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  1. Thread Author  Thread Author    #1  

    Default LG Spectrum Reviewed

    OK, first let me start by saying, "I am a hypocrite."
    I said I would not buy this phone because of the way it "looks." I said it was too conservative looking. Well, after going and looking at it in a store, I decided I was wrong and bought it.

    For my review, I will compare it to the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, as that was the last phone I owned (returned it) that is comparable to this device.

    Build Quality:

    Not bad... not bad at all. The build quality is actually very good. It is not as plasticy feeling as other phones such as the SG Nexus. The back cover is a high-gloss silicone battery cover that is not flimsy at all. It is horrid as far as finger prints and grease are concerned but it actually allows for a better grip. It certainly is not as slick or slippery feeling as the SGN. However, the first thing I always buy is a High-Gloss Silicone cover for my phones anyway so this concern is nonexistent for me.

    Screen:

    The screen is beautiful. I have very bad eyes due to diabetes. A large screen as sharp and readable as this screen is a MUST for me. It is as brilliant and clear as you'd expect an IPS screen to be. The saturation of the colors is certainly not as vibrant as the SGN but the colors are very natural and hold enough saturation to be very enjoyable. The actual face of the screen (Gorilla Glass) is great. It is not as bad with fingerprints as the SGN or my old Droid X. I constantly carry a wipe cloth for my device's screens and I find myself cleaning this screen far less. The silverish HOME button is actually a good thing. I find myself searching for buttons in the middle of the night and the silver makes it easier to see. That being said, most hate the idea of capacitive buttons. I prefer them over on-screen buttons such as on the SGN. I get to use ALL 4.5" of IPS HD screen, not a portion of it due to some of the screen real-estate missing due to on-screen buttons.

    Speaker:

    The speaker is crisp and about 50% louder than the SGN. Probably about 20% louder than a Droid X. With Volume + loaded on it, it is the loudest phone I have owned besides my OG Droid. The High-Gloss Silicone case blocks the speaker when resting on its back so that is a drawback. However, I like to set my phones face-down. The case has a bumper to protect the glass and I can hear the speaker fully. The earpiece is just as clear and loud as the rear speaker. Along with the speaker, the vibration on the phone is stronger than the SGN and Droid X... even with the case on it!

    Camera:

    The front facing camera is unremarkable. Pretty standard stuff there. The rear camera is an 8 MP shooter. I guess I will give it a scaled score: On a scale of 1-10 (where the SGN would score a 4 and a Droid X a 6), it would score a 7. It is very good but not mind-blowing. For additional comparison, I used the Rezounds camera and I would give it a 9. White balance is better than a Droid X. Noise in darker environments is very noticeable but seems less than the SGN and Droid X. Is the camera a disappointment? Well, kinda. I would expect a phone about two years after the development of the Droid X to have better improvements. Maybe I am just too picky.

    Battery:

    I do not live in a 4G area so my comparison is strictly on 3G. The 1830mAh battery is so much better than the SGN. The SGN lasted me 10 hours on a charge at my house connected to a Network Extender with Wi-Fi and GPS off. The Spectrum lasted me 19 hours with equivalent usage. From 6:30 AM to 5 PM, the battery easily gets me through a workday. I usually have around 30% left when I get home. It charges relatively quickly, so within an hour, I am back up to around 90%. I foresee no reason to have an extra battery or an extended one. Nonetheless, if it was on 4G, I would estimate the phone would last 5-7 hours.

    LG Skin and Bloatware (A.K.A. Achilles Heel):

    Well, here is the Spectrum's "Achilles heel." The LG skin is almost an afterthought in development. It is like they tried so very hard to incorporate so many "cool" and unique features into Gingerbread, they ruined it. Think of Leonardo's Mona Lisa and if Leonardo decided his painting lacked style or something to set it apart from other works. So, Leonardo decided to add robots in the background of the Mona Lisa, then clowns in the foreground, water floating in the sky, and finally painted Mona up like a ***** in heat. Now, you have the LG Skin on the Spectrum. It isn't as bad as if Leonardo took a dump on the Mona Lisa but still it is... well... not right. Don't get me wrong, some things work really well. LG choose to use the same color blue as ICS uses in menus and fonts. Actually a nice touch and very noticeable where it counts. I installed ADW EX on it and really don't notice the LG skin anymore.
    There are roughly 20 installations of bloat on this phone. In addition to the bloat, there are a few standard Verizon ads for VVM and VZN thrown in here and there. The phone only has 4GB of internal memory (which leaves around 1.8'ish GB for apps). Although most of these apps are relatively small in size, they need to be uninstalled.

    Verdict:

    I will be returning the phone.

    As much as I like it, I MUST HAVE ROOT! There is virtually no interest or support out there for this phone. Due to this, I will be unable to handicap Verizon's onslaught of bloat. Since I cannot debloat this phone, It will go back at the end of my 14-day return period (unless a rooting exploit that works is discovered). I tried three of the latest Gingerbread exploits that work on the LG Nitro and nothing works on the Spectrum. I am sure it will eventually gain root but I am not taking a chance on the lack of dedication from developers and LG updating the OS to ICS. LG makes promises they conveniently "forget." If the phone had root access right now, I would keep the device. But where there is bloat, you must root.

    Hope this review helps a few of you out there.
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  2. #2  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Thanks for the review.

    2 years in, and I still haven't rooted my original droid, so that isn't a show stopper for me.
    (I've got a rooted color nook, just haven't needed it on my phone.)


    Your review definitely answers some of my questions.
    I have some other questions that I haven't seen info about - so I thought that I'd post here in hopes that a spectrum owner can answer:

    How good is it as a PHONE?
    For all that we do on it as a tech toy, isn't being a phone one of the primary purposes?
    What is call quality like?
    How is the speaker phone?
    How do you sound on the far end of calls (both in handset and speaker phone modes)
    What is signal strength like?
    Any issues with GPS location locks? (how long from a cold boot?)


    Thanks in advance for any insights!
  3. Thread Author  Thread Author    #3  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Quote Originally Posted by knightshade View Post
    What is call quality like?
    Simply, very good. I have had no issues. Connections are consistent and stable.
    Quote Originally Posted by knightshade View Post
    How is the speaker phone?
    Speakerphone is loud and crisp. I can hear others just fine. No one has had to ask me to speak up or repeat myself. I would put the speaker phone on par with a Droid X.
    Quote Originally Posted by knightshade View Post
    How do you sound on the far end of calls (both in handset and speaker phone modes)
    When I got the phone, I called my wife and she thought I was on a landline. My SGN had a slight hiss or buzz to it. When I told her I was on the Spectrum, she immediatley pointed out to me the difference between the SGN and the LG. Again, I have had no issues with call quality.
    Quote Originally Posted by knightshade View Post
    What is signal strength like?
    Actually, surprisingly good. On my Droid X, my strength would be around -67 dBm on my Network Extender. The Spectrum equally matches this with around -69 dBm. The SGN I had would display around -98 dBm on the Extender and even dropped calls (which is why I returned it). Around town and work it holds a signal lock well. On one test I did, it didn't drop a call until strength dropped to -116 dBm.
    Quote Originally Posted by knightshade View Post
    Any issues with GPS location locks? (how long from a cold boot?)
    Sorry, I have not used the GPS much but it did achieve lock inside my house faster than my old Droid X did. When GPS was suspended, it reachieved lock within seconds. On a walk I did using "My Tracks" it was far more accurate than any phone I used My Tracks with.
  4. #4  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I picked up the spectrum on the day it came out. I wanted to love the phone and I did........except the battery. I was at work using my phone fairly steady for about an hour surfing the net and installed an app or two. During that time the phone literally used 50% of the battery. 50% in one hour. I expected lower battery life with 4g, but that was unacceptable. I returned it a couple days ago for a razr and it doesn't drain nearly as fast.
  5. Thread Author  Thread Author    #5  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    My battery drained like Draino the first day or two I had it also. After a few battery cycles, it stabalized.
  6. #6  
    CaptDigB's Avatar

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    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Could you tell me if text in the browser auto wraps when you zoom in or do you got to pan back and forth too read?
  7. Thread Author  Thread Author    #7  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Text will NOT auto wrap in the browser when:
    - You finger-pinch to zoom in on text.

    Text auto wraps in the browser when:
    - You double-tap to zoom.
    - You finger-pinch to zoom and then use the on-screen zoom buttons (like Froyo's browser) to zoom in additionally.
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  8. #8  
    Lodingi's Avatar

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    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Quote Originally Posted by kody199 View Post
    I returned it a couple days ago for a razr and it doesn't drain nearly as fast.
    Oh my. A couple days ago & you didn't wait for the Maxx?

    I too returned my Nexus for many reasons. Still not sure what to get at this point (leaning iPhone 4s). I did spend some time with the Spectrum at Verizon. The only positive for me was the display. Very crisp & clear. The laggy overlay really turned me off. I know I can use LP & ADW, but visually they look primitive compared to stock.
  9. #9  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Thanks for the info.

    I'm leaning toward getting the LG....
  10. Thread Author  Thread Author    #10  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Quote Originally Posted by knightshade View Post
    Thanks for the info.

    I'm leaning toward getting the LG....
    If you do not care about having root, and add a launcher, you will love it.
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  11. #11  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Has anybody notice how long it takes to delete email? Meaning, deleting more than ten.. Does it take a long time? Deleting from server.. Just would like to know.. Or, is my mind playing tricks? L O L
  12. Thread Author  Thread Author    #12  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Quote Originally Posted by twilightman View Post
    Has anybody notice how long it takes to delete email? Meaning, deleting more than ten.. Does it take a long time? Deleting from server.. Just would like to know.. Or, is my mind playing tricks? L O L
    The email app is not the best. I never really had to delete more than one or two at a time however. If I still had it activated, I would experiment around with it and let you know but the phone is going back to Verizon tomorrow.
  13. #13  
    pbolton's Avatar

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    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I have tried several phones....TBolt, Charge, GNex, Driod Razor, and the Spectrum. The overlay really hurts this phone. The radios on this phone awesome. testing Spectrum with all those other phones and the Spectrum at least gets 5 mbps more on both down/upload. Why isnt anyone jumping on to get root. this phone has good hardware. Isnt there any developers out there that will step up to the plate.
  14. #14  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I don' think that it is no developers are jumping on the band wagon to get root, I think it's that getting root on this thing is going to be a pain for the moment. All the current exploits seem to be fixed now, including Gingerbreak and any temp root solutions. I don't doubt that all other phones coming out will be fixed in the same way as well and eventually a bigger support base will be together getting a glitch in place.
  15. #15  
    pbolton's Avatar

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    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I agree. However, each new phone and OS they may fix something but the developers and hackers always find a new way to get it done. I don't know what it will take to get some developer love. If it takes a donation I am willing to get behind that and get it done. So what developer will raise to the challenge and show us some mad skills?
  16. #16  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I agree love this phone just with I could root( not a deal breaker for me ) and if I had the skill I would be attempting to find myself but would be willing to donate too.
  17. #17  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I got my Spectrum about a week ago. It is my 1st dual core/4g phone. I had a rooted cm7 Incredible. I played with it for the whole week with just the stock launcher and the like. I really like it as a phone and it moves so much faster than the Incredible. I liked the camera better on the Incredible ( It just takes better pictures for some reason).

    I took your advice and added the ADW launcher and I'm MUCH happier with the phone now ( used the same skin as my Incredible and now it doesn't feel so.... foreign)

    I'm looking forward to the exploit for the root, to get rid of the bloat, but until then I'm fairly satisfied!!!
  18. Thread Author  Thread Author    #18  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I am glad you enjoy the phone. It really is nice for $200.

    Don't get me wrong, this phone will receive root access. I just couldn't/didn't want to wait.

    The current exploit to get root requires a downgrade from the current firmware on the Spectrum. This is almost the worst possible way to achieve root on this phone. You could be stuck with firmware you may never be able to upgrade from or you will lose root (and never get ICS).

    My biggest disappointment was the camera. If I did not care about the camera, I would have kept the GN I had previously.

    The Rezound's camera is the best on a Verizon Android phone now. That will change soon enough. I am just going to wait it out I guess.
  19. #19  
    ether813's Avatar

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    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    I will getting this device, since i dont root, and really dont pay attention to bloatware. Thanks for all the input guys...
  20. #20  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Ya i have had most phones that verizon has offered my last being the thunderbolt which had monster dev support. But i still love this phone its damn fast with adw launcher ex on it and the screen is hands down the best. I figure root will happen at some point and ice cream sandwich is suppose to be coming soon.
  21. #21  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Thanks for all the review info. The LG Spectrum (which I bought a week ago after after trading off with the Rezound) only lets my Mac access the SD card via USB as mass storage. It worked once the first time I tried it, but not since. My incredible allows access to both internal and SD memory. Is there any way to do that with the Spectrum? I tried unmounting the SD card, but it still can't see the internal storage. I am considering returning the LG for a Rezound: Better cameras, more internal memory, HDMI port, more like my Incredible, etc.
  22. #22  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    hmm i know the usb doubles as hdmi out aswell just need the adapter and im not sure about internel memory sorry.
  23. #23  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Thanks for all the review info. Coming from an Incredible, here are my impressions after a week with the LG Spectrum:

    LIKE: Screen, Battery life, Application folders (allow you to set up custom folders (e.g. Clocks, Games, Audio, players, etc.) folders without filling up the 7 screens) , Thinner, light, still has removeable battery (nixed the RAZR for me) and removeable SD Card (Nixed the Galaxy for me), has Gesture features. e.g that help move the cursor by tapping on the sides..helps mitigate loss of trackball.

    DISLIKE: Only 4G (<2G useable) internal memory that I can't access (see earlier post), Average cameras, no HDMI port, no trackball, no charging LED, no FM Radio, few accessories like batteries yet, no root solution yet.

    QUESTIONS: Will the ICS upgrade cut into the useable (2G) internal memory?
    Outlook for ICS Upgrade (It has just 3 buttons in anticipation)?
    Have other LG phones eventually been rooted?

    DILEMMA: Keep it or trade for a Rezound?
  24. #24  

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Ya I hear ya. Have till tomorrow to trade in for different phone. Phone but I really like the screen and form factor. I'm using adw launcher ex which is very smooth. So I'll prob keep it but lg better get Ics out soon.
  25. #25  
    YourMobileGuru's Avatar
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    what's wrong with stock?

    Default Re: LG Spectrum Reviewed

    Quote Originally Posted by tonyyag View Post
    Thanks for all the review info. Coming from an Incredible, here are my impressions after a week with the LG Spectrum:

    LIKE: Screen, Battery life, Application folders (allow you to set up custom folders (e.g. Clocks, Games, Audio, players, etc.) folders without filling up the 7 screens) , Thinner, light, still has removeable battery (nixed the RAZR for me) and removeable SD Card (Nixed the Galaxy for me), has Gesture features. e.g that help move the cursor by tapping on the sides..helps mitigate loss of trackball.

    DISLIKE: Only 4G (<2G useable) internal memory that I can't access (see earlier post), Average cameras, no HDMI port, no trackball, no charging LED, no FM Radio, few accessories like batteries yet, no root solution yet.

    QUESTIONS: Will the ICS upgrade cut into the useable (2G) internal memory?
    Outlook for ICS Upgrade (It has just 3 buttons in anticipation)?
    Have other LG phones eventually been rooted?

    DILEMMA: Keep it or trade for a Rezound?
    ICS will probably reduce the on-board memory yes, but hopefully by not much.

    An MHL adapter will take care of the lack of an HDMI out (converts USB to HDMI out)

    Lots more accessories with the Rezound, no problem there.

    I havent compared the cameras on the devices but the Rezound one is one of the better ones I have seen.

    If you are hoping for a quicker update to ICS the Rezound is a better way to go (at least two leaked builds so far so work is well underway and we have no idea when it will come to the Spectrum. 3 buttons or no LG has a terrible update track record, especially on US devices.

    It's really your choice but IMHO the Rezound is a better phone. If I were you I would go spend some serious time with the demo model at the VZW store.
    Android is all about Personal Choice: Droid RAZR HD, Droid DNA, SGSIII, SG Note 2, HTC One X+, Galaxy Nexus, Nexus4... Hating is so Apple... we're better than that!

    Correcting Some of the Shared Everything Misinformation * My Phone Collection

    PSA - Verizon Galaxy Nexus Signal Strength Comparison
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