LG eXpo GW820 Review
It took long enough for US consumers to finally be graced with a handset featuring LG’s S-Class interface, however, it isn’t the full version that powers LG feature phones – it’s actually a personalization for the WM platform. Thanks to its lightning quick 1GHz Snapdragon processor, moving through either the standard Windows Mobile or S-Class interface came without a hitch. There are 3 homescreens available for you to move around – LG Contacts, Favorite Multimedia, and the Main Screen. We definitely liked the LG Menu which lays out icons side-by-side and fills up the entire screen. Other than that, it’s your normal Windows Mobile 6.5 experience.
The LG eXpo offers all the items associated with your messaging needs – this includes e-mail, text messaging, and instant messaging. On top of the usual on-screen input methods Windows Mobile provides, LG throws on their own QWERTY with XT9 prediction that only works in portrait mode, which is a shame really. We feel that the portrait one’s cramped confines make it difficult to speed type without making mistakes – so using the physical QWERTY is still the best option.
The 5-megapixel auto-focusing camera may have a slightly higher than normal pixel count, but it does little to improve the overall quality of photos taken on the LG eXpo. Images captured tended to be overexposed with average looking detail in the shot to make it passable for print outs. The interface adds the allure of a dedicated camera with its rotating dial that allows you to modify certain settings. Taking a photo is almost instant soon after the phone auto-focuses on an image.
You can capture videos at a maximum resolution of 640 x 480, but it’s littered with plenty of loose detail. For the most part, they played smoothly at all resolutions with colors looking decent. Even when switching from bright to low lighting conditions, the eXpo didn’t stutter or slowdown during the transition. Sound from the recorded video had a decent tone without any noticeable background distortion.
The S-Class music player is a nice departure from the usual experience we get out of using Windows Media Player – it has nice looking equalizer visuals that run as you play a song. Using the Favorite Multimedia homescreen, you can scroll through some of your albums with ease and select one to play. Sound quality from the speaker phone was clear with accurate tones.
With a detailed WVGA display, the LG eXpo makes for a good candidate to watch videos leisurely. After loading up a movie trailer coded in H.264 at 720 x 306, we weren’t too surprised that it ran almost flawlessly without any choppiness thanks partly to the lightning quick processor. Even when moving the phone to landscape, the orientation of the video playing changed almost instantaneously. Regrettably there’s no support for DivX or Xvid codecs out of the box.
With a detailed WVGA display, the LG eXpo GW820 makes for a good candidate to watch videos leisurely
Not to be outdone just yet, the pico projector accessory does make the LG eXpo very unique as being one of the few available handsets to offer such functionality. Snapping it onto the phone makes it extremely bulky looking and weighs you down if it’s placed in a pocket. It doesn’t have its own internal power source and relies on the eXpo’s battery. After turning it on, we were greeted to a projection of the phone’s display. There are a few options you can change, such as brightness or focus, but we still found colors not looking as vibrant as we would’ve liked. When projecting to a flat white surface in complete darkness, the white color had a slight bluish tint to it, but didn’t take away from the overall visual look. It’s definitely great for any business oriented user looking to quickly make a presentation directly from their handset. In addition, movie buffs may be enticed by its ability to project up to 40 inches in size. There’s a decent amount of heat buildup around the pico projector after it has been left on for some time, so we’re just a bit curious as to how this would affect the phone during long term use.
There’s ample memory on the LG eXpo to save various files – it comes with over 50MB of memory for installing programs while a separate 86MB is reserved for storage. If you require more space, you can always supplement it with microSD cards up to 16GB in capacity.
Not only with this quad-band GSM phone (850/900/18000/1900 Mhz) will you be able to place phone calls just about anywhere, but its tri-band UMTS connectivity (850/1900/2100 MHz) makes for a great solution to get 3G speeds internationally.
Web browsing on the LG eXpo is your standard fanfare with Internet Explorer. Scrolling is pretty intuitive once a page is completely loaded up, but it still doesn’t seem as snappy as Opera Mobile. It will run Flash to an extent – which works great with the pico projector so you can play a YouTube clip and project it for everyone to watch.
1. JocularJester (Posts: 40; Member since: 28 Oct 2009)
other than the lackluster 5mp camera, the speakerphone quality, the slight bluish tint to the whites when using the pico, and the missing 3.5mm outlet, PA really seems to have really liked this phone. personally i havent had a chance to play with it myself but it does seem like a great winmo phone that anyone could get good use out of. great review overall and i look forward to the next. keep up the great work.
2. g2tl (Posts: 1; Member since: 24 Dec 2009)
how did the expo, with its 1500mah battery get a rating of "6" while the hd2, with a 1200mah battery, got "8.5"?
3. livingmild (Posts: 14; Member since: 24 Dec 2009)
Can you use the projector to do powerpoint presentations and if so is there something available to advance the slides without having to pick up the phone.
4. Kiltlifter (Posts: 742; Member since: 11 Dec 2008)
It would seem that it projects everythig on your main screen of your phone, so yes it will do PPT, as far as advancing slides without touching the phone, I would get a Blueooth Keyboard or a BT controller of some sort. But seems like a decent enough phone. Samsung said they were going to make a BT projector for any WinMo phone. Has anyone heard anything about this?
5. livingmild (Posts: 14; Member since: 24 Dec 2009)
That's very helpful. I didn't know you can attach a Bluetooth Keyboard to a smartphone. Thanks