Waterproof smartphones have become a growing trend this year, and it is slowly turning into a feature that is not so much a bonus as it is a requirement. Enter LG's Optimus GJ. The device is IPX7-certified to withstand submersion of up to one meter for 30 minutes, complete with a removable back panel and a robust 1.5GHz quad-core Krait CPU.
Sony was the first to give a flagship the IP dust-and-water proofing treatment in the Xperia Z, and Samsung, not to be outdone, quickly responded with a rugged version of its own Galaxy S4 - the Galaxy S4 Active. LG is not to be outdone either.
Besides an awkward model name, the LG Optimus GJ has got the same internals and Android build as the LG Optimus G, which means that the user experience is, for the most part, identical. Unfortunately, the GJ had to shed its LTE, NFC and FM antennas as well as some of its internal storage to get the waterproofing trick to work, but LG has made up for that by adding a microSD card slot and a beefier battery.
Let's take a closer look at the key features of the LG Optimus GJ:
At first glance, it may seem like the Optimus GJ is just plain late to the party. The Optimus G is getting a little long on the tooth, and with no significant upgrade over those specs in the GJ, both of the aforementioned rugged offerings from Sony and Samsung handily outclass the LG device in both processing power and display fidelity.
Pitting the Optimus GJ against the 5-inch 1080p displays and more robust processors found in the S4 Active and Xperia Z seems like a recipe for disaster, but its biggest drawbacks may turn out to be its greatest strength. Here's why.
LG is just weeks away from unveiling its new G2 flagship, which will render the aging Optimus G (read: GJ) firmly into midrange territory. This means that rather than contend with more robust waterproof flagships, the Optimus GJ slips into the category of powerful midranger able to undercut the competition as one of the few IP-certified offerings without a flagship pricetag.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves by discussing its potential market impact. Let us first take a look at the hardware package offered by the waterproof LG Optimus GJ. Up next, we get underway with our usual hardware tour.