The LG laptop battery Viper ($100 with a fresh two-year contract from dash; estimate at the same time as of 4/12/12) is Sprint’s very in the beginning LTE phone. But the Android-running Viper is a insufficiently first to the game: Dash hasn’t rolled not in its 4G LTE set of connections yet. Despite being at a complete loss with 3G speeds, though, the within your means LG Viper packs around high-quality specs on behalf of the estimate. The dual-core central processing unit handled everything I threw on it with effortlessness, the 5-megapixel camera took sunny pictures, and the addition of Google Wallet is not too shabby.
Design and put on show
[Click to enlarge] The Viper has a “platinum” rating by UL situation on behalf of its sustainable build and packaging. According to dash, the phone’s body is 50 percent recycled plastic. Earth-friendly phones aren’t by and large the nearly all stylish-looking models, but the Viper is an exception. The piano-black tackle is nicely complemented by a chrome border around the phone’s edges. The silver plastic patronage has a “brushed” stop, giving it a sophisticated look. It feels a insufficiently chunkier than the other smartphones we’ve recently reviewed, measuring 4.59-by-2.44-by-0.46 inches thick, but it weighs a convenient 5 ounces.
[Click to enlarge] The 4-inch WVGA display’s determination is somewhat junior than top-tier smartphones on 480-by-800 pixels (the highest-end robot phones get nearer with 1280-by-720-pixel screens). If you design on using the Viper simply to browse the trap, check e-mail, and prepare around casual gaming, the put on show be supposed to be alive sufficient.
Like many smartphone displays, the Viper is a insufficiently oversaturated. This was visible taking part in our color with the exception of tests, somewhere the color gradients bled into each one other. It tended to sluice not in skin tones a insufficiently small piece, too, but it didn’t add a reddish highlight, at the same time as we’ve seen around AMOLED displays prepare.
The Viper runs robot 2.3 (Gingerbread) with an spread over the surface from LG and dash with the purpose of runs atop it. The spread over the surface is without favoritism small fry and looks parallel to the vanilla robot Gingerbread interface, but you’re at a complete loss with a out-and-out SprintID (Sprint’s app package service) navigation button on the put on show. Dash fixed with the purpose of the Viper spirit eventually be alive upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, but the company did not say at what time we might expect with the purpose of bring up to date.
Other than the unending SprintID button, you can remove pretty much all of the carrier-added software (or, taking part in around belongings, bloatware). I wasn’t able to remove SprintZone, but I might remove dash NASCAR, NBA cell phone, TeleNav, and other added apps.
Individual positive incorporated treatment is Google Wallet, which uses the built-in NFC token taking part in the Viper to permit you get paid payments with your phone. On behalf of a complete overview of Google Wallet, check not in our hands-on check.
[Click to enlarge] I snapped a the minority photos indoors and not in with the Viper’s 5-megapixel camera. My out-of-doors photos looked pretty sunny, with tidy up details and sunny color reproduction. My rainy-day photos had a small piece of a dark cast to them (see the sample photo) and looked a insufficiently coarse taking part in a selection of areas.
The Viper plus has a front-facing camera and can whiz tape taking part in up to 1080p. At the same time as you can hear taking part in the sample tape lower, the Viper's microphone was very touchy to wind. Flag overall looked a small piece dark, but the Viper might see to fast-moving objects with no some artifacting before pixelation.
At the same time as mentioned, the dash LTE set of connections has not been rolled not in yet taking part in the United States. Dash recently announced with the purpose of it would roll not in LTE taking part in a handful of cities taking part in mid-2012, but San Francisco, sadly, isn’t individual of them on behalf of the schedule being.
At what time you switch on the Viper, you’ll exhibit to instantly go off into the settings and spin rotten the LTE. If you don’t, the phone spirit constantly try and search on behalf of a non-existent set of connections and drain your battery. Until LTE comes to your city, you’re at a complete loss with 3G. Individual finicky entity to look send to is with the purpose of dash spirit offer ad lib data on its LTE set of connections, so you’ll be alive able to treatment your data to your heart’s content--without getting throttled.
I ran the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest.Disposable app to appraise 3G data speeds taking part in San Francisco. I got an norm of 0.92 megabits for each jiffy (mbps) on behalf of uploads and an norm of 1.83 mbps on behalf of downloads taking part in various parts of San Francisco. These are pretty sunny speeds on behalf of 3G, but nowhere touching on around of the LTE 4G speeds we’ve seen on AT&T's and Verizon’s networks. On behalf of paradigm, the Nokia Lumia 900 achieved an norm download race of 13.27 megabits for each jiffy and an norm upload race of 7 mbps taking part in San Francisco.
The LG laptop battery Viper might be alive a “budget-friendly” phone, but it’s veto sprawl. Powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 central processing unit, the Viper felt snappy all over the user interface. I loaded a pair of graphics-heavy games on the Viper plus Osmos, frame, and the earth of cream. All three games ran smoothly, with no some edition. I plus ran two atypical benchmarks on the Viper: Qualcomm’s Vellamo standard and the third-party Quadrant benchmarking app. According to Quadrant, the Viper got a notch of 3009, considerably advanced than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which got a notch of 2000. On Vellamo, the Viper scored 1221, which plus set it upfront of the Galaxy Nexus.
Call quality finished Sprint’s set of connections was tolerable. The Viper was very touchy to outer blare, such at the same time as wind before disappearance cars. On a particularly stormy day of the week taking part in San Francisco, I couldn’t own a conversation with no my associates on the other finish asking me to recap myself—the wind had completely routed my voice. Indoors, the Viper did a fate better. My friends’ voices sounded tidy up and natural, while they reported with the purpose of they might hear me like a dream.
We exhibit not yet fulfilled our stiff battery tests, but we spirit bring up to date this check in the past the results are taking part in. Taking part in my hands on treatment, however, battery life wasn’t very sunny on the Viper. It seemed lingering to charge, and I had to plug it taking part in twice for the period of a round day of the week of without favoritism hooligan treatment.
The LG Viper is a solid introduction to Sprint’s incoming people of LTE phones—even though in attendance isn’t a dash LTE set of connections yet. The Viper might not be alive a top-of-the-line smartphone, but its dual-core central processing unit keeps it running smoothly, and the camera snaps solid photos. But the Viper seems at the same time as if it is jumping the gun a small piece. Being at a complete loss on a 3G set of connections with an LTE-capable phone is a insufficiently heartbreaking; and while dash did say the Viper spirit acquire the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, there’s veto important at what time with the purpose of spirit be alive. If you don’t mind waiting on behalf of dash to switch on its LTE LG laptop battery set of connections (especially if you live taking part in individual of the in the beginning the minority cities on Sprint’s roll-out list), the Viper is a sunny worthy. If you’re looking on behalf of higher-end LTE phones on dash, you might plan to interval a small piece and go off on behalf of the incoming HTC Evo 4G LTE before the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.