Sprint Optimus G

The unapologetic first impressions after 10 minutes of use

From time to time we review phones here at AC. Some of us are really good at it, with a fine eye for detail, some of us have used so many phones, we have an excellent idea of how they compare to each other, and some of us think a bit differently and look at things normal people wouldn't think to. That's how we roll, and I think it makes for a great mix, especially when more than one of us get to look at the same phone. 

I'm holding Sprint's LG Optimus G (coming November 11) in my grubby claws, and after 10 minutes of sitting in my chair and toying with it I've got a couple things to say -- both good and bad,

The good

  • This thing is fast. It's the first phone running stock software that's faster than anything else out there. Faster than the Galaxy S3, faster than the Galaxy Nexus running 4.1.2, and faster than the One X with HTC's UI-focused multitasking.
  • The screen. Yes, it's as good as the One X, and that's saying a lot.
  • The back "glass". I can't describe it any better than Phil can, but when you hold it you know it feels like glass but isn't really glass. And it survives a four foot drop-test on the hardwood floor (don't look Sprint) with nary a scratch or ding.
  • The notification icons tell you how many unread you have with a red bubble. A subtle, yet meaningful touch that Google totally needs to steal.

The bad

  • The fake chrome ring around the edge isn't flush, and you feel it when you rub your thumb across it. Or not. See here for more.
  • Ice Cream Sandwich. Jelly Bean coming soon doesn't cut it with me.
  • The ultra colorful UI. Tone that down a bit, please. 
  • I'm rubbing my thumb across that trim ring again, so I had to mention it twice.
  • 78 kbps 3G speeds from Sprint

I've put all my other toys away and will be using the G exclusively, look for more soon.

There are 39 comments

PJMAN2952 says:

Why is the folder pink?

Can make them any color you like. They are adjustable for size as well.

mhmmdy123 says:

With fully respect, I been with sprint for more than 10 years, I never seen their speed slow as you did mentioned. I do have result for Sprint Download and upload, but, I never post them onlin and the reason for that,I never done it before.
I you or someone tell me how to post it from my smartphone, I`ll be glad to do so.

djw39 says:

Speeds are highly dependent on what city you're in. But the deterioration of Sprint's 3G network in many many cities is well documented. I live in Charlotte and Jerry's comment sounds about right.

TauSigmaNova says:

Yeah... I live in New York City and on Virgin Mobile/Sprint 3G I get 42-200Kbps down on average. Shameful. It's not the phone's fault, I'd say, but the service is bad.

giograves says:

Ditto. NYC Sprint 3G is the pits. ISDN speeds at BEST

crxssi says:

+1 It VERY much depends on where you are. Unfortunately, where *I* am, getting only 78kb/s is not uncommon at all. Of course, it can also be up in the 700kb/s, but on average, usually around 100.

But I know people in other areas that get MUCH faster 3G all the time.

We are not in the first "Vision" rollout, but supposedly very soon for us, and it can't be too soon...

curtisk228 says:

I can testify to Sprints crappy speed! And their shotty reception! The towers here (South MS-Gulfport-Biloxi) are few and far between! I sometimes get old AOL dial-up speeds! 56k! Remember that? And I pay ~$150/mo for the service!

cluckkillerb says:

Back when I was on Sprint my 3G speeds were so terrible I would actually stop trying after waiting for pages/content to load for 15-20 seconds. I switched to a Straight Talk TMO SIM and my speeds are a constant 5-6 mbs and it's half the price; plus no contract. I'd say it might have been the phone, but the horrendous speeds were experienced with an EVO, Epic and Epic Touch...I feel like such a sucker for trying to stick with them for as long as I did(10 yr customer). Not to mention all of my coworkers and myself would have to put our phones in airplane mode while we were in the office or our phones would be dead by the end of the day...Sprint is no longer an option for me. The fact that they charge a premium data fee should be illegal.

zonyl says:

Shhhhh... For god's sake, please dont advertise ST to the world! If it catches on and everyone jumps on it, how great will the speeds be then?

Biggnaa20 says:

I'm actually hoping prepaid, in general, catches on.

If we all go prepaid maybe we can take a little bit of power away from the carriers.

Recovering Sprint Refugee Enjoying 4-8,000kbps down on T-Mobile Prepaid.

Danf says:

" look at things normal people wouldn't think to. "

an admission that you guys aren't normal.


vinny jr says:

Yep, real fast data speed on Sprint. I like a colorful UI. ICS is just bull shit on any new phone going to market right now. The camera and rest of the specs are what the new Nexus should have.

troyboytn says:

I would buy this phone on the 11th if there was a guarantee (attached with documentation) that timely OS updates and support will follow or a complete refund will be issued.... LG's history of support and updates is worse than that of HTC and that is as bad as it gets.... Just saying

yibrushn says:

you're kidding right? have you ever owned a motorola?

moises1204 says:


moises1204 says:

LG i will never fall for it again, not after the tmobile lg 2x.


JayND says:

Moto's track record isn't worse than anyone else's. Remember the Thunderbolt? Or the Inspire 4G? What about Samsung and the Galaxy S?

Seriously it happens so often I can't believe some of you still complain, I take it as a given with Android that updates won't happen especially fast. Google just hasn't thrown their weight around enough when you get right down to it.

BrianTufo says:

^ THIS! I LOVE Android but come on...no OEM is is fast/reliable with updates in the U.S. Samsung, HTC, Moto and LG all suck. Yes some are faster than others but overall they are all way too slow IMO with updating to a newer Android version.

crxssi says:

Are you whacked? On high-end devices, HTC generally has a great track record on updates. I think you are confused and meant Samsung or Motorola...

Very tempting for AT&T.... Would Apex launcher solve the UI issues for you?

keith2k1 says:

pass that device to me

Magnus#AC says:

still not nearly as functional as the Note, not even close.
I'll definite be geltin the Note. I bet this will be an excellent phone, mostly because of the processor. It's definite the most powerful processor on d Smart phone bar none!

dtreo says:

Note is a different category and target user. Apples and oranges.

But you see the note2 is just too big a device for a lot of people. This phone's processor is plenty fast enough.

JayND says:

that last line is an outright lie, the S4 pro is definitely superior to the Exynos 4412, that isn't even up for debate

boriqua2000 says:

Go launcher makes everything better :-)

pachi72 says:

Go Launcher looks hideous..Nova or Apex ftw

Jerry, what about the bootloader. Can it be unlocked with LG phones?

santacruz says:

my exact question as well...

TauSigmaNova says:

I think so. Unsure about newer phones but on older phones you just did Gingerbreak and flashed a Recovery/ROM. Don't know if it's STILL that simple, but it USED to be that simple.

km75sr says:

As regards to the complaint in regards to the chrome ring not being flush. Not really a valid complaint once you realize this allows you to lay the phone screen down and not have to worry about scratching up your screen because the screen is slightly underneath the chrome ring. One of the things about my bionic that I liked. Wished my GS3 had that.

cdmta says:

So Jerry, is this chrome ring worse than the gnex? Cuz that also protrudes somewhat.

crankyd00d says:

How does the reception compare to other phones? Would like to know LG's track record on this to see if I should get the Nexus in case it is from LG this time around

svargas05 says:

So, basically there's nothing wrong with this phone...

Haha, love this "First Impressions" article... I may consider this over the Galaxy Note 2.

OHHH the choices ^_^

Mr Hildenbrand, your immediate attention please:

1. What is the overall build quality like? How is it compared to other android handsets?

2. How is the camera?

3. You mentioned that the phone is fast, but is it *smooth*? I still see hiccups and weird lag and home-screen re-drawing on my SGS3. Did you notice anything like that on the Opt G or was it all liquid butter?

4. This phone's hardware with stock Android software - are you optimistic or pessimistic about the new Nexus which is supposed to be based on this phone?

Once you have answered these, you may return to your regular duties.

stevovr says:

if you've put your onex away then it must be good.would be nice to see how it will compare to onex with the upcoming JB update.when the chance to compare comes please let us know your thoughts

jian9007 says:

I'm not on Sprint (I'm on T-Mobile) so this obviously isn't a phone I'd be buying. I just have to say I like some of the things about it, and that bodes well for the upcoming Nexus. I'm a little excited now (maybe even more than a little) for the new Nexus. The bad that's listed so far won't be on the Nexus. It'll have the latest OS, won't have the ultra colorful UI, and will be plenty fast on HSPA+ for T-Mobile. So the only negative you listed that will (probably) still be present is the chrome ring, and that won't deter me in the slightest.

I can tell that sometimes 3G from sprint is painful like anyother carrier with their crappy internet but here in Puerto Rico my 3G drop 3Mbps and my 4GLTE drops 20+Mbps
so im happy with my sprint unlimited data cuz i dont need anymore external carrier to bring internet to my home i just bring it by Bluetooth with my LG Optimus G and also the WIFI capability's

Proof Of My Sprint Internet: