"It's not a projector phone, it's a phone with a projector..."
When you look at the LG eXpo, the first thought that comes to mind may be "c'mon, it's just another Windows Mobile phone." Yes, the device runs Windows Mobile (6.5, to be exact), but there are some welcome improvements to this device that make it a better unit than past Windows Mobile devices. The projector is quite the neat accessory (though it costs $179 in addition to the device), the 1 GHz Snapdragon processor makes the device snappy at almost everything you throw at it, the fingerprint navigation works well, and the roomy QWERTY keyboard is a good solution for those that e-mail frequently.
Inside, you'll find the device, battery, an AC adapter, USB cable, hands-free headset, stylus, and an instruction manual. Coming in at 4.45 inches long by 2.16 inches wide by 0.63 inch thick, the device weighs 5.2 ounces, making it slightly heavier than a normal phone but on par with other smartphones. The left side of the device contains the volume rocker, while the right side offers the microSD card slot, multitasking button, and the camera shortcut key. The microUSB charging port (which doubles as the headphone jack) and power button are on top of the device.
The eXpo offers a 3.2-inch resistive touchscreen. If you're familiar with my preferences, you know that I prefer capacitive displays. On the eXpo, I've noticed that with each attempt to tap on an icon, it often takes me 2-3 attempts before I'm able to successfully click on it.
The device ships with Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional Edition, and offers LG's S-Class custom user interface. Microsoft Office Mobile Suite, Microsoft's new My Phone backup service, and improved internet browsing through Internet Explorer are a few of the improvements seen in the new OS. Granted, I like the revised design of 6.5 (though I think more needs to be done), but I've been very pleased with the tweaks found in LG's S-Class UI.
As a frequent e-mail user, a good keyboard is crucial, in my opinion - and the LG eXpo's QWERTY is a winner. I'll admit, the on-screen option is a bit cramped, but the physical alternative is comfortable and reminds me of the HTC Touch Pro2. On the media front, the eXpo has a 5.0-megapixel camera, and while I'm still testing specifics, initial camera quality seemed to be decent. Features include a 3x digital zoom, flash, and video-recording capabilities.
I've been working with the eXpo in the Charlotte market, and I've been pleased with the reception so far. My callers have been able to hear me well, and the device worked relatively well in the two dead spots I tested it in. There was one "choppy" call, but it seemed to be a one-time occurence. The LG eXpo is estimated at 4 hours of talk time, and 17 days of standby time. I'm still working with battery numbers, but I was able to make it through the day on a full charge.
The eXpo is a 3G device, meaning that browsing speeds were quite fast. The mobile CNN webpage loaded in about 12 seconds, and the full PhoneDog homepage loaded in 36 seconds. Other data-intensive tasks such as AT&T Navigator and the Windows Marketplace have performed well.
Stay tuned for my full review and Dogfight between the LG eXpo and HTC Touch Pro2!