LG Optimus GJ review: Wild child

GSMArena team, 12 August 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: LG, Google, Android

Good-looking phonebook

The phonebook of the Optimus GJ is pretty much the standard Jelly Bean affair with Optimus UI goodies sprinkled on top. It has a tabbed interface, in which the Contacts tab lists all contacts alphabetically. You can navigate the tabs by swipes or, alternatively, touch the specific tab labels.

Contact images, where available, are displayed and there's a quick alphabet scroll on the right. There's also a regular search bar on top of the contacts list. The other tabs are Groups and Favorites on the right and Dial and Call logs on the left.

Filters keep the phonebook from getting messy - you can choose which groups are displayed and which are hidden (e.g. Family, email contacts, Twitter contacts and so on). The list can be sorted by first or last name and you can choose how contacts are displayed - First Name, Last Name or the opposite.

In the usual Android fashion, a tap on a contact photo brings up the quick contacts shortcuts. You can call the contact, send a text or email, or view their profile. You can also make a video call.

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Contact display and sort modes • Viewing a single contact

Tapping on the name of a single contact brings up their details. Once you're there, you can edit the contact info by hitting the pencil icon in the upper right corner, while the star icon in the upper right will add them to favorites. Editing a contact is pretty straightforward; you can add or remove fields as needed, as well as specify the types of phone numbers, email addresses, ringtones, additional fields and even add notes.

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Editing a contact

Smart telephony

The LG Optimus GJ had no trouble holding on to signal (even where signal was poor) and the in-call audio is consistently good and decently loud.

The Dialer is basically a part of the Contacts app and integrates the Call log, Contacts and Favorites, within its own tab. Again, these tabs are side-swipeable.

The Call log is clever and groups some of the calls, e.g. 3 missed calls from the same contact on the same day. A number next to the contact name shows the number of events. It's a great space saving feature.

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The Call log

Smart Dial is available and works for both numbers and names. Only one matching contact is displayed, but if you tap the down arrow button, the rest show up as well.

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Smart dialing

During a call you can pop-up the dialer should you need to dial another number. Also you can use the phone while on a call, just hit the menu key and a small green line replaces the notification area and acts like a shortcut back to the call.

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In-call screen • Call notification

The original Optimus G had one of the most powerful speakers we've tested recently, and we were eager to see how its waterproof counterpart would fare. Unfortunately, just like most submersible smartphones, the speakers sound a bit muffled, resulting in a speaker loudness score of Average for the Optimus GJ.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
Sony Xperia Z60.1 58.361.6Below Average
Sony Xperia SP66.6 61.968.2Below Average
Apple iPhone 566.866.167.7Below Average
Nokia Lumia 92061.6 64.865.8Below Average
HTC One X+64.6 65.874.6Average
Asus Padfone 257.3 66.777.8Average
LG Optimus GJ65.0 64.675.8Average
HTC Butterfly69.0 70.777.9Good
Oppo Find 570.7 67.773.0Good
HTC One69.3 66.675.9Good
Samsung I9505 Galaxy S470.6 66.277.3Good
Google Nexus 471.1 66.678.8Good
Samsung Galaxy S III75.1 66.575.0Good
LG Optimus G74.671.382.7Excellent

You can find more on the testing procedure here.


The LG Optimus GJ can handle all common message types: SMS, MMS and email. Email capability is excellent with support for Exchange available out of box, and social media buffs will be pleased with the level of SNS integration as well.

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The messaging app

A press-and-hold on the text box gives you access to functions such as cut, copy and paste. You are free to paste the copied text across applications like email, notes, chats, etc.

Adding multimedia to a message is pretty straightforward - just hit the attach button next to the text field and select a number of available options, such as images, videos, voice recording, etc. You can even customize the appearance and background of the messaging interface.

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Sending a message • The attach dialog and contextual menu • Customizing the interface

The Gmail app has been extended to include the new categories view, which separates messages of different types, such as those from social networks. The Gmail client still includes operations, which allow multiple emails to be archived, labeled or deleted, as well as spam report and of course a conversation-style email view mode.

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The Gmail app

The generic email client supports multiple accounts, and operates in much the same fashion as the Gmail one. If you add multiple accounts, then the Combined Inbox feature will come in handy, although there's no conversation-style view like in Gmail.

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The generic Email client

QWERTY, Swype, voice and handwriting

The LG Optimus GJ offers a standard QWERTY keyboard, which features both portrait and landscape typing. The keyboard fills up the screen nicely and offers great ergonomics with ample spacing between keys, still leaving enough room above the keyboard for you to see what you're actually typing.

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The QWERTY keyboards

The level of speed and accuracy are commendable in both portrait and landscape. There's a dedicated setting that enables keypress vibrations.

There is Swype-like (LG dubbed it Path keyboard) input as well, though it's somewhat uncomfortably out of sight in the Input Language submenu.

Voice input is enabled too, as well as handwriting. Furthermore, since this is a Jelly Bean device there's also support for offline voice typing, as long as you have preinstalled the required language packages. We are really pleased with its speed and accuracy, too.

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Handwriting • Voice typing

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