As the major carriers fall over themselves to promote the flashiest phones and services MetroPCS is more than content to stick to stick to functional devices and affordable prepaid service. Admittedly, the carrier has begun to diversify in recent months--it now has touch-screen handsets and it will introduce 4G service later this year--but the LG Lyric is a perfect example of a MetroPCS handset. You'll find a user-friendly design, decent call quality, and a few features beyond the basics. It is well worth its $139 price tag--remember that MetroPCS doesn't make you sign a contract--and you should be able to get a $25 rebate if you buy it online.
The Lyric TM375 is a near identical variant of Sprint's LG LX370
. It has the same dimensions (4.06 inches long by 1.89 inches wide by 0.63 inch thick; 3.7 ounces) and slider design, but with an attractive red color. It's not the slickest phone around by any means, but we like its clean lines and trim profile. It also has a sturdy build and it feels comfortable in the hand.
The Lyric's flat, roomy keypad is comfortable. We could dial and text quickly.
The Lyric's bright 2-inch display supports 262,000 colors and a 240x320-pixel QVGA resolution. The menus are easy to use in both the list and icon styles and we like the shortcuts options on the home screen. Display customization options aren't extensive, but they should be enough for most users. You can change the backlight time, the background color, the wallpaper, the clock style, and the dialing font size, type and style.
Other exterior features are the same as on the LX370. The spacious navigation array consists of two soft keys, a circular navigation toggle with a central OK button, a Back control, and the Talk and End/Power key. The keypad is equally roomy and user-friendly. Though the keys are flat, we could dial by feel thanks to the slight ridges between rows. We also give the Lyric props for the large numbers on the buttons (an LG trademark). The volume rocker and Micro-USB charger jack are on the left spine, and the camera key, a voice command key, the microSD card slot, and the 2.5mm headset jack are on the right. On the Lyric's back side you'll find the camera lens and external speaker.
The Lyric has a bigger phone book than the LX370 with space for 1,000 contacts, though in each entry you can store only four phone numbers (as opposed to six), two e-mail addresses, a memo, and two street addresses. You can then save contacts to groups, and pair them with a photo and one of 35 polyphonic ringtones.
Features for the Lyric are straight down the middle. Essentials include threaded text and multimedia messaging, a tip calculator, a speakerphone, an alarm clock, a calendar, a world clock, a calculator, a notepad, and a unit converter. On the higher end, you'll find a wireless Web browser, instant messaging (AIM and Windows Live), stereo Bluetooth, PC syncing and USB mass storage, voice dialing, and a voice memo recorder. And if that isn't enough, the Lyric also supports the carrier's ChatLink push-to-talk service and MetroNavigator for GPS location and turn-by-turn directions.
The Lyric lacks a flash and self-portrait mirror.