power display and processor, the LG Optimus G could offer some of the best battery life we have seen on an Android phone with LTE.

4. World’s highest resolution camera module

The Optimus G sports a mounted 13 megapixel camera, making it one of the highest resolution shooters we have seen on an Android device. LG’s camera is said to use Sony’s new stacked CMOS image sensor, which was slated to appear in the Samsung Galaxy Note II but then killed when Sony couldn’t meet capacity. We will have to wait and see some sample photos from the LG Optimus G, but it has the technology to deliver some of the best phone pictures ever.

5. Nexus device or LG experience

It’s only a rumor at this point, but LG is said to be one of the companies picked by Google to deliver a Nexus handset this holiday season. If that comes true, then LG should offer the most desirable hardware when compared to Samsung and Sony.

Even if the Optimus G doesn’t turn into a Nexus device, it could still be a great carrier branded device with LG’s Optimus UI. I have used all the custom skins (Sense, TouchWiz, Optimus) and have found that LG’s is the least annoying. The modifications are minimal, and most importantly, they don’t slow down the device.

Final Words

I recently started using the LG Optimus 4X HD as my daily device, and it is surprisingly good. I just switched from a HTC One X that featured a better camera experience, but the LG Optimus 4X has a cleaner UI, crisper display, removable battery, microSD card and faster performance. LG has also been consistent with the software upgrades, releasing a new over-the-air update each month since the device was released.

If I wasn’t such a huge fan of the One X camera, I would easily suggest the Optimus 4X HD over the One X. I can’t believe I haven’t seen more praise for the Optimus 4X HD, but LG hasn’t released the device in the US, and we have been more obsessed with products from Samsung and HTC.

As an Android purist, I would love to see the LG Optimus G become a Nexus device, but I’m not holding my breath yet. Even if this device comes to the US as an LG experience device, I would still like to get my hands on it and see if it lives up to the promises.

Source: LG Newsroom

Taylor is the founder of Android and Me. He resides in Dallas and carries the Samsung Galaxy S 4 and HTC One as his daily devices. Ask him a question on Twitter or Google+ and he is likely to respond. | Ethics statement

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  • jamal adam

    LG needs to bring this to the US. On paper this is truly a beast, hopefully it translates well once consumers get their hands on it. This would be a good statement that LG is committed to being in the big leagues.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      Pretty confident it is coming to AT&T and Sprint. I’d rather have the unlocked global version though. LG has been pretty good at updates on their unlocked devices.

      • jaxidian

        +1 on the unlocked international version (at least once T-Mobile will have Faux-G working for them).

        However, I’m VERY hesitant to actually invest in an LG Phone after my experience with my wife’s old Ally. The rooting/romming experience on her Ally was very awkward. I had somebody in IRC help me through the process (have never needed help prior to nor since then) and frankly, I don’t have a clue what we were doing. I want this phone (on paper) but when it comes to spending $500+ on it, I’m really not sure if I am comfortable doing that.

        I think the only way I could be convinced to go with it would be if it was a Nexus device. No Nexus, then I just can’t justify investing that much of my family’s money on it…

      • jamal adam

        That’s good news. T-mobile would be nice too. But I agree with you, I’d rather have the unlocked global version as well.

      • Mahfooz

        LG’s update will be the main thing holding me back, it is horrendous. There is still no ICS on the former international flagship Optimus 2X, along with Optimus Black, 3D and the list goes on.

        • Richard Yarrell

          Sorry guys gotta laugh it’s very hard to take LG serious ie Gx2, Lg Revolution. Even with this device it’s still rolling with Ice Cream Sandwich. If they really meant true business then these devices would launch with jellybean. Samsung is doing it with it’s industry leading Galaxy Note 2. Even the us Galaxy S3 will jellybean by November. Sorry Lg biggest problems are software and they can keep it’s Lg Óptimus G. They won’t touch the Galaxy Note 2 with jellybean straight out the box plus let’s not forget the Htc 1080p 5inch smartphone Htc better make sure that launches with jellybean. Even if Lg had the next Nexus I wouldn’t touch it for free. They are dead in my world just like apple and it’s useless iphone. Samsung is android plain and simple.

          • Orion78

            No, you’re an idiot plain and simple. In your world you have imaginary phones. Again, you would take this phone in a nano second for free. Why? Because you have nothing.

          • redraider133

            So samsung has 1 phone so far launching with jb and they are leading the way? Come on Dick even your sgs3 that “shits,pisses, or whatever else you claim it does to other phones” is still on ics when samsung got early access to the jb update…

          • Richard Yarrell

            Stop hating throbs. Your Lg Nexus is pretty weak to my Galaxy Note 2..

          • squidy20

            Newsflash Dicky, neither of these “throbs” talked of the LG Nexus. Heck, we didn’t even know about the LG Nexus a *month* ago when these comments were made. Don’t you read? Do you have nothing better to do than to respond to month old comments? Get a f*cking life.

    • Barbara_FL

      Im rather waiting for the new sophisticated megaseller iPhone 5 from Apple.
      They are the technology leaders and we better follow them.

      • ayocuz

        The New IPhone Already Dead with a little ass 4inch screen android will always have Apple beat

        • bobby jones

          Haha yeah only the sheepiest of the sheep want a phone with a little ass 4″ screen, no removable battery and ugly UI with ICONS all over the screen. And NO GOOGLE MAPS = NO THANK YOU!!!

          Android = 60% of Smartphone Market
          Apple = 20% of Smartphone Market


      • jim

        are you brain-dead or something?

      • NotRelevent

        That’s if Samsung and HTC aren’t successful from getting it blocked. Which I hope they are.

      • raichleb

        I believe Barbara from Florida was being sarcastic. I could be wrong, but the “and we better follow them” part seemed a little over the top…even for a hardcore Apple clone.

  • ari-free

    “LG has delivered some previous smartphones that we thought would be successful (T-Mobile G2x)”

    Of course, if it’s only on t-mobile it won’t go far. They need to be like Samsung and have the same phone on all carriers.

    • Adam

      Same phone, different name – Optimus 2X. To this day I regret buying it.

      • Adam

        *and it was open to all carriers.

  • Vyrlokar

    I would only buy an LG if it was a Nexus device. Never owned one (I’m firmly in HTC and Asus camps, though my aging Desire is asking for a replacement), but know people who do, and who had a awful experience.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I love HTC too, but just curious why you prefer them over the rest.

      • Homncruse

        I’m firmly in HTC and Asus land as well, and it’s primarily for build quality and better-than-average software update reliability.

  • uknowme

    Hmm, sounds like a winner. I’ll wait until it comes out and I can get my hands on it. Here’s hoping LG can redeem themselves.

  • David Y

    After being one of the unfortunate LG G2x owners, I know for certain my next phone will not be from LG, the entire experience with a LG phone has been horrible. At this point, I doubt LG will be able to redeem themselves, at least to me.

    • ari-free

      Who knows. Samsung ticked off a lot of people with Galaxy S problems (gps, touchwiz, etc) and today the SGS3 is selling like crazy.

    • Taylor Wimberly

      I also got burned by the G2x, but I think it was T-Mobile that really screwed that incident up. Carriers are responsible for the devices they sell and if they received a bad batch, then they should have done a recall or offered refunds. But yeah anyone who owned the first batch of G2x is probably going to be down on getting another LG device.

      • Adam

        But LG are still failing to provide an update to ICS for the G2X and Optimus 2X. In my experience they just don’t provide support where it’s needed and so I’ll only be interested in this device if it’s a Nexus.

        • Dave

          Couldn’t agree more. My experience is that LG will provide maybe one or two minor OS updates, then you’ll never see any more support. Not just with phones BTW – my TV and Blu-ray player are LG, I was promised big updates particularly to the internet TV side, and they’ve never arrived. LG – all talk and no delivery.

      • Homncruse

        I *still* have one of the first batches of the G2x. :(

  • TheBatman

    #5 (minus LG Experience) would be the only way I buy an LG device. It would have to be the next Nexus phone.

  • MrMrMan

    This phone seems too good to be true.

  • Mix

    I am excited to learn more about this phone and can’t wait to read reviews!

    I wonder when Canada will see it….

  • Dave Kratter

    Eagerly awaiting this one. I’m due for a new phone in a couple months, so if this comes out for the holiday season I’ll be happy. I’ve never had an LG phone before, but if their UI is as lightweight as people say, it should be good.

  • phor11

    If LG pops out a Nexus phone with specs like this and a strong radio, I’ll be sold in a heartbeat.

  • icbolsh

    If it is a Nexus…I am all over it. Although screen size is good, thickness is also important to me. The bigger the screen, the thinner it needs to be so it fits in my pocket comfortably.

  • RX-78-7

    Phone looks amazing, and I would buy first day if they make it a nexus branded phone with this hardware.

    ps: how is the build quality regarding LG phone? (plastic, aluminum… etc)

  • SanzaBlancoAkA2C

    Only way I’d buy one is if it’s a Nexus device and has on screen buttons. The specs look really nice though.

  • Raptor

    We know how subjective people are claiming absolutely anything. Post the pictures of LG, One X and SGS3 side by side outdoors in full sun.

  • foggyflute

    Optimus 3d, run so slow and suck for hi end spec. No software upgrade.

    No way I buy LG, never again

  • get at me banana

    i still dont trust lg after g2x i replaced it three times they say it all good and all lets see how long they would keep this phone to be the flagship phone.

  • LoSesMC

    Nexus or bust.

  • RX-78-7

    Did a quick search around and the phone is a unibody design and the back is made out of a “premium glass” with “crystal reflection” technology that they registered at the patent office.

    Sounds premium enough for me, heres hoping google gives them a chance at making it a nexus device.

    • Thamer

      I’d “do” her if she was a nexus!

  • joe cezae

    I would say, with tech its always best to keep an open mind until it gets released and you read reviews or see it for yourself…

    i am looking forward to this a lot

  • jian9007

    LG can spec it out as much as they want. If you put a Ferrari engine, transmission, and suspension in a Gremlin, it’s still a friggin’ Gremlin. Never again, LG, NEVER. Hoping for a HTC Nexus with the S4 Pro this year. Come on, HTC, make it happen. Samsung Nexus if I have to, but I don’t want to.

  • Droid_Female

    LG is going to have to be far, far more innovative than to just “make a processor that’s already faster than I need… faster still”.

    And I couldn’t care less if I have to throw out my $10 battery and buy a new one… instead of recharging it more and more.

    My camera is already far better than I need in my cell phone.

    The pixels on my screen are already far, far smaller than my eye can even see. Why make them smaller?

    We need NEW and INNOVATIVE. Not “just make the current stuff slightly better”.

    That’s how you can tell that companies have totally run out of *USEFUL* ideas… and are now desperately
    trying just to add ANY new feature… just for the purpose of adding SOMETHING… anything.

    How about a 100% bug-free OS instead?

    How about coming out with a new phone that doesn’t use a very old version of Gingerbread from 2010?

    How about 2x or 3x battery life, instead?

    How about a “0 glare screen” in all lighting conditions?

    How about devices that do NOT cost $700 each?

    How about a device that isn’t destroyed just from 1 drop on the floor, from even 1 foot in the air?

    How about a solar charging panel on the back?

    How about a true, full 4.7″ screen… instead of totally wasting the extra screen space with on-screen buttons?

    How about if the user can decide if he wants your custom GUI… or the stock Android GUI?

    How about something as simple as a smudge-proof back… and a finger-proof glass front?

    How about something as simple as a case that is NOT slippery as wet ice, and slips right out of your hand?

    How about a screen that is recessed 1mm in, so that even if you lay your phone facedown… the screen never touches the dirty/scratchy surface?

    Gee, even a basic, average user can come up with a long list of ideas far better than any manufacturer can think of.

    • tarwin

      Finger-proof screen? just how hard are you pressing against your screen?
      Recessed screen? You mean like the HTC sensation?
      Phones which aren’t mega slippery? Like all the ones with soft-rubber, many with matte finishes, some polycarbonate ones (and from what I hear the Kevlar backed ones?
      Don’t Samsung and HTC phones so far not use on-screen buttons?
      since when do phones break so easily? I’ve dropper mine from over a meter high and it’s still intact. There are always the military grade impact resistant phones, and the waterproof phones and dust proof phones.

      And as the article says the improvements in processor, screen, and battery could also result in q much better battery life (COULD, but also might not). And it’s not always easy to find batteries for your phone a year or two after it bought it, especially if it’s been discontinued so qn increased number of charge cycles can be very convenient.

      Most of what you mentioned are not innovations and have actually been implemented at one time or another. I don’t plan on getting this phone. I remember them from when they were Goldstar and their rebranding hasn’t exactly given me a reason to out my faith in them so far. But your exaggerations remind me of how apple fan boys bash on android devices.

      Now having said all that and that I won’t be buying it in all likelihood, I wish them success. If they have really stepped up their game then that means that we have more good options to choose from, which is always a great thing. Plus, I look forward to seeing some of these advances implemented in other phones…

    • Raptor

      It this all you want? You will get much more from something resembling Google Glass

  • brentil

    5 reasons my next phone WONT be an LG.

    1 – G2x
    2 – G2x
    3 – G2x
    4 – G2x
    5 – G2x

    I will never own an LG phone for a long time after owning this phone…

  • CTown

    If this phone and one of the new Xperia phones really do become the next Nexus devices (as the rumors state), should we expect on-screen buttons and stuff like that. Sort of how the GSII lost its capacitive buttons as it was rebranded as the the Galaxy Nexus.

    • tarwin

      Yes. Nexus means the OS is the way Google wants it and Google wants on-screen buttons. The only way a nexus device won’t have them is if Google miraculously changes opinion which I doubt because though I personally dislike how on-screen buttons take up precious screen real estate and make the screen seem smaller than its advertised size, they are much more versatile from an OS point of view (so let’s hope that developers at least take advantage of said versatility so we get something back in return for what we lose.

    • Bpear96

      Galaxy nexus isnt really a rebranded Gnexus, with out hardware keys. Different SoC, HD screen, different camera, much different design, etc

  • skeeterflea

    G2x running EaglesBlood ICS ROM. Its my second G2x due to screen bleeding. Aside from nVidia’s proprietary driver issue and the crappy faux OEM ROM I have enjoyed the G2x. My next phone will be a Tmo Nexus. Whichever OEM is first to release is who /what I will buy. I am over flashing ROMS. Been doing it since the G1 was released on a 2G only network. I’m over it.

  • ppeklak

    throw this on verizon with a vanilla experience and we’re good to go

  • LjNj_RC51

    No thank you, I’ll wait for HTC ;-))

  • Puck

    And no one commented that this comes out with ICS when JB is available? Buy an ICS phone now, when do you think it’ll be updated … this is LG..

  • roland

    I have to have a unlock one

  • OutofPlace

    I gotta admit, I read the specs and stopped there. I would like to say I’m interested, but like the article says: the G2X left a bad taste in my mouth. I was very happy to dump that device and move on from what was an ugly time in my Android life.

  • BigCiX

    I said this right after the LG Thrill was released. LG is the next Nexus maker. They built quality of their phones are nice. The only downfall is software updates.

    • DroidPower

      maybe the software updates thing will change when they become a google handset maker

  • Porter

    My girlfriend had an ALLY (3 actually) and I had a revolution after my original droid died after a great and long life. That POS Revolution almost made me ditch android. I’ll never own another LG phone, they make terrible products.

  • noojAb

    5 reasons I won’t buy another LG phone:
    1) I already ate their dog food, the G2X – worst phone of 2011
    2) I know I cannot expect software updates from LG for either critical updates, or new features.
    3) I know I will have at least an inch of combined top and bottom bezel.
    4) I know I will have at least an inch of combined top and bottom bezel.
    5) I know I will have at least an inch of combined top and bottom bezel.

  • havoc3d

    I’ll take one if they are giving them away, but LG isn’t getting dime 1 from me in the phone arena any time soon.

    Can I trade them my G2X for this?

    • Homncruse

      I’ll try it out and even be convinced to forgive LG if they accept a 1:1 trade for the G2x.

  • Jon

    I have an LG T-Mobile G2X. Never again will I use an LG phone. The lack of proper updates and bug fixes make what could’ve been a great phone unbearable.

  • Lox

    I was a LG optimus 2x owner. For me I won’t ever buy one of their products again.

  • Joseph

    I’m currently using Optimus Black. and I’m really in love with it. I am going to buy this phone when launched. the display, the hardware, the software. I’m a Samsung fan before, but not anymore. I love LG’s UI more.

    I’mma buy this G! :)

  • valerian

    Its great to see this site praising LG a year after the original “why will i buy the LG 2x” post from the author who left this site. I had the 2x and I liked the build quality .latest LG Rom is very fast. Switched to one x , battery improved but still looking for better usage time. I believe Samsung a15 Exynos will beat s4 in batttery

  • spacebar2012

    Nexus is the only way LG is ever going to get my money on a smartphone. I don’t care if they put an Core i7 quad in the phone, it’d still be an LG. Horrible to no updates, awful after sales support etc etc etc.

  • spacebar2012

    Nexus is the only way LG is ever going to get my money on a smartphone. I don’t care if they put a Core i7 quad in the phone, it’d still be an LG. Horrible to no updates, awful after sales support etc etc etc.

  • john

    Everyone troll on LG but still everyone will the phone cause its written nexus on it.

    plain android feels empty.

    i would rather buy the optimus g not google us version

  • Vinay

    Lg is a bitch. They wont give the update to any of their device. They left lg optimus 2x,3d and black. Bloddy company. They cant go far with this behaviour. They should hav released the jellybean for lg 2x its former flagship.

  • Durandal_1707

    Three reasons my next phone absolutely, definitely won’t be from LG, under any circumstances:

    1. The last LG phone I had (G2x) was constantly locking up so hard that it wouldn’t even respond to a hard reboot attempt – you had to do a battery pull to get it working again. Regularly rebooting didn’t help the problem – in fact, having rebooted recently seemed to greatly *increase* the odds that it would lock up. Consequently, once it locked up once, it was probably going to lock up a few more times before the day was out due to having been freshly rebooted.

    2. When that same phone wasn’t locking up, it was gradually slowing down to a crawl. Eventually, the processor would get so bogged down that call audio would get choppy – the phone was no longer able to keep up with the audio processing. Sometimes, the phone would get bogged down so badly that it would fail to notify you of incoming phone calls, causing you to miss important calls. The only way to fix this was to reboot, which would then make the phone prone to lockups as per #1.

    3. The hardware design of that phone was terrible. There was a wide-open hole in front of the LED flash, through which dust would enter the phone and get in between the lens and the lens cover, rendering the camera useless. Problems #1 and #2 on the phone seemed to indicate that the phone was overheating, especially since #1 was very likely to occur right after a bootup (booting being a relatively CPU-heavy process that could cause the processor to run hot).

    4. LG *doesn’t care* about any issues you have that are caused by their products. If they release software updates at all, it’s months to a year overdue, and it never actually fixes the problem. More likely, they just ignore all problems and never release any updates at all. LG’s attitude is basically “we’ve got your money, why should we help you now?”

    5. The Optimus G and Nexus 4 have both been reported to have overheating issues, suggesting that they will have the same problems the G2x had. Run away!

    • Durandal_1707

      Hey, sorry for the typo there – this was originally going to be shorter, but then I decided to expand it to five reasons to more closely mirror the original article, and forgot to change that in the first sentence. Sorry about that!

    • Travis

      YES!!!!! Someone else who sees LG for the scam artists they are.

  • JaneBales

    Anyone heard of the LG Intuition? I’m at the end of day 14 of my trial, and guess what — the phone is still with me. It’s fun and I can SEE the darn thing! That’s the best part because I’m a real estate, an aging one, and it’s the only phone I can see without my reading glasses on. My sister has 4G LTE with AT&T in Atlanta and is so frustrated that she can’t get that phone. For once, a manufacturer is thinking about other markets besides the 20-somethings.

  • Travis

    There are several reasons to NEVER get another phone from LG..the phones are crap…the customer service is worse..the updates take forever to come out if they ever do and when they do there is never an easy way to just do it.

  • Mike

    Heck no! One word: G2X. HORRIBLE EXPERIENCE FROM LG! Almost made my buy an iPhone that’s how bad it was! Seriously, never again. LG can’t even make enough Nexus 4 for Google. Fail fail fail LG!

  • Amanda Green

    After reading the article it seems LG is good….I got some upcoming features for LG in 2013…

  • Enzo

    L.G are awful for software updates, I own a Optimus 4x and thats still stuck on ics, Theyve even lock the bootloader so we cant opt for cyanogenmod or other roms, Good luck to those that buy the optimus G because in a few months time google will release 5.0 key lime pie and no doubt samsung will jump all over it for their phones and leave the G users feeling like i am now.

  • Homncruse

    If it’s anything like the G2x, there is no stance – just use NVFlash, and you’re good to go.