LG Marquee (Boost Mobile) review:

LG Marquee (Boost Mobile)

If you're interested in purchasing the LG Marquee, you'll be glad to know that you can also take advantage of Boost Mobile's $55 Android Monthly Unlimited plan that comes with Shrinkage. Don't worry--in this case, Shrinkage is good. It's a payment program that allows your monthly unlimited plan to decrease by $5 for every six payments you pay on time. Unfortunately, the maximum your bill can go down is $40, but for that rate you still get to have nationwide talk, text messaging, and Web browsing.

Voice features include the usual speakerphone, speed dial, smart dialing, voice commands, conference calling, and text and multimedia messaging. As for multimedia, the device comes with the default Android Music player, and that's about it. It does ship with a 2GB microSD card, and is expandable up to 32GB.

The LG Marquee's 5-megapixel camera offers a number of tools and settings. They include four focus modes (auto, infinity, macro, and fixed), seven scene modes (auto, portrait, landscape, night, night portrait, sunset, and sports), six resolutions, three quality settings, five color effects (none, mono, sepia, negative, and solar), four ISO settings plus an auto setting, five white-balance presets (auto, incandescent, daylight, fluorescent, and cloudy), a 3x digital zoom, and geotagging. The camera also has an LED flash that can continuously stay on while you record 720p HD video.

I tested the LG Marquee in San Francisco using Boost Mobile's service, and call quality was great. The people I called sounded clear, both when they were indoors and outdoors, and there were no extraneous buzzing or static coming out of my receiver. Although I thought the maximum volume level could be higher, voices came out clear. On the other end, it was reported that my voice sounded fine as well, and there was no difficulty experienced when hearing me.

The speaker quality was also good. Voices came out cleanly and loudly, and there was no sound muffling or reverberating, which happens sometimes when noises coming out of phone speakers bounce back and forth from the backing of the phone. Watching videos and playing games on speaker was also perfectly adequate. Although it can be just a tad bit louder, there was a lot of clarity with the audio.

Boost Mobile's LG Marquee call quality sample Listen now:

Video chatting with Google+, however, did not go well. Although the connection was fine, audio was awful. There was an odd constant bubbling sound in the background that made it difficult for me to hear my friend, and voices would cut out intermittently. Although video quality was adequate, trying to hear each other was bothersome, and the continuous popping and gargling sound became too much to handle.

The photo quality on this phone was impressive, however. For some reason, though, when I looked at the phone for live camera or video feedback, the color quality and clarity appeared fuzzy and extremely blurry. But once the shutter was snapped or the video finished recording, lines became crisper and colors popped out more vividly. This isn't a good thing, because you never know what your picture will look like since the feedback versus your actual photos are of such different quality--but at least the results you'll get will always look better in the end.

Although the camera feedback for this building appeared worse on the phone, the end result was way better.

For a 2-megapixel front-facing camera, portrait shots came out clear.

Although colors of indoor shots didn't appear as vibrant, the camera quality is still decent.

Because the device runs on Boost Mobile's 3G network, it isn't the fastest phone on the market. Downloading the 8.50MB Google+ app, for instance, took 6 minutes and 24 seconds. Loading the CNET mobile site took an average of 46 seconds, while loading our full site took a minute and a half. The New York Times' full site took shorter on average, clocking in at 37 seconds, and its mobile site took 14 seconds to load. ESPN's mobile site took 18 seconds, and its full site loaded in 43 seconds. Ookla's Speedtest app, which is 2.99 MB, took 1 minute and 3 seconds to download, showed me an average of 0.37Mbps down and 0.74Mbps up.

Fruit Ninja, at 18.34 MB, took a whopping 8 minutes and 2 seconds. Playing Fruit Ninja wasn't also very pleasant. Yes, the graphics were bright and vibrant (albeit pixelated as previously mentioned), but I could really tell the phone was barely trudging along to run the app. One time the screen went black while the app still ran and the swiping of my finger still made noises, and another time the app froze up altogether. Furthermore, when I played the game, the handset got very warm, very quickly.

The lag time on the LG Marquee was a real bother for me. Its 1GHz processor worked well when it came to the bare-bones basics of making the phone function. But I noticed slight delays when launching apps, multitasking, transitioning back to the home screen, Swyping in the Web browser, switching between landscape and portrait mode, and pinch zooming. Sometimes the phone had its good days when things ran a little zippier than usual, but other times it was a total drag.

The reported talk-time battery life on this phone is 5.67 hours. During our battery drain tests, the phone took 8.98 hours to fully die. Furthermore, I noticed that using the phone with the bright Nova display lit up eats a lot of battery, though, and you'll find yourself charging your LG Marquee often. Of course, there are things you can do to preserve battery usage, like dimming the screen or using an app like JuiceDefender, but it's still something to keep in mind.

According to FCC radiation tests, the LG Marquee has a digital SAR rating of 0.57W/kg.

Aside from its beautiful display, svelte design, and adequate camera, the LG Marquee for Boost Mobile doesn't have a lot of things going for it. We can even look past the fact that it doesn't run on 4G because a lot of other top-notch phones don't run on it either. But with its slow performance, unattractive Mobile ID customization option, and subpar screen resolution, its price tag doesn't merit its worth. Sure, you could argue that since it makes good calls (and indeed, it does) then it must be a great phone. But if calling is all you care about, and this phone goes for $279, you can get something just as adequate for much less.

What you'll pay

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