Jun 2, 2013

LG Optimus G Review - Part 2

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(Daddy swipes)

Okay I know, it has taken a while but better late than never... so here it is, the long overdue Part 2 of my LG Optimus G review. You can read Part 1 HERE.

One of the most interesting features of the smartphone is the 'QSlide' function. When you pull down the notifications bar, you will see an extra row of icons. So what this feature essentially does is to allow you to launch any one of these apps on top of whatever app you’re currently running - you can watch a video while sending a text message and using the calculator.

These apps can be resized, and their opacity changed so you can interact with what is beneath them, or bring them back to the foreground when you need them. This is a pretty useful feature, depending on how you use it. I must admit, this has come in handy several times, especially using the calculator while keeping my sums in view! The other thing I was impressed with was that the QSlider function didn't slow the phone down at all when 2 or 3 apps were simultaneously in use.

The next feature, aptly named Quick Memo, allows a user to scribble on the screen, anywhere, anytime via a long press of a button, positioned between the volume rocker and save the final result as a screenshot.

So what it does is, it creates a canvas above the current screen, allowing you to write or draw anything. This comes in handy if say, during a phone call and you need to jot down a mobile number urgently but you have no paper on hand. Just open Quick Memo as the press of a button and you will not be scrambling for pen and paper ever again.

I taught my boys how to use this feature and have regretted my decision ever since.

Other worth mentioning features include the ability to zoom in to any video that’s currently playing, and expandable previews in the pull-down notifications menu. But the one feature which got me was the ability to alter the icons of a few default apps, such as Phone, Camera, Contacts, Calendar etc. Yes small thrill, but I like it all the same.

Finally, we come to the camera. The LG Optimus G sports a 13-megapixel rear camera with auto focus and face tracking. And the overall experience? It is a mixed bag.

On the one hand, the 13-megapixel resolution can make for impressively-detailed shots. Outside on bright sunny days and in good lighting, it does take reasonably nice photos.

However in decent indoor lighting, the Optimus G will struggle as things got grainy quickly. You will probably have a 50% chance at a photo you'd choose to keep, but the auto-focus is a constant concern.

The camera has added plenty of software tricks and gimmicks though; such as the ability to capture an image by using one’s voice. Yes, you can now take all selfies you crave by simply screaming "cheese!". The camera also supports a time catch shots mode which starts taking pictures even before the trigger is pressed and displays 5 best shots till that time. This is definitely helpful in ensuring you don’t miss that perfect shot, especially with fidgety monkies like mine!

Other neat camera-related features include being able to immediately save one frame as a photo while recording a video, built-in Panorama and HDR options and editing capabilities in the gallery.

Overall, I found the camera to be rather use-able: good but not great. Even so, Ayd derived great joy in using the camera function on my LG Optimus G the most. He even monopolised it during our recent visit to River Safari, and went all trigger-happy with it.

And my final verdict? The LG Optimus G is impressively powerful, well designed and contains loads of useful features. The phone packs a punch under the hood and it never feels like it is lagging behind, with multitasking a breeze. The camera may be its weakest point though, but it does its job decently on the whole. So if you are looking for a well rounded handset, with a decent camera and great design, then the LG Optimus G is for you. 

Well, at least I am still using this phone rather than having switched back to my previous Samsung Galaxy SIII - so I guess that really summarises my experience with the Optimus G!

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