- Large, vivid screen with sharp graphics
- Good sound quality, even at high volume
- Quite light and thin, considering its size
- Awkward to carry/stow,
- Issues with call quality and cell reception-
- Some viewing angle difficulties
If you are frustrated by the itty-bitty little screens on other smartphones, and can put up with carrying around something this large, you just might love the LG Intuition.
The LG Intuition is a tablet-phone (or “phablet”) with a large five-inch screen equipped with Gorilla Glass, a QuickMemo feature with an included stylus, and an 8.0 megapixel camera. It is based on Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) and a 1.5GHz dual-core processor, and offers 4G LTE.
It is a Verizon Wireless-exclusive device, and is currently available for $200 with a new two-year service contract.
Build and Design
The Intuition is in a relatively new class of devices, in that it’s much larger than traditional smartphones but still smaller than a tablet computer. Because of that hybrid design, it can be a bit awkward at times figuring out where to put it. If you regularly wear a suit, you’re in luck, because the Intuition will fit in any of the pockets in your suit jacket. Unless you’re wearing cargo pants, it won’t fit very comfortably in any of your pants pockets (and even if you were, you couldn’t comfortably sit with the Intuition in one of those pockets), but it’s not big enough to necessitate its own messenger bag or backpack either.
Fortunately that somewhat awkward feeling about where to put it doesn’t extend to the design or use of the device (unless you’re actually talking on the phone, that is). It isn’t particularly sexy, being a large black rectangle with a metallic bezel, but it isn’t ugly either.
There are no buttons on the front of the device, just a couple on the top edge. A nice attention to detail is seen in the charge/sync port, which is covered by a sliding door to keep the dust and grime out. And the back is textured in a diamond pattern to enhance your grip, so that you won’t drop this smartphone when you’re using it.
The Intuition’s screen is very nice — obviously that’s the most important selling point for a tabletphone like this. At five inches, with a 4:3 display ratio, it is absolutely ginormous. Obviously you won’t have to do anywhere near as much scrolling to see what you want to see, or view web pages, and you can really see the details in your photos without having to zoom in so much. You can scale up any apps that don’t natively support the large screen, and it works well, although sometimes things can get just a little distorted if you choose that option and examine everything closely.
With a resolution of 1024 x 768 (XGA), I found the display to be sharp and bright, readable in all circumstances, whether in an office with florescent lights, incandescent lights at home, or outside in bright daylight. My only slight disappointment in the display is related to viewing angles, because you have to look dead on at the display or you’ll get significant fading towards the edges of the screen that can make it hard to read. Sometimes you have to hold the phone at an angle, if you’re trying to shade the screen from intense sunlight, or if you’re sharing something with your friends, and in those situations you may not be entirely impressed with what you see.
You can hold the Intuition with both hands and “type” with two thumbs as you would on other smartphones, although unless you have fairly large hands this may be somewhat awkward for you. A male friend with large hands had no problem at all doing that, and while I can manage it, the device is large enough and heavy enough that I experienced some hand fatigue while typing out several long email messages in one session.
Perhaps as a nod to the fact that the Intuition is quite large and therefore a challenge to use one-handed, you can turn on a special one-hand keyboard option if you like. You can swipe to the side to activate it, or find it under Settings/Language & Input. Either way, you’ll find that the on-screen keyboard will “squish” to one side of the screen, making it easier to “type” with one thumb instead of two. Though you’ll probably make more mistakes, especially in the beginning, it’s a handy feature that can save you some time if you’re willing to put in a little practice.
Other Buttons & Controls
There aren’t many buttons on the Intuition; on the top edge you’ll find the headphone jack on the left, then the QuickMemo button, the charge/sync port, and the power/wake button. The buttons are rather small and sleek, and unfortunately rather hard to distinguish from one another. At first you’ll need to focus more on your finger position than on feeling the buttons, but after spending some time with the device you shouldn’t have too much problem turning it on or activating the QuickMemo app.
The “buttons” below the screen are actually touch-sensitive areas that are large and easy to hit. In order they are Back, Home, the app switcher, and Settings. The only other physical controls on the device are the volume up/down buttons on the right side; like the buttons up top they are very small, don’t protrude much from the device, and can be a little hard to manipulate until you’ve had some practice.