LG has been putting out more and more decent handsets for the last couple years, even some of their low-end to mid-range phones are worth taking a look at for people who aren't looking at the most powerful and performance driven devices. Recently I had the opportunity to check out and review the LG Volt for Virgin Mobile, and although it isn't power packed like the LG G3, it still seems to provide a decent experience and was fast enough to handle the tasks I threw at it.
- 4.7-inch IPS Display with 540 x 960 resolution and 234 ppi
- Qualcomm MSM8926 Snapdragon 400 quad-core processor
- Adreno 305 GPU
- 1 GB of RAM
- 8 GB of internal storage
- microSD card slot for expandable storage up to 64 GB
- Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat
- 131.6 x 66 x 10.4mm
- 3,000 mAh battery
- 8MP rear camera
- 1.3MP front camera
When it comes to hardware, the LG Volt is certainly not the most impressive phone. That isn't to say that it's not a decent piece of hardware. The phone doesn't feel overly cheap, and it packs decent enough features that it should be enjoyable for anyone looking for a low cost device that can still perform a little. The 8MP camera takes decent enough pictures, and some of LG's cool features have found their way into the Volt like the animated screen unlock with cool sound effects like you can find on the G3, as well as the IR sensor for use with the quick remote application. The battery cover has a slightly textured back that feels like it helps with grip, when held in one hand all the buttons on the phone are easily accessible and manageable. The volume and power buttons are on opposite sides of each other, exactly like you'll find on the Nexus 4, and instead of use of on screen navigation buttons LG opted for the hardware home button and soft keys for the back and menu buttons. You've also got your micro USB charging port on the bottom along with the speakers and mic, and your 3.5mm audio port on top next to the IR sensor. Overall, it's a decent feeling low-end phone.
One thing the LG Volt has going for it seems to be battery life. With 3,000 mAh and a low resolution display at only 4.7-inches in size, it lasts quite a bit longer than you might expect. I pulled it off the charger yesterday afternoon around 1 pm with moderate use throughout the day of apps like G+ and hangouts and the occasional Facebook check, and as of now the battery is still at 30%. Granted a lot of the time during the day the screen was off yet connected to LTE. When I had it off the charger Friday, it was connected to WiFi the entire day and screen on time was about 6-7 hours with fairly moderate use. Battery will vary of course depending on how others personally manage their brightness, data connection(wifi or cell network)and use of apps, but I found the battery to be pretty good.
It's Android 4.4.2 Kit Kat, so pretty much everything is up to date as far as the OS goes, this isn't quite the same feel as what you might on LG's most polished and slimmed down phone to date though which is the LG G3, as the software feels extremely lightweight and not the least bit cumbersome or sluggish. The LG Volt has a tiny bit of bloatware, but it isn't the worst we've seen and things flow pretty nicely. You'll find some great LG features here still like the QR remote app we mentioned above. The Volt also features Knock Code, which you can use to lock the display and unlock via the registered sequence set by the user. It also has the double tap to lock/unlock which is infinitely more useful than pressing the power button every time. All in all, the software feels OK, nothing exciting, but it isn't frustrating to use either.
The LG Volt carries an 8MP camera, which isn't bad but we're not looking at fantastic photos here. It will do the job and it takes a decent photo, but users shouldn't expect amazing pictures out of it. It easily blurs a tiny bit if you move the camera too much, so you have to stay really still when snapping off shots. Close ups do look better than I expected though. They say the best camera is the one you have on you, and in that case this will suffice, but if you're looking for a smartphone with an excellent camera on board, look elsewhere.
Odds & Ends
- There is a little bit of Virgin Mobile bloatware, but whether or not that matters is user preference
- The white color is nice and the LED lighting indicator surrounding the physical home button was a nice unique touch
- The Virgin Mobile coverage in my area isn't the greatest, but it did connect to LTE while at home. Out and about however provided a very different experience and little to no connection inside our local grocery store.
The LG Volt is a decent low end device. If you're more on a budget and looking for a good handset and awesome battery life, with some cool features, the Volt is not a bad choice if you're already planning on choosing Virgin Mobile or are already a subscriber. With Virgin Mobile coverage seeming spotty in my area, it's a good idea to check whether or not you might have better luck with Virgin Mobile coverage in your locale. The price is nice at a regular retail cost of $179.99, and overall it will suit the needs of anyone who isn't looking for something too powerful.