Priced at just $100 on a 2-year contract, the LG Viper is a fairly priced mid-range Android smartphone that happens to also be one of the first to launch supporting Sprint’s 4G LTE network. In this review, I’ll go over some of the things that I like and dislike about the LG Viper 4G LTE. But before I get right into the review, lets take a look at the hardware on the phone:
- 4 inch IPS display (480×800) 233 PPI
- 1.2 GHz Snapdragon S3 dual-core processor
- 1 GB of RAM
- 4 GB internal storage, expandable by microSD
- 5 MP camera with LED flash, VGA front facing cam
- NFC and 4G LTE
- Android 2.3.7 (with 4.0 coming in a future update)
Here is the video review on the phone:
What I don’t like about the LG Viper 4G LTE:
Thickness: When I first picked up the LG Viper, it felt like I could just slide it open as if it had a physical QWERTY hidden underneath the screen. But it doesn’t. So I don’t really understand why the phone was made to be so thick. At almost half an inch (.46 to be exact), the Viper is a lot thicker than what you’d expect on a mid-ranged Android smartphone nowadays. And heavier too weighing in at 142 g.
Screen: The only complaint I have about the screen is the low resolution. Being a 4G LTE smartphone, I expected at least a qHD display. Why? Because with the high data speeds you get with 4G LTE, it’s a shame not being able to use it to load up high quality video on YouTube or seeing more on the page at once when browsing. Thankfully, the fact that the screen is IPS helps make up for the low resolution.
Battery: The 1700 mAh battery just doesn’t seem to cut it on the LG Viper. I had to charge the phone mid day to make sure I didn’t run out of juice. And this wasn’t even when I was connected to 4G. It’s not horrible by any means, but it just doesn’t last as long as my Galaxy Nexus (which has a bigger screen) or iPhone 4S which I consider to be the standard.
Now, lets talk about what I do like about the phone:
Software: Yeah, yeah. The phone is still running on Android 2.3.7. Trust me, I know. But the bright side is your running a near-stock version of Android 2.3 (like on the Nexus S before it upgraded to ICS). Not only do I prefer stock Android over manufacturer UI’s, but I feel like the lightweight ROM on the phone really helps it in terms of performance.
Performance: Thanks to its custom UI free software and Snapdragon S3 dual-core processor, the Viper roars through Android just like the Dodge does in open road. When I ran the Quadrant benchmark on the phone, it scored a well deserved 3067 which to me is an accurate portrayal of the real world performance you can expect out this guy.
Future Proof: Being a mid range device, it’s nice to see that LG opted to include 4G LTE and NFC to the Viper. Having these two technologies on board means that you won’t feel like the phone is outdated when both NFC and 4G LTE start becoming more widespread. Also, at the price point it’s at, the Viper is currently the least expensive 4G LTE smartphone Sprint has to offer.
So, is the LG Viper 4G LTE going to be your next smartphone?
If you’re looking for a phone with good performance and fast data speeds that doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg, the LG Viper is a pretty good option. But if you don’t mind putting down a little more cash, I’d suggest looking at the Galaxy Nexus LTE which offers a better screen, thinner profile, and higher quality camera. However if you don’t mind the screen resolution and thickness on the Viper, it may just be a better deal for you.