Review: LG G3 Vigor for AT&T
The LG G3 Vigor runs Android 4.4 KitKat with the same skin we've seen on many LG devices this year.
The Vigor's lock screen is fairly customizable. You can leave it blank, or add shortcuts, a clock, and/or the weather if you so wish. The Vigor includes LG's KnockOn and Knock Code. With KnockOn, you tap the screen twice to show the lock screen. With Knock Code, you set a unique, tapping pattern to wake and unlock the device. Both tools work really well. Only the camera can be opened from the lock screen without entering a password (if one is enabled.)
The Vigor includes three active home screen panels out of the box. All the home screens can be customized with ease. Thankfully, AT&T didn't clutter them up with widgets and apps.
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The app menu works well. Users can select large or small icons. Apps can be viewed alphabetically, by date, or in a custom order, (but not in a list.) Several tools make it a breeze to hide apps from the menu screen or uninstall them altogether. (This is identical to handsets such as the G3 and Vista.)
The notification tray offers several toggles for wireless radios, plus the QMemo tool, common to LG handsets. The toggles can be customized, rearranged, and so on. The tray also includes sliders to adjust screen brightness and system volume.
You can opt to view the settings controls on a single page or broken down into tabs. The number of settings is lengthy. Users can adjust fonts and font size, wallpapers and themes, and customize the main Android control button arrangement. Last, the volume toggles can be designated as shortcuts for when the phone is locked. For example, a long press of the bottom volume key can open the camera, bypassing the lock screen entirely. Users can select which apps these two buttons open.
The Vigor is yet another handset to make use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor. I've noticed sluggish performance on a few phones using the 400, but the Vigor didn't exhibit any such problems. It responded instantly to input and always felt quick on its feet.
Calls and Contacts
LG's treatment of the phone app is unchanged when compared to other LG devices. The app's basic home screen prioritizes the dialpad and provides tabbed access to call history, contacts, favorites and groups. The Vigor offers a few advanced calling functions, such as noise suppression, which worked well.
I've always liked LG's treatment of the contact application. The contact screen places dialer and messaging shortcuts right in the main screen, which eliminates at least one tap if you want to call someone or message them. It's easy to manage groups, and the contact app has several useful home-screen widgets, too.
The Vigor includes the customizable keyboard app from LG, which is a good, good thing. For example, you can adjust the height of the keyboard up or down to change the size of the buttons, and even swap out some of the function buttons at the bottom of the keyboard. Not many other keyboards can claim to do the same.
Google Messenger is the default messaging app and it handles SMS/MMS duties with aplomb. LG's skin of the app ensures it looks like the other apps, but the functionality is solid. Since Google allows Android device owners to pick which app they want to use for SMS, you can ditch the stock app if you want and use Hangouts or another third-party tool. Hangouts handles SMS, MMS, and IM, but does so in a clunky manner.
Twitter and Facebook are absent, but the Vigor has both the standard Gmail and email applications.
LG G3 Vigor Reaches AT&T Stores Sept. 26
AT&T today confirmed it will begin to sell the LG G3 Vigor on September 26. AT&T is asking for $335 for the G3 Vigor with no contract, $13.96 a month with Next 18, $16.75 a month with Next 12, or $50 with a new two-year contract.
AT&T Also to Sell LG G3 Vigor
AT&T chimed in today to say it, too, will offer the LG G3 Vigor to subscribers. AT&T didn't specify how much the device will cost, nor when it will go on sale.
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