LG is typically more known for its consumer-level handsets like the LG Voyager and the LG Chocolate. So it was a pleasant surprise to us when we found out LG was partnering with Sprint to come up with the LG LX400, one of the first phones to support QChat, a push-to-talk technology that can be used with Nextel's Direct Connect even over a CDMA network. This means the LX400 is primarily built for business and enterprise use, but features like Bluetooth, GPS, mobile e-mail, and a megapixel camera could prove useful in and out of the workplace. The LX400 is available for $79.99 with a new two-year service agreement and a $50 rebate.
Unlike most push-to-talk phones, the LX400's design is not lacking in style. We're quite pleased with its deep red hue and sharp, tapered look. Measuring 3.5 inches long by 1.9 inches wide by 0.82 inch thick, the LX400 feels solid in the hand and won't weigh you down at around 3.2 ounces.
A rather big speaker grille sits prominently on the front of the phone. Underneath that is a 1-inch 65,000 color external display that shows the date, time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID. You can also use the external display as a self-portrait camera viewfinder. You can adjust its screensaver and clock style, but nothing else. At the bottom front of the phone is a camera lens. The push-to-talk/Direct Connect key, volume rocker, and charger jack sits on the left spine, while the headset jack and dedicated camera key is on the right. On top of the phone are a Direct Connect speaker button that toggles the speaker on and off during a push-to-talk connection. There's also a Stop button with several functions: ending a Direct Connect call, pulling up recent call history when in idle mode, and allowing you to make a voice call when the phone is closed.
When you open the phone, you'll find a 262,144 color display that displays images and graphics with sharp and clear detail. You can adjust the backlight timer, skins, dialing font, foregrounds, plus the animation on the screen whenever there's an incoming call. The menu is the standard Sprint grid style interface and is easy to use. You also have the option of arranging the menu in a list style.
Underneath the display is the navigation array, which consists of two soft keys, a dedicated speakerphone key, a dedicated new text message key, plus a four-way toggle with a middle Menu/OK key. The four-way toggle can also be mapped to four user-defined shortcuts. There's the usual Talk, Back, and End/Power keys. The keys are all rather flat to the surface of the phone, but there are slight beveled edges in between each key to help with dialing and texting by feel.