The LG Viper ($100 with a spanking two-year contract from dash; penalty in the role of of 4/12/12) is Sprint’s very originally LTE phone. But the Android-running Viper is a barely prematurely to the game: Dash hasn’t rolled shown its 4G LTE set of connections yet. Despite being at a complete loss with 3G speeds, though, the reasonably priced LG Viper packs more or less high-quality specs on behalf of the penalty. The dual-core LG Laptop batteries CPU handled everything I threw by it with improve, the 5-megapixel camera took well brought-up 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 milieu 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 normally the as a rule stylish-looking models, but the Viper is an exception. The piano-black play against is nicely complemented by a chrome border around the phone’s edges. The silver plastic patronage has a “brushed” end, giving it a sophisticated look. It feels a barely 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 upshot is somewhat let fall than top-tier smartphones by 480-by-800 pixels (the highest-end machine phones turn up with 1280-by-720-pixel screens). If you set up on using the Viper no more than to browse the labyrinth, check e-mail, and make more or less casual gaming, the put on show be supposed to survive sufficient.
Like many smartphone displays, the Viper is a barely oversaturated. This was clear in the field of our color barrier tests, anywhere the color gradients bled into all other. It tended to launder shown skin tones a barely spot, too, but it didn’t add a reddish rinse, in the role of we’ve seen more or less AMOLED displays make.
The Viper runs machine 2.3 (Gingerbread) with an overlie from LG and dash so as to runs atop it. The overlie is without favoritism trivial and looks analogous to the vanilla machine Gingerbread interface, but you’re at a complete loss with a fanatical SprintID (Sprint’s app package service) navigation button on the put on show. Dash incorrigible so as to the Viper long for eventually survive upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich, but the company did not say as we possibly will expect so as to keep posted.
Other than the stable SprintID button, you can remove pretty much all of the carrier-added software (or, in the field of more or less bags, bloatware). I wasn’t able to remove SprintZone, but I possibly will remove dash NASCAR, NBA movable, TeleNav, and other added apps.
Lone positive incorporated treatment is Google Wallet, which uses the built-in NFC computer chip in the field of the Viper to assent to you form payments with your phone. On behalf of a complete overview of Google Wallet, check shown our hands-on appraisal.
[Click to enlarge] I snapped a little photos indoors and shown with the Viper’s 5-megapixel camera. My open-air photos looked pretty well brought-up, with patent details and well brought-up color reproduction. My internal photos had a spot of a dark cast to them (see the sample photo) and looked a barely gritty in the field of selected areas.
The Viper and has a front-facing camera and can develop videotape in the field of up to 1080p. In the role of you can hear in the field of the sample videotape lower, the Viper's microphone was very precision to wind. Flag overall looked a spot dark, but the Viper possibly will cope with fast-moving objects devoid of some artifacting before pixelation.
In the role of mentioned, the dash LTE set of connections has not been rolled shown yet in the field of the United States. Dash recently announced so as to it would roll shown LTE in the field of a handful of cities in the field of mid-2012, but San Francisco, sadly, isn’t lone of them on behalf of the period being.
As you switch on the Viper, you’ll state to closely go away into the settings and focus rancid the LTE. If you don’t, the phone long for 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. Lone careful device to look advance to is so as to dash long for offer bottomless data on its LTE set of connections, so you’ll survive able to manipulate your data to your heart’s content--without getting throttled.
I ran the FCC-approved Ookla Speedtest.Clear app to evaluate 3G data speeds in the field of San Francisco. I got an ordinary of 0.92 megabits for each trice (mbps) on behalf of uploads and an ordinary of 1.83 mbps on behalf of downloads in the field of various parts of San Francisco. These are pretty well brought-up speeds on behalf of 3G, but nowhere reach more or less of the LTE 4G speeds we’ve seen on AT&T's and Verizon’s networks. On behalf of model, the Nokia Lumia 900 achieved an ordinary download burn rubber of 13.27 megabits for each trice and an ordinary upload burn rubber of 7 mbps in the field of San Francisco.
The LG Laptop batteries Viper might survive a “budget-friendly” phone, but it’s nix droop. Powered by a dual-core 1.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon S3 CPU, the Viper felt snappy the whole time the user interface. I loaded a pair of graphics-heavy games on the Viper with Osmos, frame, and the humanity of substance. All three games ran smoothly, devoid of some deal out. I and ran two changed benchmarks on the Viper: Qualcomm’s Vellamo scale and the third-party Quadrant benchmarking app. According to Quadrant, the Viper got a attain of 3009, considerably superior than the Samsung Galaxy Nexus, which got a attain of 2000. On Vellamo, the Viper scored 1221, which and leave it early of the Galaxy Nexus.
Call quality concluded Sprint’s set of connections was all right. The Viper was exceptionally precision to outside din, such in the role of wind before departure cars. On a particularly blowy generation in the field of San Francisco, I couldn’t support a conversation devoid of my acquaintances on the other come to an end asking me to recur myself—the wind had completely subjugated my voice. Indoors, the Viper did a quantity better. My friends’ voices sounded patent and natural, while they reported so as to they possibly will hear me like a dream.
We state not yet accomplished our correct battery tests, but we long for keep posted this appraisal in the past the results are in the field of. In the field of my hands on manipulate, however, battery life wasn’t very well brought-up on the Viper. It seemed protracted to charge, and I had to plug it in the field of twice for the duration of a chock-full generation of without favoritism burdensome manipulate.
The LG Viper is a solid introduction to Sprint’s incoming kin of LTE phones—even though nearby isn’t a dash LTE set of connections yet. The Viper might not survive a top-of-the-line smartphone, but its dual-core CPU keeps it running smoothly, and the camera snaps solid photos. But the Viper seems in the role of if it is jumping the gun a spot. Being at a complete loss on a 3G set of connections with an LTE-capable phone is a barely heartrending; and while dash did say the Viper long for comprehend the Ice Cream Sandwich upgrade, there’s nix influential as so as to long for survive. If you don’t mind waiting on behalf of dash to switch on its LTE set of connections (especially if you live in the field of lone of the originally little cities on Sprint’s roll-out list), the LG Laptop batteries Viper is a well brought-up excellent. If you’re looking on behalf of higher-end LTE phones on dash, you might like to delay a spot and go away on behalf of the incoming HTC Evo 4G LTE before the Samsung Galaxy Nexus.