LG Revolution First-Look Review: 4G Goodness

by Reads (13,861)

The LG Revolution is a large 4.3-inch phone that packs in Android, LTE, Netflix and more. Its size makes for a compelling media experience, but can the battery inside keep up with both screen and 4G radio? Check out my first impressions of Verizon’s latest 4G superstar.

Verizon LG RevolutionBUILD & DESIGN

The LG Revolution is something of a departure for the Korean electronics giant; its massive 4.3-inch display puts this phone up in line with models like the EVO, Droid Charge, and almost the Samsung Infuse 4G.  Filling that screen is 800×480 (WVGA) pixels of resolution, which means a screen density of roughly 217 pixels per inch.  

As a result, text and graphics look sharp; the screen might not be a high-end IPS or AMOLED model, but it remains bright and clear, even when viewed from oblique angles. Surrounding the screen is a positively massive body comprised of high-end glass, metal and plastic. The rubberized plastic covering the back of the phone is something we’ve gotten used to over the past couple of years, and it’s a trend worth continuing. 

The Revolution may not be the world’s sexiest phone, but it has an understated attractiveness that will no doubt appeal to many. If you have small hands or tight pockets, however, you’re probably going to want to look for a different phone.

PERFORMANCE

Beating within this bulk of modern technology beats a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. It’s not particularly old, but it is unfortunately just a single-core CPU. At 1GHz, it is definitely no slouch, but for a high-end phone running a 4G radio (and charging a high-end price to match), it would be nice to see something just a wee-bit faster.

Verizon LG RevolutionCompared to models like Motorola’s Atrix 4G, the Revolution certainly coughed and hiccoughed from time to time, with menus hanging here and there; at times the phone was wholly unresponsive as it sat and thought. Fortunately, these feel much more like the occasional software bug rather than hard performance limits, and hopefully LG will optimize the software as time goes on.

Speaking of the software, LG has skinned the phone from top to bottom in a custom interface; this trend is the rule rather than the exception for Android phones these days.  Some of the changes they add make sense – you can go directly to emails or missed calls by pulling down on the lock screen instead of up. 

When you pull down the Android dock from the top, there are icons for enabling and disabling the various radios inside the device (and there are many). There are also a few downsides to the UI that I’ve found so far; the included keyboard is infuriating, as are the nonsensical app categories into which LG puts all of your icons.


CONCLUSION

The LG Revolution delivers a lot of functionality — on paper. In my preliminary testing, it simply isn’t living up to its name. Some of the highlights so far have included a nice, bright screen and solid build quality. As an actual phone, it sounds good; surprisingly, that’s often the weakest part of modern smartphones. It’s definitely a big device to carry around everywhere, but if that’s not a problem for you, the larger size is definitely an asset when watching movies or browsing the web.

Unfortunately, this phone has its downsides, and they come in spades. So far, the battery life has been absolutely abysmal, with the phone unable to even come close to a full day of service. Some of the software tweaks LG has made are confusing and cluttered, though it’s very likely just a matter of becoming familiar with where everything on the phone is.

Be sure to come back in a few days to check out our full review of the LG Revolution 4G for Verizon. We’ll see if those battery life and UI issues get worked out, as well as look at whether Verizon’s LTE network is really everything they say it is.

In the meantime, check out our full gallery of images for the LG Revolution!

 

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