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LG Neon II review:

LG Neon II

As the Neon II is billed as a quick messaging phone, it only makes sense that it has text and multimedia messaging. It also offers instant messaging with support for AIM, Windows Live, and Yahoo messenger services. There's also mobile e-mail, where you can send and receive e-mail from Yahoo, AOL Mail, AIM Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, AT&T Mail, Gmail, your own POP/IMAP account.

Other features of the Neon II include stereo Bluetooth, GPS with AT&T Navigator, voice command, and an Opera-based HTML browser. The browser lets you view HTML pages, but it's quite rudimentary and there's a lot of scrolling around due to the small screen. You can read more about the browser in our review of the Pantech Reveal. The Neon II also supports AT&T cloud services like AT&T Address Book that lets you store messages and contacts in the cloud, and AT&T Online Locker, where you can store photos and videos in the cloud as well. For the social networking set, the Neon II comes with AT&T Social Net, an application that acts as a hub for Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, and other news feeds.

The Neon II has 3G support where its predecessor had none. This lets it have access to 3G services like Mobile Video, AT&T's streaming video service, and Mobile Music, AT&T's music portal to apps like XM Radio Mobile, a ringtone creator, a music video store, and more. It also houses the music store, where you can purchase and download music over the air. The music player on the Neon II is quite generic - it's similar to the music player app on many of AT&T's feature phones. You do get the usual features like repeat, shuffle, and playlist creation. You can store the music on a microSD card - the phone supports up to 16GB cards.

The LG Neon II has a 2-megapixel camera and self-portrait mirror on the back.

We were a little disappointed that the Neon II had the same 2-megapixel camera like its predecessor. It can take pictures in three resolutions and three quality settings, and there are a slew of settings. They include a self-timer, color effects, white balance, brightness, night mode, and shutter tones. Photo quality was quite poor. Images looked bright enough, but the color seemed a little washed out and there was too much pixilation for our taste. There's a video camera on here as well, which can record in either 176x144 or 320x240 pixel resolution. You can also choose to stream live one-way video via AT&T's Video Share service.

The LG Neon II doesn't take very good pictures.

The LG Neon II comes with a few apps and games. They include FunScreenz, MobiTV, Mobile Banking, PicDial, Bubble Bash 2, I-play Bowling, Ms. Pac-Man, The Sims 3, and World Series of Poker. If you want more, you can purchase and download them from AT&T's AppCenter.

We tested the LG Neon II in San Francisco using AT&T Wireless. We experienced intermittent coverage, and even a few dropped calls. 3G coverage was rather spotty as well. However, once we did get coverage, call quality was very good. Callers sounded smooth and natural, with above-average clarity.

On the other end of the line, callers said audio quality was great as well. There was very little static, and they said our voice sounded very natural. Speakerphone quality was not so good; they said our voice sounded harsher and tinnier when on speakerphone mode. That's quite common with most speakerphones, however. This is the same reason we would recommend using a headset for listening to music--the speaker output is quite tinny and dismal. Luckily, the Neon II has both a 3.5mm headset jack and stereo Bluetooth capabilities.

3G speeds were quite good when we had the coverage. We downloaded a 2.01 MB song in 50 seconds and loaded the CNET mobile page in around 30 seconds.

The LG Neon II has a rated talk time of 4 hours and a standby time of 11 days. According to our tests, it has a talk time of 3 hours and 44 minutes. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 1.08 watts per kilogram.

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