Android Explainer Series: Best LG Android Phones and Devices

by Ian Black

Need a reasonably priced Android phone that just works? Check out the LG Optimus line. LG jumped on board Android from the beginning and has been leveraging the mid-to-high range smart phone market segment effectively ever since.

Just like Android was designed to do, LG delivers one Android-based phone after another, very quickly, with just slight modifications to the case, buttons, and built-in hardware.

But mid-range isn’t all LG does. In 2011, LG has announced three new exciting Android products – the super thin LG B, the speedy LG Optimus 2X, and the first 3D Android phone appropriately called the Optimus 3D. They’ve even announced their entry into the tablet arena – the Optimus Pad.

Regarding apps, LG skins the OS to brand them for carriers, but other than that, does little to alter the standard user interface supplied by Google. So, for apps, you’ll be shopping the regular Android Market.I’ll explain everything you need to know about the devices and apps below.

LG Revolution

A big phone with big 4G LTE power, the LG Revolution was recently released on the Verizon network and has been pretty well received. It’s fast, powerful, sports a large 4.3 inch 480x800 LCD display and is powered by a 1GHz single-core Snapdragon processor. With Netflix streaming capabilities, speedy performance on both the Verizon 4G network and from the included Froyo Android OS, it’s a worthy phone to consider. But caution -- that battery could sap pretty quickly with 4G enabled all day, so power comes at a cost.

LG Optimus 3D

You’ve seen the commotion about 3D TVs. What do you think about a 3D phone? LG has announced the Optimus 3D which not only features a 3D view from its screen but can also capture 3D video through a special dual lens camera on the back.

The phone sports a big 4.3-inch screen that operates in either regular 2D mode or in 3D that does not require 3D glasses. In 3D mode, LG displays a special 3D menu to get to your camera, gallery, and apps.

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LG Optimus 2X

LG garners the title of “first to market” with the Tegra 2 high-performance “system on a chip” with the Optimus 2X. The chip promises the fastest multi-tasking capability of any phone currently available. However, if you’re not a power user, you probably won’t notice that much of a difference.

The 2X comes with a few cool pre-loaded apps. Shrek Kart is Mario Kart-like game with Shrek characters. Facebook for LG and Twitter for LG let you update your social networks. And, you’ll find slightly modified versions of Contacts, Messaging, and a clock widget.

LG B

The old saying goes “you can never be too thin”. We’ll get a chance to see if that remains true for smart phones when the LG arrives. Details are still sketchy but it could be that the B ends up being the thinnest smart phone on the market upon its release – even thinner than the iPhone 4G.

LG Optimus Pad

Like the Motorola XOOM, LG’s Pad will sport the new tablet version of Android called Honeycomb and the Tegra 2 dual-core CPU for fast performance. This tablet features an 8.9-inch screen and the very first 3D-capable 1080p camera on the back for recording video in high-def 3D. We’ll have to wait for more details on this product because the press release was short on other specs.

Dude, Where’s My Apps?

As mentioned, LG does not greatly alter the out-of-the-box Android interface. For carriers, LG inserts special logo wallpaper or icons for special carrier services. Additionally, LG often includes their own versions of social networking apps like Facebook and Twitter and will sometimes include a high-profile game.

For downloading new apps on LG phones, use the Android Market. You’ll find the shopping bag-shaped icon with the Android character on it by browsing the menu screens. Open the Market and then search for new apps by category or by entering search text. Any apps you choose to download will appear on the app screen of your phone.

Overall, LG delivers Android phones across the spectrum from everyday to cutting edge. Take note of their products in phone stores and watch the news for their groundbreaking new releases.

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