Review: LG Revolution

  • June 15, 2011 3:56 pm

LG RevolutionJoining the ranks of Verizon’s LTE speed freaks, the LG Revolution released a few weeks ago, and we’ve finally gotten a chance to review it. While it’s LTE radio makes it stand out from the rest of the Android world, does this monster pack enough punch to be remembered as truly revolutionary or will it just be totally forgettable? Jump on in for more…

The Specs

  • Processor: 1GHz Snapdragon
  • Display: 4.3” 480×800 LCD
  • RAM: 512 MB
  • Storage: 16 GB internal + 16 GB microSD included, supports up to 32 GB
  • Cameras: 5 MP still/720p video rear-facing w/ LED flash + 1.3 MP front-facing
  • Wireless: LTE/EV-DO Rev. 0 and A/1xRTT + WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, aGPS, Mobile hotspot
  • Battery: 1500 mAh
  • OS: Android 2.2 Froyo

Hardware & Display

In a word: uninspired. The Revolution is a large black brick with a little bit of chrome and a curve to the back. For being LG’s first LTE phone, you would think that the design team would want to try to think a little farther outside the box. Heck, I would have appreciated anything outside of the corner of the box.

Of all the LTE devices that Verizon is offering at this time, the Revolution is the largest, beating out even the HTC Thunderbolt for size and coming close in weight. It’s 6.06 ounces makes it a full ounce heavier than Samsung’s DROID Charge.

As for the layout, the top is home to the power button and headphone jack, with microUSB on the left side and volume buttons and HDMI out on the right. The bottom edge hosts the microphone. The front holds the 1.3 MP face-shooter and capacitive menu/home/back/search buttons. Finally, on the back is the 5MP camera and LED flash.

The 4.3” display is rather decent but better can be had elsewhere. It’s not as crisp as the qHD displays out there, nor is it as bright and beautiful as the Super AMOLED screen being sported by the DROID Charge.

Camera & Video

The camera seems about on par with it’s peers. While the Charge and the Thunderbolt both sport 8 MP shooters, we all know that resolution isn’t everything. The auto focus performs rather well up close, even if it does take a second.

Video is a different story, unfortunately. In particular, the video quality is mediocre at best in low indoor light, introducing quite a bit of noise and significantly lacking in brightness. It also appears that focus during video is fixed, so forget that great up close performance. After comparing the bit rates of a video shot on the Revolution with one from the iPhone 4, I found that the overall bit rate of the Revolution’s video is slightly better than half that of the iPhone 4.

Software

My biggest complaint here is Bing. LG’s choice to replace the stock Google options for search, maps, etc. is a dealbreaker for me. That said, let’s move on.

The Optimus UI itself isn’t bad, albeit a little cartoony. The included widgets are forgettable and the apps browser is a bit flat compared to the animated waterfall from stock Android. Overall, it’s very tolerable.

Similar to the Charge and Thunderbolt, it comes with good ol’ Froyo. LG could have made this device stand out more by going with Gingerbread, but they didn’t.

Outside of Bing, my other real issue is the browser. This is partly a general Android issue, but it seems particularly bad on the Revolution. For as advanced as this hardware is, there are times that even scrolling and zooming in the stock browser feels like using Internet Explorer on Windows Mobile 6. It skips and stutters, and objects in the page even shift out of place as the phone tries to catch up. Not cool, man. Not cool.

Battery Life & Data

I didn’t have the chance to really put it through it’s paces here as I’m not in an LTE area. I wasn’t terribly impressed with what I did see from it. 3G speeds were as expected. The 1500 mAh battery is par for the course. I managed to get it to last 2 days with essentially no use, just to check how it acted when idle. Considering there are phones that can last as long while still making calls and doing other smartphoney things, I’d give it’s not super impressive.

Conclusion


The LG Revolution is hardly a revolution at all. There are lighter, faster, sleeker, smaller, better devices on the market. While it’s not a bad phone, there’s better to be had. Had LG made a few better software choices, I might have liked this phone a little more, and of course, that’s always fixable with a good rooting and ROM replacement. However, as is, I wouldn’t carry it in my pocket for my day to day. If you’re committed to getting an LTE device today, stop by Mike’s review of Samsung’s DROID Charge instead.

GS Rating: 6/10

 

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  • Greekboy

    Check out YouTube by greekthuglife69 see how Verizon treats their workers u already know how they treat U.

  • Dude

    God what a pointless review. Why on earth would you review a 4G phone in a non-4G area?

  • http://www.gadgetsteria.com The Gadgeteur

    There are plenty of other reasons to own a phone besides it’s 3G/4G abilities.  Not to mention, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how LTE works, and there are already numerous reviews and articles across the web heavily detailing Verizon’s LTE network in particular.  

    In short: It’s fast.  Everyone knows it’s fast.  End of story.