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LG Genesis US760 (U.S. Cellular) review: LG Genesis US760 (U.S. Cellular)

LG Genesis US760 (U.S. Cellular)

Nicole Lee Former Editor
Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.
Nicole Lee
6 min read

The LG Genesis is the LG EnV all grown up. It has the dual-screen flip design of the EnV phones, but it ships with Android 2.2, making it a smartphone instead of a feature phone. But that's not the only thing that sets the Genesis apart from its EnV predecessors: It has two touch screens instead of one, and a 1GHz Snapdragon processor, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, DLNA, and an impressive five-row QWERTY keyboard. Curiously, however, the LG Genesis is not available for Verizon--the phone has debuted for U.S. Cellular instead for $149.99 with a two-year agreement.


LG Genesis US760 (U.S. Cellular)

The Good

The <b>LG Genesis</b> has dual touch-screen displays, a generously sized QWERTY keyboard, a 5-megapixel camera, Wi-Fi, GPS, and mobile hot-spot support.

The Bad

The LG Genesis is bulky and heavy, and the bottom part of the internal display is not easily accessible.

The Bottom Line

If you can live with its size, the LG Genesis is a great midrange Android phone for U.S. Cellular customers who want a full physical keyboard.

At first glance, the Genesis doesn't look too different from the most recent LG EnV phone, the LG EnV Touch. Both have a large touch-screen display dominating the front, and both have a somewhat clunky rectangular design. The Genesis even has the same shiny chrome border. However, at 4.72 inches long by 2.43 inches wide by 0.66 inch deep, the Genesis is much larger than the EnV Touch. In fact, at around 6 ounces, the Genesis is perhaps one of the bulkiest Android handsets we've held, with the possible exception of the Casio G'zOne Commando.

The LG Genesis has a 3.5-inch touch screen on the front.

Despite its heft, you get a typical-size touch-screen display, measuring around 3.5 inches diagonally. The simple 480x800-pixel TFT display won't bowl you over like a Super AMOLED might, but we still found it usable thanks to the screen's 16 million colors. However, the screen suffers substantially under bright sunlight, which washes it out quite a lot.

Thankfully, the Genesis's capacitive display is miles better than the EnV Touch's resistive screen--no calibration required here. The interface mirrors that of the LG Optimus U, with five shortcuts along the bottom of the display that lead to the phone dialer, the phonebook, the main menu, the messaging inbox, and the Web browser. Those same five shortcuts stay at the bottom even when you're in the main menu. As for text input, the Genesis comes with both the standard multitouch Android keyboard and Swype. Aside from these few differences, the interface is not too different from default Android 2.2.

Beneath the display are the four Android keys corresponding to the menu, home, back, and search functions, separated into two long buttons. The 3.5mm headset jack and Micro-USB port are on the right spine, while the camera key, volume rocker, and screen lock/power key are on the left. The camera lens and LED flash sit on the back.

The LG Genesis has a flip-out QWERTY keyboard.

The reason the Genesis is so bulky is that it flips open to reveal yet another touch-screen display plus a five-row QWERTY keyboard. The hinge feels sturdy but is still easy enough to open and close without struggle. The screen flips open to two different positions--you can set it to a slight angle, which is the optimum position for when you want to use the keyboard, or you can open it up all the way so that it is flat. The reason you might want to do the latter is because the aforementioned controls on the left spine (volume, camera, and screen lock/power) are easier to access this way.

The internal display mirrors the external display, except that it measures 3.2 inches diagonally instead of 3.5. As you might expect, it also displays everything in landscape mode. Our biggest complaint about the internal display is that the lower portion of the screen is rather difficult to access, as our fingers kept bumping up against the top part of the keyboard even when the phone was opened up all the way.

Conveniently, the keyboard has a big square navigation pad on the far right to provide an alternative to the touch screen. Sitting above and below the navigation pad are the Send and End/Power buttons. On the far left of the keyboard are the four Android function keys--menu, home, back, and search--plus a dedicated voice command button.

We found the five-row QWERTY keyboard extremely roomy, even with the navigation controls on either side. There are a dedicated number row, a large Space key, shortcut keys to the browser, a new text message, and a .com button. The keys are well-spaced, and each key is raised above the surface for quick and easy typing.

The features on the LG Genesis should be familiar to anyone who's handled an Android phone. You get the usual support for Google apps and services like Gmail, Maps, Latitude, Places, Google Talk, Voice Search, and YouTube. The Genesis also supports POP, IMAP, and Exchange protocols if you would rather get e-mail from a non-Gmail source. As the Genesis ships with Android 2.2, it also has a unified inbox that merges contacts with your social networks.

Other features on the Genesis include Bluetooth, GPS, speakerphone, voice dialing, text and multimedia messaging, and Wi-Fi. It also has mobile hot-spot support for up to five Wi-Fi-enabled devices. Aside from the usual personal organizer tools like clocks, calculators, and calendars, the Genesis has a few preinstalled apps courtesy of LG and U.S. Cellular. LG added the Facebook, Twitter, Home Selector, and ThinkFree Office apps while U.S. Cellular contributed the City ID, MyContacts Backup, ToneRoom Deluxe, and Your Navigator Deluxe apps. You are also free to get apps on your own from the Android Market.

The LG Genesis takes decent pictures.

The multimedia options are standard for most Android phones. You get a music app that has been prettied up to handle album art and playlists, and a 5-megapixel camera and camcorder. Picture quality is quite good on the whole. Images looked sharp, and colors are bright and vibrant. Lower-light photos did have an orange tinge to them, and the flash tends to wash out images, however.

We tested the LG Genesis in San Francisco using U.S. Cellular's roaming service. Call quality was decent on the whole. On our end, we heard our callers clearly, but volume was a little softer than we would like. We detected no hiss or background noise, though.

LG Genesis call quality sample Listen now:

Similarly, callers said volume was soft on their end as well. Aside from that, they said voice quality was quite good. Voice clarity was great, with hardly any crackling. They did get more of an echo effect when we turned on the speakerphone, but that's not unusual.

The 3G speed on the Genesis was a little poky, but as we were using it on a roaming network, we're willing to forgive it. The CNET mobile page took around 30 seconds to load, while the full CNET page took about a minute.

The LG Genesis has a 1GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, and we thought navigation was speedy for the most part. There was no noticeable lag when switching applications or swiping through home screens. However, we did notice a tiny shudder when scrolling down a long list of applications. We also noticed when opening and closing the phone that it takes a second or two for the display to refresh.

The LG Genesis has a rated battery life of 2.5 hours of talk time and 17.5 days of standby time. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 0.58 watt per kilogram.

The LG Genesis takes on the dual-screen flip design of the LG EnV Touch but with a decidedly Android twist. It employs two touch screens, an amazingly roomy keyboard, and handy physical controls for the four Android shortcuts. Of course, it also has all the features a midrange Android phone would offer, like Wi-Fi, GPS, and mobile hot-spot support. Yet, the Genesis suffers from substantial bulkiness, and the internal touch-screen display is not entirely accessible from all angles. If you can see past these few issues, however, the LG Genesis is certainly one of the better Android options for U.S. Cellular if you want a physical keyboard.


LG Genesis US760 (U.S. Cellular)

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 7