Text and photos by Gadjo Cardenas Sevilla
What LG has done by releasing the LG Optimus is set the Android smartphone bar really high. In some cases, the LG Optimus, is higher in specs and features than Samsung's 'chosen' Galaxy Nexus which is the flagship Android device of the season sporting the new Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
Visually unassuming, the LG Optimus is surprisingly thin and light for a smartphone of this pedigree. It brings a dual-core 1.5Ghz processor, 1GB of RAM and an HD display which is stunning to behold. The Optimus LG also features an 8 Megapixel camera as well as the ability to shoot 1080p HD videos.
This smartphone has better specs than most tablets in the market right now and tells us just how serious LG is in claiming the top spot in the high-end Android smartphone space.
The LG Optimus LTE (called the AT&T Nitro HD in the US) is comparable to the Moto RAZR as well as the Galaxy Nexus and even has an advantage over these two high end Androids because it is rated to use Bell's fast LTE network (They do 4G speeds at 14Mbps (RAZR on Rogers) and 21Mbps (Galaxy Nexus on Bell), the Optimus can theoretically reach 75 Mbps we got around 27-32 at one point.
In terms of form factor, the LG Optimus will appeal to business users and those who prefer more dignified and understated smartphones.
The rear is composed of a sturdy plastic case with an effective grippy surface that feels halfway between hard rubber and plastic. Less ostentatious than some earlier LG smartphones we've seen, the LG Optimus LTE has a look and feel that's designed to endure and it isn't at all trendy.
The LG Optimus is slightly thicker than the iPhone 4s but feels lighter (The LTE is 4.76 oz (135 g) and the 4S is 4.9 oz (140 g). It would have been nice to see some metal or aluminium on the LG Optimus LTE instead of just plastic and glass but it still feels solid nonetheless.
The LG Optimus LTE's camera is quite good although not anywhere as fast as the iPhone 4S or the Galaxy Nexus in quick photo-to-photo performance. The Optimus LTE does not inherit the 3D photo taking or playback of previous LG models and we doubt that this will be missed.
Below are some examples taken with the LG Optimus LTE. Photo quality is generally good although we have to test it thoroughly under various conditions.
Phone performance was above average with clear sound and great hands free volume. Battery life was above average getting us one and a half days of use on a full charge with 6-7 5 minute calls a day and Internet access for Twitter, maps and email.
In terms of feel and build, the LG Optimus LTE is the perfect device in terms of thickness and weight. Some of the newer devices are too light and too thin which actually makes them harder to hold and easier to drop. The rounded design plus the grippy exterior work well with the LG Optimus LTE.
We think this is one of the more compelling smartphones out there right now and it is a very competetive segment. Once this is upgraded with Ice Cream Sandwich it has the potential to be the best Android device yet, certainly it is already the fastest and most powerful Gingerbread device we've used to date.
Rating: 5 out of 5