I have in my hands the LG G3 Vigor, the budget-friendly version of the LG G3. The LG G3 Vigor is very similar to the premium flagship smartphone, the LG G3. From a hardware standpoint especially, it’s essentially a scaled-down version of the G3. If we take a look around the device, we’ll see that there’s nothing on the left hand side, nothing on the right hand side, an IR blaster up top and then the 3.5mm headphone jack and micro USB charging cable down below.
On the front of the Vigor is the 1.3MP front-facing camera and ambient light sensors with the 5-inch 720p display with not much else since this device uses software navigation buttons. If we take a look at the back, we’ll find the rear-facing buttons for the volume controls and Sleep On/Off button underneath the 8MP camera sensor and laser autofocus sensor and flash. So yeah, this phone does carryover the laser autofocus sensor. The only major difference in the back is the back cover itself. It’s more tactile than the LG G3 and since it is plastic, it feels like plastic whereas the LG G3, it is made of plastic but it is finished differently so that it actually feels like metal since it’s so smooth. But considering the Vigor is half the price, it really doesn’t feel too bad in the hands.
The display, on the other hand, is sort of a disappointment. It’s a 720p display with a 5-inch frame giving it a 294ppi index. I personally would have liked to have seen a 1080p resolution display in here, which would make it one step below the UHD panel in the LG G3 but it’s not. But LG did a good job tweaking the display to match the colors on the LG G3. If you’re coming from the LG G3 or maybe you’ve just used the LG G3 before, then this really won’t be that different of a device. It still carries over the flat LG custom skin which is among the best-looking skins out there in my opinion. I’d still prefer stock Android but this really isn’t too bad at all. You still have access to flat-looking quick settings in the notification tray and other features, like Knock Code, are present. You can set up a tap sequence and unlock your device using Knock Code on the LG G3 Vigor.
And just overall, this really looks and feels like the LG G3. The LG Vigor does only have a quad-core 1.2GHz Snapdragon 400 processor with 1GB of RAM so performance isn’t as good as the G3. But with that said, there’s very little lag navigating throughout the OS. I’ve used plenty of devices with the same processor and I usually see a lot of lag but not so much here. And as I mentioned, the camera on the LG G3 Vigor does in fact have the laser autofocus sensor on the back. And it really does help speed up the focus on this phone. It focuses really fast. Basically you just tap on a subject and it focuses and snaps a picture almost instantly. But the camera quality isn’t all that great. It’s an 8MP camera sensor so you really won’t retain a lot of quality when you zoom in and crop photos. You can definitely capture some good shots though, especially outdoors in well-lit areas and it does handle its own pretty well in low light.
But once again though, it’s not going to rival the G3 or any other high end smartphone camera sensor. The detail just isn’t as sharp and the colors aren’t quite as vibrant but they are pretty accurate. They just don’t pop quite as much as some of the other high end camera sensors. I will also note there were some exposure issues I ran into when capturing HDR images outdoors. But honestly, once again, it’s not that bad especially if you plan to take photos every once in a while. It should definitely get the job done.
Moving on to battery life, battery life is always important to talk about with smartphones. And with the LG G3 Vigor, I found it to be pretty darn average. It’s not exceptionally great nor is it bad by any means. The standby time is pretty good. I can leave this phone on and it’ll drain very slowly, only a few percentage points over a period of several hours. And overall, it just doesn’t have to be as big as the G3 to be effective since the phone isn’t requiring as much power.
So if you’re interested in the LG G3 but you don’t want to pay the high price for one, then look no further than the LG G3 Vigor. It’s not going to pack as high end specs obviously but that doesn’t mean you won’t get a good device. In fact, I’m pleasantly surprised at just how much the G3 Vigor resembles the G3. I just love how it carries over many of the same features such as the laser autofocus sensor and Knock Code security lock. The bottom line is that this is a solid phone for the $330 off-contract price on AT&T. if you’re into signing contracts, then you can also purchase this phone for $50, which might be the better option for you.