The LG Viper ($100 with a new two-year stipulate from Sprint; cost as of 4/12/12) is Sprint’s really initial LTE phone. But a Android-running Viper is a small early to a game: Sprint hasn’t rolled out a 4G LTE network yet. Despite being stranded with 3G speeds, though, a affordable LG Viper packs a small high-quality specs for a price. The dual-core processor rubbed all we threw during it with ease, a 5-megapixel camera took great pictures, and a further of Google Wallet is not as well shabby.
Design and Display
The Viper has a “platinum” rating by UL Environment for a tolerable set up and packaging. According to Sprint, a phone’s physique is 50 percent recycled plastic. Earth-friendly phones aren’t in all a most stylish-looking models, nonetheless a Viper is an exception. The piano-black face is easily complemented by a chrome limit around a phone’s edges. The china cosmetic subsidy has a “brushed” finish, giving it a worldly look. It feels a small chunkier than a alternative smartphones we’ve not long ago reviewed, measuring 4.59-by-2.44-by-0.46 inches thick, nonetheless it weighs a docile 5 ounces.
The 4-inch WVGA display’s fortitude is rather reduce than top-tier smartphones during 480-by-800 pixels (the highest-end Android phones come with 1280-by-720-pixel screens). If we devise upon regulating a Viper usually to crop a Web, check e-mail, and do a small infrequent gaming, a arrangement should be sufficient.
Like most smartphone displays, a Viper is a small oversaturated. This was strong in a tone club tests, where a tone gradients bled in to any other. It tended to rinse out skin tones a small bit, too, nonetheless it didn’t supplement a reddish tint, as we’ve seen a small AMOLED displays do.
The Viper runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) with an conceal from LG and Sprint which runs atop it. The conceal is sincerely lightweight and looks identical to a vanilla Android Gingerbread interface, nonetheless you’re stranded with a dedicated SprintID (Sprint’s app package service) navigation symbol upon a display. Sprint reliable which a Viper will in a future be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, nonetheless a association did not contend when we could design which update.
Other than a permanent SprintID button, we can mislay flattering most all of a carrier-added program (or, in a small cases, bloatware). we wasn’t means to mislay SprintZone, nonetheless we could mislay Sprint NASCAR, NBA Mobile, TeleNav, and alternative combined apps.
One utilitarian enclosed focus is Google Wallet, which uses a built-in NFC thinly slice in a Viper to let we have payments with your phone. For a finish general outlook of Google Wallet, check out a hands-on review.
I snapped a integrate of photos indoors and out with a Viper’s 5-megapixel camera. My outside photos looked flattering good, with transparent sum and great tone reproduction. My indoor photos had a bit of a dim expel to them (see a representation photo) and looked a small grainy in sure areas.
The Viper additionally has a front-facing camera and can fire video in up to 1080p. As we can listen to in a representation video below, a Viper’s microphone was really supportive to wind. Colors altogether looked a bit dark, nonetheless a Viper could hoop fast-moving objects nonetheless any artifacting or pixelation.
As mentioned, a Sprint LTE network has not been rolled out nonetheless in a United States. Sprint not long ago voiced which it would hurl out LTE in a handful of cities in mid-2012, nonetheless San Francisco, sadly, isn’t a single of them for a time being.
When we switch upon a Viper, you’ll have to rught away go in to a settings and spin off a LTE. If we don’t, a phone will all a time try and poke for a self-existent network and empty your battery. Until LTE comes to your city, you’re stranded with 3G. One great thing to demeanour brazen to is which Sprint will suggest total interpretation upon a LTE network, so you’ll be means to use your interpretation to your heart’s content–without removing throttled.
I ran a FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest.net app to magnitude 3G interpretation speeds in San Francisco. we got an normal of 0.92 megabits per second (mbps) for uploads and an normal of 1.83 mbps for downloads in assorted tools of San Francisco. These have been flattering great speeds for 3G, nonetheless nowhere nearby a small of a LTE 4G speeds we’ve seen upon AT&T’s and Verizon’s networks. For example, a Nokia Lumia 900 finished an normal download speed of 13.27 megabits per second and an normal upload speed of 7 mbps in San Francisco.
The Viper competence be a “budget-friendly” phone, nonetheless it’s no slouch. Powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 processor, a Viper felt poignant via a user interface. we installed a integrate of graphics-heavy games upon a Viper together with Osmos, Edge, and a World of Goo. All 3 games ran smoothly, nonetheless any issue. we additionally ran dual opposite benchmarks upon a Viper: Qualcomm’s Vellamo benchmark and a third-party Quadrant benchmarking app. According to Quadrant, a Viper got a measure of 3009, intensely aloft than a Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which got a measure of 2000. On Vellamo, a Viper scored 1221, which additionally put it forward of a Galaxy Nexus.
Call peculiarity over Sprint’s network was okay. The Viper was intensely supportive to outmost noise, such as breeze or flitting cars. On a quite breezy day in San Francisco, we couldn’t reason a examination nonetheless my friends upon a alternative finish asking me to repeat myself—the breeze had utterly captivated my voice. Indoors, a Viper did a lot better. My friends’ voices sounded transparent and natural, whilst they reported which they could listen to me perfectly.
We have not nonetheless finished a grave battery tests, nonetheless we will refurbish this examination once a formula have been in. In my hands upon use, however, battery hold up wasn’t really great upon a Viper. It seemed delayed to charge, and we had to block it in twice during a full day of sincerely complicated use.
The LG Viper is a plain key to Sprint’s incoming family of LTE phones—even nonetheless there isn’t a Sprint LTE network yet. The Viper competence not be a top-of-the-line smartphone, nonetheless a dual-core processor keeps it using smoothly, and a camera snaps plain photos. But a Viper seems as if it is jumping a gun a bit. Being stranded upon a 3G network with an LTE-capable phone is a small sad; and whilst Sprint did contend a Viper will get a Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, there’s no revelation when which will be. If we don’t thoughts watchful for Sprint to switch upon a LTE network (especially if we live in a single of a initial integrate of cities upon Sprint’s roll-out list), a Viper is a great choice. If you’re seeking for higher-end LTE phones upon Sprint, we competence wish to wait for a bit and go for a incoming HTC Evo 4G LTE or a Samsung Galaxy Nexus.
tags: 4g, Android, Black Face, Check E Mail, Chrome Border, Color Gradients, Dual Core Processor, Gingerbread, Google, Little Bit, Megapixel Camera, Pixel Screens, Quality Specs, Reddish Tint, Skin Tones, Smartphones, Sprint, Vanilla, Wallet, Web Check