In this day and age, it seems as if smartphones are the talk of the town. Everywhere you look, it seems like the pocket computers are dominating our society. With the media centering around the Apple iPhone, Palm Pre, BlackBerry Tour, and HTC Hero, it's easy to understand why regular phone launches rarely get the respect that they deserve. Yet, the LX370 is a strong performer in the mid-range category in which it serves. Featuring a sleek design, strong battery life, Sprint's One Click user interface, and pre-installed goodies such as Sprint TV and Sprint Navigation, it's definitely worthy of a second glance.
Returning to a rather traditional form factor, the LG LX370 is a slider phone, offering a nice silver finish with a fairly roomy keypad. Coming in at 4.06 inches long by 1.89 inches wide by 0.63 inch thick, the LX370 weighs 3.7 ounces, making it perfect for a small pocket or purse. The 2-inch QVGA display supports 262,000 colors and offers 240 x 320 pixels. Though the display might be a bit on the small side, we were very impressed with it. Pictures were rich and looked crisp on the display.
The left side of the LG LX370 offers a volume rocker and a microUSB charging port, while the right side contains a 2.5mm headphone jack (we wish it was 3.5mm), a microSD card slot, a voice dialing shortcut key, and a camera key. The front of the device houses a D-pad with five buttons: two shortcut keys, and talk, back, and end keys. The camera lens and external speaker can be found on the back. On the top right hand corner of the phone, a status light keeps the user informed of missed alerts and charging status. Being a midrange device, the packaging is sparse. Besides the LX370 and a battery, a home charger, 1 GB microSD card, and instruction manuals are included.
Having been spoiled by the numerous QWERTY keyboard phone offerings this summer, we were slightly disappointed to have to go back to a normal keypad. That being said, the surface is roomy, and thanks to the raised lines separating the keys, it's easy to type on. There's no lag found on the LX370, so those that are used to typing quickly should have no problem getting used to the device.
We've said it before, and it stands true yet again: Sprint's "One Click" user interface is quite good. Unlike other carrier-supplied interfaces, Sprint's is useful, and most importantly, customizable. On the LX370, the home screen contains a bar at the bottom with eight different "tiles," with each one acting as a shortcut to an application. Out of the box, the tiles are Home, Messaging, My Account, Personalize My Phone, Shortcuts, Sprint Navigation, Google, and Internet; with the exception of the "Home" tile, all can be customized to fit your needs. What's more, you can add "bubbles" to the home screen, which offer streaming information like horoscopes and financial updates. Like other One Click devices, the only frustration that we had centered around the inability to change the overall font size (font size changes are limited to messages, browsing, and notepad). The standard size was decent for us, but those with visual impairments should test the LX370 in-store prior to purchasing.
An added bonus in Sprint devices are the included features, and the LX370 continues the trend. Offering Sprint TV, Sprint Navigation, Sprint Music, and Google's various services, the device is ready to go out of the box. The aforementioned features are included in most Sprint plans, so they're definitely worth taking advantage of provided that your plan supports them. In testing Sprint TV, we found the relatively small screen to be a limitation, but audio and video quality was consistent thanks to a reliable EVDO signal.
The LG LX370 comes with a 2.0 megapixel camera, and in our testing, image quality was generally decent, provided that the shots were taken in a reasonable amount of light. Unfortunately, LG opted to ship the device without a flash, so in low-light areas, pictures become useless. Neat features include night mode, fun frames, four different picture resolutions, and customizable brightness and white balance levels. Additionally, the camera offers four shutter tones, with one being a silent option - interesting, given the debates society has had in the past about an audible noise prior to taking pictures.
We tested the LX370 in the Charlotte area, and reception was quite good. Callers said we sounded great, and they reported no background noise. On our end, calls were crisp and clear. When testing the device in a known fringe area, we had no problem connecting or hearing the other party, despite the fact that the LX370 had no bars of service. Speakerphone was quite clear as well; we tested the device in a busy grocery store, and we could hear our callers well. Though there was a bit of reported background noise, callers told us that they could understand most of what we were saying. The only challenge we encountered was using the device with the car windows down; most callers were unable to hear the conversation. Despite the fact that the LX370 supports EVDO Rev. 0, we were pleased with data speeds. Internet browsing was quick and painless, and other data-intensive tasks performed well throughout our testing.
Estimated talk time is just over six hours, and in our testing, battery life was fairly strong. With moderate use encompassing text messaging, calling, and the occasional internet browsing, we were able to make it just over two days before the device powered down. With little to no use, the device lasted just over seven days. Granted, these numbers will vary with usage, but for those that are away from an outlet for most of the day and need a phone with strong battery life, the LX370 should be on the short list.
Despite the majority of press coverage centering around smartphones this launch season, it's nice to see a feature rich, solid performer like the LG LX370 in the regular phone category. Minus the frustration with the 2.5mm headphone jack and the small font size, the LX370 is a great mid-range device for anyone seeking a reliable device with decent multimedia functionality. Offering strong battery life, it would make for a great travel companion. If small text may be an issue, be sure to spend some time with it in the store prior to purchase.