At first glance, the plastic-smooth and podlike LG Imprint for MetroPCS looks akin to the Kin One slider, though it's actually a twin to Sprint's LG Remarq, right down to the stylish leaf-shaped speaker punched into the phone's back cover and the Energy Star-rated charger. Interestingly, unlike the Remarq, MetroPCS isn't billing the Imprint as an eco-phone. For one, LG didn't build it with recycled plastic and it doesn't come in the Remarq's soy ink packaging.
With a full QWERTY keyboard and room to spread out, the Imprint matches its design strengths as a texting phone with SMS and MMS capabilities. While its camera is mediocre, its onboard MP3 player and strong call quality make the $109 LG Imprint a sturdy and comfortable handset for texters and e-mailers at a price that won't break the bank.
The Imprint's design is easily the best thing about the phone. With generously rounded corners, the 3.5 inch long by 2.5 inch wide by 0.6 inch thick Imprint is a compact little number. Shiny and smooth, the 3.8-ounce phone feels hearty in the hand, but gentle on the ear, with a sturdy, tightly constructed slider. The square, strong phone is a pocket-friendly and purse-portable, and its girth will ensure it won't get lost among your keys and loose change.
LG paints the Imprint with a simple, but stylish brush. A silver band caps the face of the phone's glossy, black body, then cuts across 45 degrees to cloak half of the spine and most of the back cover.
The 2.2 inch, 320x240-pixel display supports 262,000 colors, though we wish MetroPCS took better advantage of the crisp and clear resolution with more interesting menus and default wallpaper. In our opinion, few displays prove victorious when contending with direct sunlight, and the Imprint is no exception. It helps that you can adjust the screen's backlight time, though not its brightness or contrast. Below the screen lies the navigation array--the ubiquitous four-directional pad with central OK button, two soft keys, and speakerphone and "back" buttons that double up with Talk and End functionality.
Slide the phone face up to reveal a roomy QWERTY keyboard with tall, narrow keys that are fully separated (we like this) and slightly domed surfaces. All it lacks are backlit keys. A dedicated messaging button on the keyboard fast tracks you to the texting window, and another button opens the music player.
On the phone's left spine is a camera button that flicks on the 1.3-megapixel shooter. Above it sits the Micro-USB slot. The right spine sports the volume rocker, the microSD card slot, and an unfortunately nonstandard 2.5mm headset jack--we prefer a standard 3.5mm jack.
The LG Imprint is socially inclined, with threaded text and multimedia messaging. Fittingly, its phone book stores 1,000 contacts, with room in each entry for seven phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, a photo ID, and a custom ringtone. You can also create caller groups. For ringtones, the Imprint ships with 33 polyphonic tunes. You can also give them all the kibosh and switch to a silent, stealth mode.