LG Lotus review: LG Lotus

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LG Lotus - black (Sprint)

(Part #: LG600KIT)

As Reviewed: $150

Check manufacturer's site for availability

4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars 1 user review

The Good The LG Lotus is a stylish and slender clamshell phone with a full QWERTY keyboard. Features include a 2.0-megapixel camera, a music player, Sprint's 3G services, and an innovative easy-to-use shortcut interface called One Click. Call quality is good and the keyboard is tactile.

The Bad The LG Lotus lags a bit when entering text and switching applications, and is a little on the pricey side.

The Bottom Line The LG Lotus has an eye-catching design, top-notch features, and great performance, making it one of the top messaging phones available from Sprint.

8.3 Overall
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 8.0

Thanks to the texting phenomenon sweeping the country, messaging phones are all the rage right now. From the Verizon Wireless Blitz to the Pantech Matrix, it looks like almost every national carrier has some kind of messaging-centric handset. Sprint has answered the call with a few of their own, and one of them is the unusual-looking LG Lotus. Sporting a square shape similar to the Blitz, it has a sleek and stylish design that is quite attractive. It also has high-end features like EV-DO and access to all of Sprint's 3G services. Perhaps the only niggling detail is its price-- the Lotus is $150 with a two-year service agreement. Sprint's other messaging phone, the Samsung Rant, offers the same features as the Lotus, but is $100 less. That said, the Lotus is certainly better designed, so it's your call on whether it's worth the extra money.

Design
A recipient of the Red Dot Design Award, the design of the LG Lotus is what sets it apart from most other messaging phones. Sure the Verizon Wireless Blitz also has a square and compact shape, but the LG Lotus is not only small, it's slim and sleek as well. Measuring 3.3 inches wide by 2.4 inches tall by 0.7 inch thick, the Lotus is surprisingly chic despite its squat appearance. It comes in both textured purple and satin black, and both give the Lotus a nice sheen. The Lotus weighs around 3.7 ounces and has a soft-touch finish, giving it a comfortable feel in the hand.


The LG Lotus has a full QWERTY keyboard.
Perhaps due to its wide body, the LG Lotus has a wider-than-average 1.4-inch external display, which supports up to 65,000 colors. You can adjust the screensaver and the clock, and that's about it. It displays the usual date, time, battery, and signal strength information, plus it also displays music player information when the music player is activated. The display also acts as a self-portrait viewfinder when the camera is activated.

Underneath the display is a thin silver strip that is actually home to three dedicated music player keys. They are the previous track, play/pause, and next track keys. You can hardly see them when the music player isn't activated, but when it is, the keys glow white. We appreciate that the keys are not touch-sensitive--unlike those of the LG Chocolate--but we wish there was some kind of texture difference between each key. Instead, the keys are completely flat and you need to look at what you're doing to make sure you're hitting the right one.

Right under the external music player keys are the Sprint logo, the camera lens, and the external speakers. To the left is the volume rocker and charger jack, while the right spine is home to a headset jack, a dedicated music player key, a dedicated camera key, and a microSD-card slot.


The LG Lotus has a 2.0-megapixel camera.
Flip open the Lotus and you'll find a stunning 2.4-inch display that supports up to 262,000 colors. The wider display makes the Lotus ideal for viewing streaming video, and the color support helps make images and graphics look rich and vibrant. You can adjust the screen's backlight time, the screensaver, and the image that appears whenever there's an incoming call.

The Lotus comes with Sprint's new One Click navigation interface. This consists of eight shortcut tiles along the bottom of the home screen, and each tile can become any of 14 shortcuts to applications. You can even have a shortcut that leads to other shortcuts. As you flip through, you will get a small pop-up menu of the application's options. The Google tile, for example, pops up shortcuts to Google search, Google Maps, Gmail, and YouTube. You can also add a "bubble" to the home screen that either displays the latest headlines or your latest horoscope. We found the interface very intuitive and easy to use.

Underneath the display is the navigation array, which consists of two soft keys, a square toggle with middle Menu/OK key, a dedicated speakerphone key, a Back key, and the Talk and End/Power keys. Underneath that is a full QWERTY keyboard, complete with a dedicated Text messaging key. The QWERTY keyboard is one of the best we've ever tried on a messaging phone. The keys are well-spaced, and each key has a bubblelike texture that is raised above the surface of the phone. The navigation keys are also roomy and easy to press.

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