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At first glance, the LG Enlighten is nothing special. A small 3.2-inch display, a seemingly underpowered 800 MHz processor, and a measly 3.2-megapixel camera are not exactly what you would call "selling points". But this mid-range device has a few things that a lot of other devices in this category don't have - the latest build of Android, 2.3, a physical keyboard, and 3G Mobile Hotspot. The question is, Are those features enough to outweigh the other not-so-glamorous features?

I've been using the Enlighten for roughly 24 hours. Here's what I think of it so far:

  • I'm enjoying LG's custom UI. The dock at the bottom is handy and customizable. The method for adding widgets to the homescreen has also been improved and works similar to Samsung's TouchWiz UI. The UI isn't too heavy. Gingerbread's color scheme is still carried throughout the phone, but the small things like an improved dock and toggle buttons in the notification bar are welcome changes. The only feature that rubs me the wrong way is categories in the app drawer. I've never liked this feature. That's purely subjective though.
  • The 3.2-inch display is bright and clear, though a resolution of 320x480 isn't going to impress you too much, but it is small. In fact, it's almost too small. Thankfully, the phone has a physical keyboard. Otherwise, typing would be impossible for a lot of users. Using the small display when performing general everyday tasks has been fine so far.

  • Speaking of the physical keyboard, I'm not quite sure I like the design of this one. First, I've never understood why manufacturers insist on cramming the spacebar in a row of letters. Even with a dedicated number row, I still don't see the justification for this. Typing is awkward and there's no reason for it. The Space bar itself has been a problem. It's a triple-wide button with one pressure-point directly in the middle. This defeats the purpose of having a large spacebar. The rest of the keys are fine - firm, tactile, and well-designed. But that darned spacebar messes up the placement of the keys. Perhaps I'll get used to it, but I doubt it.
  • So far, the phone's 800 MHz processor is trucking along just fine. I've noticed minor lag here and there. For the most part, it's smooth but not seamless. As a note, the phone scored a 1,040 on the Quadrant Standard test. Pinch-to-zoom in the web browser with Plug-ins turned on was laggy and choppy.
  • 3G speeds using Verizon's network have been great so far. In the Dallas area, I'm averaging 1.7 Mbps for downloads. I typically get faster speeds on Verizon devices I test compared to phones from other carriers, but that will vary depending on coverage in your area.

  • The 1540 mAh battery seems like it should be large enough to get you through a full day of use. When I got the phone, it was not fully charged so I don't have any results yet on what battery life will be like.

So, those are my thoughts so far. I'm not too terribly impressed by the phone but most of the things that bother me are based on personal preference. Check back in for the full review or watch my unboxing video in the meantime!


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