LG Quantum review


The LG Quantum is a device running Microsoft's recently released operating system, Windows Phone 7 (WP7). It's on AT&T's network, and you can get one for $199.99 on a two year contract. 

But is WP7 mature yet? Microsoft gave an early look at it at Mobile World Congress 2010, and they waited another 10 months to release it in the United States, so you'd think that all of the wrinkles would be ironed out.

But they're not. Let's take a look at how WP7 performs on the LG Quantum.


As you all know, Microsoft has a list of the minimum required specs for Windows Phone 7, so these specs shouldn't be any surprise. It's got a 3.5" screen with a 480×800 resolution, powered by a 1GHz Snapdragon processor with 256 MB of RAM. A 5MP camera with LED flash round out the device's camera system. To store those photos, you get a 16GB SD card. 

Design and Quality


When I got this unit out of its box, I was really excited. Immediately, I slid out its keyboard and found it to be easy to slide out and the spring-loaded mechanism to be very solid. That is, it didn't have much give to it when I wiggled it around.

We'll get to the keyboard itself in a little bit, but in a slider phone, the slider mechanism is one of the crucial areas that needs to be really good. There's obviously some give to it, but LG seems to have hit the sweet spot between ease of opening and sturdiness. 


On the design front, the Quantum is really simple. The battery cover is made of some type of brushed metal that feels really good in the hand. The rest of the back is made of a very grippy rubber, which really helps to make the phone less slippery. It looks really nice together, and even the logos are printed nicely.

The front is flashy because of that metallic hard button, but I would've liked to have a full array of either capacitive or hardware buttons. I don't think the mixed approach works very well, and it surely doesn't look as clean as other WP7 devices.



The keyboard is disappointing.

That's the main feature of this phone, and it's laid out poorly, in my opinion. For instance, look at how both the Fn and Shift keys are separate from the actual keyboard. When I was doing my daily testing, this actually slowed me down quite a bit. The keys also take a bit more pressure to press down than other slide-out phones that I've used. Once you get them down, however, the tactile response you feel is very reassuring that you've completed a keystroke. 

Performance and Usability

WP7's UI is very smooth. It shows how carefully Microsoft put everything together here. There is never a stutter in its animations. Scrolling is as close as another OS has gotten to the iPhone in terms of smoothness. Web browsing is quick, as well. But performance isn't all that matters; you also have to look at usability. 

And unfortunately, that's where both WP7 and the LG Quantum fall short. You may have heard of the WiFi bug that Microsoft is currently dealing with. Well, my review unit also suffered from it. It might not have bothered me as much if I was living in an area with AT&T 3G, but I'm not. So it was a major problem for me. Of course, even if you were living in an area with 3G, you still have to deal with the capped plans. Since this device wouldn't connect to my home WiFi network, I was constantly relying on the cellular network to see how WP7 truly worked. 

As for the battery, I could get through about a day of light data usage with Bluetooth turned off. I suspect that it has something to do with WP7's prematurity, as it has a relatively beefy 1500mAh battery pack.



I'd like to complain about what you see above. When you click the tile for the Marketplace, this is what you're taken to. Each of these choices is a different store. I understand the separate store for Zune music, but all of those other categories can be put together. I'll admit that even I was a little confused by how to navigate around. When I was searching for some games to play, I obviously pressed the games option. This takes you to the Xbox Live-connected stuff, mostly achievements. I'm not an Xbox user, so I'm disappointed that the games section is all about that. There should at least be a separate category within that games section for actual WP7 games. 

But the fact that you can't navigate around easily isn't the worst thing about the Marketplace. The worst thing is that there are very few quality apps. In fact, Pandora isn't even in there. And the Facebook app was published by Microsoft! 



Windows Phone 7 is still very premature. The Marketplace is underdeveloped, and the WiFi bug is a more serious issue than the iPhone 4's Antennagate problem.

The LG Quantum can't be a great device when the operating system that it's running is still young. It has a lot of redeeming qualities, like that high-resolution display and great design. And we have updates for WP7 on the way. But for right now, I cannot recommend this device. 

This phone was provided to us by LG. We thank them greatly! Find out more about the LG Quantum here

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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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