Since the LG Marquee ships with Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread, compared with earlier Android phones it has an improved user interface, tighter integration with social networks, and an updated virtual keyboard. You can also opt for the Swype virtual keyboard that comes already on the phone. As an Android phone, the Marquee is compatible with plenty of Google services like Gmail, Google Maps with Navigation, YouTube, Google Search with Voice, Google Latitude, and Google Talk. If you decide not to use Gmail, the Marquee also supports corporate e-mail via Exchange ActiveSync as well as POP and IMAP e-mail.
In addition to the default Google apps, the Marquee comes preloaded with a couple of Sprint apps: Sprint Zone and Sprint Mobile Wallet. The phone also comes with Polaris Office, which lets you write and edit Office documents, and SmartShare, an app that enables you to share media with other DLNA-enabled devices. Aside from DLNA, the Marquee has the usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and GPS support. It can act as a mobile Wi-Fi hot spot for up to five devices as long as you sign up for Sprint's mobile broadband plan. It costs $29.99 a month for a 5GB data cap.
Voice features include the usual speakerphone, speed dial, smart dialing, voice commands, conference calling, and text and multimedia messaging. As for multimedia, the Marquee 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, fixed), seven scene modes, six resolutions, three quality settings, five color effects, four ISO settings plus an auto setting, five white-balance presets, LED flash, up to 3x zoom, and geotagging. Picture quality is really quite good. Images look sharply defined, and colors look vibrant and natural. The camera also has 720p HD video capture.
We tested the LG Marquee in San Francisco using Sprint service, and call quality was good. Our friends sounded great, without any significant voice distortion. Volume was nice and loud, and voices sounded clear and natural.
On their end, our friends said we sounded great as well, almost as if we were calling from a regular landline, said one person. We sounded loud and clear, with very little background noise. Speakerphone quality was not as good, however. Friends said that on the speakerphone our voice sounded fuzzier with lot more echo, though they didn't have any problems with volume.
The LG Marquee only has 3G EV-DO Rev. A speeds, but we were still pleased with the coverage we had. Ookla's Speedtest.net app showed us an average of 0.8Mbps down and 0.3Mbps up. CNET's mobile site loaded in around 12 seconds while the full site took close to 40 seconds to load. YouTube clips took a few seconds to buffer at times.
The LG Marquee has a 1GHz TI processor, which worked well for the most part. We didn't experience much lag when launching apps or multitasking. However, we did notice slight delays when transitioning between windows and menus. The main menu would shudder occasionally when we scrolled through it really quickly. We didn't experience any major crashes, though. It takes about 3 seconds to launch the camera app. The LG Marquee has a rated talk time 5.5 hours.
The LG Marquee's thin and light design gives it a sleek minimalist appeal that goes beyond its stunning Nova display. It feels good in the hand despite its lightweight shell and, yes, that screen really is sharp and colorful. We have mixed feelings about the Sprint ID customization, but that's a matter of personal taste. With Android 2.3, a great camera, and excellent call quality, the LG Marquee is a great Android choice for Sprint customers who don't need 4G speeds.