The LG Viper 4G LTE Comes With Premium Hardware At A Budget Price
Deceptive sex appeal is one of the few phrases that comes mind when I first laid eyes on the LG Viper. It’s clean facing front and chubby yet compact design is appealing for even the highest spec junkies out there. It’s not until you get a feel for the device that you realize LG has crafted it. Coming in one color variant, you get a silver brushed metal coated plastic material around the entire exterior of the device. It’s almost to deceptive as I found myself double taking whether it was indeed plastic or not. Even its housing it made up of 50% recycled materials. Nonetheless, LG has done a job well done with the visuals on the Viper.
LG provides a small bezel, 4-inch (800×400) NOVA display that gives above average viewing angles and respectable color reproduction. The phone itself is quite large being measured 0.46 inches thick. I believe if LG attempted to make it thinner, the mid-range label would no longer be associated with the device. Moving on, it includes and beefy 1700mah battery( mid-range standards), a single led flash 5 megapixel camera capable of 1080HD recording.
The 3.5mm headphone jack and power button sit on the top edge, while the volume rocker and micro-USB socket resides on the left. Internals encompass a 1.2ghz Snapdragon S3 processor with 1GB of RAM , Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and even NFC built-in. You do however get a measly 4GB of internal storage. But since the Viper has a MicroSD slot, you can easily up the memory to your choosing. Listing all of those seemingly high-end specs has led me to leave out the $100 2 year contract pricing of this bad boy.
One thing to note from using the device is that the capacitive keys are extremely difficult to see without the back lighting. LG also has the backlight fizzle out almost instantaneously after use so it can be rather annoying when trying to doing multiple task at once on the device.
I read an article a few month ago that claimed LG was on the rise of being a top Android OEM. This may very well be the case if they can keep pumping out high-spec’d low priced devices such as the Viper.
Stale Gingerbread Holds Back The Viper 4G LTE’s Fresh Hardware
Why Android OEM decide to pack potential best sellers with Gingerbread 2.3 is beyond me, but LG continues that same trend with the Viper. Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich great enhances the OS in all aspects, so not having it pre-loaded on the Viper is a huge emission which should be considered to any prospective buyer.
LG has made a wise decision with the Viper in keeping it almost completely stock Android. You get a customized keyboard that has Swype built right in. It may seem a bit cluttered for most so you have the option of switching back to the stock Android keyboard.
When it comes to the bloatware of the device, Sprint continues to go all out. You get their full suite of apps like Sprint Nascar, Sprint Music Plus, Sprint NBA Mobile, Sprint TV & Movies, and Sprint Zone. LG includes SmartShare (helps share user content across multiple devices) and TeleNav GPS Navigator.
There really isn’t much else to be ecstatic about software wise when it comes to the LG Viper 4G.
LG Viper 4G LTE Average Camera Quality Won’t Impress Many
Putting the camera through its paces, I came away rather unimpressed with LG’s offering. Colors were continuously cooler and images came out on the bluish side. Setting that side, if you’re in decent lighting conditions, the camera can offer more than usable photos. Recording 1080p HD video on the device was a whole different type of ball game. The stabilization during recording was atrocious. The slightest of movements causes obvious fragmentation and choppy effects. Having a firm grip on the device made no difference. Hopefully LG can fix this up with an update
The Viper 4G LTE Has Solid Call Quality And Standard Android Battery Life
Making and receiving phone calls on the device was a pretty basic on the Viper. Volume was sufficient and the caller on the other end heard words well with very few background noise if any at all. Speakerphone quality was just as clear, though the sound output could have been a bit louder. But overall, fairly decent experience for your buck. As previously stated, the Viper packs a 1700mah battery. Since the device currently isn’t sucking in LTE data , the battery held up for about a full day of moderate to heavy usage. If you’re watching multiple HD videos throughout the day, you’d be advised to bring a charger with you.
With NO 4G LTE Network The Viper Is A Hard Sell
Being that Sprint’s 4G LTE network is currently not available to consumers and comparing the networks other offerings in the LTE capable Galaxy Nexus and HTC EVO 4G LTE, it’s hard to recommend the LG Viper as a definite buy. If you’re on a tight budget and are looking to spend in the $49-$99 range, the Viper is most definitely your best choice. But if you can dish out a little more cash, you can get a better user experience in the Galaxy Nexus and arguably the best smartphone on the market today in the HTC EVO 4G LTE. As always, it’s always a matter of preference and budget.