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LG Spectrum Unboxing and First Impressions

Our brief moment with the LG Spectrum at CES 2012 was exactly that, brief. In order to give this new release from LG and Verizon a shot at taking top Android phone honors from the Galaxy Nexus, we had to get one in hand for an extended period of time. Today marks the start of our quest to put the Spectrum through the ringer to decide if this reasonably priced ($199 on contract), yet highly spec’d phone is worth your money. With a 4.5″ HD display, 1.5GHz dual-core processor, 8MP shooter, and 4G LTE connectivity, this phone is by no means a slouch on the hardware front. Does it have enough polish on the UI side to make it a winner though? We will soon find out.

For now, let’s see what it looks like in hand and out of the box.  




  • What practical benefits does ICS bring? Just wanna know.

  • Dasolution64ss

    you know what really sucks is that all this technology competing with the iphone4s. It will take another 1 before android can finally catch up with apple. I just bought this stupid spectrum and trading it for i-4s. Bunch of losers!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Guest

    You complain over and over again because it feels TOO light?
    Tape some quarters to it, if you want to make it heavier.
    Not sure why you need/want a heavy phone.

    Glad you don’t design phones.

    As long as the screen and battery are big… I want it as light as humanly possible.

    Higher quality doesn’t equal heavier and heavier devices.

  • Stiwrx07

    lol why would you compare anything to the iphone? that 3.5 inch screen is smaller then the OG droid screen its pathetic

  • I need some help. I got this phone and am looking if anyone knows how to root this handset? Having problems finding info for it. Tried the Revolution method and cant it to work. Any help would be greatly appriciated.

  • Anonymous

    How’s the battery life? Looks good though,

  • k6tcher
  • Skyskioc

    Kellex, You need to get out in the sun !

    • Anonymous

      We all look like that in the PNW. 

      • Skyskioc

        Ha Ha Ha !  Keep up the great work guys ! Thanks for all you do. 🙂

        P.S : Its 84* in So Cal     Had to throw that in

    • Anonymous

      it’s just our vicinity to Hollywood.. and the media.

  • Austincoile

    BUT… it’s a LG……

  • Ah, but no skin overlay to drag it down. Keep that in mind. UI Skins, especially one as intensive as Sense, require more processing power to keep up. Going from the Rezound to this, I see no difference in overall real world speed. So really, the Nexus doesn’t really need anything faster, it’s great how it is. 

  • No

    Kinda pisses me off that every phone coming out has 1.5 ghz cores while the Gnex is only 1.2

    • Anon

      Don’t be too ticked.  At least several of the 1.5GHz cores (e.g., the Rezound) are based on the ARM Cortex A8 instead of the A9-based CPUs in the GNex, Droid Bionic, and Droid RAZR.

      The Cortex A9 supports out-of-order execution (the A8 is in-order) so it is faster clock-for-clock.  1GHz-1.2GHz A9’s easily keep up with faster-clocked A8 phones.  Clock-speed isn’t everything; efficiency plays a role too.

      The Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 in the LG Spectrum, is based on the ARM A7 instruction set, but with some added features from the A8 CPU to improve media functions.

    • Anonymous

      U really wouldnt be able to tell the .3 diff anyway, so cheer up

  • droidrev71

    Kellex do you have a link to a working sim adapter that you referred to? Thanks

  • Anonymous

    This would be a serious contender if LG wasn’t horrible about updates. Anyone know about LG and bootloaders? This phone would be a monster if we could get CM9 on it.

  • droidrev71

    Anyone have a link to an adapter that was referred to in the video? Micro sim adapter..

  • Why do people want metal phones?

    • Anonymous

      I think it’s more like they have to find something to complain about and immediately cry foul on plastics.

  • Anonymous


  • plesse stop doing unboxing and just get to the phone its a waste

    • Anonymous

      You mad bro

  • Spc Hicks09

    I don’t care what anyone says, this phone looks simply amazing. Same screen as the iPhone but almost an inch bigger, and it’s Android. It has my attention.

    • actually it has a better screen, it’s a true 720p display, unlike the iPhone’s

      • Anonymous

        It’s technically a higher resolution but with the increased screen size it has similar DPI. So they probably look about the same in use.

        Still though, it is nice to see Android phones finally come out that knock the iPhone of the DPI throne. It took a year, but is nice to see.

    • Cheap cheap cheap plastic. ugly overlay. And the Rezound has a better screen…..

      • Nkmett15

        Plastic didn’t stop the Nexus, so it won’t stop this phone either……but the overlay is ugly…

      • Droidzzz

        The Rezound’s screen is very crisp, but I actually wasn’t that impressed.  I like how bright and vibrant the iPhone is, or believe it or not Motorola’s Razr.  The Rezound seems just too dim, even on the brightest setting.  Not sure how this translates to pictures moved to a computer moniter, but pics also seemed dim to me.  I’m not liking these phones getting longer either.  It’s kinda useless to me.  It doesn’t make icons or fonts any larger.  I get that it’s supposedly the best aspect ratio for video, but if that’s the case, then just make a damned 4 inch 4G phone already!  I seriously can’t believe we have only one 4 inch 4G phone out of 9!  AND IT’S A FREAKING PANTECH?!!!  Who the hell bought a Pantech that wasn’t a cheap ass looking to hop on the smartphone bandwagon, but thought they were staying “with the times” because it’s 4G?  I like the 4.3 inch screen on my Thunderbolt, especially for videos, but I’d be okay downsizing to a 4 inch screen as long as it’s of equal or better quality to the iPhone.  I’m sure plenty of other consumers would feel the same.  I think too many people are caught up with the pixel density rating of the Rezound.  I think HTC was trying to save battery life by not allowing the screen to get all that bright. 

        • Anonymous

          I do believe that the Droid 4 will be 4″.  Of course it’s a slider and has Blur, which around here is a social sin tantamount to admitting being a cannibal in polite company.

  • QtDL

    Is it just me noticing this but why do EOMs keep putting that damn back button on the right side of the screen? Its weird and bugs me every time I see it there. 🙂

  • It’s wringer actually, not ringer.

  • turdbogls

    held a demo unit in store (without anything attached to the back) and it was Large, about as large as i would want to go.  it seems even bigger than the nexus.  keep in mind the nexus may have a 4.65″ screen but it has virtual buttons that take up space so the screen itself is a tiny bit larger than a 4.3″ screen until you load a video or game on it.

    either way, the LG felt pretty solid actually, and other than the slick backing, it felt really nice in the hand.  but the LG overlay just looks/feels dated now.

  • reyalP

    As always, great video review.  Thanks

  • Tbolter

    anyone think this is worth upgrading to from a thunderbolt?  I’m pretty happy with the ‘bolt with the extended battery and cm7, but this beats it hardware-wise by quite a bit.  I’d also need to be able to root and run cm9 on this, did they root this yet?

    • personally I would not get an LG device of any kind, you know how people complain that a device never gets updates? LG is the worst on that front, they sometimes never release a single bug fix or OS update for some of their devices, and the dev community is very sparse if non existent. 

  • I don’t think it looks that bad. I’m not a fan of how they did their on-screen buttons but the style of the phone doesn’t look bad. I can’t say it’s cheap or crap since I haven’t held it and played with it. Already bought and Droid 1 so I’ll have to pass here though.

  • Why would anyone buy this over a Rezound or Razr?! That looks super cheap!

    • because the rezound isn’t as good as this is. Now the RAZR is great, I just wasn’t impressed by the rezound and how sense made it lag.

      • Oh no I disagree. I have a Rezound as my backup phone to my Nexus, and that thing is awesome. Say what you will about Sense, but it’s a hell of a lot more polished than LG’s UI. I work for VZW so I’ve played with one already, and while the specs are great, and the price is spot on, that skin just kills it for me. It just seems….unfinished. Touch Wiz is even better (can’t believe I typed that…). I also never got the lag issue with the Rezound either. Mine never has any problems with that. It’s damn fast, and the switch between 3G and 4G is rather quick; moreso than any other 4G phone I’ve owned, and I’ve had the Charge (crap), Bionic (connectivity issues speak for itself, otherwise great phone), and even the Nexus has some issues (though they’re getting fixed soon I hear). Nexus had gotten all the hype, ad the RAZR got all the marketing, but I swear, that HTC has to be one of the most underrated phones I’ve seen go by, considering what you get for the money.

  • Anonymous

    4.5″ HD IPS at 326ppi is impressive. iPhone 4S is 330ppi but still, thats a tiny screen. This shits all over it. Ugh, cant wait to see what Apple is doing next. If no 4+” screen. Android Im coming back!!

    • Anonymous

      LG makes the screen for the iPhone, so this is basically an iPhone 4/4S screen at 4.5″.

      • Tim242

        This screen is higher res than iphone.

        • Anonymous

          Yes, but basically the same ppi. Resolution really isn’t that important (especially on Android), but pixel density is when you’re looking at the overall quality of a mobile screen.

          • Anonymous

            Resolution and pixel density are related, but its Resolution vs. Screen size you need to look for. 

            Spread the iPhone’s screen out to 4″ and it will be blasted in reviews for its pixel density.

    • Well if Apple’s marketing department is right, you shouldn’t be able to see the difference. Retina right? Lol

    • Tim242

      iphone 4/4S is 326

      • Anonymous


    • Anonymous

      Iphone 4S is 326ppi as well, just for fact purposes. 

  • Guest

    Oh look, another block of a phone! How about some real iPhone competition – something phone-sized, may be?

    • Anonymous

      Im hoping iPhone hist the 4-4.3″ Retina screen sweet spot with the iPhone 5. Anything bigger than 4.3 is overkill IMO.

      • Guest

        I have the exact opposite desire and thus a problem: all these new Android devices are *massive*, and look more like a tablet in my small hands. Most of my 6’+ guy friends are perfectly fine with a 4.3-4.5″ phone because in their hands said phone looks the same size (relatively) as an iPhone in mine.

        Unfortunately, most smaller devices are crap on the hardware side and seem more like an after-thought. It seems if you want a solid sub-4″ phone, you have little choice but to go with an iPhone. There is not anything remotely comparable to top-of-the-line Android phones (GNex, Razr) in smaller sizes.

      • I used to think that way until I got the GNex. Now I feel the 4.65″ screen is perfect for me. I wouldn’t do any smaller, even a 4.3″

        • Anonymous

          Hearing that a 4.5″ HD screen should have 326ppi does sway me. But man that GNEX phone is massive. And thast 4.65 My supervisor has it.

          • I’m very picky when it comes to ppi and I was hesitant about getting the GNex because of the pentile display and lower ppi. The fact is it’s gorgeous. You don’t even notice the pentile like on the Nexus 1 and it actually looks less pixelated than even the iPhone 4.

        • JustinM

          Totally agree. I love my GNex. Can be a stretch for the thumb when one-handing it but it’s worth it. Perfect for games/movies/especially emulators!

        • QtDL

          I agree with the “you’ll get used to it” remark. Last night I dusted off my OG Droid to grab some data off of it. It felt so tiny, almost cute. I’m liking the bigger screen on the Nexus thus far.

      • Anonymous

        Retina is a marketing term; please stop using it.

        This phone basically has the screen a current iPhone would have if it were 4.5″, since this is an LG IPS LCD screen at over 300ppi, and the iPhone’s screen is an LG IPS LCD at over 300ppi.

        • Anonymous

          Im just using the term because I know Apple will call it so, sweety. 😉

          • Anonymous

            OK, honey. <3

      • Tim242

        The 4S was the 5th gen. They will not call their 6th gen, the 5th. Retina was just a marketing term.

        • Anonymous

          Umm, nobody cares? Every tech site you read they refer to it as iPhone 5. Yes, I know its a marketing term. But that’s still what they will call it again.

          • Tim242

            Actually, tech sites are finally wising up. If you go to bgr, you will see that they are now saying next Gen iPhone, instead of iPhone 5. That’s just one example.
            Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

          • Anonymous


            Sent from my iPhone 

          • Tim242

            : )

            Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

          • Anonymous

            So you’re suggesting they will go to the iPhone 6 and skip 5? Not likely.

          • Tim242

            They wouldn’t skip 5. The 4S was the 5th Gen iPhone. They elected to call it the 4S, instead of naming by Gen. If the next iPhone is named by Gen, it would be 6. There was no iPhone 2, or 3 by name. The 4 is the only one thus far to be named by Gen. There is no 5.

            iPhone = iPhone 1
            iPhone 3G = iPhone 2
            iPhone 3GS = iPhone 3
            iPhone 4 = iPhone 4
            iPhone 4S = iPhone 5
            Next iPhone name here = iPhone 6.

            Sent from my Galaxy Nexus

        • Anonymous

          Umm, nobody cares? Every tech site you read they refer to it as iPhone 5. Yes, I know its a marketing term. But that’s still what they will call it again.

    • Guest

      Because the iPhone is just WAY too damn small.

      • Guest

        It is all entirely subjective and heavily relies on your personal dimensions: for a 5’10 – 6’+ guy with big hands, a Galaxy Nexus may be almost perfect, but for those of us with smaller hands Galaxy Nexus is almost tablet-looking.

        I literally cannot one-hand Galaxy Nexus. The damn thing is almost the size of my entire palm.

        • Tim242

          I am 5’6 118, with small hands. The Nexus is just fine. These phones are not meant to be one-handed. That’s how phones get dropped. Not sure why people want to use them with just one hand

        • Spumoni

          it’s for people that know how to work with larger units  😉 !!!!!!!!!!!

        • wants some french cries to go with that whamburger? 

    • Maybe, not may be.

    • lol real competition… people like bigger screens

    • TC Infantino

      Well, they already came out with ‘real iphone competition’ it was called the OG Droid.  And Android phones have steadily been pulling ahead since then.  Any other questions iTroll?

  • I mesed with it in the verizon store. Wasn’t impressed at all.

  • Anonymous

    Sim card Fail

  • Lmrojas

    Wow thats a cheap looking phone. Whats with the shinny pastic

  • derek connolly

    He says in the video that verizon is going with that style box for all their LTE devices now-a-days

  • LewD1

    FYI Kellex,
    volume up, volume down , back key, home key – on the select language screen will will get you past the activation screen and unlock the phone

    • Also, touching the top left, top right, bottom right, and bottom left corners of the screen will work just as well.

    • Anonymous

      up, up, down,down, left, right, left, right, B, A unlocks allot of stuff, bro

      • Anonymous

        +1 internets to you. Well played.

        • EC8CH


          FINISH HIM!

          • TC Infantino

            LOL  Awesome.  Best game ever in my book.  Also liked in ’40 Year Old Virgin’ when they were playing that game and Seth said “Ah look, I just ripped your head off…Now I am throwing it at you”

  • Anonymous

    iFans should be drooling over this display, since LG makes the IPS LCD for the iPhone; this is the same tech, but a usable 4.5″ instead of a myopic 3.5″. Still, I’ll keep my sAMOLED.

  • Tommy Thompson

    Didn’t they say there Nova display was one of the best and most amazing displays too?

  • Evo4emperor

    whats with the gnex style box?!

    • Anonymous

      My thunderbolt came in the same exact type of box so it is not a nexus style box

      • Sk102704

        Same as my Bionic too.

        • Anonymous

          Same as my RAZR.

        • DJyoSNOW

          Same as my droid charge

        • droidrev71


      • droidrev71

        Non Droid phones are coming in plain design boxes is what was said.

    • JDub

      They have been using that box since the thunderbolt maybe even before that.