Hands-On: LG Viper LTE for Sprint

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While the Galaxy Nexus will likely steal most of the thunder when it comes to Sprint’s new LTE handsets, we definitely haven’t forgotten about LG’s offering for the network, the Viper LTE. We got a little time with the handset during a Sprint event at the Venetian, so read on to get the rundown.

While the Viper LTE isn’t underpowered by any means we would be surprised if it came in with the same price tag as the Galaxy Nexus. Sporting a 4-inch WVGA NOVA display, 1.2GHz dual-core processor, 5 megapixel rear camera with LED flash,VGA shooter on the front, and NFC with Google Wallet support out of the box, the Viper covers all the bases to make a solid LTE smartphone.

We’re not surprised to see that the Viper is on the thicker side due to its LTE radio but having it next to the Galaxy Nexus is a bit sad to see. Either way, the extra chunk doesn’t necessarily translate to weight, as the Viper is pretty light and the heft lends to a nice in-hand feel.

The Viper LTE is also eco-friendly and 35% of the plastics used in making the handset are recycled. This isn’t something that’s going to woo anyone over but it’s definitely nice to see Sprint and LG are getting “greener.” The demo unit we handled was running stock Android Gingerbread, with the only customization being the Sprint ID icon at the bottom. The rep told us that the software wasn’t final, so we may indeed see the non-intrusive but underwhelming custom UI layer that LG has been putting on its handsets as of late.

Another thing that may not make some of the spec-junkies happy about the Viper LTE is that it only had 512MB of RAM. With most high-end smartphones shipping with 1GB of RAM these days, we would trade in the recycled materials for another half a GB of RAM. Nonetheless, with the dual-core processor under its hood, the Viper should perform quite well despite the lack of memory we’d like to see.

The design of the handset is on the simple side, which isn’t much of a surprise. LG’s handset designs aren’t anything to sing praises about but the Viper is still a nice handsets overall. The back side of the handset is covered in a brushed metal that adds a little flair that we doubt anyone will be complaining about.

Pricing and availability hasn’t been announced but we can expect to see the Viper LTE and the Galaxy Nexus land on Sprint shelves within the coming months.

 

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