Hands-On: LG Viper for Sprint
Sprint showed off one of its first LTE 4G smartphones at CES, the LG Viper. We took a quick look at it and here are our thoughts.
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The LG Viper is one of the first three LTE 4G devices announced by Sprint. (The other two include a mobile hotspot and the Galaxy Nexus.) Though the devices and the network are months from launch, Sprint was showing them off at the Consumer Electronics Show.
The LG Viper is an impressive little phone — at least as far as the hardware is concerned. LG returns to its silver-loving design roots and uses tons of chrome and other shiny, metallic surfaces and materials in the Viper's design. Remember LG's Shine series phones circa 2008? That's what we're talking about here. The back surface, in particular, is attractive with its brushed aluminum look.
The Viper is dense and a bit heavy, but it feels really good in the hand. Despite the non-production units on hand, the Viper feels as though it was assembled with care and attention to detail.
The Viper has a 4-inch display, but since we weren't allowed to turn it on, we can't really rate its appearance. There are capacitive controls below the display for interacting with the Android operating system.
The volume toggle and microUSB port are both on the left side of the LG Viper. The volume toggle feels a bit miserable, it is very mushy. There are no controls on the right side, which means there's no dedicated camera button. The power/lock button and 3.5mm headset jack are both on the top of the Viper, and the camera is positioned on the back, close to the top.
While we're disappointed that we weren't able to turn the phone on, we know that it is shipping with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, with a commitment from Sprint to upgrade it to Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Even though it is a lesser phone than the Galaxy Nexus, I expect plenty of smartphone buyers will appreciate the class and style fo the LG Viper, as well as the LTE 4G powers.
MetroPCS is also carrying a version of this same phone, which they call the Connect 4G. *
* paragraph added Jan 10.
Sprint Announces LG Viper with LTE
Sprint today provided a few details about the LG Viper, an upcoming Android smartphone that will be one of the first to use Sprint's forthcoming Long Term Evolution network. The LG Viper has Android 2.3 Gingerbread, a 4.0-inch WVGA touchscreen, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, a primary 5.0-megapixel camera and front-facing VGA camera, and Near Field Communication and Google Wallet.
Sprint to Release 10 Google Wallet-Capable Phones This Year
Google said that it will expand the availability of its Google Wallet product to Sprint customers with the launch of 10 new phones throughout the year that will have the proper NFC support. The first phone to gain Google Wallet functionality will be the LG Viper, which was announced earlier this year and is one of the first LTE-equipped phones that will be sold by Sprint.
Sprint's LTE to Launch On 1900MHz Only
All of the Long Term Evolution 4G devices released by Sprint this year will use only its 1900MHz spectrum, said Sprint spokesperson David Owen in an interview with Phone Scoop. Right now, Sprint doesn't have access to Clearwire's spectrum nor LightSquared's spectrum for LTE services, so it will repurpose its 1900MHz spectrum assets to handle both its current CDMA voice/data network and future LTE data network.
LG Viper for Sprint Available for Pre-Order April 12 for $99
Sprint today announced that the LG Viper smartphone will become available for pre-order starting on April 12. The Viper will cost $99.99 and requires a two-year contract with an unlimited everything plan.
LG's Viper Bites Sprint Customers April 22
As previously announced, Sprint made the LG Viper available for pre-order today. The company also revealed that the device will go on sale April 22.