LG Lotus Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction:

There’s no denying it, QWERTY is the hot trend in the industry right now.  From business devices to touchscreens to dumbphones, the full keyboard is showing up everywhere.  Innovation has been few and far between; in general you have two form factors to choose from: candybar and side-slide.  LG bucks the trend with the Lotus by offering a full keyboard on a flip phone.  The Lotus has a relatively strong feature set as well, with a 2 megapixel camera, EVDO connectivity and a widescreen, QVGA display.  Included in the box you’ll find:

  • Li-Ion battery
  • AC adapter with USB
  • 512MB microSD card


Design:

In addition to being a rare QWERTY flip, the Lotus takes a unique square-ish shape as well.  When closed it reminds one of a makeup compact, and is certainly not the manliest device on the market.  There are two color options, flat black and purple with a floral print.  The black is rather boring, but the purple is one of the better looking phones out there.  The floral print is shiny, in contrast to the flat finish of the rest of the phone, which leads to a subtle and sophisticated look.  When manufactures put out colors targeted to the female audience it is often overdone and ends up being more fit for a teenager, but the purple Lotus fits nicely into any purse no matter the age.




You can compare the LG Lotus with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The square design leads to an awkward feel.  Closed the device isn’t so bad, but when opened it’s fairly uncomfortable to hold to the ear.  A quick conversation isn’t so bad, but on longer ones we found ourselves wanting a headset.  We feel this problem will only be exacerbated with the smaller hands of LG’s target female audience.  Two handed use feels more natural, and tapping out messages on the full keyboard is a pleasure.  The keys are butt up against each other, but similar to the Motorola Q9c are rounded making it easy to type on.  After just a few minutes we were typing quickly and accurately.  The only gripe is the back button is above the keyboard, but with limited space it is understandable.

The 262K color, 2.4” QVGA display is another nice feature.  Its landscape orientation is ideal for text and videos, and in general is easy enough to read though does wash out in direct sunlight.  The front display is 1.3” with a 160x128 resolution and 65K colors.  Below it are media playback keys that sit flush, but are not touch sensitive.  On the bottom of the flip (when closed) is the 2 megapixel camera flanked by stereo speakers on each side.  The speakers are plenty loud, though a bit muddled.

The left side has a volume rocker and microUSB charging/data port, and the right has a Music and Camera key, as well as the microSD slot.  It also has a 2.5mm headset jack; a 3.5 jack would have made more sense for a media-centric device such as this.  The back is plain, and features only the battery door.  It is coated with soft touch paint, which gives a bit more grip.




LG Lotus Video Review:



LG Lotus 360 Degrees View:



User Interface:

The Lotus runs Sprint’s One Click interface, and was one of the launch devices along with the Samsung Rant and Highnote.  We covered it in-depth in our Rant review, and there isn’t anything new on the Lotus, so head over and read about it if you haven’t seen the UI before.  In short, we still really like it and think it’s one of the more useful dumbphone UIs out there.  It features a user-customizable homescreen and other nice touches like threaded text messaging.


The phonebook holds 600 entries, each with up to 7 numbers, 3 emails some other info.  LG doesn’t say who does the voice command program, but if it isn’t Nuance it works exactly like it.



Multimedia:

The Lotus features a solid but standard set of multimedia options for a Sprint device.  Sprint TV, Radioand Music Store handle the staples.  One nice feature is that TV plays on the outer display with the flip closed.  MicroSDHC cards are supported up to 16GB, and since the music player can run in the background the Lotus is a capable though not perfect iPod substitute.


The camera performed average.  Images were dark, colors could be more saturated and overall they could be sharper.  Settings are pretty standard: resolution, quality, shutter and night mode.  The camcorder records at QVGA resolution but is of YouTube quality at best.



Software and Performance:

TheLotus has 80MB of internal memory with microSD expansion up to 16GB andhas a Mass Storage mode.  It uses Sprint Navigation for GPS, andfeatures Bluetooth 2.1+EDR.  Supported profiles are: headset,hands-free (v1.5), dial-up networking, object push, basic printing,advanced audio distribution, audio/video remote control, file transfer,phone book access, human interface device (keyboard only.)  SprintMobile Email is a capable “push” client that allows users to keep upwith both personal and corporate email.

Callers were impressedwith how we sounded on the Lotus, giving us an 8.5/10 rating.  Theynoted that we did not sound as good as a landline, but it was one ofthe better sounding cell phones in their opinion.  They sounded good onour end as well; their voice was natural and loud enough without beingoverly so.  Our only gripe, as we noted earlier, is that holding thephone to the ear is uncomfortable so we recommend paring the Lotus witha Bluetooth headset.  The battery is rated at 5.5 hours of talk timeand we were able to eclipse this by a few minutes.  For a smaller CDMAphone this is no small feat.

Conclusion:

Wewant to like the Lotus, and it is indeed not a bad device, but there isjust something off about it.  It starts and ends with the design, whichsome people just won’t be able to get used to.  Those who can will finda nice little device with an above-average keyboard, solid feature-setand good performance.  In the end you’ll have to make the decision foryourself, but if the size doesn’t bother you we have a feeling you’lllike it well enough.



Pros

  • Easy to use QWERTY keyboard
  • Good call quality and excellent battery life
  • Compact form-factor for a full QWERTY device
  • Support for Sprint’s One Click UI and multimedia suite

Cons

  • Uncomfortable to hold during a call

PhoneArena Rating:

8.0

User Rating:

8.6
22 Reviews

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