- Call Quality
As the old saying goes, “When you’re right, you’re right.” This time, LG gets it oh so right with their Spirit 4G smartphone from Metro PCS.
First things first. This isn’t a high-end phone with a price tag to match, nor did LG intend it to be. Despite this, the Spirit does everything a Galaxy or Iphone can while coming in at a fraction of the cost.
The body of the phone is composed almost entirely of plastic with a 4.5 inch Gorilla Glass display. That being said, this device is far from feeling cheap. The removable back plate is pleasantly textured to increase grip, and houses a removable battery and SIM card. The back plate sits flush and fits the phone nicely. Taking it off requires a little leverage, applied to a small notch in the bottom left corner, but by no means feels flimsy or at risk of coming apart. The overall build of the phone is stunning. Nowhere prior have I seen such a sturdy, streamlined phone offered at such a low price.
The battery life is satisfactory to say the least. With both WiFi and 4G enabled I was able to stream video from Netflix for just under 4 hours. With my daily use, which I would call semi-intense, I had no problem getting a full day out of a single charge, with about 40% remaining on my battery when I went to sleep.
The 4.5 inch 960-by-540 pixel screen is bright and pleasing. Colors are vibrant and text appears crisp and sharp. The resolution isn’t quite up to par with some higher-priced displays, but if your like me, you’re more concerned with the weight of your wallet than a slightly lacking display. Besides, the difference in screen resolution is really only noticeable to the most discerning of eyes.
The Spirit packs a 1.2 GHz dual-core processor that blazes through home screen animations and makes the phone feel snappy and responsive. Loading applications and navigating the phone is shockingly fast. I rarely had to repeat gestures or slow down my movements for the phone to catch up. Having a dual-core processor in this price bracket is refreshing and sets a new standard for cost-efficient devices.
As for its camera, the Spirit houses a rear-facing 5 megapixel camera that can take 1080p HD video, as well as a 1.3 megapixel front-facing camera. I found the rear camera to be disappointing in low light scenarios where the flash is not needed, but otherwise picture quality was good enough. The video camera satisfies the claim to 1080p HD video as well. I found no real problems with the camera’s ability but it leaves much to be desired for the photography enthusiast.
OS and Network
The device comes out of the box running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, and while this is not the very latest OS, it is still dependable, easy to use, and aesthetically pleasing. One specifically impressive feature I utilized is QuickMemo. This service allows users to take a screenshot and then write on it before saving it to the phone’s gallery. As a college student who sometimes has to do readings on the go, you can imagine the absolute pleasure I felt when I found that I could not only do the readings on the phone, but could also highlight and take notes! This too was only my limited use of the service; the possibilities with QuickMemo are as vast as one’s imagination.
The 4G LTE speeds on this phone are lightening fast. Loading webpages and downloads took only a few seconds to a minute, and I rarely saw my 4G connection drop down into 3G, which I have experienced with other services.
All in all, the LG Spirit from Metro PCS delivers everything that the top-of-the-line phones can with almost no compromise, while still coming in at an astonishingly low $200. This affordable price tag combined with a no-contract unlimited everything plan for $60 per month left me wishing I could ditch my strings and free my Spirit.