Straight Talk LG Power and LG Destiny Review

Specs – Straight Talk LG Power & LG Destiny

lg_powerStraight Talk LG Power & Destiny Check Availability
Dimensions Height 5.11″ x Width 2.52″ x Thickness .49″
Weight 4.2 Ounces
Form Factor Compact Candybar Touchscreen
Network & Technology LG Destiny-GSM 4G (Enhanced 3g), WiFi/Activated with AT&TLG Power – CDMA 3G, WiFi/Activated with Verizon
Calling Plan Straight Talk $45 Unlimited
Downloadable Apps Yes, all apps available through Google Play store. Comes with Youtube, Google Maps, GPS Navigation.
Processor 1.2 ghz Quad core
SD Card/Internal Storage SD card not included/Capable of up to 32gb micro SD card
Android OS Android 5.0 Lolipop
Digital Camera 5 mega pixels/.3 mp front facing camera/LED flash
Screen 4.5″ Diagonal
Battery Life 10 days stand by & up to 7 hrs talk
Button Types Floating on-screen Android buttons
USB microUSB v4.0
Audio Jack & Charging Standard 3.5mm iPod type / micro usb charge/data
Price $79.99

About the LG Power and LG Destiny

The main attraction here is the fact that the phones are the first Android 5.0 Lolipop phones from Straight Talk. There is also a bit of an interesting twist in the design which I will talk about a little later. The one thing to note is the fact that the difference between these two phones boils down to one being for Verizon (the Power) while the other is for AT&T (the Destiny). The remaining specs are identical on both phones. One thing you will notice on the Destiny is the fact that the box says 4G, but don’t mistake that for 4G LTE because they are not the same. The Destiny has what they call “enhanced” 3G which is to say just a bit faster than standard. In reality, I cannot tell much by way of speed difference from one to the other.

I would say that these phones are sized just about perfectly as they both fit nicely in the hand thanks to the slight curve in the back and the perfectly sized screen. What I really enjoy, however, is the slick modern design which I will talk about a bit later.

Design and Build Quality

As I touched on earlier, the one thing that stands out to me, other than the new Android 5.0, is the slick modern form factor on these phones.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it will take a bit of getting used to because these phones have the power and volume buttons on the back. The buttons are incorporated into the battery cover and located just below the camera and LED flash. Speaking of the battery cover, it has a brushed metal look (yes, it is plastic) which is quite attractive.

destiny_backdestiny_side

While I will admit, the button thing is just trying to be different rather than better, I will say that the front of these phones is very attractive. They don’t have any fancy trim or anything like that, but since the Android “buttons” are on screen, just about the entire front of the phones is screen. That is to say, there is no wasted real estate on the usual hardware buttons located just below the screen.

destiny_front

Another item that I give these phones a gold star in is the screen material. While they are plastic screened phones, I do like the fact that they are very smooth, almost as smooth as their glass screened counterparts. The reason why I mention this is because many of these entry level phones have less than smooth screens on them so you always feel a bit annoying resistance when you glide your finger across the screen to perform say a swipe. These phones are free of that sensation.

Performance and Usability

I really enjoyed the performance of these phones. They have plenty of power to run just about anything. The Maps app for example, is a breeze to zoom, rotate and pan on. There isn’t the slightest bit of hesitation when zooming and panning on the loaded map. Of course there is still a bit of a lag when the phone has to load a new section of the map but that has more to do with the data speed.

Usability on Android 5.0 is great! Not much has changed since the 4.x versions other than the different button icons so you will need to get used to those. One button of note is the right most button which now just brings up the active apps instead of what used to be the app menu. The center circle button is still the home and the left arrow is still the back button.

The phone comes with the usual suite of Android apps such as Chrome, GMail, Maps, Play Store YouTube, etc. About the only little extra on the phone is the hardware based FM radio which allows you to use the radio without using up data.

Lastly, I’d like to talk about the video quality because it is quite good for a phone at this price range. It has a wide viewing angle so it does not darken when you tilt the phone slightly. Unlike other lower end phones, you do not have to watch it dead on to get good video. That said, the sound quality is about average.

Camera

The camera here is pretty good. You get good image quality in both low light and normal conditions. The flash is also nice and bright with the ability to turn it on/off/auto.  I will tell you that all of those cool camera filters people like to play with cannot be applied before taking a picture but rather you can only apply the cool effect stuff after you take a picture and go into edit mode. One thing I was unable to find was the landscape mode. Cool filters included vintage, drama, black & white, HDR Scape, Retrolux, Center Focus, tilt shift and frames. Of course you can crop and rotate images as well.

destiny_camera

One thing to note is that the front facing camera’s resolution is very low so most images take with that will be on the poor side.

Here are some sample shots with a couple of filters applied, drama, vintage and normal.

destiny_pic_3 destiny_pic_2 destiny_pic_1

Conclusion

I would say these are two great little phones. I think the price is right for the content and specs. I really liked the modern design on these phones. Particularly the fact that the entire face of the phones are essentially just the screen. The back facing buttons are interesting though some may find them a bit annoying or just something new to get used to. Overall, I would highly recommend either phone. Just keep in mind that the Power is for Verizon and the Destiny is for AT&T. Don’t be too alarmed that the Verizon model does not say 4G because there really is no difference in download speeds between the two.