1. Droid800's Avatar
    So I've been living with a Spectrum I got on ebay, and wanted to post my review of it. Off we go!

    The Good
    -Gorgeous HD screen
    -Good battery life (compared to the Nexus)
    -Tried and true Qualcomm LTE/3G chip that delivers great connectivity
    -Generally speedy performance

    The Bad
    -Too many stutters and almost imperceptible lag
    -Build quality is not great
    -Predictable design
    -Mediocre camera
    -No NFC
    -Limited internal memory

    The Ugly
    -Outdated Optimus UI


    Hardware
    The Spectrum's hardware is a mixed bag. Its not the highest quality smartphone out there, and it really shows when you compare it to a Galaxy Nexus. Although the Nexus itself isn't the paragon of good materials and build, it is 'dense' whereas the Spectrum feels hollow. It could have benefited from a metal chassis or frame like the Nexus has.

    The design of the phone is pretty uninteresting. The highlight for me is how the edges of the battery cover are curved and angled to meet the left and right edges of the phone, and the gray/silver band that sits between the chrome bezel and the battery cover. Other than that it is unremarkable, which is too bad.

    The highlight of the phone is, without a doubt, the screen. It is downright gorgeous, with viewing angles that match the Galaxy Nexus easily, but with more natural color reproduction. Everything is crisp, clear, and quite gorgeous. In certain conditions you may see the occasional pixel pop out, but its nothing worse than what you'll get with the Rezound or Nexus.


    Software
    The Optimus UI needs to go away. It is, without a doubt, the worst UI skin of all of them. It is cartoony, too bright, and pretty incoherent. It has occasional moments of brilliance, like the method to add widgets, change wallpapers, etc., but it isn't enough to overcome the issue. The App drawer, while it seems useful at first, becomes an annoyance quickly.

    But the bigger issue is that it just feels old. Fonts are gigantic in places where they shouldn't be (see the text messaging app), and the whole UI just feels ill-designed for a large screened phone like the Spectrum. Its really disappointing to see what should be an amazing product hobbled by something like the Optimus UI.


    Performance
    The Spectrum comes with top-notch internals, and it (mostly) shows. The Qualcomm S3 runs smoothly thanks to the gig of RAM, and it handles pretty much anything you can throw at it. But the Optimus skin inexplicably hobbles performance here and there, resulting in the occasional jitter or stutter. For a phone with these internals, that's inexcusable. The SII on T-mobile, and the LTE versions on AT&T both use this same processor, and they have none of these issues. Its disappointing to see performance like this for a phone with these internals.

    The camera is also unremarkable. Not great, not bad. Just...there. Again, this is disappointing since LG has shown in the past that it can come up with a good camera.

    LTE speeds are what you would expect for a phone with this chipset. Look at the HTC Rezound for what you can expect.


    Conclusion

    I wanted to like the Spectrum, but I just can't get over that skin. It kills performance, and is generally underwhelming. At $199, its a hard sell. For that money you can get the Rezound, which has a killer camera, similar screen, and better build quality. This phone should be a good one for people that are coming from a feature phone and need a simple UI and don't need a top notch camera. Otherwise, Verizon's other LTE options are better choices.
    YourMobileGuru likes this.
    01-28-2012 02:03 AM
  2. mettec's Avatar
    Bought the spectrum on release day but returned it yesterday for the following reasons.

    The speakers on both the ear piece and back of device distort terribly at max volume. If I lower it even one notch it still distorts but volume is cut considerably making it hard to hear.

    I have been told by almost anyone that I have spoken with on this phone that I sound either like I have my hand over the mouth piece or I'm under water.

    Even though I changed my launcher to make the phone look like a Nexus the launcher never stays and the phone automatically changes it back to LG's launcher and skin.

    Battery life is not the greatest but it also takes twice the time to charge then my Dinc.

    Bought a MHL adapter and when playing games phone lags incredibly bad. As for movies using the MHL adapter, the quality was worse then my old standard tube TV. The home screens looked sharp and bright but everything else was unusable.

    I will wait to see what MWC brings this next month or if there is a firmware fix and ICS available for spectrum, might consider picking it up again.
    01-30-2012 01:57 AM
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