The LG eXpo has drawn a great deal of attention in recent weeks, as it offers a unique combination of high-end features. Most notably, it is the first smartphone widely available in the U.S. with a miniature projector attachment, allowing you to show movies or make presentations with a phone.
But it doesn’t stop there. This device runs Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro on a 1 GHz processor, and sports a fingerprint scanner, WVGA screen, sliding keyboard, and much more.
This smartphone is available now from AT&T, but the pico projector is not. However, LG was kind enough to demonstrate this model for me at CES, and I recorded a video of it in action, and wrote up some first thoughts.
This short preview was recorded on the CES show floor, and shows how well the pico projector works under adverse conditions.
Trying out the LG eXpo immediately made me want a pico projector. There’s no other way I can think of to get a 40-inch monitor into my pocket.
You can project anything that is on the eXpo’s screen — you’re not just limited to movies. You can make presentations with PowerPoint Mobile, or just read your e-mail on a large screen if you want.
We’ve reached the point where a smartphone can do most of what a laptop can. Nevertheless, many people still carry a laptop with them when they travel because they want a larger screen. A pico projector gives you the best of both worlds.
I know the projected image doesn’t look its best in the video above, but keep in mind that it was taken under harsh conditions. It looks much better in dimly-lit rooms. Its colors are good, and the image is sharp. (There’s a manual focus so you can adjust it to your liking.)
There’s still a hurdle to get over: battery life. The pico projector uses the eXpo’s battery, and can drain it in a couple of hours. If you’re planning on watching a movie on the plane, you’d better bring an extra battery.
Aside from the pico projector, this LG model is an out-standing smartphone. It has the latest version of Microsoft’s mobile OS, and is running this software on a 1 GHz processor. This is an OS that can be a bit sluggish on slower processors, and the extra power should help a lot.
On the outside, it has a sliding design, with a 3.2-inch, WVGA touchscreen, and a landscape-oriented sliding QWERTY keyboard.
It even has biometric security in the form of a built-in fingerprint scanner. This is located on the front, in the middle of the D-pad.
Rounding out its feature set is 3G, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a 5 megapixel camera with flash, a microSD/SDHC memory card slot, and a 1,500 mAh battery.
I’m very impressed with the LG eXpo, even though I’ve only had limited time with it. I should have a full review of this device in the coming weeks.
For those of you who can’t wait, this smartphone is available now from AT&T for $200 with a two-year service agreement and $100 rebate. The pico projector — which will weigh in at 1.8 ozs — will be sold separately for $180.