LG Optimus GJ review: Wild child

GSMArena team, 12 August 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: LG, Google, Android

Full-featured organizer

The Optimus GJ comes with the usual set of organizing apps and a great document editor as well.

The app in question is Polaris Office 4. You can of course view documents - Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents and PDF files too, and there's an option as well to export Word and PowerPoint docs as PDFs.

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The Polaris Office app does a splendid job

Edit mode offers almost a full set of options - text style, justification, paragraph formatting, bullets, and even creating tables. If you're editing an Excel file, you get a formula wizard, resize rows/columns, border style, cell merging and so on. Full-featured PowerPoint presentations can be created too.

The Optimus GJ could become the essential presenter tool with SmartShare. It can stream content over HDMI (via MHL) or over Wi-Fi (Miracast) and audio over Bluetooth so you can run the presentation from your phablet. The app can also push content to compatible LG devices with Beam. Remember that with Dual Play Dual Screen you can use the phone's screen for something else (e.g. read notes) while the TV/projector is showing the slides.

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SmartShare is great for presentations

The calendar app has a split screen interface - the top part is reserved for the monthly calendar and one on the bottom for the agenda/daily/weekly view. This way you will always have your monthly view visible. The border line between the two sections is not fixed and you can easily move it. You can hide the monthly view completely, but you can't do the same with the other section.

The calendar supports QSlide so you can check your schedule while writing an email without having to switch between apps all the time. The GJ is syncable with multiple online calendars.

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The calendar app • Calendar in QSlide mode

The LG Optimus GJ features an alarm clock application, which lets you set multiple alarms, each with its own start and repeat time, and ringtone. You can enable application autostartup, so the calendar/email/music player/ tasks/weather app launches when the alarm goes off.

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The alarm app now features application link

There's also a clever feature called puzzle lock, which will make you solve a simple puzzle to disable the alarm. This way you will only be able to stop the ringing when you have properly woken up.

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Puzzle lock

The Timer, World Clock and Stopwatch features are also part of this app.

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The timer, world clock and stopwatch

The organizer package also includes a useful voice recorder and a nicely touch-optimized calculator. The latter is QSlide enabled to be always at hand.

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There's voice recorder and calculator preinstalled as well • QSlide calculator

The Memo app allows you to take notes and add media to them, such as images, audio, or location.

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The Memo app

Notebook is more advanced and lets you create books with multiple pages, add multimedia, draw and eventually export as PDF and email them.

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Notebook creates beautiful multi-page "books"

The so-called QuickMemo function is integrated in the phone's OS, allowing you to capture screen shots of anything (including the lockscreen!) and scribble notes over them like you would on the LG Optimus G and Vu. You can save the result as an image or add it to the Notebook app.

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QuickMemo in action

There's also a nice weather app that can show you the current forecast, as well as four days ahead. You can add multiple cities as well.

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The weather app

There's also the Quick Translator app, which uses the camera to scan text (a word, line or block at a time) and translate it from one language to another. It's a bit slow and requires a data connection, but it can help you out if you're abroad and don't speak (or read) the language. The OCR (scanning the text) sometimes runs into trouble and produces garbage, but the translations are fairly good by automatic standards - that is to say, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

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Quick Translator in action

Google Maps and Navigation

The LG Optimus GJ managed to get GPS lock in about a minute from cold start without A-GPS. A-GPS can speed up the lock (but it involves data traffic). Cell-ID and Wi-Fi positioning are also available if all you need is a rough location, but they need a data connection too.

Google Maps is a standard part of the Android package, and the latest version features an even more minimal UI. It offers voice-guided navigation in certain countries and falls back to a list of instructions elsewhere. 3D buildings are shown for some of the bigger cities and you can use two-finger camera tilt and rotate to get a better view of the area.

You can plan routes, search for nearby POI and go into the always cool Street View.

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Google Maps is well familiar and as functional as ever

Voice-guided navigation has become a viable solution since the v5.0 update. Vector maps are smaller and easier on the data traffic and reroute is an option if you go off course without the need to connect to the Internet. In fact, the only time you need a data connection is when you initially plan the course - Navigation will cache the needed maps.

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Street View is here too

Google Play has the apps

The Google Play Store, previously known as the Android Market, lets you download various apps for your device. Upon launch of the Market app you're greeted with the tiled interface of the Featured window. A swipe to the right takes you to the Categories view.

Swiping to the left takes you through Top Paid, Top Free, Top Grossing, Top New Paid, Top New Free and Trending. New sections are available such as Staff Picks, Editor's Choice and more.

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Google Play is where the apps come from

Downloads are easy and won't take more than a couple of seconds. Before you agree to download an app, Google Play will show you what features the app requires access to (e.g. Internet connectivity, access to the file system, etc.). You can also see if updates are available for your currently installed apps by going to My Apps in the contextual menu.

The LG SmartWorld app store is also on board. It's similar to the SamsungApps market - there you can find various content and promotions exclusive to LG users.

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LG SmartWorld

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