UPDATE: This “first impressions” review was written after a short time with this device. A more complete version based on in-depth testing is available here:
The LG Genesis is a dual-screen Android smartphone offered by U.S. Cellular. It has not just one but two touchscreen displays, a physical QWERTY keyboard, and a 5-megapixel camera. It has a range of wireless networking options, and comes with an 8GB microSD memory expansion card.
It is currently available for $150 with a $100 mail-in rebate and a new two-year service contract. A voice and data plan is also required.
This is a preliminary review based on a couple of days with the device. A more complete one based on in-depth testing will be published in the coming days.
BUILD & DESIGN
On the surface, the LG Genesis looks much the same as many modern smartphones–a 3.5-inch, WVGA (800 x 480) display dominates the front, and it’s relatively thick since it has a full, physical QWERTY keyboard underneath. But this phone isn’t your typical slider; it flips open from the right to reveal not just a keyboard, but also a large secondary display.
The second screen is just slightly smaller than the exterior one, at 3.2-inches, but functions in exactly the same way and it has the same resolution. It’s a full touchscreen, but since it could be a little more awkward to use that way with the keyboard, there’s a very nice five-way navigator just to the right of the letter and number keys.
Both of the displays look very nice–very bright and sharp. The keyboard is also a pleasant surprise. I don’t generally do well with very “flat” keyboards, with little to no separation or physical definition between the keys, but that isn’t the case here. I can type quickly, with few errors.
All of the buttons are on the left side of the phone; the charge/sync port and headphone jack are on the right side. Though the device is relatively big, it is also rather light and feels good in the hand.
The LG Genesis is based on Android OS 2.2 and has a 1 GHz Snapdragon processor. It feels speedy and responsive, though I will be running some benchmark tests for comparison for the full review. The Genesis comes with 416MB of available space in internal storage, and comes with an 8GB microSD card. The slot will support card capacities as high as 32GB.
This smartphone has a 5-megapixel camera, which is pretty much the standard these days. I’ve only taken a few test shots so far, but the photos are coming out pretty well. I’m also pleased with the LED flash, which seems to be powerful enough to allow photos in rather low light situations.
So far, I like the LG Genesis. The button layout really works for me, the dual screens are nice, and the keyboard works fairly well since the large keys outweigh the negative of not having much physical separation between them. The price is pretty reasonable too, at only $150 after rebate.
I’ll be using this device extensively over the next week or two, so stay tuned for my full review here on Brighthand.