We haven't had a chance to fully test this product yet, but we've assembled this helpful overview of relevant information on it.
The LG DoublePlay is a quirky mid range smart phone for T-Mobile. The key selling points to the DoublePlay are it’s full sized keyboard, Dual Screen Design, and its solid mid level specifications. The DoublePlay runs Android 2.3 on a 1GHz Single Core Processor with 512MB of RAM. The main 3.5-inch display has a screen resolution of 320 x 480 and the secondary screen built into the keyboard has a screen resolution of 320 x 240. The DoublePlay has 2GB of internal storage as well as an expandable 32GB MicroSD Option. Its 5MP Camera can capture 720p Video and is equipped with an LED Flash. The 1500mAh battery supports up to 3.5 hours of talktime and 280 hours of standby. Overall the DoublePlay won’t appeal to everyone because of its bulky and strange design, but the multi-tasking possibilities of two screens and its reasonable $99.99 dollar price tag may strike a chord with some customers.
– Dual Displays 3.5″ and 2″
– QWERTY Keyboard
– 1GHz Processor
– 5MP Camera
– 2GB Internal Storage
– Undersized 1500mAh Battery
Digital Trends’ Cell Phone Buying Tips:
Mobile operating systems
If you decide to go for a smartphone, choosing the right operating system can be an important factor. The big ones are Apple’s iOS, RIM’s BlackBerry OS, HP/Palm WebOS, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows Phone (formerly Windows Mobile). Individual preferences reign supreme here, but Apple’s iPhone iOS offers the widest selection of apps and the simplest user interface, RIM’s BlackBerry OS is less intuitive but powerful and reliable, HP/Palm’s WebOS strikes a nice balance between the two, Google Android is among the most flexible, and Microsoft Window Phone 7 offers a refreshing design but it’s still finding its groove.
The list of features to look for in a phone could fill an anthology, so we’ll run down some of the most important ones.
Cameras appear on nearly every phone these days. Although a quality camera can be great for quick snapshots, few phone cameras are ready to replace a trusty point-and-shoot. The few with variable focus far outperform fixed-focus cameras, which you’ll find on the majority.
When considering a display, pay attention to size and brightness, which will both come in handy when trying to read it in difficult conditions like outdoors in the sun. LCD displays are still the most common, but OLED displays have been cropping up lately as well. They use slightly less power and produce extremely vibrant color, but suffer from poor outdoor visibility.
Battery life often gets buried at the end of buyers’ wishlists, only to lead to disappointment when they realize they can barely go a whole day without recharging. Be particularly careful with smartphones, which can get particularly thirsty.
If you plan to use your phone for playing music or watching video, be sure to check for internal and external storage. If the phone has a microSD slot you should be able to add up to 32GB of additional storage.
Choosing a carrier
Because most U.S. cell phone carriers heavily subsidize phone purchases in exchange for two-year contracts, and lock the phones to their networks, your choice of cell carrier will have more impact on which type of phone you end up with than any other factor. If you already have carrier and feel satisfied with it, the choice is easy. If not, you’ll need to choose one.
AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon dominate the cell phone market in the States. Speaking in very general terms, AT&T has a reputation for having the hottest phones but somewhat flaky service due to its overloaded towers, Verizon has the best reception but expensive rates, T-Mobile and Sprint offer some of the most affordable plans but have more limited phone selection.
Prepaid carriers like Cricket, Tracfone, and MetroPCS often appear to offer excellent deals, but caveats like poor customer service, limited phone selection and inferior coverage have to be taken into account.
Best time to buy cell phones
With all major U.S. carriers announcing new phones around the clock and a dozen manufacturers all working overtime to produce the next killer device, keeping track of all the different models in circulation at any given time can seem like a Herculian task. But this frantic pace works to your advantage: Any time is a good time to buy a cell phone, as long as you keep your eyes open.
Jamie Lendino, a contributing editor at PC Magazine, recommends spotting three or four phones that suit your needs, then jumping on whichever one dives in price first. With the rapid pace of cell phones, you shouldn’t have to rest on your laurels for long. “Remember that ‘old’ in the tech world could mean just a few months from now,” says Lendino. Even the original iPhone, a high-demand handset which originally sold for $600, dropped a whopping $200 a little over two months after launch.
Of course, to take advantage of the most attractive phone deals, you’ll need to agree to a two-year service contract with a carrier like AT&T or Verizon. For potential buyers locked into existing contracts, this could mean riding it out with an older phone for a few more months in order to grab the massive rebates available upon renewal. Always call your provider to see if you might be eligible for an upgrade prior to an existing contract expiring. AT&T, for instance, allows customers with monthly bills over $99 to upgrade after just one year – as long as they’re willing to lock into another two years of service.
Six Steps to Start Your Unlimited Cell Phone Plan Search
- Determine which service providers are available in your area and make a list of the services you want and how much you can afford.
- Check with your current wireless service provider—if you have one—and see what unlimited plans they provide and if one matches up to your needs. If not, then continue to search.
- Compare special offers and plans of the key players of cellphone providers: Verizon Wireless, AT &T, US Cellular, T-Mobile, Sprint, Cricket, and etc.
- If you’re prone to changing cell phone providers, choose a plan with least amount of commitment to avoid expensive cancellation fees.
- Do you actually need true unlimited minutes? Or would you only need unlimited just on weekends or to your most frequently called and received numbers?
- Determine which cell phone service company excels in the areas you need for the price you want, but also look at the provider’s connectivity and coverage ratings. We’ll give you a hint—Sprint may offer a great price and with great unlimited minutes, but Verizon is still takes the cake for coverage and call clarity.