Go-Go-Gadget Review: LG Lucid Smartphone on Verizon 4G LTE

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Penny-pinchers and super-late adopters rejoice. The LG Lucid on Verizon’s 4G LTE network certainly won’t be taking any blue ribbons in the bells and whistles department, but the $79.99 price tag leaves its bevy of core competencies looking all the more competent. Combining satisfactory basics with a surprisingly powerful camera and screen, the LG Lucid puts all the power of a smartphone in the hands of the budget-minded, and thankfully, without the feeling of having just bought a KIA.

Lucid dreaming.

Just how far does Lucid stretch your dollar? 

Frankly, it’s a rather long way. Lucid boasts a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, which in tandem with Verizon’s 4G LTE network provides a snappy experience for web-browsing, movie watching and angry-birding. Those familiar with Google’s Android OS will find navigating the phone’s various menus a breeze and the device comes preloaded with some slick layouts, texting with Swype and the novel ability to automatically change the wallpaper based on battery life.

But the real stars in the functionality department are Lucid’s 4 inch diagonal Gorilla Glass LCD touch screen and a 5-megapixel autofocusing camera (rear-facing) with an LED flash. The touch screen is satisfyingly responsive, with no noticeable lag when texting or gaming, and the vibrance of the display makes a strong argument for best in class. The rear camera sports six different image options (maxing out at 2,560×1,920) and an impressive continuity of resolution, whether zoomed, in low-light or shooting 1080p HD video.

It’s cheap. What do you expect?

For all its value, there are a couple of areas where the Lucid cuts corners. In-call voice quality is passable, but the biggest detractor comes with the unit’s built-in speaker, which is marred by a noticeable griminess when playing audio or talking via speakerphone. And while the rear-facing 5-megapixel camera is dressed to impress, its front-facing and significantly less powerful stepsister will make for some unfortunately grainy video chats that come off a little too “To Catch a Predator”-esque.

One additional gripe resides in the device running on Android’s older 3.0 Gingerbread OS (though it will be upgradable at a later date), despite the new and improved 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich having been available since the beginning of the year.

Deciding what’s most important.

If ever there was a phone handmade for the Pepsi Challenge, it’s the LG Lucid. Delve deep and there are certainly some differences and/or shortcomings when compared to its higher-priced cousins, but hand this phone to any un-informed friend without mentioning the bottom line and there’s a slim chance he or she will notice the difference.

Lucid is inexpensive and it does a number of things really well. Sure, there are areas where price makes a difference (in the negative), but the greatest feature here is that the device never feels cheap. Fixed-incomers, both young and old, buy this phone without a drop of guilt.

Please. It’s time to retire your flip-phone.

Chris Ritter is a Louisville-native freelance writer, journalist and blogger enthusiastic about all things entertainment, media and technology.

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