The LG Viper ($100 with a additional two-year contract from race; outlay for example of 4/12/12) is Sprint’s very chief LTE phone. But the Android-running Viper is a insufficiently the first part of to the game: Race hasn’t rolled away from home its 4G LTE set of connections yet. Despite being at a complete loss with 3G speeds, though, the inexpensive LG Viper packs a quantity of high-quality specs in place of the outlay. The dual-core laptop handled everything I threw next to it with comfort, the 5-megapixel camera took good quality pictures, and the addition of Google Wallet is not too shabby.
Design and present
[Click to enlarge] The Viper has a “platinum” rating by UL setting in place of its sustainable build and packaging. According to race, the phone’s body is 50 percent recycled plastic. Earth-friendly phones aren’t in general the for the most part stylish-looking models, but the Viper is an exception. The piano-black meet is nicely complemented by a chrome border around the phone’s edges. The silver plastic patronage has a “brushed” terminate, 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 controllable 5 ounces.
[Click to enlarge] The 4-inch WVGA display’s resolve is somewhat slash than top-tier smartphones next to 480-by-800 pixels (the highest-end robot phones move toward with 1280-by-720-pixel screens). If you arrange on using the Viper merely to browse the complication, check e-mail, and puzzle out a quantity of casual gaming, the present must come to pass sufficient.
Like many smartphone displays, the Viper is a insufficiently oversaturated. This was perceptible hip our color staff tests, wherever the color gradients bled into apiece other. It tended to have a shower away from home skin tones a insufficiently tad, too, but it didn’t add a reddish tone, for example we’ve seen a quantity of AMOLED displays puzzle out.
The Viper runs robot 2.3 (Gingerbread) with an overlie from LG and race to facilitate runs atop it. The overlie is somewhat person of little consequence and looks like to the vanilla robot Gingerbread interface, but you’re at a complete loss with a enthusiastic SprintID (Sprint’s app package service) navigation button on the present. Race complete to facilitate the Viper hope against hope eventually come to pass upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, but the company did not say what time we can expect to facilitate inform.
Other than the undying SprintID button, you can remove pretty much all of the carrier-added software (or, hip a quantity of hand baggage, bloatware). I wasn’t able to remove SprintZone, but I can remove race NASCAR, NBA mobile phone, TeleNav, and other added apps.
Solitary informative built-in claim is Google Wallet, which uses the built-in NFC central processing unit hip the Viper to accede to you create payments with your phone. In place of a complete overview of Google Wallet, check away from home our hands-on go over.
[Click to enlarge] I snapped a a small amount of photos indoors and away from home with the Viper’s 5-megapixel camera. My outside photos looked pretty good quality, with net details and good quality color reproduction. My enclosed photos had a tad of a dark cast to them (see the sample photo) and looked a insufficiently rough hip precise areas.
The Viper as well has a front-facing camera and can take capture hip up to 1080p. For example you can hear hip the sample capture lower, the Viper's microphone was very hypersensitive to wind. Insignia overall looked a tad dark, but the Viper can alias fast-moving objects devoid of some artifacting otherwise pixelation.
For example mentioned, the race LTE set of connections has not been rolled away from home yet hip the United States. Race recently announced to facilitate it would roll away from home LTE hip a handful of cities hip mid-2012, but San Francisco, sadly, isn’t solitary of them in place of the schedule being.
What time you switch on the Viper, you’ll carry out to right now pass on into the settings and focus sour the LTE. If you don’t, the phone hope against hope constantly try and search in place 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. Solitary fastidious phenomenon to look forwards to is to facilitate race hope against hope offer unconstrained data on its LTE set of connections, so you’ll come to pass able to use up your data to your heart’s content--without getting throttled.
I ran the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest.Catch app to calculate 3G data speeds hip San Francisco. I got an be in the region of of 0.92 megabits for every support (mbps) in place of uploads and an be in the region of of 1.83 mbps in place of downloads hip various parts of San Francisco. These are pretty good quality speeds in place of 3G, but nowhere similar to a quantity of of the LTE 4G speeds we’ve seen on AT&T's and Verizon’s networks. In place of illustration, the Nokia Lumia 900 achieved an be in the region of download race of 13.27 megabits for every support and an be in the region of upload race of 7 mbps hip San Francisco.
The Viper might come to pass a “budget-friendly” phone, but it’s rejection stoop. Powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 laptop, the Viper felt snappy all the way through the user interface. I loaded a team of graphics-heavy games on the Viper with Osmos, verge, and the globe of substance. All three games ran smoothly, devoid of some release. I as well ran two atypical benchmarks on the Viper: Qualcomm’s Vellamo level and the third-party Quadrant benchmarking app. According to Quadrant, the Viper got a notch of 3009, considerably top than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which got a notch of 2000. On Vellamo, the Viper scored 1221, which as well plant it to the lead of the Galaxy Nexus.
Call quality more than Sprint’s set of connections was approve. The Viper was exceedingly hypersensitive to outside racket, such for example wind otherwise disappearance cars. On a particularly blustery date hip San Francisco, I couldn’t support a conversation devoid of my links on the other close asking me to say again myself—the wind had completely beaten my voice. Indoors, the Viper did a fate better. My friends’ voices sounded net and natural, while they reported to facilitate they can hear me like a dream.
We carry out not yet done our prescribed battery tests, but we hope against hope inform this go over in the past the results are hip. Hip my hands on use up, however, battery life wasn’t very good quality on the Viper. It seemed brake to charge, and I had to plug it hip twice in the course of a gorged date of somewhat extreme use up.
The LG Viper is a solid introduction to Sprint’s incoming kind of LTE phones—even though at hand isn’t a race LTE set of connections yet. The Viper might not come to pass a top-of-the-line smartphone, but its dual-core laptop keeps it running smoothly, and the camera snaps solid photos. But the Viper seems for example if it is jumping the gun a tad. Being at a complete loss on a 3G set of connections with an LTE-capable phone is a insufficiently miserable; and while race did say the Viper hope against hope search out the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, there’s rejection potent what time to facilitate hope against hope come to pass. If you don’t mind waiting in place of race to switch on its LTE set of connections (especially if you live hip solitary of the chief a small amount of cities on Sprint’s roll-out list), the Viper is a good quality amount. If you’re looking in place of higher-end LTE phones on race, you might fancy to linger a tad and pass on in place of the incoming HTC Evo 4G LTE otherwise the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.