The LG LX 370 is a nice, compact camera-ready phone. Beyond these recommendations though, the limited multimedia options and so-so Internet browsing keep it clearly out of the smartphone category. Bearing this in mind, discerning buyers will find the handset to be a capable performer, but mostly hard sell.
Features & Design
The LG LX 370 is a candy bar phone that looks slick in gray, black and silver, with a hidden vertical number pad located below the face. It is about three and a half inches tall – four with the extended keyboard – and two inches across. The keyboard and top make the LX 370 about a half-inch thick. It weighs only four ounces, which makes it solid, but not heavy.
On the face is a vertical two-inch screen followed by a directional touchpad and five keys: Two context-sensitive buttons, a “Talk” button and an “End” button in lieu of the traditional green/go and red/stop buttons, and a previous screen button.
The LX 370’s left side has volume buttons and a USB jack. On the right side are the headphone jack, microSD port, speaker control and camera button.
The slider numberpad has the traditional 3×4 key setup. The 1 key is a message shortcut, while numbers 2 – 9 are letter keys. The bottom keys are shift, next and space, respectively. There is a thin, barely visible key separator horizontally, with a thicker silver separator between keys vertically.
The back of the phone has a silver speaker design overlaid with the LG logo. The top of the back has the 2.0 MP camera lens.
Setup & Use
The LG LX 370 has a straightforward setup. Inside you’ll find a wall charger, microSD card, a hefty instruction manual and, thankfully, a quick start guide.
The phone starts with a clean screen and a series of icons along the bottom. The listed options are home screen, text/voice messaging, my account, personalize my phone, shortcuts, Sprint GPS, Google Apps and Internet. As with other new Sprint phones, it’s not exactly clear what each icon means, but the option name pops up a moment after it is selected. Navigation is handled via a horizontal process: Push the touchpad left or right to highlight icons, or press up or down to go through a specific icon menu.
Overall, call quality proves to be solid, and while there is no keyboard to provide more intuitive typing, the LX 370 avoids the typical tight QWERTY setup and delivers huge, almost luxurious number buttons to mash. This isn’t an exaggeration either, and a major plus for the phone: The buttons and crosspad were very responsive and easy to find. Of course, the sacrifice here is having to double and triple tap to enter web addresses, emails and text messages – an annoying quirk. Likewise, while the LX 370 operates on a 3G network, Internet access is on the slow side. Furthermore, the small, vertical screen isn’t fit for regular Web consumption, so expect to use the crosspad to shift across the screen often. Also note: A few more complicated websites even failed to load entirely.
On the flip side, the phone’s camera is a powerful 2.0 MP model. To power it up, you turn the phone horizontally, tap the now-topside camera button and hold it to shoot. The camcorder option is just as nice, and both modes provide bright, crisp visuals – a fact that you’ll find to be even more impressive considering that the LX 370 has no flash. After filming, you have many options to save, upload or attach to a message.
Sprint TV and other multimedia options are available for download, but – as with many new phones – the mini-USB cord costs extra. In other words, you can purchase proprietary movies, games and such, but can’t transfer your own until you buy more equipment.
Note that the phone also has voice-activated dialing, Sprint GPS and Bluetooth.
The LG LX 370 retails for $299.99 – too high for a phone that sports only so-so smartphone features. Sprint is now offering a $150 instant rebate and a $50 mail-in with a two-year commitment, making it a much more reasonable value at $99.99. The microSD is a good bonus – enough to handle some pics and a video or two – though you’ll definitely want to allocate funds for an additional miniUSB cord into your budget. More info is available at http://www.sprint.com.
It can’t compare to the iPhone 3G S, Palm Pre, or even various Blackberry models, but the LG LX 370 delivers easy use and sharp camera functionality. Grab the handset if you want a smooth, semi-multimedia camera option, but be sure to catch it before it goes back up to the inflated $299 MSRP.
- Great 2.0 MP camera and camcorder
- Nice, responsive keys
- Solid call quality
- Not built for intensive Internet browsing
- Limited multimedia functionality
- Annoying interface
- High MSRP