AT&T and Sprint LG Optimus G comparison [Video]


After multiple announcements and quite a bit of coverage, the LG Optimus G is finally at America’s doorstep. Needless to say we definitely have our eyes on it, as it was one of the top 3 stars at MobileCON 2012; along with the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and HTC One X+. Each of these devices has its advantage over the others, but we were still wondering if the LG Optimus G would have a good place in the US – now we know it will. But with AT&T’s and Sprint’s versions being substantially different, which one will be better for US customers?

Though LG doesn’t usually get the best press, Chris and I were impressed with both LG Optimus G variants. The company has definitely made some major changes in its strategy with this device, coming in with a more polished software, better build quality and specs that can compete with any of the top Android devices out there.

The 1.5 GHz quad-core Snapdragon S4 Pro, 4G LTE connectivity and 2 GB of RAM simply make a sonic boom. The devices are so fast, even if they are not benefiting from Android 4.1’s Project Butter and other improvements (it has Android 4.0.4). The build quality is great; not as solid as HTC’s, but definitely not as low as Samsung’s. We do feel like the AT&T version got the better end of the stick on this department, though. The Sprint version is built with less metal and more plastic, making it feel a bit cheaper.

The UI is also much better than we expected. Yes, it is different and nothing like vanilla Android. But like other manufacturer UIs, it has its great features and improvements. It is arguably better than TouchWiz, in fact. But the most interesting part is that the Optimus G variants have many differences in the UI. These are mostly minor, and all the main features are still there, but the subtle differences threw us off.

The devices have their flaws, like every other phone out there. We could go on and on about the Optimus G, but let’s just save that for the review. Shall we? For now, we would like to focus on the most important differences: camera and storage.

The Sprint LG Optimus G comes with a good 32 GB of storage, but no microSD slot. On the other hand, AT&T’s device comes with only 16 GB of internal storage, but it has a microSD slot with support to a whopping 64 GB of extra room.

To make it fair, Sprint does get a better 13 MP camera while AT&T sticks with an 8 MP one. But as we all know, it is not about the Megapixels. Theoretically, these should have the same quality, with the only difference being Sprint’s Optimus G images being larger. This is mostly the case, but there seem to be more differences between these devices’ cameras than we thought.

Daylight images are nearly identical, except for the fact you can see clearer when you zoom in on Sprint’s Optimus G photos. The interesting part is that quality between these devices’ cameras is “night and day” when the sun goes down. We found that AT&T’s 8 MP shooter performs much better in remarkably dark environments (night time, dark street, etc.). Sprint does better when there is at least relatively good light, though (like a lamp-lit room), with more detail and accurate colors showing up.

The decision mainly comes down to your preferences. You can get a better camera with less storage (and depending on your preferences, a subpar design), or you could get a bit of a lower-quality camera in exchange for more storage options. Regardless, both are great phones and we will go more in depth on the details with the full review. You can see the camera comparison images below and the video right above for now, so have a blast and let us know what you think! Will one of these will be your next device, or are you waiting for something else?

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. Everytime I click a picture to enlarge it, it goes to a page with an ad banner at the top and nothing else.

    1. open the picture in new tab then click on picture

  2. The 8mp shots look a lot better.

    1. maybe thats why they used that one for the nexus, hmmm

      1. yup

    2. I think the third shot is the only one that looks better on the ATT version….

    3. Is it just me or does the AT&T cam look to have a yellowish hue?

      1. Thought the same thing.

      2. Yeah, it’s too warm. Maybe a setting that can be changed?

    4. it looks better only in the low light shots like the article says, the 13 mp looks way better in the shots with some light

  3. The AT&T night time pictures are surprisingly A TON better without extra megapixels…. for those partying at night, AT&T definitely will take the win here.

    1. no surprise at all…. with fewer MP the quality is much better just a smaller resolution.

      MP determines NOTHING except resolution, its completely separate from quality and typically lowers quality when more MP are added using the same tech available

  4. As an AT&T subscriber I can’t tell you how happy I am that our variant will have a microSD slot!!! That just made my day.

    1. What are you talking about? The darned thing has only 8gb of built in storage, if you get it you’ll very quickly have serious issues installing apps, as most apps cannot be installed to the SD card, even when you send apps to SD, they still install in the internal SD.

      The only way to do it is hack your phone and then you’ll begin to experience all kinds of issues with the phone including reboots, some apps not working intermittently, and generally the apps that require widgets will not work if you hack and install them to SD.

      Trust me, I’m speaking from experience.

      Any phone with anything less than 16 GB of internal storage is not worth it in this day and age. I’ll say 32GB should be the minimum a phone should have in this day and age. Of course if you only use it for phone calls then you’ll be fine with 8gb of storage.

      Please avoid this phone or you’ll end up say, ” I should have listened to that crazy guy” on phandroid.

      1. LOL about the crazy guy quote – I thought I read 16GB internal storage? 8 would be way too little considering how big apps can get nowadays. Bringing over my movies / videos / ROMs on a 64GB micro SD from my Galaxy S2 = sweet though. I’m actually kinda torn between this one and the Galaxy Note 2. Either way I’m going to flash with a nexus ROM. (yeah, I’d be thrilled to buy the next Nexus if it had a micro SD slot)

        1. don’t listen to him the ATT version has 16GB with a micro SD slot for up to 64GB more. Some people don’t bother to read the article and just jump straight to the comments with misinformation. There was a prototype that has been leaked that only has 8GB of storage but it was a PROTOTYPE. This article clearly states in their comparison the storage of each phone and neither is 8GB.

          1. calm down….chavez said the ATT version had 8 GBs in the video. he obviously misspoke, hence the confusion

      2. Your thought process on unlocking and rooting is completely false. Just thought you should know.

      3. i dont have those problems on my evo lte gl to sd for games takes care of a lot of problems but u need root. u only get 10gb user space on most 16gb phones so he is right HTC ONE X could never buy no sd

      4. why don’t you try reading the article before going on a rant and looking dumb.

        ” The Sprint LG Optimus G comes with a good 32 GB of storage, but no microSD slot. On the other hand, AT&T’s device comes with only 16 GB of internal storage, but it has a microSD slot with support to a whopping 64 GB of extra room.”

  5. 8mp shots all look better except for the last one…

    and chris! stop rubbing them damn phones all the time!!! your gonna wear the finish off lmao

  6. He said lg galaxy nexus lmao

  7. Denny’s?

  8. The first and last ATT photos are terrible. Both have very poor color and the last photo is a blurry mess. The low light look good on the ATT. Less pixels = more light per pixel (when sensors are similar size)

    1. No, just the last

      1. If you think the color on that first photo is even remotely accurate, you need to get your eyes checked. You are probably looking at it on an S3 screen.

    2. Hookem horns

  9. If I want to buy a device, Ihave to try it in real world.

  10. Nice looking phones actually… They look uncomfortably wide though. Make a smaller one.

  11. /sigh. And this where LG is a failure. These 2 devices should not be variants. They should be identical. They both should have the 13MP camera with the lowlight quality of the 8MP camera, and they BOTH should feature microSD slots with the same sizing options. When is LG going to take a lesson from Samsung (since they try to copy them so much) and release the exact same device across multiple carriers. Variations like this only add confusion to the uninformed or misinformed customers. =
    Not to mention that these subtle UI differences between the two are completely unnecessary and unacceptable.

    1. dude, stfu. Samsung did this with the gs2 and it was by no means a failure. So again, stfu

      1. I agree that it doesn’t necessarily equal failure but releasing a uniform device differing only in radios is still a much better idea. It does cause much less confusion for the non tech savvy who might think they are getting one thing but end up with anothe and then are turned off from android forever.

    2. You mean this is AT&T’s failure…

    3. lmao.. First world problems

    4. As far as I know the international Version of the LG Optimus G will have the 13MP cam, 32GB +SD card slot and a removable battery. If anything it is the US mobile phone provider’s fault. They keep asking for rebranded versions of every phone there is.

  12. These pictures are dreadful!

    This phone appears to be shaking up to be an epic mega fail.

    Looks like the only thing that’s worth talking about is the processor, otherwise, the screen is meh, the shape is of dubious aesthetics, the camera pics are painful to look at, the state of the storage options is just sad, the battery life is of unknown quality.

    This phone release should be cancelled and LG should go back to the drawing board. I predict they will lose a lot of money over this stinking POS they’ve decided to throw at consumers.

  13. I really don’t know what the heck you guys are talking about. The 8mp shots are really warm, its nasty. Either you accidently had the white balance set wrong or it just is bad at doing auto. The sprint one looks much better.

  14. Oh my Lord. LG, how difficult is it to streamline your flagship product?! Are you kidding me? This is terrible. They are vastly different phones. The UI on the phones is completely different, and the cameras don’t match! How could LG mess this up? Really?

    1. Samsung did the same with the gs2

      1. Buy all iterations of the Galaxy S III and compare them all in software and design. We aren’t talking about the past, we’re talking about here and now. Don’t protect LG, this is the same trap that Samsung and Motorola fell into with fragmenting all these little pieces in their software and design.

        1. Different screen sizes and different processors on the galaxy s 2’s. They look more different from one another than these two lg devices

      2. Except the SGS2’s were so similar in UI and Performance (including Camera and storage) that it didn’t really make that much of a difference (Unless you wanted the bigger screen if you were on AT&T).

  15. I wish google stuck with this phone design for the nexus and just added onscreen buttons, its so much nicer

  16. im no critic/arteest, but the pics are bad….is the nexus camera going to be this bad too?

    1. Since the current Nexus camera isn’t great, then probably so. They have to cut corners on the Nexus phones to keep the unsubsidized price reasonable.

  17. no sd slot no buy Sprint blew it or LG when will company’s learn give us a sd slot and 32gb built in or i will not buy

  18. going off these pics, it seems the sprint version is more accurate in capturing true color but the ATT version does better in low light.

  19. The Sprint version looks better than the At&T one to me.

  20. question is : what will come up at february mobile world congress ?

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