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First Look: LG Apex (U.S. Cellular)
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First Look: LG Apex (U.S. Cellular)

2:33 /

The LG Apex offers a great keyboard and affordable price tag, but its high points do not include speed or battery life.

Hey, everyone. I'm Bonnie Cha, Senior Editor at CNET.com. And today I've got your first look of the LG Apex for US Cellular. This is the latest Android device for the carrier, and it's more in the midrange set, compared to the US Cellular's other Android phones which are the HTC Desire and Samsung Mesmerize. The Apex is actually a lot like the LG Ally for Verizon Wireless in the design and features department. For QWERTY-slider it's pretty compact compared to other devices like the T-Mobile G2 and Samsung Epic 4G. [unk] is wide so it's comfortable to hold when you're on a phone call. Plus, it has a solid construction and soft finish on back so it also feels like a premium device. The one trade-off of a slimmer design is that you get a smaller screen. It measures 3.2 inches diagonally. So it does take a little away from the web-browsing and multimedia experience. But it honestly didn't bother me too much. The display is sharp and bright, so I had no problems viewing what was on screen. Plus, there's a built-in accelerometer and pinch-to-zoom support. And typing shouldn't be a problem since the Apex has a full QWERTY keyboard. I was a little worried when I saw the D-Pad because the Motorola Droid also had one, it made it very awkward to type on. But LG makes it work, the keyboard is very comfortable to type on. The buttons are a good size, and there's a decent amount of spacing between them so I could type pretty fast on it. I also like that it has a dedicated number row. As I said earlier, the LG Apex is more of a midrange smartphone. It's running Android 2.1 and has a full set of wireless options. It's got a 3 megapixel camera with a flash and picture quality is decent. A little dark and grainy for indoor shots but otherwise clear. The area where the Apex kind of takes a hit is performance. First is using a 600 megahertz processor, so this smartphone definitely felt a little sluggish. There were slight delays when [unk] apps and even when you're swiping through various menus and screen. It feels like it hangs just a bit. Also, battery life is a little concerning. We're still running battery tests, but I noticed that even with a little use the battery can drain pretty quickly. So if you're looking for a high performance device, I'd say the LG Apex isn't going to be it. If you can spend the extra money I'd say go with the Mesmerize or Desire. But I do think it is the better pick over the same [unk] claim if you want a [unk] or a budget-friendly Android phone. The LG Apex was originally going for $80, but you can now get it for $50 after $100 mailing rebate. I'm Bonnie Cha. This has been your first look at the LG Apex for US Cellular.

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