LG Optimus G Android phone
It's far from perfect but the Optimus G is definitely LG's best smartphone ever
- Excellent performance
- Outstanding screen
- Great range of features
- Poor battery life
- No microSD card slot
- Interface can be a little messy
Poor battery life and the lack of a microSD card slot are downsides, but the 4G-capable Optimus G is fast, well-designed and has some handy software features. It's definitely LG's best smartphone ever.
Price$ 624.00 (AUD)
Better late than never. After a lengthy delay, LG has finally released its flagship Optimus G smartphone in Australia, exclusively through Telstra. Although there are some downsides including poor battery life and the lack of a microSD card slot, the 4G-capable Optimus G is fast, well-designed and has some handy software features, making it LG's best smartphone ever.
An attractive, black slab of plastic
The plastic build doesn't feel as premium compared to other devices.
The LG Optimus G is a relatively well designed smartphone. It's basically a rectangular black slab with a chrome edge around the front and glossy, curved sides. It's relatively lightweight and comfortable to hold, though like the Samsung Galaxy S III, the plastic-feeling build doesn't feel as premium compared to devices like the Apple iPhone 5 and the Sony Xperia Z.
The design highlight of the Optimus G appears to be the back of the phone, which has a pattern LG calls "Crystal Reflection". It's a clear, glossy finish on top with a reflective pattern underneath that only appears when you're looking at it at certain angles, or under the right lighting. The look isn't horrible but it won't suit all tastes and can be slippery to grip.
LG has positioned the Optimus G's buttons and ports in all the right places. There's a power/lock screen button on the right, a volume rocker on the left, a 3.5mm headphone jack on the top and a micro-USB port on the bottom. Both the volume and power buttons are very well positioned, making them easy to press when you're holding the phone with one hand.
The 4.7in IPS screen is one of the most bright and vibrant we've seen.
One downside to the Optimus G's design is the lack of a removable battery, which may annoy hardened Android users. There's no room for a microSD card slot either, so you'll have to make do with the 32GB of internal memory.
The Optimus G may not have a full HD 1080p display but its 4.7in IPS screen is one of the most bright and vibrant we've seen on a smartphone. It has excellent viewing angles, outstanding colour reproduction and displays very crisp text, though we found sunlight legibility a little poor. The screen pushes almost to the edge of the phone leaving minimal bezel, so it actually feels larger than it is without compromising on the size of the handset.
Jelly Bean with an LG twist
LG adds some unique features but many of them are gimmicks that we didn't use too often.
The LG Optimus G runs the 4.1 Jelly Bean version of Google's Android platform but is skinned with LG's own user interface. This interface overlay adds some unique features but many of them are gimmicks that we didn't use too often. We aren't a fan of the overall look and feel of the skin, either, which is rather cartoon-like. Whether you agree really comes down to personal taste.
Swipe down the notification bar on the Optimus G and you'll get quick access to up to 14 completely customisable toggles called quick settings. You can add and edit a range of toggles here including QuickMemo, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, sound profiles and screen brightness. It's a nifty inclusion and definitely adds value to the standard notification pull down.
We're not sure how many people are desperate for the QSlide feature.
Below these toggles are five "QSlide apps" which allow you to watch a video, browse the Web, write a memo, see the calendar or use a calculator while another application is open. You can open up to three of these apps at once and keep them on the screen while you switch between regular, open applications. The QSlide apps don't slow down the phone which is quite impressive, though we're not sure how many people are desperate for such a feature. It also makes for a rather confusing notifications panel, with icons and buttons everywhere. There's no way to remove the feature if you don't plan to use it.
There's a few other LG-exclusive features, too. QuickMemo lets you use your finger to write on screenshots, which handy if you need to take a quick note or jot down a phone number. There's also a 'Dual Screen Dual Play' feature that mirrors content from the phone to a TV using Miracast technology. Conveniently, you can play a video on your TV and then use other functions on the phone itself, or you can display a powerpoint presentation on a TV and read notes on the phone's screen.
The lock screen on the Optimus G is also worth mentioning. When you put your finger on the screen to swipe and unlock it, a circle appears and gradually gets larger as you swipe. The circle is translucent and reveals the screen you're swiping into. It doesn't add any real functionality but it looks impressive. You can choose one of three different clock widgets or two calendar widgets to display on the lock screen, and you can swipe open into four customisable apps.
The Optimus G is certainly a fast and powerful smartphone.
One feature we wish LG didn't change is the on-screen keyboard. It's space bar is positioned too far to the left so we frequently mis-hit it when typing. The keyboard includes Swype-style typing called "path" but we found it far less accurate to the excellent Swiftkey keyboard.
Although LG's skin and extra features might not suit all users the Optimus G is certainly a fast smartphone. The 1.5GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 processor and 2GB of RAM seems to keep things ticking over nicely. We rarely experienced any lag, even when using some of the phone's more taxing applications.
Most basic operations, like unlocking the home screen, switching between apps and scrolling in the Browser are very smooth and fast. The Optimus G has no trouble playing the most graphically intense games, either, with titles like Real Racing 3, GTA III and Shadowgun running without any major issues.
Camera & battery life
LG has added some extra features to the camera interface.
The LG Optimus G has a 13-megapixel rear camera and a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera for video calls. We found photos captured with the phone were impressively detailed, especially outdoors in good lighting. However, indoor performance was less impressive with noticeable image noise and grain hindering our shots. Overall, the 13-megapixel camera isn't significantly better than most 8-megapixel camera phones we've seen, including the Samsung Galaxy S III and LG's own Nexus 4.
LG has added some extra features to the camera interface on the Optimus G. The most notable inclusion is 'Time catch shot', which captures three photos before and one after you press the shutter button for a total of five photos. There's HDR, panorama and continuous shot modes, along with the ability the capture photos using a voice trigger. Thw latter works with one of five pre-programmed words: "cheese", "smile", "whisky", "kimchi" or "LG". However, we found this feature hit and miss with some words not always registering. The Optimus G also allows users to zoom into videos while recording by up to 5x.
The LG Optimus G has below average battery life. In most instances, the 2100mAh battery only lasted up to 14 hours before needing to be recharged, a pretty poor result. The large screen and 4G connectivity do take a toll on the battery, though more prudent users may be able to push a full day out of the phone, depending on usage patterns.
The LG Optimus G is available now exclusively through Telstra in Australia.
• LG confident in late-arriving Optimus G "superphone"
• Telstra 'exclusive' Optimus G not landing Down Under until March
• LG Optimus G preview
• 4G-capable Optimus G won't see light of day Down Under until 2013
• LG: We "dropped the ball" in smartphones
Join the newsletter!
Nespresso Creatista Coffee Machine
WD MY PASSPORT™ Gaming Storage
cloudandco Smart Cane
Bang and Olufsen BeoVision 14
Apple iPhone X
SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-55EZ950U
Panasonic OLED 4K Ultra HD TV - TH-77EZ1000U
Dyson Supersonic™ Hair Dryer Fuchsia/Iron
Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44
Toys for Boys
Lego Mindstorms EV3
Onyx Smart Walkie Talkie
Bose SoundLink Micro
Leica M10 Digital Rangefinder Camera
Ubiquiti Network’s Front Row Camera
LaCie Rugged USB-C Portable Hard Drive
Google Daydream View VR Headset
Propel Star Wars T-65 X-Wing Drone
UBTech First Order Stormtrooper Robot
Amazon Echo Bluetooth Speaker
Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K
PETKIG Go Smart Dog Leash
iRobot Roomba 980 Vaccum Cleaning Robot
Panasonic Hi-Fi - SC-UA7GS-K
Dearear Endear In-ear Wireless Earphones
WD MY CLOUD™ HOME Personal Cloud Storage
Belkin Pocket Power 10,000mAh
Nest Protect Smart Smoke Alarm
Xbox One X
Toffee Bags Commuter Satchel
Panasonic Portable Splashproof Fun - RF-D20U
Logitech Doodle Collection Wireless Mouse
Ikea NORDMÄRKE Wireless Charging Pad
Lexon Flip Alarm Clock
Raspberry Pi Starter Kit
3SIXT 3-in-1 Smartphone Lens Kit
Urbanworx Full HD Action Camera
Fallout Geeki Tikis
Kogan Bluetooth Soundbar
Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse
Tile Pro Bluetooth Tracker
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Google Home Mini review: a welcome addition to the smart speaker family.
- 4 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 5 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
Latest News Articles
- Sony Commences Android 8.0 Oreo Rollout in New Zealand Starting With Flagship Xperia XZ Premium Smartphone Device
- Qualcomm adds security, battery life features to phone chips
- Cygnett’s new wireless charging range has arrived
- Belkin Introduces USB-C 3.1 Express Dock HD
- Porsche Design Huawei Mate 10 Will Come To Australia
PCW Evaluation Team
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
- PC World 2017 Editors' Choice Awards Nomineees Announced
- LG V30+ review: The videographer's smartphone arrives
- Fitbit Ionic review: Impressive but not quite iconic
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTSenior Wintel EngineerACT
- FTSenior Network ArchitectOther
- CCBusiness Systems Analyst (Expression of Interest)QLD
- CCOrganisational Change ManagerNSW
- CCProblem manager - OSS, Service Assurance appsVIC
- CCDesign Engineer - FTTN - TelcoVIC
- CCTechnical Business AnalystNSW
- CCWintel Engineer - BrisbaneVIC
- TPCommunication Advisor | ICT Project ImplementationQLD
- TPTraining ManagerVIC
- FTSalesforce DeveloperOther
- FTAccount Manager - Enterprise AccountsOther
- CCIseries Analyst ProgrammerNSW
- FTSenior Salesforce DeveloperOther
- FTFinancial AdministratorOther
- CCNetwork Engineer -VoiceVIC
- TPLearning SpecialistQLD
- FTGun Java Developers wantedVIC
- CCTechnical Field EngineerNSW
- FTStorage EngineerACT
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperOther
- CCSenior Project Manager - Office 365QLD
- CCProject Manager (Junior-Mid Level)QLD
- FTSenior Business ConsultantOther
- FTMid-level Drupal Developer - BrisbaneNSW