LG Viper 4G LTE

Thinking about going green? Then think LG Viper 4G LTE. Not only is the LG Viper 4G LTE an environmentally friendly smartphone it is also one of the first few 4G LTE phones to come out of Sprint’s stables. Selling for an on-contract price of only $99.99 and coming with some decent specs at the same time makes this a mouthwatering prospect.

Design

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Eco-friendly smartphones have yet to take design as an important feature and as such, they don’t come off as the phones that are out there to win any design accolades. Since LG Viper 4G LTE falls under the same category the same can be said about it. Of course having a body made of fifty percent recycled plastics is a good thing but it turns out to feel like a cheap device. Even though LG does make an effort to give a classy finish with the rear cover, the metallic look seems to be quite slippery. The phone measures in at 4.59 x 2.44 x 0.46 inches thus making it pretty much comparable in size to its rival on 4G like the Samsung Conquer 4G.

On the front, right underneath the display is where Android’s trademark capacitive buttons are found. Sadly though, the problem of accidental presses is far too common as the buttons are placed too close to the screen. On the top on the screen is a front-facing VGA camera for all video calling purposes. Moving on to the buttons around the phone, the power button sits on the top side together with the standard audio jack. Meanwhile on the left side is the volume rocker coupled with the microUSB port. The nice thing about the buttons on LG Viper 4G LTE is that they were raised just about the right amount and were responsive too. Finally, on the back of the phone is a 5MP camera with auto focus and LED flash.

Display

LG Viper 4G LTE is blessed with a 4 inch IPS panel which has a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels. If you do the math, these numbers turn out to produce a decent pixel density. This fact was telling as it wasn’t tough to make out fine details on this phone. Taking the phone outdoors would also not be a problem as the screen comes with 700 nit of brightness making sure the sun won’t disrupt its performance. In terms of color reproduction, the colors turned out quite natural.

Performance

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Under the hood of this green phone is a mean 1.2GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor which runs the show. The LG Viper 4G LTE also comes with 1GB of RAM. What all this meant was a smooth sailing performance no matter what the task was that was asked of it. It was a really enjoyable experience as the use of live wallpaper didn’t cause the smartphone to lag one bit. Multitasking and navigating across the platform were also tasks that could be done with no issues. LG has not skimped on specs just because this is an eco-friendly smartphone. Quadrant scores in the region of 3000 actually bring it very close to what Samsung Galaxy II scored.

Features   

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In the age when almost all Android phones come running the Android v4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, somehow LG has decided to take a step back with the LG Viper 4G LTE and run Android v2.3.7 on this phone. Nevertheless, it’s not all bad news as LG has promised an upgrade, so that’s something to look forward to. Since this is a Sprint phone, which means this phone gets the Sprint ID packs that allow the user to personalize the phone to fit their liking. In terms of preloaded apps, there are quite a few Sprint apps like Sprint Music Plus, Sprint NBA Mobile and SprintZone to name a few.

Given that the LG Viper 4G LTE comes with a 4 inch screen, the on-screen keyboard does work ok. Some may find the keys to be a bit small for comfortable use, but once you get the hang of it, it does a pretty good job. This may be down to its super responsiveness too. Email experience on an Android phone has always been fun, and we are happy to note that the LG Viper 4G LTE hasn’t changed anything. Being so easy to setup is the most appealing feature for the email app.

On the back of this eco-friendly smartphone is a 5MP auto-focus camera that comes with LED flash as well. Taking photos with this camera resulted in pictures that had a cooler color production. Regardless of location, the photos came out more on the bluish side. Apart from those minor setbacks, the camera manages to capture some nice photos when the lighting is right. In low light scenario however the photos are noisy and bland. The camcorder records videos at 1080p but artifacting is a big issue and will definitely deter the user from using it. Apart from that, the videos also turn out very jerky.

LG Viper 4G LTE may be Sprint’s first 4G LTE able device, but what’s the use since the network hasn’t been launched commercially? So for now only 3G speeds are available for surfing the internet. To exacerbate things, the browser had a tough time loading complex pages as it became choppy. Support for Flash was a bonus. While waiting for the Sprint’s 4G LTE network to materialize the user has to make do with other connectivity options that are available. The usual offerings like aGPS, Bluetooth 3.0 and Wi-Fi are made ready on the LG Viper 4G LTE. Apart from that, there is also NFC and mobile hotspot functionality.

Moving on to calling quality, the output on our end was almost perfect if not for the crackling noise. No such complaints from the user on the other end. The speakerphone on the other hand was nothing spectacular but usable with the same crackly voice issue. Even though LG Viper 4G LTE was only running on 3G and not 4G LTE as it was intended for, the battery life was just average. It is hard to imagine that the 1700mAH battery will be able to do any better when 4G LTE is used.

Pros and Cons

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Albeit Sprint doesn’t have its 4G LTE network running yet, having a phone that is ready for the future is good. The screen on the LG Viper 4G LTE was brighter than normal. Its eco-friendly features a commendable.

The design wasn’t very attractive while video recording and web browsing experiences were both poor.

Conclusion

The LG Viper 4G LTE is definitely very affordable for a 4G LTE capable phone however the fact that it can’t make use of the network is a very big issue. So the right thing to do will be to wait till Sprint actually has the network up and running before looking at buying this phone.