The Good The LG Unify has great battery life, but the real star is the flexible, affordable Virgin Mobile Custom service plan.
The Bad Poor call quality and network speeds are coupled with a lackluster camera.
The Bottom Line With disappointing call quality and no features to speak of, the LG Unify's only value comes from the flexible service plan.
Flexible service, mediocre phone
The LG Unify is a $130 Android smartphone, available exclusively from Walmart. The phone runs on Sprint's Virgin Mobile pre-paid network, and offers a humble assortment of specs: just 1GB of storage space, a 5-megapixel camera, and a 1.2GHz dual-core processor, packed behind a 4-inch, 800x480-pixel display.
The hardware doesn't exactly inspire much confidence, but we're primarily interested in one thing here: Virgin Mobile Custom. This pre-paid service -- available exclusively from Walmart -- was announced, and promised to bring LTE connectivity to low-income customers with a flexible subscription model that lets you choose how much data, and how many voice minutes and text messages you want to pay for. The service is currently only available for three devices: the LG Pulse, LG Unify, and ZTE Emblem. It's also a phenomenal idea (particularly for the cash-strapped), but the lackluster experience the Unify provides spoils the experience.
The LG Unify is not an impressive device. The phone's soft plastic shell is relatively light -- weighing just 4 ounces -- but it's thick, and feels bulky. The Unify is also really small: just 2 inches wide, and sporting a 4-inch display. The phone disappears in my large hands but it's roughly the same size as an iPhone 4S (albeit thicker), so folks with normal appendages should be just fine.
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