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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

The LG Spectrum comes with an 1830 mAh Lithium Ion battery, which is just below the Samsung Galaxy Nexus; however, it's only rated for just over eight hours of usage, while the Galaxy Nexus promises up to 12 hours.

LG spectrum

Expectedly, the battery life is pretty suspect, even among Verizon's 4G LTE offerings. With sparing usage throughout the day, the LG Spectrum might survive until the evening, but anything remotely taxing – like regular e-mail or Twitter usage, web browsing, and especially video streaming over 4G – will suck the power cell dry.

LG spectrum

On multiple days, we were lucky to get about six hours of decent usage out of the phone. Heavy users simply won't be able to get through most afternoons without a mid-day charge, and though you can ease the strain by turning off the 4G LTE network and opting for 3G instead, that sort of move kills much of the LG Spectrum's appeal.

Only the Droid RAZR MAXX is likely to give you a full day's charge on LTE at present.

Connectivity

The LG Spectrum supports both a mobile hotspot feature for up to 10 wireless devices, as well as tethering to a single computer via USB. The hotspot feature comes via the Mobile Hotspot app, which creates the network when activated and gives you a password to use on other devices.

For USB tethering, you'll access the feature from the Wireless & Networks tab in the options menu and then attach the phone to your computer to share the 4G LTE connection.

LG spectrum

Putting media on the phone is as simple as plugging it into a computer via the included USB cable and dragging and dropping things like music, movies, and photos onto the MicroSD card icon that appears. Additionally, the pre-installed SmartShare app lets you access and stream media from other wireless DLNA-compatible devices.