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LG Spectrum review

It broadens Verizon's 4G LTE selection, but can it topple the competition?

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Our Verdict

While the LG Spectrum has some standout features, it's outclassed by other Verizon 4G LTE handsets when it comes to important details like call quality, battery life, OS usability, and included version of Android.

For

  • Excellent display
  • Good build quality
  • Solid 4G LTE performance
  • Speedy processor
  • 8MP camera works well

Against

  • Mediocre call quality
  • Very weak battery life
  • No Ice Cream Sandwich
  • Some UI frustrations
  • Spotty video recording

Maps

Google Maps comes standard on the LG Spectrum and includes the full array of expected features, including directions and street view, plus the handset comes with the location-sharing Google Latitude app and the GPS-based Navigation app.

LG spectrum

Powered by Google Maps, the Navigation app lets you speak or type in a destination and follow free turn-by-turn directions. Verizon also includes its own free alternative, VZ Navigator, which offers a similar experience with maps and turn-by-turn directions, but also details on nearby events and local gas station prices.

LG spectrum

Apps

The LG Spectrum utilizes the standard Android Marketplace app (included out of the box) for app and game downloads, as well as access to movies, music, and books. As is typically the case, Verizon has included its own disparate marketplace apps titled Apps, V Cast Tones, and Verizon Video for access to additional media.

But that's not all. Using the category-based view on the Apps listing, you'll find no less than 16 total Verizon-supplied apps out of the box, including the Kindle, Blockbuster, Rhapsody, and VideoSurf media apps, as well as NFL Mobile and games like Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit and Let's Golf 2. Sadly, this bloatware is stuck on the phone, though it's more an irritant than a huge space-eater on the whole.

LG spectrum

LG Spectrum also comes preloaded with ESPN ScoreCenter, but while it looks the same as the sports app available for other platforms, this version is the only one thus far that includes free streaming 720p video highlights and other clips.