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HolidayBuyer's Guide

LG Expo

Business minded

Nice design

Pocketable

Right side

Fingerprint scanner/navigator

QWERTY keyboard

Happy thumbs

Camera

Picture quality

The LG Expo is a Windows Mobile 6.5-based smartphone available from AT&T for $199.99 with a two-year contract and after a $100 mail-in rebate. In 2009, LG committed to making Windows Mobile the primary operating system for its smartphones. LG has another Windows smartphone for AT&T called the Incite.
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The LG Expo is geared more for business users and offers the full range of wireless options, e-mail capabilities, and the Microsoft Office Mobile Suite. In addition, you can purchase a $179 projector pack accessory that lets you project presentations, videos, and photos right from your phone.
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LG did a really nice job with the design of the Expo, combining both a full QWERTY keyboard and sizable touch screen into a relatively compact frame. Of course, there are trade-offs and in this case, it's the screen size. Unlike the AT&T Tilt2, which has a 3.6-inch display, the Expo features a 3.2-inch, WVGA (800x480 pixels) resistive touch screen.
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At 4.45 inches tall by 2.16 inches wide by 0.63 inch deep and 4.46 ounces, the Expo isn't the smallest phone in the world, but compared with the similarly featured AT&T Tilt2/HTC Touch Pro2, the Expo's more pocket-friendly stature is definitely noticeable and welcome.
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On the right side of the phone, you'll find a microSD expansion slot, a multitasking key, and a camera activation/capture button.
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Below the display, you get several navigation controls, including Talk and End keys, a back button, and a fingerprint navigation sensor that lets you unlock your phone with a fingerprint as well as navigate the menus. The latter is great for security but it's a bit too small to really work as a navigator.
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The LG Expo features a full QWERTY keyboard, which you can access by sliding the screen to the right.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The Expo's keyboard is excellent. The buttons are nice and wide, making it easy even for those with wider thumbs. The keys also provide a nice tactile feedback and aren't too stiff to press, and there's no awkward placement of buttons to interrupt the flow of typing.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
On back, you'll find a 5-megapixel camera with 3x digital zoom, flash, and video-recording capabilities. We really liked the camera's interface, more so than competing products from Samsung and HTC. All the various settings and tools are readily accessible and easy to understand.
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Unfortunately, the camera didn't produce the best pictures. The images were fairly sharp but colors looked washed out.
Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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