Showing posts with label LG. Show all posts
Showing posts with label LG. Show all posts

LG Viper 4G LTE review

They said it wouldn't last. And they -- pundits, analysts, bloggers, GSM fanatics -- were right. WiMAX, that flavor of 4G found in the 2500MHz band, has proven to be more of a hindrance than help during Sprint's transition from underdog to reinvigorated titan. Then there are the kerfuffles it's endured standing on the sidelines -- namely, watching one-time LTE partner LightSquared squander its regulatory good graces. Beleaguered would be putting it mildly; Sprint faces a treacherous climb uphill to the mobile Olympus where Verizon, AT&T and now-spectrum-rich T-Mobile sit -- after all, it's hard to change the tide of public perception, overcome the limitations of a dreadful 3G CDMA network and move away from weak third-party 4G signals. Yet, with all of those negatives working against it, a planned rollover to LTE technology might just be the panacea Sprint has so badly needed.
Right now, at least, a wish and a hope are all Sprint can dole out to existing subscribers toying with the idea of switching carriers. Its nascent LTE network, currently in testing across six US cities, hasn't been cleared for launch, which makes its first 4G handset, the Viper 4G LTE, a dress rehearsal of sorts. And what a low-key affair it is: no cutting-edge aesthetics or kickstand here, just mid-range specs and a humble design made from recycled materials. But for anyone itching to surf those faster waves, LG's dual-core, NFC-enabled workhorse could be a tempting buy when it goes on sale Sunday for $100 (with a two-year contract). So will the dangling carrot of faster 4G persuade consumers to choose this over all those other mid-tier Android phones? Let's find out.
Almost every time we've handed someone the Viper, we've been greeted with initial recoil, followed by resigned dismay. It makes you wonder if LG put this phone in front of a focus group before sending it along to retail shelves. At 0.46 inches thick, it certainly cuts a striking figure, just not in the way most consumers would want. Had the Viper been put on a diet, it could've approached decently likable status. Instead, this clunker is saddled with a chassis so engorged that you'd expect Sprint to bundle it with a mini in-home 4G LTE cell tower just to accommodate its capaciousness.
Will that matter to users scraping by on their purse strings, eager to experience speeds similar to what AT&T and Big Red are offering? Not likely, to be totally honest. The faux-metal brushed casing (it's actually 50 percent recycled plastic) is home to LG's logo and a 5-megapixel module with a single LED flash. That chintzy back curves up to the screen where it's met by a silvery border. The 3.5mm headphone jack and power button sit on the top edge, while the volume rocker and micro-USB socket reside on the left -- an arrangement that frees up the remaining real estate, giving the phone a somewhat sterile feel. Peel off the casing and you'll find an NFC chip embedded in the shell, as well as a 1,700mAh Li-ion battery and microSD slot, which comes stuffed with a complimentary 4GB card.
Shrouded in a black bezel is that 4-inch (800 x 400) NOVA display, flanked by a Sprint logo, VGA camera, metallic-trimmed earpiece and four capacitive Android buttons. Curiously, those navigation keys don't stay lit for very long, so you'll have to become quite familiar with their layout if you want to carry on with your daily routine, uninterrupted. For what it's worth, the screen is readable from a variety of angles, though you might encounter some distracting glare. And for the more accident-prone among Sprint's subscriber base, the Viper also benefits from a Gorilla Glass coating, keeping its face (mostly) free from scratches.
Performance and battery life
Stock Gingerbread on an Android handset was a much clamored-for breath of fresh air back in mid-2011. Now, it just smacks of something old, a second-hand cast-off lacking the refinement, visual uniformity and software optimization ushered in with Ice Cream Sandwich. Thankfully, an upgrade to Android 4.0 is on the way, though LG and Sprint aren't committing to an ETA. That's not to say the two companies haven't added their own spices to the UI -- some subtle signs of skinning (read: a different camera app and Sprint's ID packs) are present.
Though our experience with the device was often pleasant, transitions can start to feel irksome after a while: instead of that swooping animation used for a switch between app drawer and homescreen, LG gussied the Viper up with a gradual dissolve that quickly escalates from elegant to annoying. Yes, it's a pretty embellishment, but it also contributes to a feeling of perceived slowness, even though the phone is actually the opposite: powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz MSM8660 chip and 1GB of RAM, this handset proved more than capable of quickly switching between apps.
To give you a fair sense of how the Viper stacks up alongside similarly specced budget offerings, we pitted it against AT&T's LTE-enabled Pantech Burst and T-Mobile's Samsung Galaxy S Blaze 4G. All three run a version of Qualcomm's Snapdragon S3 SoC, although the Viper is clocked 300MHz lower than its dual-core 1.5GHz brethren, so bear that in mind as you look over those mixed benchmark results. From a raw processing standpoint, LG's handset takes a firm backseat to its contenders, coming in dead last in Quadrant, SunSpider and Linpack single- and multi-thread. Where graphical prowess is concerned, however, it charges to the head of the class, toppling the competition with consistently higher frame rates.
LG Viper 4G LTEPantech BurstGalaxy S Blaze 4G
Quadrant (v2)3,0313,1893,600
Linpack single-thread (MFLOPS)44.350.144.5
Linpack multi-thread (MFLOPS)72.980.675.4
NenaMark1 (fps)61.956.055.9
NenaMark2 (fps)55.853.055.3
SunSpider 9.1 (ms, lower scores are better)2,952.82,6923,068
Battery life4.8 hours7.5 hours11.3 hours
Even when limited to Sprint's 3G network, web surfing within the native Android browser is a relatively painless affair. Full desktop pages render in under 20 seconds and pinch-to-zoom performs admirably, tracking our finger movements with only a slight loss in detail.
A product sold on the back of a phantom service? Please to make the Viper's acquaintance. Without the support of Sprint's forthcoming 4G LTE network, LG's handset is forced to sit alongside the other 3G products currently staffing Sprint's CDMA lineup. So, while we'd like to tell you how it'll perform with that specific radio tuned into those next-gen waves, we can't -- there's no available signal here in New York City to test.
What we can attest to is the longevity of its battery while in EVDO-only mode (you can enable or disable this in the settings menu). Under the stress of our standard rundown test the handset lasted four hours and 49 minutes. That's with brightness set to 50 percent, WiFi and GPS enabled, Twitter syncing at 15-minute intervals and one push email account active. With light to moderate use, you should be able to force the phone past the 24-hour mark, especially if you opt for more conservative settings.
Network speeds
GSM carriers here in the US have long trumped their CDMA counterparts in terms of speed. Even so, anyone familiar Sprint's 3G network should know not to expect fast rates, which is precisely why subscribers might be tempted by the promise of LTE. Sadly, without that live 4G network, the phone is at the mercy of Sprint's lackluster EVDO speeds. Around New York City, which is blanketed in 3G coverage, we saw download and upload speeds max out at 1.3Mbps and 0.90Mbps, respectively, with the average hovering between 0.15Mbps to 1.05Mbps down and 0.21Mbps to 0.86Mbps up. In areas where signal penetration was relatively weak, we waited with increasing aggravation for a 2MB app to download and install. Things could change mid-year when Sprint flips the switch on its repurposed radio waves, but for now consider yourself warned.
In a bid to seem different, LG's outfitted the Viper with its own camera app, putting a shred of distance between it and all those other Gingerbread handsets. Users won't be disappointed with the customizations on tap, nor will they be incredibly amazed -- it offers all of the features we've come to accept as standard on modern smartphones. While you don't have the option to tap-to-snap, you can highlight an area on screen to focus in on your intended subject. We do have one minor gripe with the app, and that's the lag between shots.
On the whole, the handset's 5-megapixel module delivers image quality that's just above average. It's no replacement for a point-and-shoot, but pictures do display an impressive level of detail within a shallow depth of field. Still, those finer points become less distinct -- fuzzy, even -- as that distance widens. Color reproduction comes across somewhat muted even when the selected scenery is awash in direct sunlight. You'll still be able to manage a decent collection of photos, but for more exceptional imaging you'll need to seek more expensive pastures.
For a handset positioned toward the middle of the spectrum, the Viper possesses some features more in line with what you'd expect to find in premium phones -- namely, the option to record video in full 1080p HD. We tested out the device's recording capabilities and, as it performed with stills, so too with video. Once again, colors appear dull and the overall image quality is slightly grainy and shaky, though the decent frame rate means you won't see any stutters or drops in the footage. Audio playback was remarkably crisp and discernible, even when we camped out between two major lanes of traffic in downtown New York City.
Not much new can be said about Android 2.3, especially when LG's opted for a mostly vanilla flavor. As we noted earlier, a much needed update to ICS is on the way (once it passes carrier testing), but for now, you'll have the pleasure of December 2010's best Google OS. Despite its staleness, the Viper does stand apart from other non-Nexus devices in one important way: NFC and Google Wallet. Not only does this device join the exclusive rank of other oft-used, tap-to-pay phones, but priced at an affordable $100 on contract, it could help get Mountain View's stalled payment system into wider acceptance.
Vanilla Android is as vanilla Android does and crammed in alongside the usual suite of native Gapps are, of course, Sprint's own load of bloatware, taking the form of first and third party apps like NASCAR, Polaris Office, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint NBA Mobile, SprintZone, TeleNav and Sprint TV & Movies. Fans of pristine app drawers won't be able to uninstall this lot, but they will have the option to disable those offending applications.
A 4G LTE phone for $100 on contract? It's hard to argue with that. No matter how unattractive the design or antiquated the software experience, the Viper is a wise buy for frugal consumers and Sprint loyalists alike. It's not as if the handset's internals aren't up to snuff -- they are -- and whenever Hesse & Co. manage to roll out that Ice Cream Sandwich update, the phone is sure to see some appreciable performance boosts. No, the only major con working against it is the abysmal real-world speeds delivered by the carrier's 3G CDMA network. If you've been wed to Sprint for some time and can deal with its current state of pokiness, then by all means, hang on, upgrade your device and stay tuned for that 4G coverage.
For anyone else not tied to the carrier and looking to swap services, we'd stay focused on other, cheaper budget options running on live, widely deployed LTE networks. Verizon has a host of sub $99 handsets readily available like LG's Viper twinner, the Lucid for $80 or even Pantech's Breakout at $50 on contract, both running along what is arguably the strongest, next-gen network. Need to drop the price bar even lower? At just a penny with a two year agreement, bargain hunters will want to check out the Burst on AT&T -- a real no-brainer as purchases go. Clearly, then, you'll have no dearth of options, especially at this price point. The only question that remains is: Should you buy into what Sprint's not yet selling?
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LG Gives Europe a Heads-Up: Optimus 3D Max Coming Your Way

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First announced back during February's Mobile World Congress, LG's second autosteroscopic 3D smartphone, the Optimus 3D Max, has already made its retail debut in Asia. Since then, we've been waiting to see the phone start spreading out into some additional markets around the globe. The 3D Max is now poised to do just that, with LG announcing today the European launch of the smartphone. 

The 3D Max is a mostly minor refresh of the original Optimus 3D, but it does make a couple decent improvements. There's not a big change to the phone's processor – a TI OMAP4430 for both versions – but the 3D Max gets a slight clock bump from 1GHz to 1.2GHz. RAM doubles to one gigabyte, and LG adds NFC support for this new version. When it comes to the handset's all-important display, you won't find anything new here, and this 4.3-inch WVGA component appears to be the same as from the Optimus 3D. Other hold-overs include the same 8GB of storage and microSD support. 

One noteworthy change is that despite keeping so much of the old hardware, LG has managed to shave two millimeter's thickness and twenty grams off the Optimus 3D – not much, but we'll take it. 

We're still wondering about the 3D Max's chances for coming to the US; despite having seen the phoneswing by the FCC, we've yet to confirm any release plans. 
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LG's Optimus 4X HD Will Apparently Be Arriving In White, Too

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With everyone else showing-off their latest quad-core gear at the Mobile World Congress earlier this year, LG wasn't about to be left out, and revealed its Optimus 4X HD running an NVIDIA Tegra 3 chip. With specs like a 720p 4.7-inch screen and gigabyte of RAM, the 4X sounds a lot like HTC's One X, but the LG model gets the benefit of a bulkier 2150mAh battery. We've already seen the Ice Cream Sandwich handset go up for pre-order, on the understanding that the model would see its release sometime around June. So far, though, we've been looking at the 4X HD in black; some new imagery has arrived that shows a previously unseen white version of the handset. 

Your feelings on the new white 4X will be a matter of personal taste, but the color change does seem to have the effect of making the phone's already-thin bezel seem even less conspicuous than it did in the original black. 

We haven't heard anything about the potential availability of this new version of the phone, and if we'll be seeing it land alongside the black 4X this June or of it will trickle-out somewhere later down the line. For the moment, we've yet to see retailers expand pre-order options to include this edition. 

4x white2

4x white3

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LG Confirms Optimus L3 Launch Plans

We got an early look at LG's Optimus L3 when the phone found itself up for pre-order with a Swedish retailer well in advance of LG's official unveiling of the phone in the lead-up to the Mobile World Congress. Since then, we've been expecting the Android to finally arrive sometime in March, but lacked official confirmation. Today, LG takes care of that last bit, confirming the handset's launch details. 

Europe will get the Optimus L3 first, before the end of the month. Russia and Asia will follow, though LG hasn't said just when, and after that the door's open for possible sales in additional markets around the globe. 

The L3 is supposed to be pretty darn cheap, with those pre-orders coming in at under the equivalent of $200. Admittedly, it's a lower-tier phone, but where we might have seen a single-core 800MHz processor in such a device last year, in 2012 we've upgraded to dual-core components. Even with that concession, we're still looking at a relatively small, low-resolution screen. You might want to check out the 3.2-inch QVGA display for yourself before ordering this one, just in case it's a deal-breaker. 
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LG Brand-New Android Lineup Gets Filmed (Video)

With the Mobile World Congress just about to commence in Barcelona, it should be no surprise that the companies preparing to demonstrate their latest handsets have been getting their gear together in preparation of the show. That much smartphone hardware all together in one place is just making it more and more likely that bits and pieces will leak out a little early, giving us some teases of what we can hope to see once things really get started. Italian site Telefonio recently found itself with just such an opportunity, and has managed to capture plenty of pictures and video of LG's recently-announced lineup of Androids. 

LG's been very busy this week, formally revealing phones like the Optimus 4X HD3D MaxVuLTE Tag, and its trio of L-series phones; maybe "busy" is actually a bit of an understatement. As such, Telefonio really lucked-out with getting access to these LG handsets, and managed to snap more images than we could ever hope to show you here. For the highlights, though, check out the video clips below, giving us some of our first hands-on looks at these just-announced models. 

We'll be bringing you our own first-hand reactions to these LG phones as we start our MWC coverage, and with commentary in English, to boot. If you just want to get a quick first look, or you happen to speak Italian, here's a good starting place: 

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LG Optimus 4X HD unveiled: Quad-core Tegra 3, Ice Cream Sandwich, 4.7-inch display

If LG failed to impress so far with the Android 2.3 phones it's shown off in the run up to MWC 2012, perhaps the Optimus 4X HD can turn things around. This 4.7-inch beast will hit Europe in the second quarter and is its first to feature a 1.5GHz quad-core Tegra 3 as its benchmark destroying CPU, a 4.7-inch True HD IPS LCD (1280x720) plus what appears to be a lightly customized version of Ice Cream Sandwich. Perhaps the only logical followup to its Optimus 2X that kicked off all the dual-core madness, it also includes a 2,150mAh battery, 1GB of RAM and 16GB of internal storage. Despite that huge screen, at a depth of 8.9mm it's only slightly thicker than the superwide 4x3 Optimus Vu. Just like the Fujitsu prototype we spent some time with at CES, the Tegra 3 features a 4+1 "Companion Core" design, with a fifth low power unit available to take care of more mundane tasks without draining the battery. This is all pretty close to the leaked "X3" specs we'd heard, however there's no mention of NFC or HSPA+ just yet, only DLNA and MHL. Check out the full press release after the break for a few more specs.


LG Optimus 4X HD Takes Desktop Performance to the Mobile Space

SEOUL, Feb. 23, 2012 – LG today unveiled its first Quad-Core processor smartphone, LG Optimus 4X HD. Combining NVIDIA's latest 1.5GHz Tegra 3 with True HD IPS display, the LG Optimus 4X HD delivers PC-like performance in the palm of one's hand.

"LG introduced the world's first Dual-Core smartphone exactly one year ago and today we're announcing the next milestone," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. "But speed in itself isn't what makes LG Optimus 4X HD unique, it's the benefit we're bringing to customers with the HD multimedia experience in a mobile form factor."

The NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor is the world`s only 4-PLUS-1™ Quad-Core mobile processor designed for high-level multimedia performance but utilizes a fifth battery-saver core to handle less demanding tasks such as active standby and music playback. When running at full speed, the 12-core graphics processing unit (GPU) in Tegra 3 delivers a visually rich experience and console-quality game playability.

Equipped with the True HD IPS display, the Optimus 4X HD guarantees the finest viewing experience with high resolution, clarity and no color or shape distortion. The Optimus 4X HD includes 16 GB internal memory and runs on the latest version of Android OS, Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Besides the smooth and fast performance, the Optimus 4X HD boasts a 8-megapixel BSI (Backside Illumination) Sensor camera with LED flash and advanced multimedia features to enrich the overall multimedia experience.

And LG designers made sure that looks didn't take a back seat to performance. The 8.9mm slim and sleek smartphone features a "prism-edged" design with enhanced materials and finish.

Additional information on the revolutionary new Optimus 4X HD will be available at LG Stand (Hall 8) at MWC 2012 from February 27 to March 1.

Key Specifications:
o Chipset: 1.5GHz Quad-Core processor (NVIDIA Tegra 3)
o Display: 4.7-inch (1280 x 720) True HD IPS
o Memory: 16GB eMMC and 1GB LP DDR2
o Camera: 8.0MP BSI Sensor (Rear) and 1.3MP (Front)
o OS: Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich
o Battery: 2,150mAh
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LG busts out a trio of L-series phones in the run up to MWC

LG's gotten all excited and spilled even more beans ahead of MWC as to what offerings we'll see at the big Iberian shindig. The L-Series is a trio of phones we're already part-way familiar with, given that the budget L3 was leaked back in January. The L5 and L7 are aimed at the mid-range and premium ends of the market, running ICS and packing 4-inch and 4.3-inch displays respectively. Whilst there's no further detail about specs, we know that the L-series shares the same DNA as the Prada Phone 3, so we'd imagine that as a good benchmark. The PR boasts of "five aesthetic elements," all of which seem to emphasize that the phone's going to be quite thin. After the break we've got that brief statement in full and the nagging sense that there's no surprise forthcoming when LG takes to the stage next week.
LG Takes Design Philosophy to the Next Level
with Line-up of Stylish Smartphones

SEOUL, Feb. 21, 2012 – LG Electronics (LG) makes its boldest move yet in its strategy to attain smartphone leadership with the launch of its new design identity, L-Style, at the 2012 Mobile World Congress (MWC).

The core essence of L-Style involves a timeless design with finer details that further differentiate LG's mobile devices from the competition. LG's design leadership has been well established in the past with a successful track-record that includes the Black Label Series phones such as the Chocolate and Shine.

"Design is consistently the top or second most important factor for customers when choosing a mobile phone," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Mobile Communications Company. "With smartphones, we sometimes took a more functional approach to design but with L-Style we're going back to our roots as a company focused on how our products fit into the lifestyle of our customers."

L-Style's design philosophy is comprised of five aesthetic elements: Modern Square Style for a comfortable grip, Floating Mass Technology for a slimmer look, Seamless Layout for a more intuitive arrangement of keys, Harmonized Design Contrast utilizing metallic accents and Sensuous Slim Shape that naturally draws one's attention.

Three new smartphones to be unveiled at MWC will initially feature the L-Style look. The Optimus L3, with a 3.2-inch display, will first launch in Europe this March. This smartphone will be followed by two other devices in the first half of the year running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich: Optimus L5 with a 4.0-inch display and Optimus L7 featuring a 4.3-inch screen.

Market availability and additional hardware specifications of all three models will be announced at a future date.
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LG Optimus Vu officially revealed ahead of MWC with stylus, 1.5GHz CPU

Similar to its pre-CES reveals, LG just couldn't wait for Mobile World Congress to get underway on the 27th to show off its new Optimus Vu handset. These new pics offer a much clearer look at its 4x3 aspect ratio, 1024x768 res, stylus-friendly 5-inch IPS LCD display, while the official specs confirm rumors it would pack a 1.5GHz dual core CPU, 8MP camera, LTE, 2080mAh battery and Android 2.3 in a slim 8.5mm thick frame. An upgrade to Ice Cream Sandwich is promised within three months of its launch, currently scheduled for March on Korean carriers SK Telecom and LG+. Check the gallery for a few more glamour shots of this new Galaxy Note competitor, and see if wider truly is better.
Optimus Vu: (view) Specifications:
- Dimensions: 139.6 x 90.4 x 8.5mm / Weight: 168 g
- Display: 5 inch IPS (1024x768) Display
- Camera: (rear) 8,000,000 pixels (AF LED flash support) / (front), 1.3-megapixel
- Memory: 32GB eMMC
-CPU: Qualcomm 1.5GHz dual-core processor
- Operating System: Android 2.3 Gingerbread
- Battery: 2080 mAh
- Other: HDMI, DLNA, Wi-Fi Direct, T-DMB support, etc.
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LG X3 Upcoming Tegra 3 ICS Phone Benchmark Results

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It's not like we didn't already see the LG X3. It was the second quad-core phone revealed after the HTC Edge which became the HTC Endeavor. With a Tegra 3 chip at its core, the X3 will pack, according to what we've already seen, a 4.7-inch screen of 720x1280 pixels, 16GB of internal storage, eight-megapixel shooter coupled with a 1.3-megapixel webcam and Android Ice Cream Sandwich on top of the silicone. 

As you can see in the screenshot below, the X3 is capable of 4412 points in the new Quadrant version 2. This is a solid score but if you come to think of it, our Samsung Galaxy S II running the leaked Ice Cream Sandwich ROM scores easily above 4200 (on the same version of Quadrant). However, four cores (actually five) are better than two if you come to think of it. We'll be there at MWC to tell you all about it. 

x3 quadrant
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Lenovo Announces K800, World's First Intel-Based Smartphone

While Intel and Motorola Mobility made sure the world found out about their new, multi-year-multi-device partnership to deliver Intel-based Android devices, Chinese phone-maker Lenovo announced the K800, the world's first Intel-based smartphone.

The Lenovo K800 brings a 4.5-inch 720p display, a 1.6GHz Intel processor and an eight-megapixel main camera. The Intel chip inside the phone is the Z2460, formerly referred to as the "Medfield", aided by the Intel XMM 6260 platform chip in order to offer support for HSPA+ networks. Android is the platform of choice with Lenovo's own LeOS custom UI on top of it and the carrier will be China Mobile in the second quarter of the year. There's no information about pricing or a global availability. 
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LG Nitro HD Software Overview (Video)

This time, we take a dive into the software element of the LG Nitro HD. For the most part, we’ve all become accustomed to see a manufacturer-customized skin on any non-Nexus devices. Of course, the LG Nitro HD is no exception. 

LG’s user interface maintains a resemblance to Samsung’s TouchWiz 3.0. This gives the icon a very “iOS” appearance. Some users may like this look and other may not. LG has added a set of quick actions to the pull-down notification bar. This gives users the ability to quickly enable or disable silent mode, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS connectivity and Airplane Mode. Carrier bloatware does (unfortunately) exist on this device; however it’s not overly intrusive or obnoxious. You’ll see your typical AT&T represented FamilyMap, Navigator and liveTV, but you’re also exposed to other pre-loaded apps like MOG Music and Zynga Poker HD. 

Overall LG’s go at skinning the Android software isn’t all that bad. When moving apps and widgets a grid placement icon is animated on the screen. This will make it much easier for first time users to customize their home screen layouts.
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