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Review: LG G Vista for Verizon Wireless

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Aug 22, 2014, 5:00 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The LG G Vista is a inexpensive, big-screened Android smartphone that scores well on most features. Only a couple things hold it back, but they aren't vital. Find out what they are in Phone Scoop's full review.

Is It Your Type?

The LG G Vista is a smartphone for people who prefer size over refinement. It adheres firmly to the Bigger-Is-Better mantra with its massive screen and downgraded specs. In that respect it accomplishes what it sets out to do: offer a large-screen experience at a low cost. Budget-conscious shoppers who want the biggest phone they can get for the money need not look any further.


The LG G Vista is sort of a G3 Lite. It has a similar design as far as the hardware is concerned, and carries over much of the user experience. It's bigger, of course, but otherwise it hardly departs from the G3 on the outside.

The G Vista's screen measures 5.7 inches, which means the phone's footprint is enormous. It's not quite as big as the Nokia Lumia 1520 or HTC One max, but it's right in line with the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 (which has the same screen size.) The design is conservative, but that's not a surprise considering this is LG we're talking about. It's mostly black with plenty of smooth, glossy surfaces to reflect light and collect grime. The G Vista eschews the G3's chrome band and sticks with an all-black look.

Since the G Vista stretches into phablet-land as far as its dimensions are concerned, it's not really meant for one-handed use. I couldn't wrap my hand around it fully, and it pushed the limits of my pockets. It is surprisingly light for a phone of its size. The side edges are smooth and rounded, but do little to reduce the footprint of the phone when it's in your palm. The plastics are smooth to the point of being slippery. That means it slips into pockets easily, but it may just as easily slip from your grasp. The quality of the materials is OK, but not the best I've seen. The build quality appears to be good.


The screen consumes most of the front surface with respectably slim bezels running along the sides. There are thicker dark bands above and below the screen, but they aren't unattractive. A sliver of chrome is fitted into a slit at the top of the glass to signal the location of the earpiece speaker. Other than this shiny chrome accent, only the LG and Verizon logos stand out from the otherwise stark black front.

There are no physical buttons on the front or side surfaces of the G Vista. Like the G3, the G Vista's controls are located on the back surface. The G Vista is the fourth phone from LG to use this button configuration and I still have a difficult time adjusting to it. The entire button/camera assembly is relatively flat, but doesn't feel as strong as that of the G3. The screen lock button is in the middle of the three-button array, with the volume buttons 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 good, but not great. It's too easy to accidentally smudge the camera lens, since it is located just above the button array, while your finger searches for the controls.

The micro-USB port is on the bottom of the phone and the stereo headphone jack is on top. There's also an infrared beamer on the top of the phone. There's no camera button, which is a shame.

The G Vista's rear cover peels off with ease thanks to a nice notch for your thumbnail. The material has a carbon fiber-y pattern hiding under the glossy clearcoat. It feels flimsy on its own. Under it, you'll find the removable battery and ports for the SIM card and the memory card. You have to take out the battery in order to remove the SIM card, but the memory card can be hot-swapped if you want.

The G Vista is a decent piece of hardware for its price point, but it is clearly several notches below the G3 in terms of design and quality.

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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Aug 23, 2014, 9:45 AM

Inquiry about camera button feature

I work in a Wireless device franchise store location, and I work with Smartphones and Tablets pretty much every day. I am somewhat familiar with the G3 in terms of usability and did discover that there is a hardware camera button feature. I haven't had the chance to verify it on the G Vista yet so I'm not sure if they incorporated it into the phone, but I can't imagine that they would leave it out.

If you have the screen powered off and you long press the volume down key on the back with your finger, it automatically opens the camera without having to go through the lock screen. And if you press the key again it snaps a photo. Perhaps you can verify that for me if you get the opportunity.

Yes, that is correct. I explained this in the "Camera" portion of the review.

Aug 22, 2014, 5:08 PM

little bit of incorrect info

"There are no physical buttons on the front or side surfaces of the G Vista. Like the G3, the G Vista's controls are located on the back surface. The G Vista is the third phone from LG to use this button configuration and I still have a difficult time adjusting to it."

I believe this is the 4th phone to use the back buttons, the first 3 being the G2, G flex, and G3
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