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printed October 25, 2014
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Review: LG Spectrum 2 for Verizon Wireless

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  

Screen

The Spectrum 2's display increases in size compared to the original - from 4.5 inches to 4.7 inches - but keeps the same 1280 x 720 pixel resolution. LG's high-def LCD smartphone screens have always impressed me, and the Spectrum 2 is no exception. It's a very sharp display that is bright, clear, and colorful. The brightness does need to be cranked all the way up if you want to use it outdoors, though.

Signal

The Spectrum 2 does fairly well on Verizon's 3G and 4G networks. In my travels around the Garden State and Big Apple, the Spectrum 2 always remained connected to one of the two networks. It never dropped down to 1X, nor did it ever drop the signal entirely. When testing voice calls, the Spectrum 2 did not drop any calls, but it took me several tries to connect some of the calls I made. Data sessions were acceptable even under the worst network conditions. Speeds on Verizon's LTE network under the best conditions reached 6 Mbps, which is in the range that Verizon advertises for its 4G network.

Sound

Wow. The Spectrum 2 is an excellent voice phone. Not only are calls crystal clear, but the earpiece is loud enough to replace the speakerphone. The Spectrum 2 has one of the loudest earpiece speakers I've ever heard. The fact that there's no interference or disruptions to call are an added bonus. The speakerphone itself is also jarringly loud. The quality and volume together mean it can easily be used as a makeshift conference call device in the office or for the entire family to gather around for that holiday call to Uncle Fred. Ringers and alert tones are plenty loud, and the vibrate alert is very strong.

Battery

The Spectrum 2's battery does what I need it to; it lasts through one full day. It doesn't do much more than that. If you unplug it at 7AM on a Monday, it'll still be going at bedtime. But if it’s left unplugged for the night it might be dead when you wake up Tuesday morning. I was able to get about 36 hours out of it once, but that was with absolute minimal use. Regular use (checking email, firing off Tweets, browsing through Facebook, and updating apps) means you need to plug it in every night.

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