I just got an LG Spectrum a week ago. My first 4G encounter. Welcome to 2009.

LG Spectrum

What do I think about it? So far, I’m 85% thrilled, 10% satisfied and 5% have a sense of lacking.  Some things like the Apps folder setup took a little bit of getting used to, but after doing some modifications to the display layout, I actually wish I had this last year on my HTC Incredible.  I don’t like that there are no LED notifications, but there is an app available called “NoLED” that can simulate it.  I haven’t tried it yet, but I’ve read that it is adequate.  Don’t love the USB input cover, a little plastic tab, held on by another small plastic piece, which will break off in the very near future. I’m positive of this. I won’t do it intentionally, but it will happen. All by itself.

Since my real job requires me to be on call all the time, I leave my phone by my bed, as do most of the world’s population. The fact that I can’t turn the ringer off, not vibrate, completely off without going into Settings > Sound is annoying.  Buzzing gets loud and wakes my wife.

Can’t ask for better hardware specs at this price point.  Because my phone is covered by my Business account, I had to buy it from VZW directly, for $199 (plus tax), as opposed to buying it at discounts from third party vendors, such as wirefly.com, letstalk.com, amazonwireless.com or any other of the myriad of companies out there.

Camera has been great so far. I haven’t had a front facing camera yet, so that part is cool too.  I like the 8MP camera, and the zoom in/out using the volume up/down buttons while holding the phone in Landscape mode.  I like the iPhone feature of using that button to take the picture as opposed to contorting your finger to tap the screen while holding it, but I’m used to that already from my other Android phones.

Battery life has been good.  4G eats a lot of the battery, but I’ve been able to make it through the day doing basic smartphone functions (email, twitter, texts, etc.) and that’s all I can ask for without having to snap in an extended battery and carrying around a brick in my pocket.  I don’t do much web browsing or streaming from my phone, but the minimal amount that I’ve done hasn’t taken much toll on the battery.

LG’s OS overlay of Gingerbread 2.3.5 is fine.  Very different than the HTC Sense that I used for the last year and a half.  It took me some time (a day) to get used to, and now I know where everything is and what everything does.

I really like the calendar app. The layout, the design. all of it. I use the calendar a lot, so that is a big plus.

Why did I chose the LG Spectrum over the Samsung Galaxy Nexus?

Hardware and price.  Plain and simple.  If you’re willing to wait the reportedly few months for Ice Cream Sandwich to come to the Spectrum, then the hardware differences are more than enough to tip the scale.  The Spectrum doesn’t have the NFC chip that the GNex has but there is a company called Moneto (@moneto_me) that has developed a MicroSD card for Android that can be used for both storage and NFC payments, so I will be picking one up soon, once they come out with at least an 8GB card.  Currently, they only have the 2GB and 4GB available.

I take a lot of pictures with my phone, as opposed to our digital camera, much to my wife’s dismay and the 3MP difference between the GNex’s 5MP and the Spectrum’s 8MP are a big deal to me.  I’m sure I wouldn’t notice the difference between the processor speeds of the two, but LG’s is faster, from a purely numbers standpoint.  Screen size is minimally different, with the GNex being .15 inches bigger.

NOTE: One thing I realized, and haven’t read anywhere.  I like the three soft keys at the bottom of the phone.  Once I figured out how to get the search option back (long pressing the menu button) I like it even more.  This is just my own speculation, but I figure that LG switched from 4 soft keys to 3 in anticipation for ICS.  The keys are rearranged from the GNex and right now the left key is the menu key which GNex doesn’t have, but I assume that that key will switch to the “task manager” that ICS enabled devices currently have.  If this isn’t in the works already, then get on it LG/Google. You’re welcome.

The buttons even look the same:

Spectrum soft keys

ICS soft keys

Thats all I can think of for now.  I’m sure I’ll add more to this later when things come up.

UPDATE – 2/27: Found out how to take screenshots with this phone. Hold the power button and tap the home soft key.  It will grab the screenshot and drop it into the Captured Images folder in the gallery.  And I was all nervous that this wasn’t possible. 

– Yak

My newest gadget – LG Spectrum

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