Review: LG Lucid (Verizon) – Best Budget Device Available?
- Excellent performance
- Decent display with good viewing angles
- Unique design
- Great for the non-techy market
- Back of the device is a fingerprint magnet
- Cameras are pitiful
- Battery life is poor
- LG’s overlay is awful
- Not much internal storage
Budget devices are usually pretty horrid, but the LG Lucid is a nice change of pace. The device performs very well with the 1.2GHz Snapdragon S3 processor. The design makes it feel like a higher end device, even if the rear is a complete fingerprint magnet, much like the Samsung Vibrant was. However the cameras are awful and the battery life is very poor, think HTC Thunderbolt. Yep, it is that bad. Is it the best budget device available? Read on!
It use to be that LTE devices were at least $250 on contract, but luckily that is no longer the case. The LG Lucid is the first budget LTE device on Verizon at $80 on contract. Budget devices also now pack the dual-core specs we saw in flagship devices of just 6 months ago. The Lucid is powered by a 1.2Ghz dual-core Snapdragon S3 processor.
LG Lucid Specifications
Price: $80 on 2-year agreement (after $50 mail-in rebate)
Processor: 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8660 dual-core S3 Scorpion
GPU: Adreno 220
Operating System: Android 2.3.6 (Android 4.0 upgrade “coming soon”)
Display: 4″ IPS LCD (WVGA 480×800, 233DPI)
Memory: 1GB RAM / 8GB internal (4GB usable)
Cameras: 5MP rear / 1.3MP front
Battery: 1700mAh, removable, 8 hours estimated talk time
Network: Verizon CDMA 3G, 4G LTE
Ports/Expandable Storage: microSD slot, microUSB port
Thickness: 11.4mm / .45″
Weight: 142g / 5oz
The LG Lucid features a 3.7-inch 800×480 IPS LCD display. Which would’ve been a good display….two years ago, but is still decent.
LG has never been known for their displays, and the Lucid certainly won’t put them on the radar. Several of the company’s former devices have launched with a yellow screen bleed. While my Lucid unit did not have screen bleed, it just wasn’t all that great, but it wasn’t horrible at all. It just seemed washed out and had an odd yellowish tint. It is also easy to make out the individual pixels, which really, really, gets on my nerves.
On the plus side, the display is very bright and offers amazing viewing angles.
The Lucid certainly has a different design, and it has its good and bad qualities.
Let’s talk about the bad qualities first. There is only one really bad thing about the device and that is the back. The back is the same glossy plastic that Samsung used on the original Galaxy S devices like the Vibrant. It has the same purpleish tint and is just as bad of a fingerprint magnet. It basically is like having two screens to clean off everyday.
Other than that, the design is actually pretty good. It feels good in the hand and the button placement is excellent. It is light and the slightly curved design is great.
The Lucid weighs in at 5oz and is 11.4mm thin.
For what is considered a mid-range device, the Lucid’s performance is absolutely amazing. The device is powered by a 1.2GHz Snapdragon S3 processor with 1GB of RAM and man does it scream. The Lucid could handle nearly every test I threw at it without a hitch. You may notice that the Lucid packs the same specs as the much more expensive HTC Rezound.
As we do in all of our reviews, we ran a Quadrant Standard test. Quadrant, available in the market, puts your phone through several tests, such as 3D graphics, 2D graphics and more.
The Lucid scored around 2200 consistently, which is a very good score. Though, it is not as high as the Galaxy S II.
In Linpack, the Lucid scored about 68MFLOPS
Let me get right to it. LG’s overlay is horrid. It is possibly the worst designed overlay of them all. It looks like something you would find on a ToysRus phone. The icons are very cartoon-esque and, well, ugly.
Even though it is ugly, LG did offer some nice features even us advanced Android users can appreciate. Unlike many other devices, you can add multiple apps to the homescreen at once intstead of having to do it one-by-one. The lockscreen also gives you easy access to 4 apps, dialer, SMS, camera, and voicemail. Sadly, there is no way to change them, so if you use an alternative SMS app like GoSMS, you won’t be able to launch it from the lockscreen.
One thing that gets on my nerve is the app drawer. All of the pre-installed apps are separated into categories, but each app you download you will have to manually place into a category. You’d think that LG could use the category that the app is in the market to place it in the category .
One thing cool is LG has left four different themes in this device, each of them offering a unique set of icons and wallpaper to match. The themes available are:
- Optimus (the default theme)
- Playworld (cartoonish theme)
- Opart (dark styled theme)
- Cozywall (professional styled cartoon theme )
Being able to change the look and feel of the device without needing to root the device and load a custom ROM is definitely something that many will enjoy.
LG definitely designed its OS to be for the less tech-savy, even if they did it in the most ugly way possible, I think they succeeded.
As with all Verizon devices, you will get a lot of bloat on the Lucid.
- Amazon Kindle
- Backup Assistant
- Let’s Golf 3
- Mobile Hotspot
- My Verizon Mobile
- Plants vs Zombies
- V Cast Tones
- VZ Navigator
- Share Genie
- Google Search
- Polaris Office
Sadly, the device ships with Android 2.3.6, which I really don’t like. If this device is geared towards the normal person, it is really going to make them mad when you send out an update 3 months after releasing the phone that completely changes the user-interface. LG won’t tel us when the update is coming, just that it does exist.
In a budget device, the first component that usually gets sacrificed is the camera, and that was very evident with the Lucid. The device packs a 5MP rear camera and a less than 1MP front facing shooter. The rear camera is also capable of 720P video recording. Shots were washed out, focusing was difficult, and low-light performance was very poor.
Data and Phone Quality
The Luicd is compatible with Verizon’s blazing fast 4G LTE network. Currently, this network is available in more than 150 markets, including New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, and covers 200 million Americans.
Using the speedtest.net app, we were able to consistently get 20-25mbps up and 5-9 up. ESPN’s mobile site loaded in a speedy 6 seconds.
Phone quality was great and speaker phone was decent, though a bit tinny. We experienced no dropped calls in a twenty call test.
Battery life is not the Lucid’s strong point. My usage generally consists of 3 email accounts syncing, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, some Pandora, and some texts and maybe a call or two. Since this device is for the general consumer, let’s assume they need their phone from 8AM to 7PM without a charge. That won’t happen with the Lucid. With my usage, I could make it to about 4PM every day before hitting the 5% mark.
The Lucid advertises 8GB of internal, but you will quickly notice that only 4GB of that is user-accessible, the rest is reserved for the OS. 4GB is not very much, especially if you watch movies or TV on your phone. Luckily, you have a micro-SD card slot for up to 32GB more of storage.
If you are reading this review, you are probably not who this device is marketed to. LG is going after the teen and technology illiterate market with the Lucid, and this is the best device for that market. It is affordable and LG’s interface, though ugly, is pretty easy to use. Like all Android phones, it isn’t perfect. The battery life, LG’s overlay, and the cameras are will serious weak points of the device. However, if someone is coming from a feature phone, they will be happy to just have a touchscreen.
Again, me and most of you reading this are not the target market for this device. But in the mid-range market, this is definitely the best choice available. You get a good display, LTE, and amazing performance. All the buzz words of 2012.