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LG Lucid (Verizon Wireless) review:

LG Lucid (Verizon Wireless)

Other customizable features that I found neat were the four preloaded themes, a dialer widget, and the fact that you can change the wallpaper that appears whenever you juice up your battery.

I tested the dual-band (CDMA 850, 1900) LG Lucid in San Francisco using Verizon's services. Call quality was unimpressive. Although the connection was never lost and the maximum volume level was fine, voices were too sharp and tinny. I could hear and understand everything that was being said, but the harshness was distracting. On speakerphone, it was even worse. I could hear a light twang every time my friend spoke, which my friend could hear as well.

LG Lucid call quality sample Listen now:

Music and Web-based videos also were tinny. Although the effect was subtle, and doesn't interfere with the clarity of sound, it is noticeable and disappointing.

Video chatting with Google+ was decent. Although audio cut in and out sometimes, my friends reported that the feed coming off from my end was solid due to my robust 4G LTE network. During a Google hangout, the app didn't crash and the device didn't lag. Video chatting on slower networks was choppy, however, and again, audio was unpleasant.

Browsing the Web on Verizon's 4G LTE network was really swift. Loading the CNET mobile site took an average of 11 seconds, and our full site took about 19 seconds. The New York Times' full site was quicker on average, clocking in at 16 seconds, and its mobile site took only 4 seconds to load. ESPN's mobile site took 7 seconds, and its full site loaded in 16 seconds. Ookla's Speedtest app, which is 2.99MB, took 14 seconds to download, and showed me an average of 25.39Mbps down and 4.92Mbps up. The 25.74MB game of Temple Run downloaded in half a minute.

The Lucid's photo quality is great. The camera app and shutter were quick. Photo colors were vibrant on the phone's screen and images were crisp and clean, even after some zooming. White balance on the Lucid was admirable as well, since whites appeared true to form.

In this outdoor shot, the colors in the flowers are rich and true.

Photo clarity was retained after zooming in on the fur of Lucy, the Jack Russell Terrier.

Images appear sharp in this indoor shot of CNET's lobby.

The front-facing VGA camera has a "beauty" meter that can blur lighting. Unfortunately, it cannot fix one's face entirely, le sigh.

I was also impressed by the video quality. I recorded construction and traffic at 1080p HD, and sounds were picked up well. There was no lagging in the video, and images were crisp. The colors of passing cars were vivid, and there was hardly any pixilation or graininess in the playback.

The Lucid has a respectable battery life, and lasted 8.47 hours during our battery drain tests. The charge meter went down only about a quarter of the way after I browsed the Web, talked on the phone, and played games for a handful of hours. At the end of the day, the handset still had some juice in it. According to FCC radiation tests, the phone has a digital SAR rating of 1.14/kg.

Our take
The LG Lucid may not be a high-profile flagship mobile device, but it's nicely built and its performance is sound. If it's going to be your first smartphone, it'll certainly spoil you from here on out. The processor is zippy, the network is the fastest available, and the camera is satisfactory. The display is also one of the better ones I've seen in the phone's class. Speaker and call quality aren't anything to write home about, but for the reasonable price of $80, it's definitely a good buy.

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