LG has stuck around as a sort of third option to Samsung and HTC, but the LG Optimus line of handsets has been quite successful in its own right. The Optimus 2X came out early 2011 as the first dual-core device, and the Optimus One (subsequently rebranded as Optimus S/T/V and so on) was LG’s entry into the low-end smartphone market. The Optimus Black sought to come in around the middle of those two, and the LG Marquee is the Sprint iteration of that device. It’s a sleek device at only 9mm thin, and bears a nice 4” NOVA display, 5 MP camera and Android 2.3. While getting relatively rave reviews in the industry, I wonder if it has the appeal to be a good mid-range smartphone.
- 4” NOVA display, 480 x 800 TFT capacitive touchscreen
- Single-core TI OMAP 3630 Cortex A8 processor clocked at 1GHz
- PowerVR SGX 530
- 512MB RAM
- 4GB internal storage, with 32GB max expandable storage
- 5 MP rear-facing with autofocus, 2 MP front-facing
- Android 2.3.4
- 1500 mAh battery, with up to 6.5 hours talk time
- Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
- Bluetooth 3.0
- CDMA 800/1900 MHz, EV-DO Rev.A 3G
- 122 x 64 x 9 mm, 112 g
This NOVA 4” display is an IPS screen and is simply beautiful. Having been the first NOVA display I have spent time with I wasn’t sure what to expect, given my proclivity to Super AMOLED and qHD displays on Samsung and HTC respectively. The colors are sharp and the display auto-brightness adequately adjusts to the surrounding light conditions. I didn’t find a dead spot on the touchscreen and it was responsive to my every press.
The TI OMAP 3630 processor here actually performs quite well considering it’s mid-level nature still shines through. The transitions are smooth, no doubt assisted by the PowerVR GPU, and I experienced barely noticeable lag when accessing an application. When put to the benchmark test, the results aren’t spectacular. AnTuTu scored this an abysmal 2106, putting it behind the Sony Ericsson X10i and the Samsung Galaxy S and pretty much everything since those two. Quadrant scores gave it a middle-of-pack rating, with it performing better than the Galaxy S at 1057. Linpack scores also weren’t too much to shout about, coming in at 14.4 MFLOPS. Finally the Nenamark score was 14.2fps.
With all that being said, I actually enjoyed how well this device performed. I don’t put a lot of weight on some of these scores as I feel they are misleading in actual real-world performance, so I was glad to see this device be as snappy as it was.
The camera here isn’t too bad for a mid-range device. Sporting the 5 MP rear-facing, and the 2 MP front-facing, it is perfectly adequate for what this device is capable of. The pictures came out pretty good, and the shutter speed was about normal. The auto-focus was very good, enabling a nice close-up picture.
The Marquee again surprised me in terms of battery life. I kept it unplugged with 3G connected and sitting for 21 hours and some light push email and updates performed and a few reboots – and it was at 68%. Now that wasn’t with any phone calls, but even so that is excellent in my opinion.
With this device being only 9mm thin, and pretty lightweight at 3.95oz (112g), it really brings the sexy factor to the mid-range smartphone. And when matched up with my Samsung Epic 4G Touch (SGS II), it’s a whole 1mm thinner and only slightly thicker than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus GSM (8.94mm). It has a nice glossy black back with a strip of glossy gray on each side. It feels a lot like my old HTC Evo 4G did – very solid – but I think the glossiness of the back might be a little too slippery.
The back has a speaker port as well as the camera and LED flash. The left side has volume up and down buttons, and a Quick Launch Key that you can assign a custom action to in the Phone Settings menu. The top has a standard headphone jack, microUSB connector for charging and PC connection, and the power button. The front has the standard four capacitive buttons (Home, Menu, Back, Search) which light up blue when you press them which is a nice aesthetic touch. The bottom has just the microphone.
The Marquee ships with Android 2.3.4, and LG has not stated whether or not they will be deploying ICS to this handset, and I doubt they will. This is a pretty vanilla build, with the only UI enhancements really coming in the form of the Sprint ID interface. Sprint ID enables you to provide a customized experience to you and your interests like apps, widgets, wallpapers, ringtones, etc. – all from one selection. It comes with a minimum number of Sprint-installed applications, giving you the option of adding more as you see fit.
Polaris Office – mobile office application allowing you to create, edit and view Microsoft Office documents
SmartShare – application allowing for shared content from your network to be played on your phone.
Sprint ID – user-specific UI customization
Sprint Mobile Wallet – allows users to securely use their Mobile phone for doing online shopping on their device
Sprint Zone – application for assisting you with calling Sprint, checking your bill and account, downloading recommended applications, etc.
AOSP Email – application for Exchange, POP3, IMAP email accounts
So with this beautiful screen I wanted to try out a few different games. I played the typical Angry Birds; tried out a new one called Wolf Toss (very similar to Angry Birds), and Drag Racing. All played well, especially Drag Racing as I just couldn’t put it down.
IN THE BOX
- LG Marquee
- AC Phone Charger
- USB charging/connection cable
- 2GB microSD with Adapter
This has got to be close to my favorite mid-range smartphone out right now. While it’s not 4G or dual-core, it easily stands out as a great phone for your average smartphone user. And with this device coming to Boost Mobile, it’s about the best prepaid option out there.
RATING: 4 droids (out of 5)