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printed October 20, 2014
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Review: LG Optimus G for AT&T

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Screen

The G's display is fantastic. It measures 4.7 inches across the diagonal and packs an impressive 1280 x 768 pixels. You can't see the individual pixels, even when you hold the phone up close to your eyes. The display is an LCD panel with LG's in-plane switching technology. It's simply one of the best displays I've seen on an LG device. It is crisp, sharp, bright, and colorful. It’s perfectly usable outside, and I had no trouble using the camera to take pictures of my kids playing soccer on a bright and sunny afternoon.

Signal

The G did an admirable job at finding and connecting to AT&T's HSPA+ and LTE 4G networks. The G displayed three or four bars of coverage in most places I took it. More to the point, though, it never disconnected from the network nor lost signal entirely. The G always connected calls on the first dial, never dropped a call, and always delivered speedy mobile data performance. AT&T's HSPA+ network, which offers abundant coverage, is fast enough for most everyday needs. AT&T's LTE network, which is growing slowly, is just ridiculously quick. I routinely hit peak download speeds in excess of 40 Mbps with the G on AT&T's LTE network.

Sound

The G is a good voice device thanks to mostly clear calls and a loud earpiece speaker. Calls I made with the AT&T G had just a wee bit more static and background noise than the Sprint G did, but it wasn't too bad. As with the Sprint version, the AT&T version's earpiece packs a painful punch when set up all the way. I was easily able to hear callers even when standing next to cheering moms and dads at a soccer game. In quieter environs, you can turn the volume down to 50% for a really nice experience. The speakerphone experience on the AT&T G is OK, but not as good as the Sprint version. There's more noise introduced in calls, and the speaker isn't as loud. It's still acceptable to use in a low-key home or office, but not so much in a noisy coffee shop. Ringers and alerts are acceptably loud, but could be better. You probably won't miss most calls, and the vibrate alert is good.

Battery

Both the Sprint and AT&T versions of the device gave me a hard time, battery-wise. As with the Sprint variant, the AT&T G never lasted more than 24 hours in total from a single charge. It would make it from 7AM to 11PM, but just barely. Use it heavily, and you can be scrambling for a charger at dinner time. The battery did not appear to drain any faster when used on AT&T's LTE network. I used it on LTE about half the time I tested it ,and LTE had no noticeable impact on battery life. Even so, you'll need to pay attention to the battery with this device and have back-up chargers or other power supply available at all times.

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