August 28th 2012 8:30 am

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A quad-core powerhouse with Nexus aspirations

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The Optimus G is a phenomenal piece of hardware that combines refined design, superb build quality and specs to die for. Qualcomm's quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro provides gobs of performance without sacrificing battery life. While LG's 4.7-inch True HD IPS PLUS panel is beautiful, it still ranks behind HTC's gorgeous Super LCD 2 display on the One X. Despite that pesky continuous autofocus, both 13- and 8-megapixel cameras are capable of capturing top-notch photos and usable videos. Where the Optimus G falls short is in the software department -- LG's UI 3.0 skin is mediocre and Ice Cream Sandwich is somewhat disappointing on such a great handset. Apparently, there's an Optimus G-based Nexus phone running Jelly Bean in the works -- problem solved, then.

The question remains: Should you plunk down $200 (on contract) for Sprint's Optimus G when it goes on sale November 11th or AT&T's version when it hits the shelves on November 2nd? We prefer the simple and elegant design of the Sprint and Korean models -- not to mention the marginally better 13-megapixel shooter. Sprint's device is held back by poor LTE coverage and an embedded SIM. AT&T's unit suffers from excessive carrier tweaks (both hardware and software) and a slightly lower-grade 8MP camera, but benefits from a mature LTE network and expandable storage. With AT&T about to offer HTC's One X+ and Samsung's Galaxy Note II, it's a tough call. So, did we mention that upcoming Nexus?

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Critic reviews

8.1
19 reviews
  • Reception and call quality
    7.5
  • Display
    8.6
  • Battery life
    7.3
  • Camera
    7.1
  • Ease of use
    8.6
  • Design and form factor
    8.3
  • Portability (size / weight)
    7.6
  • Media support
    8.4
  • Durability
    8.0
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.)
    7.5

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User reviews

8.9
10 reviews
8.0
Engadget Oct 19, 2012

The Optimus G is a phenomenal piece of hardware that combines refined design, superb build quality and specs to die for. ... Where the Optimus G falls short is in the software department -- LG's UI 3.0 skin is mediocre and Ice Cream Sandwich is somewhat disappointing on such a great handset.

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8.0
CNET Oct 12, 2012

With its speedy internals, LTE data speeds, and stunning screen, the LG Optimus G is one of the phone-maker's best handsets so far, but it can't escape its weak battery and camera.

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8.0
Computerworld Oct 11, 2012

LG seems to have arrived at the smartphone party wearing a great outfit and fabulous jewelry. But Apple may have already moved on to the after-party with its many friends.

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8.0
PC Mag Oct 17, 2012

The LG Optimus G for Sprint is the fastest Android phone today, but it isn't the best Android phone on Sprint.

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8.0
Gizmodo Oct 20, 2012

Should You Buy It? Not yet. This is an excellent phone; in fact, I'd choose it over a Galaxy S III. But! It's looking like the Optimus G may get even better in a matter of weeks. Rumors are churning that this'll be the template for the next Nexus phone.

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8.0
PC Mag Oct 22, 2012

The LG Optimus G for AT&T is a quad-core beast, but a disappointing camera and heating issues hold it back from smartphone perfection.

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7.0
Ars Technica Nov 5, 2012

If you can live without a stock version of Android and are willing to take a chance on whether or not this phone will get software updates on time, the Optimus G is worth picking up.

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8.0
SlashGear Oct 16, 2012

This device is the most well-refined package that LG has ever delivered, with a generous amount of processing power, a high-class physical feel, and a final product that finally does justice to the display power LG has been bringing on for months in past devices.

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9.0
Ubergizmo Oct 16, 2012

It is fair to say that the LG Optimus G is an excellent smartphone. When compared to the Samsung Galaxy S3, ... it delivers a state-of-the-art product design in an ultra-thin body with a better build quality than its rival.

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9.0
phoneArena Oct 17, 2012

For the first time in a long time, it’s quite possible that LG’s fortunes might turn around for the better thanks to the LG Optimus G, especially when it’s packing that dreamy combination of a mighty quad-core processor and 4G LTE connectivity.

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9.0
Phone Scoop Oct 17, 2012

Wow, LG. Well done. I've been disappointed with nearly every smartphone made by LG for the last few years. The Optimus G erases those failures and elevates the game. The Optimus G may not be perfect, but it is as close as LG has ever come to perfection.

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9.0
Android Central Oct 18, 2012

The Optimus G is truly the best hardware LG has ever produced. The display is to die for, and performance is just ridiculously fluid and fast. But LG has a history of stumbling when it comes to building its ecosystem.

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9.0
Gear Diary Dec 30, 2012

The choice is clear, at least to me. If I was in the market for an Android phone, I would absolutely buy the AT&T LG Optimus G.

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8.0
Mobiledia Oct 16, 2012

Overall, the Optimus G is one of LG's best smartphones to date. If you're going to buy one, the Sprint version edges out AT&T's edition based on the software alone. But either one is a solid choice.

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8.0
TechRadar Oct 20, 2012

We quite like the Optimus G. We're confident saying it's the best LG phone we've seen yet. The specs are tremendous, and it manages to have a big display, quad-core processor and 4G LTE without terrible battery life.

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8.0
Digital Versus Apr 4, 2013

The Optimus G is a very good smartphone. It's responsive and has a user-friendly interface with tons of features. The camera and sound may not break any records, but they do the trick.

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8.0
DroidLife Oct 15, 2012

The LG Optimus G on AT&T is a fabulous device. The display is one of the best displays you will find on a smartphone, the hardware specs are the best in the business, battery life is above average ... and the UI experience, while custom, doesn’t suck.

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8.0
IntoMobile Oct 15, 2012

In an uphill battle for relevance, LG has come out with a sharp right hook. The Optimus G is a great device that certainly shows the world that it isn't going anywhere. We saw some great things comes from the LG Optimus 4XHD, and the Optimus G builds upon that.

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8.0
HotHardware Dec 10, 2012

At this point, and with its current version of Android, the Optimus G should be priced a bit lower in light of competing offerings. If it drops to $99 or less on contract for the holidays though, it'd be a very worthy contender, that will only get better when LG released a Jelly Bean update for the...

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9.0
damian015 damian015

This is a great device, basically a Nexus 4 with LTE and more memory (32GB). Love the build of this device and how snappy it is. Camera even though its 13MB is still very average compare to other 8MB camera but it is loaded with features. The only real downside to this device is not really with...

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9.0
Nierge Nierge

LG optimus G is a perfect product, better than its brother NEXUS 4,. Got a fairly good display and monster like performance, if you want a good designed phone with a powerful performance,this will be your choice.

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9.0
CavemanRC CavemanRC

I've only had the phone for a few days, but so far mostly good. There's the heat issue and some typing glitches, but hopefuly the promised Jelly Bean upgrade will fix the issues. Phone seems to have a lot of potential.

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