Review of LG Spectrum on Verizon

A well done, moderately priced Android

Verizon 4G LTE
4.5″ True HD Screen
1.5 Ghz Dual-Core Processor
8MP rear-facing/ 1.3 front Camera 1.3MP

The LG Spectrum has one of the nicest screens I have seen on a large screen Android.

The 4.5″ 1280 x 720 TFT is crisp in every combination of font and color. It exhibits a consistent white during a wide range of screen brightness. It’s easy on the eyes even with smaller fonts typical as screen resolution increases and font sizes stay the same.

The 1.5 Ghz dual-core processor is quick, fluid and glitch free.

Running Android 2.3.5, the Spectrum isn’t wearing cutting edge Android, but there are LG enhancements that are all positive.

Control of WiFi on Android handsets is often limited to adding an on/off control widget and going into the menu. There are times that leaving WiFi on is clunky, like when in motion or you would like to connect quickly to a new network.

The LG adds control of WiFi to it’s embedded control bar in the pull-down notifications. For people trying to stick to a 2 gig 4G plan, the quick control of WiFi could be handy to limit connection to the Verizon network.

From the pull-down control, you can pick an open or already saved network or refuse Wifi. You can use password push from equipped routers. There are also sleep options for saving battery life.

LG groups apps on the Spectrum into pop down shades, organizing pages of apps into one scrolling page. You can add, rename or reorder these folders. The apps can be placed anywhere within a folder and drop and drag between folders.

You can save home screens “scenes” for different functions. For example: a different scene for work days and travel days.

Gesture options allow you to tap the sides of the phone to move cursor around while typing, relocate items by tap and tilt, flip the phone to mute calls, flip the phone to snooze/stop alarm, tap on sides of phone to move gallery items and flip the phone to pause video.

There is a social network feed/directory widget that combines a Rolodex type wheel that you can spin through your contacts and see their most current social network post. Link on the photo of the person to get a direct link to email, phone number or text messaging.

When you plug the LG into your computer there is a software launcher application that checks with LG for the latest software. It seems questionable at first, but does the job after the initial install.

Wi–Fi Direct – connects directly to another wireless device without joining a traditional home, office, or hotspot network

Battery life is average for a large screen 4G Android.

You can share your 4G connection with up to 10 other wireless devices via the 4G Mobile Hotspot.

There is an interesting charging widget that turns the screen into a moving tank of liquid that is filled based on the battery level.

Touch menu buttons are lit upon contact, then fade to black when not in use.

You can’t change the txt message font size, but the screen is so good, it probably won’t be an issue.

There is automated installing for Microsoft Exchange, AOL, Yahoo, Windows Live, Gmail. Verizon.net and manual set-up for other email accounts.

Gmail is incorporated into the combined inbox rather than a separate app.

Notifications go beyond the pull-down shade and header.

The LG also embeds quantified notifications in the unlock screen for text messages and email as with the icons themselves on apps and in the home screen dock.

The 8 MP camera interface is straightforward and has what you need. The front-facing and rear cameras work well, the images have less artifacting than the Motorola RAZR and RAZR MAXX. The rear HD video is 1920 x 1088.

The neutral screen and white whites of the excellent screen make viewing photos a realistic experience with punchy colors.

The video microphone tends to sound clearer facing forward than when talking from behind, which is good because usually your subject is in front of the camera.

Smart Movie HD is an automated movie maker that takes your videos and stills and creates a movie using predetermined templates. You can also add you own music. They are kinda gimmicky, but take zero skill and can be quick fun to create an interesting movie out of some really bad clips. (See my example below)

For the excellent screen alone, the LG Spectrum is worth a look. And it’s a competent execution of Android that may fit your niche.

About Paul Kuehnel


Paul Kuehnel
has worked for the York Daily Record/Sunday News since 1984.

Follow him on Twitter @paulkuehnel.

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