I know it’s been ages since my last post, but I have been really busy as of late, and haven’t really been impressed with the local shirts coming out these days. So I’m trying to do a different post. I’ve already tried doing a review of the Audio Technica CKS-55 In-ear earphones, so now, I’m going to do a review on my new cellphone, the LG Optimus LTE 2.
So it comes in a pretty black box, with a similar type of feel of that of a jewelry box, so it is definitely of that premium aspect. Black and silver always go well together, and it is no exception here. It comes with the unit, a spare battery, a spare charger dock and your micro USB to USB port.
So it is very rectangular in shape, no curved sides like the phones from HTC and Samsung. It has only one physical button, the home button in the center. It has 2 capacitive buttons, on the left is the back button, and on the right is for the menu or options button. On the left of the phone is a volume rocker and no controls on the right side. On the bottom side is a micro USB port. On the top is a 3.5mm jack for your earphones or headphones, and a power lock button.
It’s a pretty huge phone, but feels light and thin in your hand. Wouldn’t really put it in the phablet (phone + tablet) category, but it is certainly not your iPhone size. It sports a 4.7 inch True IPS HD Display, which is very awesome! It sports a resolution of 1280 x 720, so it has very clear and crisp text. It has good colors especially when you toggle the brightness setting, but the sunlight still affects it, like most smartphones with this screen. 720p is nothing to scoff at, and while 1080p is being developed on devices such as the HTC Droid DNA and Samsung S4, it is still a pretty respectable screen. It has a pixel density of about 312 PPI, so it is on par with Apple’s Retina Display for the iPhone 4/4S.
It has NFC capability, so wireless charging and tags are certainly applicable here. It sports an 8 megapixel LED flash camera on the back, and a 1.3 megapixel front facing camera. I’ll do a little section on the camera’s features with the modes and some sample shots. It has two grills on the bottom for the speakers. Sound is good, but not too loud when comparing it to other phones like the iPhone. One feature I like is that this handset comes with Dolby Enhancement, so for music geeks and buffs, when you plug in your earphones or headphones, you can access this feature for a more surround sound feel from your device.
The back has that matte type of feel. It’s plastic, but doesn’t feel like plastic. Removable back and removable battery. Sports a mini-sim. The battery size is at 2150 mAh, so it’s of a very respectable size. But battery life is just decent, and drains a bit quick due to the LTE chip. However, the good part is that this phone comes with a spare battery already, so it is equipped for that! It also comes with 16 GB of available memory, and a micro SD card slot of up to 32 GB as well.
Now, the phone comes in Android 4.0.4 which is Ice Cream Sandwich, however, LG has recently released an update for Android 4.1 or Jellybean. It’s pretty smooth to run on, due to Project Butter taking effect. On top of the Android OS is LG’s own UI (user interface), which is the Optimus. It’s pretty nice. Widgets and Home screens. Pretty typical affair. Also partly to thank is the impressive specs underneath the hood of this smartphone.
It’s running on a dual core 1.5 Ghz Krait S4 Snapdragon and it has a very generous 2 GB of RAM. It sports the Adreno 225 Graphics chip. It’s not exactly quad core, but it can still multi-task and play games with the best of them. Most of the applications built for Android aren’t really coded for quad core, so until then, this phone is definitely still speedy. No noticeable lag even when multi-tasking.
The camera takes decent shots, but here are some sample pictures for reference.
The default setting for image size is 8M, so this is 3264 x 2448 pixels. Honestly, the phone captures details well enough, but the colors look a bit washed out when comparing it to shots from an iPhone 4S. Like most other phones, it doesn’t do well in low lighting, and although there is a flash, shots taken with flash aren’t usually going to come out good. This phone also is easily affected by yellow light, so it really screws up the picture when the lighting is off. There is also an option for HDR, which takes different ISO settings to merge them into one good picture.
This is taken with HDR, and as you can see, it’s a bit darker than the first picture. HDR is usually used on low light settings, so it balances out the brightness.
It captures detail fairly well, and you can still see some good colors, but again, it looks a bit washed out and not as colorful.
My watch is supposed to have a brighter shade of blue and orange, but it still manages to get the details well enough.
With regards to options, you can change the:
- Image size (8M, 5M, 3M, WM, 1M, W1M, W6M)
- Scene Mode (Normal, Portrait, Landscape, Sports, Sunset, Night, Smart shutter)
- ISO (Auto, 400, 200, 100)
- White Balance (Auto, Incandescent, Sunny, Fluorescent, Cloudy)
- Color Effect (Mono, Sepia, Negative)
There is also a timer that you can set for 3, 5, and 10 seconds. It has geotagging, and you can change the shutter sound and auto review settings.
Like other smartphones, you press the area where you want to focus, and click the capture button to take the shot. You can also keep holding the capture button for burst shots. You can also choose to use the volume rocker as the capture button.
Other settings include HDR, Panorama and Continuous Shot.
There is also this nifty Time Machine Camera Mode, wherein it takes pictures a few seconds before you take the actual picture. It’s nifty.
There is also voice shutter! By turning on the option and uttering the words – Cheese, Smile, Whisky, Kimchi, or LG, the phone will automatically take a picture.
There is also a front facing camera which works well with the voice shutter for those selfies! There is also a bonus option for the front facing camera called beauty shot, which enhances the whiteness and creates that blur effect.
Video recording is okay, and it can handle 1080p shooting as well.
I’d say that the phone can’t really capture the exact color reproduction, and is an average performer at best. It has lots of options, which all make for interesting settings and shots, and the camera interface is definitely navigable and user-friendly. But for those of you looking for a smartphone that doubles as your main shooter for uploads on FB and IG, you might want to check out other phones that have better color reproduction.
All in all, I am pretty happy with this phone. First time to grasp the Android experience, since I was pretty much all Apple and iOS before. I’m glad to say that the customization and freedom to edit and tinker around has made the Android experience that much more amazing!
Summing it all up, the LG Optimus LTE 2:
- Big screen size with awesome 720p resolution (1280 x 720) and crisp text display with 312 PPI
- Very thin and feels good to hold, premium feel
- Chipset (S4 Snapdragon Dual Core 1.5 Ghz Krait) is pretty speedy and there is no noticeable lag whatsoever
- 2 GB of RAM is very generous
- LTE Capability
- Just decent Battery Life
- Camera is kind of grainy on low-light settings and sometimes blurry
Since the phone comes with a spare battery, if you can live with just an average camera on your phone, then the LG Optimus LTE 2 is a pretty good deal. I give it a personal rating of 9/10. LG knows how to make good phones, and this one is a great example of that.
If you’re too lazy to read everything, I’ve got a short video review and unboxing on Youtube which you can check here.
Well that’s it. My first foray into Android and I must say that I am a happy camper. Still a lot of exploring to do though.