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CNET First Look
The LG Unify cuts corners, but might work for tight budgetsThe $130 LG Unify offers strong battery life and a flexible subscription plan, but little else.
[MUSIC] Hi. I'm Nate Ralph with cNet and today we're checking out the LG Unify. This is $130 smartphone only available from Wal-mart. And it's one of three phones that you can get on Virgin Mobile's custom prepaid phone plan. [MUSIC] Now, this isn't the most compelling smart phone around but its got a really flexible subscription plan and pretty good battery life. So it could be a good option if you're on a tight budget. This is not an impressive device, it's plastic and cheap but not flimsy. I'm not necessarily afraid to drop it or put it in my pocket as it feels sturdy enough but it's thick and light and generally lacking the heft and premium feel of high-end devices. The four inch screen has a measly 800 by 480 pixel resolution. And the five megapixel camera on the back cranks out photos that are largely hit or miss. Better and bright outdoor light but generally looking a bit fuzzy and lacking detail. There's also only one gigabyte of storage so you'll really wanna expand with a micro SD card. The phone can handle up to 32 gigs. [MUSIC] The battery life is pretty good though. The phone stops at about 12 hour playback before the battery dies and it's removable. You just need to pop off the rear cover. So you shouldn't need to worry about tracking down an outlet too often. But the real star here is Virgin Mobile custom pre-paid service. It makes it really easy to design the plan that's right for you and then adjust things on the fly until you get your monthly usage plan just right. Everything is controlled by an app called Custom. You can add or subtract minutes or text messages and upgrade or download your monthly data. Then, the app gives you a conceptual estimate of how much your bill will be at the end of the month. If you adjust your plan and your bill is higher, you'll be charged a difference. If your new plan ends up a bit lower than your current month, you'll get the difference as a credit toward your next bill. It's all really easy and the LG Unify could prove really attractive if you're on a tight or a flexible budget. I want direct control over how much you're paying. Now I suspect people will just figure out their monthly use plan and then set it and forget it. But I have a sneaking suspicion that a quite a few people are going to want to do, say dial up their minutes around the holidays. And then reel it back in once the holidays are over. They don't really need to talk quite so much. I'm Nick Wahl. Be sure to check out the full review to see how the phone measures up. Thanks for watching.