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Review: LG Optimus G for AT&T

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Oct 17, 2012, 12:42 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

AT&T's variant of the LG Optimus G features slightly different hardware and software when compared to the Sprint variant. Is different, in this case, better? It just might be. Here is Phone Scoop's full report.

Is It Your Type?

The Optimus G brings some serious firepower to AT&T's network. This flagship Android smartphone from LG dazzles with a top-notch design and unending feature list. If you're looking for a killer device, the LG Optimus G is a solid choice for many reasons.


The AT&T version of the LG Optimus G is different enough from Sprint version that Phone Scoop decided each device warranted its own review. The AT&T G is slightly shorter and wider than the Sprint G (by just 2mm and 3mm, respectively,) and it's noticeable if you hold the two phones side-by-side.

The AT&T version of the G differs from the international variant of the G. Aside from the tweaked dimensions, AT&T also asked for a few changes to the design of the G that make it a better piece of hardware than the Sprint version. Just like the other versions, it is a black slab with glass on the front and a glass-like material on the back. It's glossy, highly reflective, but could be hard to recognize from more than a couple feet away since so many smartphones are black-on-black slabs.

That change that matters most to me is that AT&T has gotten rid of the sharp edges that are on the Sprint version. AT&T also ditched the thin metallic band on the Sprint version. Instead, the AT&T G has smoothly rounded edges that feel much more comfortable when you hold the phone in your hand. It gives the device a less plastic-y feel, and improves the overall impression of quality in the build.

Thankfully, AT&T kept my favorite part of the G's design, which is the glass surfaces. The display (naturally) and the back panel are glass (or something glass-like.) The back panel has a pattern under the surface that can be seen when you tilt it in direct light. It has a cool effect that I like. Also, glass is better than plastic in my book. One thing I have historically disliked about so many of LG's smartphones are the cheap materials. The G is different. The glass really ramps up the feeling of quality. Mix that with top-notch manufacturing, and the Optimus G is a big step forward for LG in terms of bringing quality hardware to market.

Quality or not, you can't escape the G's large size, necessitated by the generous display. It's wide and tall, though LG managed to make it fairly thin. Thanks to the added width of the AT&T version, I can't quite wrap my hand all the way around the G. It's not too heavy, and the smooth front and back mean it slips in and out of pockets quite easily — even more so than the Sprint version.

The volume toggle, which is on the left edge, is perfect (and much improved compared to the Sprint version). It's certainly a cinch to find, and the travel and feedback is quite rewarding. The lock button, on the right edge, has a similar feel to it. It's easy to find and has excellent travel and feedback. The headphone jack is on top and the microUSB port is on the bottom. There are also two exposed screws on the bottom, holding the entire assembly together, which gives the G a bit of an industrial look.

The other big benefit the AT&T version has over the Sprint version is the slots on the left edge. Remove the hatch and you have access to both the micro SIM card and the microSD memory card slot. The Sprint version doesn't provide access to either. That's a huge bonus as far as I am concerned. You still can't access the battery, however.

There's no doubt in my mind that this is one of the classiest pieces of hardware to come from LG. LG clearly sees the threat from design-focused competitors such as Samsung and Apple, and has taken that threat seriously. The G is probably LG's best device in terms of the look, feel, and manufacture of the hardware. The AT&T version of the hardware is a significant step up when compared to the Sprint version in both feel and features.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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Oct 17, 2012, 8:09 PM

LG finally Got it

About time LG started competing with Apple and Samsung.
I liked LG way back in the day looks like they were lost for
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