Design and Hardware
What's most interesting about the overall design of the Optimus G is its size. With a 4.7" display, it falls somewhere in between a larger-than-average size smartphone and a phablet. It feels huge compared to the iPhone 4S, but a bit on the small side compared to the Galaxy Note II. Ultimately, the phone feels wide overall, but we suspect those that like larger screens will dig the Optimus G.
The 4.7" display is clearly the star of the show. The company's Zerogap Touch technology places the capacitive layer inside of the panel, enabling LG to make the phone a little bit slimmer, and the images on the panel a little bit clearer. At first glance, images are pin sharp, and colors are remarkably vibrant. It's easily one of the more stunning mobile panels in terms of clarity. But there's an issue here that you'll notice after you spend an extended amount of time with the phone: if you tilt the screen at a more extreme angle, you'll notice a subtle discoloration. Whites turn a slight off-white, almost yellow, and based on the information we have available, this issue seems to be uniform across these devices. It's not a huge issue until you tilt the screen at fairly extreme angles, but most other devices don't have the same issue. For a flagship phone, it's fairly disheartening to see such an obvious weak spot in the panel.
Overall, the phone feels like a rigid device, but it's an ultra-slick piece of hardware that may slip out of your hand as easily as in your pocket. Clumsy hands best opt for a case with some grip. At over five ounces, it also feels a tad on the heavy side, but most concerning is the somewhat underwhelming feel of the build materials. Unlike the iPhone, which uses metals that are smooth to the touch or even the cheaper RAZR M, which relies on a svelte Kevlar backing, this phone relies on cheaper plastics from top to bottom. For a low-end or mid-range phone, this would be expected. For a flagship product that costs $549.99 (off-contract), we were left longing for more premium materials.