Editor’s Note: This preliminary review was written based on limited experience with this device. Brighthand‘s full review is available here: LG Incite Review.
The LG Incite, despite its name, is likely to fall under the radar of many smartphone purchasers. For one, it looks like a shiny iPhone. And secondly, it was released in AT&T stores about the same time Verizon and RIM decided to release the Storm — another similar, touchscreen-based smartphone.
However, unlike the aforementioned models, the LG Incite is built on the Windows Mobile platform, and pushes forward LG’s understated design philosophy it started with the Prada last year.
I’ll have my hands on this smartphone for the next weeks, will be seeing what it can do to incite passion for another touchscreen mobile.
A Semi-Familiar Design
The first thing that I said about the Incite was that it reminded me of the Palm Zire 71. You have to understand, the Zire 71 spent a long time in my pocket, and it had a form factor that I liked a whole lot.
Taking the Incite out of the box it was almost as if I were looking at the Zire 71 again. The top and bottom of the Incite taper into this blocky-teardrop shape that is way too similar. The sides are less tapered though, and contain the bulk of the buttons on the Incite.
Turning it on revealed how much like the Zire 71 this new model is not. Running Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional, the Incite has a 3-inch, 240-by-400-pixel touchscreen. And unlike some other Windows Mobile touchscreen devices, the display doesn’t seem too separated from the glass covering it.
The Today Screen is designed to be very finger friendly. Within moments of using the Incite, I realized that the entire device was finger friendly. A search for a stylus — this is Windows Mobile, after all — turned up nothing. A stylus is included, but will only attach to the device via a lanyard.
Getting past that part, the Incite became refreshing. The touchscreen is aided by mild haptic feedback for any touch. This sometimes threw me off though, as the device will vibrate whether I clicked on what I intended to or not.
The Today Screen that LG created is a bit more functional than HTC’s TouchFLO 3D (as found on the HTC Touch Diamond and Touch Pro). Instead of a sliding band, there are only five items, and the last panel shows all of the programs on the device, divided into three tabs.
Actions such as making calls, viewing contacts, and sending SMS messages are handled with relative ease. This is one of the first Windows Mobile devices that I just picked up and started using with little learning involved, beyond getting used to the haptics.
At this point of my use, I’ve just about broke in the battery. Now the real testing begins for this 3G, Wi-Fi, GPS-equipped mobile. Stay tuned for the rest of the review in a few weeks where the real usability issues come to head.
Here’s a video of the LG Incite showing some of the features of this smartphone: