Verizon Wireless LG Lucid review

LG Lucid grip Verizon Wireless LG Lucid review

The high-end smartphone market has never been more competitive than it is right now. New smartphones are released at a staggering rate these days. Usually with each one being slightly better than the last. Each manufacture competing to have the latest and greatest phone around. It is an arms race that has brought a lot of great phones to consumers who demand the latest and greatest.

But those phones are usually pretty expensive and not all consumers want or need the latest or greatest phone available.  Many are happy with getting a mid range device and saving some money in the process.

For the budget conscious smartphone shopper there is an increasing number of options available. One of the latest to hit Verizon Wireless is The LG Lucid. For the low price of only $79.99 you can get a Android-powered smartphone that offers a powerful dual-core processor and the speed of Verizon 4G LTE. Sounds good, but is the cheaper price worth making some sacrifices?  Read on for our full review to find out.

Hardware:

The body of the LG Lucid is made of a glossy plastic with a metal band along the sides. Unfortunately, the high gloss finish is prone to attracting visible fingerprints. If you are like me and hate smudges on your devices, you will probably spend a lot of time wiping this phone off. The Lucid measures 4.69 by 2.45 by 0.45 inches and weighs in at 5 ounces.

 

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The battery door features an attractive and subtle maroon colored fade that gives the Lucid a nice look.  I am not ashamed to admit that I spent a bit of my time with this device viewing the back from different angles and in under different lighting conditions. The effect is really attractive and needs to be seen in person to be appreciated.

 

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On the left side of the Lucid users will find the charging port and a volume rocker. The right side is bare except for a small power button in the top corner.

Other than being a fingerprint magnet, the body of the Lucid is very nice. It feels solidly built, the plastic used is high in quality and all the edges are rounded and smoothed to provide a good feel in the hand.

 

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The front of the LG Lucid is dominated by a 4-inch IPS capacitive touch screen that is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass (800 x 480 resolution). It is not a Super AMOLED or Retina display, but it is bright and colorful.

Internally, the Lucid sports a 1.2 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon MSM8660 processor that provided a surprisingly smooth and lag free user experience. Other specs include 1GB of RAM, 8GB of built in storage and a Micro SD card slot for extra storage.

Software:

The LG Lucid is running Android 2.3 (Gingerbread), which is unfortunate. The phone will eventually get an upgrade to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich), but no date has been set yet.  It is a little frustrating to see so many new Android devices launch without ICS. But the phone does well with Gingerbread and will only get better once it does get the upgrade.

 

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LG has done a bit of customizing to Gingerbread,  the most noticeable changes affect the main menu. Now all the icons are grouped into collapsible categories, which helps keep everything organized.  Also included is LG’s customized notifications bar that provides quick access to the settings for the Lucid’s various radios.

 

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Another nice feature of the LG Lucid is its support of several gestures. For example, flipping the device over will mute an incoming call, pause video playback or set the alarm to snooze.  Also,  tapping on either side of the device will advance the cursor in the appropriate direction while typing.

All of the Google apps we have come to expect from a Android device are here.  You get YouTube, Google +, Gmail integration, Google Music and free turn-by-turn navigation via Google Maps just to name a few. Of course, you also get access to Google Play and its 400,000+ third-party apps.

 

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You also get some apps thrown in by LG such as video editing software and Polaris, which is a document editing program for Word, PowerPoint and Excel files. LG has also included four pre-loaded themes, each have five home screens worth of space for apps and widgets.

Camera:

The Lucid has a 5-megapixel auto-focus rear camera with flash and a basic VGA camera for video chat. The camera app allows control of the flash, white balance and several color effects.  Also included is a face tracking setting and panorama mode.

Overall, the image quality was as good as I have come to expect from a 5-megapixel smartphone camera. Not great, but good enough to share online.

For video, the Lucid can record in full 1080p HD and recorded videos can be edited from the phone using the included Video Producer app.  Videos shot in 1080p looked great and having the ability to edit them from the headset is a nice feature.

Sample video and photos

 

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Call quality, reception and data:

I had no problems with reception or the call quality on the Lucid. Voice quality was excellent, with clear and loud audio from the earpiece. However, the speakerphone is weak compared to other devices I have used.

With the necessary data plan, the Lucid will function as a mobile hotspot for up to 10 devices over 4G LTE. (5 when connected to 3G)

Sadly, I did not get the opportunity to use Verizon’s 4G LTE Network on the LG Lucid.

Battery life:

I was really impressed with how the included 1700mAh battery performed. I had no problems going all day without plugging in.

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The screen caps above were taken on the same day.  The first capture shows the Lucid at 89% charge, the second shows the device several hours later when it had reached 71% remaining battery life.  That is pretty phenomenal in my opinion. I have had Android phones in the past that didn’t get that kind of battery life while in airplane mode.

The only minor concern I have when it comes to the battery is the required charge time.  The LG Lucid is easily one the slowest charging smartphones I have ever used. It wasn’t much of an issue for me though. On a normal day worth of use the battery kept going for such a long time that I only needed to charge it while I was sleeping anyway.

Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Verizon 4G LTE speeds
  • Great battery life
  • User friendly

Cons:

  • Speaker isn’t loud enough
  • No Ice Cream Sandwich yet

 

Conclusion:

The LG Lucid from Verizon Wireless is considered a “mid range” device, but it doesn’t feel or perform like one. It offers a lot of the specs you would find on a high end device and only costs $79. Kind of hard to fault it at that price.

Sure, other smartphones offer better screens and cameras, but those phones also tend to cost a considerable amount more. If you are shopping for your first Android smartphone or if you are just looking to save some money you should strongly consider trying the LG Lucid.

The Verizon Wireless Lucid by LG can be purchased here