LG Optimus G review

An awesome phone, but a little too late?

LG Optimus G review
Our definitive preview of the LG Optimus G

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LG has made quite a fuss about the 4.7-inch IPS display used in the Optimus G in the lead up to the launch of this phone.

As part of the design process, LG removed several layers found in touchscreens today, and incorporated digitiser layers into the LCD panel. This helps to make the touchscreen more sensitive, according to LG, but it also improves the colour on screen.

LG Optimus G review

Having less screen layers brings the panel closer to the glass protecting it. LG call this a zero-air gap, and with less space between these layers there is less light refracting and diluting what we see on screen.

This is absolutely evident when looking at the Optimus G. Whites look crisp and, well, white; especially next to a Samsung phone using AMOLED screen tech. Colours really pop too, without any obvious leaning towards a particular hue. It all looks even and vibrant.

LG Optimus G - compared

The zero-air gap also has the added advantage of making the screen look black, and not grey, when it is turned off. This makes it impossible to differentiate from the bezel and the screen when it is sitting on a desk in front of you, which is a pleasing thing to see.

The user experience is a heavily customised LG design, and strongly reminicent of Samsung's TouchWiz in its bright colour palette and cartoon-ish iconography.

It is a shame that LG went in this direction with software design, as it completely belies the premium look and feel of the hardware it sits within.

The good news is that LG offer numerous options to make the UI unique to each user. For starters, there is a Themes option in the menu that lets you choose from four pre-designed options that change the wallpaper and all the system icons in one go.

If these still don't help the Optimus feel like it's yours then you can individually change any icon for any app on the homescreens.

LG Optimus G - icons

If you press and hold on an app on the homescreen, and then let go, a purple circle appears on the icon. Press this and you have the chance to update the icon with any image on your phone, or one you take using the camera.

The strange thing is, that when you choose a custom icon, it doesn't also change the app's icon in the app drawer, so you end up with multiple icons for the one game or tool or service.

You can also change the animation used when you flick through pages on the homescreen, based on a selection of 3D-like transitions. This is the sort of customisation you used to only find in custom ROMs downloaded from specialist forums.