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LG Viper 4G LTE (video review)
What's hot: Affordable, bright IPS display and NFC.
What's not: Low resolution display, middle performance matches the midrange price tag. Runs Android 2.3 rather than 4.0.
Reviewed May 9, 2012 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
The LG Viper 4G LTE is Sprint's first LTE smartphone, and the Galaxy Nexus and HTC EVO 4G LTE soon followed to round up the high end. The one thing missing for now is a Sprint LTE network, but Sprint says they'll light up their first 6 cities in mid-2012 and cover over 100 million folks by year's end. In the meantime, you've got good old 3G EV-DO Rev. A and WiFi for your data needs.
The LG Viper is the most affordable in the pack, and it sells for $99 with contract. In addition you get free Dropbox cloud storage and a Google Wallet credit in your account. As you'd guess, the Viper is a mid-tier phone, but it has a few nice perks like NFC with Google Wallet and a 700 nit brightness IPS display that looks very sharp and colorful. The 4", 800 x 480 display isn't very high resolution, but it's a good match for the screen size. The phone runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread-- sorry, no ICS here.
The LG runs on a 1.2GHz dual core Qualcomm S3 CPU with a gig of RAM and just a smidgen of internal storage (1.4 gigs). Sprint includes a 4 gig microSD card. The phone has WiFi 802.11b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 and a GPS that works with Google Maps, Sprint Navigation and other solutions. It has a front VGA camera and a rear 5MP camera that's actually pretty decent and it can shoot 1080p video.
The phone is a silver plastic chunky monkey. LG can make an attractive phone, but this isn't one of them. It looks somewhat dated thanks to the silver plastics and thickness. The phone has a 1700 mAh battery and we managed a not very impressive 4.3 hours of talk time on 1x/3G (LTE is turned off by default and we left it that way for our battery tests).