• Just got my LG Optimus G. My quick thoughts

    Just got an LG Optimus G. Here are my quick thoughts on it.

    Both the front and back are covered with Gorilla Glass. Apparently the back is polarized so it has an interesting pattern on it. Some how in my hand the finish makes it feel like plastic - maybe the sides have too much laquer on them or something. Still, it's a very solid phone.

    The screen looks amazing. It's 4.7" 1280x720 display with amazing viewing angles. I just got it tonight so I haven't had a chance to use it outdoors in the sun yet.

    The speaker on the back isn't very loud.

    There are going to be 2 versions for the Canadian market. They differ in terms of LTE support. The Rogers one has 2600Mhz LTE only while the TELUS and Bell ones have AWS LTE (and probably other bands though I'm just speculating here).
    While there's no MicroSD slot there's 32GB of storage of which 25GB is available so the lack of removable storage isn't a deal breaker.

    Unlike Motorola which is trying to supply an almost vanilla version of Android, LG has tried to add some extra features. I don't have all the marketing names of these features in front of me so I'll just describe them.

    First off, you can zoom in when you're looking at a video. As far as I know, you can't do this on any other phone. I guess it's useful if you're viewing full HD material. I'll try out later.

    The camera has a neat feature where you can press the button and it shows five frames leading up to the shot. So, when this feature is activated I guess the G is constantly taking pictures and just shows you the last 5 frames when you shoot. It's a strange feature, I think it would be more useful if it allowed you to take more than 5 frames. There is a burst mode that's similar to the RAZR's. You have to switch to burst mode (instead of it always being on like the Note II or One X) and then you only press the button once. Then it takes 6 shots. First off it should take pictures for as long as you hold the button down and more importantly why can't it take more than 6 shots? The G has a cutting edge quad core processor, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of built-in storage. My guess is that this is a limitation from the international model which has a 13MP camera.

    I haven't had a chance to pixel peep at my pictures yet so I'll comment on them later.

    There's built in Mira-cast. Basically, if you get a Mira-cast dongle (or a fancy TV that has it built-in) you can stream what you see on the G onto your TV. I saw it in action and there was a half second delay on the TV plus it skipped occasionally so you wouldn't want to use it for gaming. A cooler feature is that you can play a video so that it shows on your TV and then use the Optimus G to do something else without stopping the video. Neat.

    Finally, the last feature is the ability to take screen shots by pressing both volume buttons and then being able to write on them. Think of this, you're talking on the phone and have to write down a phone number. Press the volume buttons and then write it down. Then you can make them semi-transparent so you can see the note as you enter the number into your dialer later. Probably not a feature I would use all the time but it's still pretty neat.

    I haven't gone through all the menus yet but I couldn't help noticing that there's a feature where the G watches your eyes to see if it should turn your screen off. Gee, I wonder where they got that idea from?

    Without a doubt, hardware wise the Optimus G's most important feature is it's quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon APQ8064 processor. It lacks a modem which is probably why LG is able to supply a 2600Mhz LTE version. The processor features 4 Qualcomm Krait cores -the LTE versions of the GS3, One X and RAZR
    all have 2 Krait cores. Processors like the quad-core Exynos in the Note II feature Cortex A9 cores. On paper the ARM-9 is a less efficient design. Here are some preliminary benchmarks comparing the G with the Note II, GS3 (LTE version), One X (Tegra version) and iPhone 5 when it's applicable.

    SunSpider:
    Apple iPhone 5: 911.7
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 1005.4
    LG Optimus G: 1314.1
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 1550.9
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 1781.5

    The G's SunSpider score is a little disappointing. Then again, I only include SunSpider so we can compare Android phones with iPhones. Vellamo is a suite of browser tests so let's check that out.

    Vellamo 2 HTML 5:
    LG Optimus G: 1713
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 1841
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 1630
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 1608


    Vellamo 2 Metal:
    LG Optimus G: 643
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 628
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 580
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 492

    Here the Note II edges out the Optimus G by a wisker in the HTML 5 portion while it wins the Metal by a small margin. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that the G doesn't do better given that it has 2 more of the GS3's processor cores. While I don't expect quad cores to double the score over dual cores, I was expecting a little more. I guess it's a case of diminishing returns when you go past 2 cores.

    GL Benchmark 2.5 on-screen (frames per second):
    LG Optimus G: 37
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 15
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 17
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 21

    While I expect the G to be faster than the other phones, its margin of victory is pretty amazing..

    GL Benchmark 2.5 off-screen (frames per second):
    LG Optimus G: 29
    HTC One X (Tegra 3): 9.7
    Samsung Galaxy S III: 13
    Samsung Galaxy Note II: 17
    Apple iPhone 5: 29

    Here the G ties the iPhone 5 which is pretty astonishing. It's more than 3x faster than the One X, more than double the speed of the S III and nearly double the speed of the Note II. Wow!

    Basemark:
    LG Optimus G: 39.1
    Note II: 43.27
    Galaxy S III: 31.13
    One X (Tegra 3): 19.2

    Here the G is about 33% faster than the S III and about double the speed of the One X though the Note II edges out the G by a hair.

    I took the train back tonight and ran some tests with the Optimus G for about 50 minutes. While running tests is hard on a battery I couldn't help noticing that the G's battery drained really quickly. Check out this screen shot.



    The battery drain is a vertical line! Then again, maybe I just need to put some cycles on the G's battery.

    I'm a little disappointed that the G with all it's cutting-edge hardware ships with Android 4.0 even though the Note II ships with 4.1.

    Okay, that's all for now. Tomorrow I'll have some more impressions and pictures and I'll have a full review in a few days.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Just got my LG Optimus G. My quick thoughts started by howard View original post
    Comments 17 Comments
    1. Mr Mystery's Avatar
      Mr Mystery -
      LG has a very poor record for software. Maybe the Google partnership will teach them a few things as it did Samsung but I have little faith. They don't seem to have the resources, or have them and don't want to use them. The Quad core S4 with Adreno 320's will be commonplace soon with other OEM's so I wouldn't jump on the first one being as it's LG.


      Looking forward to your full review Howard
    1. Groot's Avatar
      Groot -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr Mystery View Post
      LG has a very poor record for software. Maybe the Google partnership will teach them a few things as it did Samsung but I have little faith. They don't seem to have the resources, or have them and don't want to use them. The Quad core S4 with Adreno 320's will be commonplace soon with other OEM's so I wouldn't jump on the first one being as it's LG.


      Looking forward to your full review Howard
      Everybody says this and this is the only reason I a passing on this device for now.
    1. Eluder's Avatar
      Eluder -
      Saw this at AndroidTO yesterday, gorgeous screen, better than any other phone I've seen, including the Note II and One X screens.
    1. Groot's Avatar
      Groot -
      The screen is pretty nice on my HTC One X, it is the first device I can use outside in direct sun light.

      My fear and what everybody hints at if I buy this in 6 months I will still have no Jellybean, I will be looking at rooting and custom ROMs. I do not want to go that path.

      Maybe when we hear about the Nexus Device or Devices next week?
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      LG told me JB for the G would be available in Q2 next year. So that's about 6 months ago. Heh heh maybe they'll bring out JB just after the next version of Android is announced.

      Quote Originally Posted by tech4fun View Post
      The screen is pretty nice on my HTC One X, it is the first device I can use outside in direct sun light.

      My fear and what everybody hints at if I buy this in 6 months I will still have no Jellybean, I will be looking at rooting and custom ROMs. I do not want to go that path.

      Maybe when we here about the Nexus Device or Devices next week?
    1. Steve Punter's Avatar
      Steve Punter -
      Howard provided me a photograph of a back of his Optimus G, which he says is a Telus version. However, he seemed sure it carries the same FCC ID number as the Rogers version, but I looked up ZNFE973 on the FCC web page and I found PDF documents covering SAR ratings and an 60-page report on the device.

      In both documents the supported LTE bands were:

      Band 2 (1900 MHz)
      Band 4 (AWS)
      Band 5 (800 MHz)
      Band 17 (700 MHz)

      This can't be the same model as Rogers since there is no support mentioned for Band 7 (2600 MHz).
    1. Steve Punter's Avatar
      Steve Punter -
      The Rogers version is PROBABLY the E971 (not the E973). The FCC reports on the E971 says it supports:

      Band 2 (1900 MHz)
      Band 5 (800 MHz)
      Band 7 (2600 MHz)
      Band 17 (700 MHz)

      It swaps band 4 for band 7, which means the Rogers version will RELY on the 2600 MHz LTE coverage. Unfortunately we don't know what this coverage is like, because the Industry Canada online database DOES NOT LIST these sites.
    1. cmstlist's Avatar
      cmstlist -
      I understand Rogers wants to bolster speeds by adding 2600 MHz LTE coverage, but what do they gain by releasing an LTE phone with no AWS LTE whatsoever? Is their 2600 MHz coverage pervasive enough to be superior in all the areas where they have AWS LTE?
    1. HC - NO "i"'s Avatar
      HC - NO "i" -
      Steve,

      Personally, I would find it strange if Rogers will offer the E971. Anyway, I have also made a screenshots of the relevant part (Part 22, 24 and 27 regarding LTE) of the FCC filing...

      E973... LTE Band 2 (1900)/4 (AWS)/5 (850)/17 (700, Lower B&C blocks)



      E971... LTE Band 2 (1900)/5 (850)/7 (2600, BRS)/17 (700, Lower B&C blocks)



      Talking of Industry Canada, not only we have yet to find out in the TAFL about any cellsites in the BRS (2500-2700MHz) spectrum i.e. where Rogers and Bell has deployed in the LTE Band 7 (2600), but not yet the certification of the LG Optimus G! Be it 2703C-E971 or 2703C-E973...
    1. Steve Punter's Avatar
      Steve Punter -
      There are lots of "reliable" rumors now floating around that the upcoming Nexus 4 will indeed be an LG Optimus G. Specifically it's model E960, and so I looked that up on both the FCC and Industry Canada web pages. It seems that the E960 only supports GSM and HSPA. There is no LTE at all (in any bands).

      That being the case, I must once again avoid buying a Nexus product, even though I really want to. For me (at least) the lack of LTE is a deal-killer, as it was with the Galaxy Nexus.

      It depends on whether or not you find LTE useful (if you have the service in your area to begin with). If LTE is of no value to you, the Nexus 4 might make a good alternative to the Optimus G, especially if the fact that Optimus had a LOCKED BOOTLOADER is of any concern to you.
    1. HC - NO "i"'s Avatar
      HC - NO "i" -
      Steve,

      I think it is NOT the NEXUS line you should avoid but the one without the LTE support! Who knows if there will other NEXUS handsets that come with LTE. So far, the specifications show NEXUS 4 nothing like a flagship device. But who knows if there will be NEXUS 5, XPERIA NEXUS...
    1. howard's Avatar
      howard -
      Just speculating here but maybe there will be a penta band HSPA version and a LTE version.
    1. HC - NO "i"'s Avatar
      HC - NO "i" -
      Fellow HC,

      I suspect there would be a LTE variant with CDMA/LTE for Verizon.

      Back to the Optimus G, there is a 16GB internal memory variant, E970, with LTE Band 2 (1900)/4 (AWS)/5 (850)/17 (700, Lower B&C blocks) support - just like the E973. The E974 should be the Euro/MEA variant without 3G / 4G support for North American markets.
    1. Groot's Avatar
      Groot -
      Just announced and it has no LTE, I have to pass.
    1. Mr Mystery's Avatar
      Mr Mystery -
      Quote Originally Posted by tech4fun View Post
      Just announced and it has no LTE, I have to pass.
      Ya weak network specs. Doesn't even have DC-HSPA 42Mbps. Strictly 21Mbps.
    1. xtachx's Avatar
      xtachx -
      Howard, it looks like the Egypt test for Note 2 is not right. How does it score the same in onscreen and offscreen?
    1. Supa_Fly's Avatar
      Supa_Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by tech4fun View Post
      Just announced and it has no LTE, I have to pass.
      UPDATE: This Nexus 4 has a pentaband LTE chipset still on-board the mobo according to iFixit teardown!
      Weather Google/LG brings it alive with the correct bits to make it work harmoneously with Android 4.2+ is anyone's guess, or maybe the devs on XDA can make it happen??