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LG LX350 (Sprint) review: LG LX350 (Sprint)

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The Good The LG LX350 has a sleek design, user-friendly controls, and a solid feature set that includes Bluetooth, a megapixel camera, and a speakerphone.

The Bad The LG LX350 suffers from inconsistent voice quality, and its Bluetooth does not allow for file transfers.

The Bottom Line If you can get over the sometimes muddy voice quality, the LG LX350 for Sprint is still a satisfying midrange phone. Just don't expect too much.

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7.0 Overall

There's not a lot you can say about the LG LX350 for Sprint. It's attractive without being stylish, it's functional without being remarkable, and its call quality is serviceable without being exceptional. In all, it's a quality middle-of-the-road cell phone that performs its basic functions relatively well, and it manages to pack in some bonus features, including a 1.3-megapixel camera with admirable photo quality, a speakerphone, and Bluetooth. Although the last offering is relatively half-baked, a fact that won't please hands-free fanatics, less-demanding users should find little to complain about. The LX350 is much too expensive if you pay the full price of $229, but service rebates can knock it down to a more reasonable $49.

Like the proverbial little black dress, the similarly hued LG LX350 goes with just about everything. The basic black and bright-silver touches make for a pleasant overall design that's attractive but unlikely to turn heads on the street. The compact (3.6 by 1.9 by 0.9 inches), lightweight (3.7 ounces) form factor makes for a phone that's easily portable but doesn't sacrifice a solid construction or a comfortable feel in the hand.

In the center of the front flap is the postage-stamp-size (96x64 pixels; 4 lines) external display. Supporting a bright 65,000 colors, it shows the date, the time, battery life, signal strength, and photo caller ID. You can change the wallpaper and the backlighting time, which is a good thing, since the screen disappears completely when dark. Above the display is a camera lens, as well as a flash that doubles as a status light that glows when you're on a call; you can also turn it off. There's no self-portrait mirror, but you don't need it, as the display functions as a viewfinder for those vanity shots. Completing the outside of the handset are a camera key on the right spine, along with a volume rocker, a headset jack, and a voice-dialing key.

The sleek LX350 has some nice design touches.

Inside the LG LX350, you'll find a 262,000-color main display. At 1.8 inches diagonally (128x160 pixels; 11 lines), it's a decent size, and though colors are sharp, smaller objects and gaming graphics are somewhat fuzzy. It's fine, however, for scrolling though the simple menus, which are available in two styles, and you can change the backlight time and the font size. Below the display is the spacious navigation array, consisting of a five-way toggle, two soft keys, and the traditional Talk and End/power buttons. All keys are tactile and easy to use by feel. The toggle doubles as a shortcut to four user-defined functions, while the soft keys open the Web browser and the phone book when the mobile is in standby mode. Below the array are dedicated keys for the speakerphone and the camera, as well as a Back button. Despite their thinness, all three controls make for an intuitive user experience. The midsize, round keypad buttons are spaced far apart and raised above the surface of the phone. The numerals on the keys are big, but the backlighting is dim.

We liked the LG LX350's photo quality.

The LG LX350 has a decent feature set that includes all of the essentials and a few extras. The address book stores 500 contacts, with room in each entry for five phone numbers, an e-mail address, a Web address, and notes. You can assign your friends to caller groups or pair them with a picture or one of 20 polyphonic (72-chord) ring tones. The handset also offers Sprint's new Wireless Backup service, as found on the Samsung SPH-A580. Basic offerings include a vibrate mode; an alarm clock; 3 minutes of voice-memo recording time; voice commands and dialing; text and multimedia messaging; a calculator, a world clock; support for e-mail and instant messaging; a notepad; and LG's handy tip calculator.

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