LG Spectrum Review: Initial Impressions (Video)

Let me just start by saying that so far, I’m not a fan. But, these are just initial impressions so we’ll see how my relationship with the Spectrum progresses over time.

Sure, the LG Spectrum has a stunning 4.5-inch 720p display, Verizon 4G LTE, and all the innards of what could be a great smartphone. But so far I’m not ready to call it a great smartphone.

There are two very fundamental issues that I have with the Spectrum. The first is that it feels awful and plastic-y in the hand. It’s a pretty sizeable phone, but has no weight to back up a premium feel. And even worse, the battery door (which comprises the majority of the phone) is made of this weak, patterned plastic. It scratches easily, doesn’t take prints well, and shines in all the wrong ways.

The second major issue I have with the Spectrum is that LG UI is awful, both aesthetically and in use. Though I’m told by LG that it’s a light overlay, it clearly slows down the system. Then let’s add to that the fact that the UI doesn’t add anything in terms of design or attention to detail. At least in my own opinion, everything’s a bit too bubbly and round for my tastes. I do like that apps are categorized by default, though.

And if we’re talking about attention to detail, I also take issue with the fact that both of the camera lenses (front and back) aren’t centered within the hole they peek through.

On the other hand, you can’t argue with that display. Seriously, it’s one of the best I’ve seen in a long time with regards to true colors and pixel density (326 ppi), so if you’re a mobile video kind of person the Spectrum may very well find a place in your heart.

We’ll get into performance and battery life later on in the review process, but for now the Spectrum has an uphill battle on its hands. I’d need to see some killer testing and slap a case on this bad boy before I could write anything glowing, but I’ve backtracked before after initial impressions, so we’ll just have to wait and see.