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Review: LG G3 Vigor for AT&T

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Nov 14, 2014, 5:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

The Vigor from LG is a poor man's G3. It offers the G3's good looks in a smaller, more affordable package. Does it lose anything in the transition? Find out in Phone Scoop's full review.

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Is It Your Type?

LG's G3 Vigor is a smaller version of the G3 that ramps down the specs and size in favor of one-handed usability and affordability. It resembles LG's flagship smartphone, but inside is a mid-range handset. If you want a device that has a premium feel without the premium price, the Vigor is worth a look.

Body

The G3 Vigor is a mish-mash of the G3 and the G Vista. It has the G3's looks and the Vista's innards, wrapped up in a handset smaller than both. It's not a bad combination.

The Vigor is made of plastic. It has crisp, clean lines that are appealing. The front is mostly black, with the exception of a white band that crosses the bottom. The back surface is also white, and brushed in such a way that it mimics the look of metal. There's a thin, chrome band that wraps around the side edges. It lends a classy look to the Vigor. The materials are quite good. LG used high-grade plastics for the rear shell, and the glass/metal combo is always appealing.

The Vigor is exactly the same size as the LG-made Nexus 5, though it's bigger than an iPhone 5/5s. It's probably still crazy to call a phone with a 5-inch display “compact”, but that's how the Vigor feels. (Maybe I'm too used to phablets?) LG minimized the bezel surrounding the screen, which helps keeps the overall footprint of the phone down. The back has a noticeable curved shape. That helps the phone feel smaller and fit a little bit better in the hand, although it also means there are no buttons along the outer edge. I found it comfortable to hold and use, though it's technically a bit thick in the center at 9.9 mm. You can operate the Vigor quite easily with a single hand. You won't have any trouble slipping it into your pocket.

Body  

The screen accounts for the bulk of the front surface. There's a slim bezel above the screen that holds the earpiece speaker and user-facing camera. The speaker is covered in a chrome-colored grill, so it stands out visually. The bottom bezel is a little thicker, but there are no buttons. The Vigor relies on Android's on-screen controls for the operating system.

Like a fistful of other LG devices, the Vigor's buttons are placed on the back. I'm slowly getting used to this configuration and had less trouble remembering where the buttons are located after using the Vigor for a week. The button and camera assembly looks and feels identical to those of the G3 and G Vista. The screen lock button is in the middle of the three-button array, with the volume above and below. The screen lock button is raised just slightly, while the volume toggles are dimples that dip below the surface of the phone. I had no trouble discerning between the three without looking. Travel and feedback of all three buttons is great, but it's still too easy to accidentally smudge the camera lens while your finger searches for those buttons.

The micro-USB port is on the bottom of the phone, as is the stereo headphone jack. There's no physical camera button.

The Vigor's rear cover peels off with ease thanks to a nice notch for your thumbnail. Under it, you'll find the removable battery and slots for the SIM card and the memory card. Both cards can be hot-swapped.

It's a well-built little phone that anyone can carry with pride.

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