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printed July 30, 2014
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Review: LG Spectrum for Verizon Wireless

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  2  

Is It Your Type? Body The Three S's  

Screen

The Spectrum's display is one of its better traits. The Spectrum sports a 4.5-inch, IPS LCD with 1280 x 720 pixels. That lets it lay claim to the vaunted "HD display" descriptor. It is gorgeous. Individual pixels are hard to pick out. The display is also bright and produces accurate colors. It works fairly well when out in sunshine, especially for uses such as taking pictures. It is a rich display that shows all the colors of the spectrum in the best light possible.

Signal

The Spectrum can use both Verizon's LTE 4G network and its older CDMA EVDO 3G network. The Spectrum performed at about the same level as other Verizon phones would on the 3G network. The Spectrum didn't drop any calls during my tests. Data sessions over 3G were a bit on the slow side. The Spectrum was a rock star on Verizon's LTE network. In the tests I conducted, it easily latched onto 4G and data sessions were noticeably faster than 3G. When I moved from a 4G zone to a 3G zone, the hand-off to the slower network interrupted the data session briefly, but it resumed without any action on my part.

Sound

I was not impressed with the quality of voice calls. Calls are best heard with the volume set all the way up, but the cost is a nasty distortion that sometimes make voices unintelligible. The distortion goes away if you dial back the volume a bit, but then it isn't as easy to hear because the earpiece isn't all that powerful. It's a bad case of darned if you do, darned if you don't. The speakerphone performs in a similar manner. Turn it up all the way, and you get a distorted, garbled mess that's really audible. Leave it at about halfway, and you'll do alright only in a small, quiet room. The ringers and alert tones are plenty loud, and the vibrate alert is significantly strong.

Battery

The Spectrum is an average smartphone when it comes to battery life. It consistently lasted from the time I woke up to the time I went to bed with heavy use on a full charge. That includes checking and writing emails, checking my RSS feeds a lot, posting to Twitter, light browsing, and some phone calls. I had the 4G radio on all the time, and the Wi-Fi radio, too. If you're starting the day with half power, though, be sure to have a charger handy.

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