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LG G2 mini: A Day Late and a Dollar Short?

MacinJosh

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by Josh McDaniel

Sprint 4G Rollout Updates

Friday, June 13, 2014 - 10:59 AM MDT

 

Earlier this year, rumors began circulating that Sprint and LG were going to release the LG G2 mini, a smaller version of the G2. The model number of the phone was even listed as LGLS885. Earlier this week, LG received FCC OET approval for that very model number. But is this phone too late to market, as the release of the LG G3 is rumored to be early this summer? No, it couldn't come at a more perfect time.

 

The phone is to have the following specs (according to the Sprint UA profile):

  • Qualcomm MSM8926
  • 1280 x 720 HD resolution 4.7” screen
  • Android 4.4.2 build LS885Z03 KitKat on board with an update already in the works to build LS885ZV2 (Android 4.4.3?)
  • 1 GB RAM
  • 8 GB internal flash storage
  • 32 GB compatible microSD card slot
  • 8 MP rear camera
  • 1.3 MP front camera

The authorization docs indicate the G2 mini to be potentially the first VoLTE capable Sprint phone to pass through the FCC. The key is "potentially." Authorizations for other G2 mini variants also include notation of VoLTE capability, so that may be just boilerplate at this point. Below you will find a screenshot documenting such language. Could this mean that this year's flagships prior to the G2 mini won't get VoLTE? Who knows? They could receive OTA updates, but Samsung and HTC aren't obligated.

 

ls885-1.jpg

ls885-3.jpg

 

ls885-2.jpg

Of course, being tri-band, this phone isn't SVDO nor SVLTE capable. We remind you of this every time because some still ask if they can talk and surf the Web at the same time on Sprint tri-band LTE phones. No, only on Wi-Fi. However, if VoLTE is enabled for use on the G2 mini, then it could allow voice and data at the same time. But until Sprint clarifies its VoLTE stance, we can't be sure such a feature will be activated any time soon. “QoS” could be the deciding factor.

 

As for RF performance, it appears that LG and Sprint have purposely optimized this phone for TD-LTE on band 41. EIRP levels for band 41 are around 5-7 dB higher than EIRP for band 25 and ERP for band 26. Why is that? One explanation is to help camp users on band 41 as the primary LTE band and use band 25 and band 26 only where band 41 LTE isn’t available.

 

A date for release has not been mentioned, but my personal projection is for the G2 mini to be available before the end of the summer.

 

Sources: FCC OET, Sprint UA Profile

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It's hilarious that a 1280 x 720 HD resolution 4.7” screen is now considered "mini".

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It's hilarious that a 1280 x 720 HD resolution 4.7” screen is now considered "mini".

 

I agree. It is hilarious! So I take it that the iPhone is now a midget in LG's eyes.

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I agree. It is hilarious! So I take it that the iPhone is now a midget in LG's eyes.

 

The politically correct term would be "Little Screen" or Horizontally Challenged.

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Looks like a legitimate replacement for my moms lg optimus g. It may be a Lil late but still relevant. 

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Looks like a legitimate replacement for my moms lg optimus g. It may be a Lil late but still relevant. 

I'm on the Optimus G as well--but I think this is actually a downgrade in everything except LTE bands. Processor is only Cortex A7, graphics are Adreno 305 vs. 320 in the Optimus G. (And plastic vs. the fabulous crystal reflective whatever.)

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Am I missing something here? From the illustration above, the Mini is only about a millimeter smaller in both height and width than the G2. Since when is that considered "mini"? And how does that result in screen shrinkage from 5.2" to 4.7"? Did they maybe go with a wider bezel for structural reasons? I've not really heard any complaints about the G2 being especially fragile compared to similarly-sized phones.

 

Or is it the reduced RAM and storage capacity that results in the "mini" moniker?

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When did the first Sprint handset with BC10 clear the FCC? The lead time between then and the first activation of a 1x800 site may give us a rough estimate for when we'll begin to see at least a small-scale VoLTE deployment, if this handset does indeed support it.

 

I'm disappointed that Sprint is not yet mandating inclusion of LTE bands 4 and 12. Even if the TMUS merger falls through, devices with those bands will offer superior coverage once the Roaming Hub agreements kick in.

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Hey, Josh, how do the B25 and 26 compare to other phones?

They range about 18.5-19.8 dBm for both bands. It's pretty much on par with many other current Spark phones.

When did the first Sprint handset with BC10 clear the FCC? The lead time between then and the first activation of a 1x800 site may give us a rough estimate for when we'll begin to see at least a small-scale VoLTE deployment, if this handset does indeed support it. I'm disappointed that Sprint is not yet mandating inclusion of LTE bands 4 and 12. Even if the TMUS merger falls through, devices with those bands will offer superior coverage once the Roaming Hub agreements kick in.

First, I believe the lead time was around 1.5 to 2 years. 2nd, Roaming Hub compatible phones are supposed to be released later this year. I expect the Galaxy Note 4 could be one of the first for that.

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