Orlando, FL

With a large 5.7-inch display, the LG G Vista places itself into the phablet category. The G Vista comes with a lower price tag than other flagship phones of $49.99 with a two-year AT&T contract or $354.99 without a contract from AT&T. While other flagship devices are three and four times this price, the G Vista provides a phablet experience with mid-grade hardware keeping the price cheaper.

Out of the box, it comes with Android 4.4.2 installed on 8GB of internal memory and 1.5GB of RAM. But, like other handsets, the initial lack of initiative onboard space can be made up for with an SD card slot which allows up to 32GB of additional storage.

The phone comes with a 3200mAh removable battery, which allows up to 15+ hours of talk time and well over 20 days of standby time battery life, the G Vista is able to conserve power while running on the Snapdragon 400 Quad Core processor.

With the specs of a mid-level phone, it comes with a 5.7-inch screen at a resolution of 1280 x 720 at 258 PPI (pixels per inch). While the handset brings a large screen to the table, I found it to lack the sharpness of other flagship phones because of the limited 720p screen for such a large display, although only when looking closely.

A rear 8MP camera allows recording of video in great 1080p format. It also sports a 1.3MP front camera. Below the rear camera is a similar layout to many LG phones with the volume up and down rocker and a sleep/power button placed in-between them. The power button’s location is critical to allow users to be able to easily reach the power button when holding the device with one hand.

On the top of the phone, there is a standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and IR blaster. The IR blaster is designed to work with LG’s Quick Remote application which converts the handset into a universal remote for your televisions, which works with most modern TVs.

The LG G Vista provides some signature software features that are included in their other models, including their flagship LG G3. Dual Window can be accessed by long-pressing the “back” hotkey on the screen in order to produce a small menu of applications which can be chosen to either be on the top or bottom halves of the screen simultaneously.

AT&T has provided a pre-loaded DriveMode application that is useful for preventing a driver from getting distracted while on the road, though a few people may see this as bloatware. When DriveMode is enabled, the G Vista can sense when the device is traveling faster than 25 mph and send out customizable messages to incoming calls or text messages. This falls in line with AT&T’s push towards no texting and driving and the “It Can Wait” campaign.

KnockCode is a feature that provides a user the ability to turn on and unlock their phone with a few short motions. KnockCode allows for the user to set a certain pattern based on four separate quadrants that the display is split up into, and while acting like a security pattern, it both powers on your screen and unlocks the device.

Some other features that are included are QSlide, a note-taking QMemo+ and a Guest mode which can allow for the primary user to keep content and applications private by allowing a third-party user to unlock the phone with a separate password. The Guest Mode is similar to “Kid Mode” seen in other flagship devices such as the HTC One M8.

Like other LG handsets, the G Vista’s GPS signal is less than ideal, frequently losing GPS signal, a problem resolved on the G3.

When looking for a high-end device with a larger screen, more in the phablet group, I would recommend going with the LG G Vista if you’re trying to save money or not willing to sport for the flagship models. It is worth the extra money to go with a flagship or higher-end device, if you can, to have the productivity and power available to you.

If you require a budget-friendly device that allows you to experience a phablet experience, the G Vista can be a solid choice for this.

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