Mobile phone manufacturers always play with their form factors and designs to give us a unique mobile using experience. LG, the electronic giant, has been pretty active in the smartphone market, and has recently come upwith the quirky Doubleplay. It is probably the first mobile to incorporate two touchscreens — the second one slides out wedged between a split physical keyboard. It looks cool and is definitely unique, but will it match up to its high-end competitors? Let us take a look.
Price and availability:
The phone came into the market in November and has been doing quite well since then. The price tag is probably one of the main reasons for people preferring this phone. It is comfortably priced at $99 with a two-year agreement at T-mobile. For a mobile that sports great features, the price is a total bargain. The phone is now available all over the world in retail shops and online stores.
Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 1 GHz Qualcomm processor, multiple touchscreens, and a 5MP camera are the basic hardware configurations of this phone. The design of the phone is impeccable. In the closed position, it looks like a normal Android phone with a 3.5” screen and three touch sensitive buttons. The edges are rounded off to give a smooth shape and the phone is rich in color with a solid hold. Brushed metal is placed on the back panel of the phone to give it a luxurious feel.
When you open the side slide bar, the phone gives you a rich texture of silver and black. You can see the second touchscreen in the slide bar. The second touchscreen placed between the QWERTY keyboard is the most innovative thing that one can have in a mobile. It is 2” wide and supports applications like Social+ and text messaging. The second screen also supports many features.
While reading an email in the top screen, you can type the reply in the bottom screen. Similarly, you can operate the browser on the top screen using the navigation buttons on the bottom. In addition, you can send a message or a mail that you have typed in the bottom screen to the top screen or vice-versa. Other than this, the phone has a micro-USB port, volume rockers, and a 3.5mm audio jack in its sides. The camera also has a LED flash and hence the photos are good. Since the phone comes built in with Android 2.3.4, it supports many applications like Swype without installing. Like other Android phones, you also get built-in access to Google features such as Gmail and YouTube. Various other applications such as Telenav and Drivesmart too are bundled with the phone. You can even download whatever you want from the Android Market place.
The connectivity options like all other top end phones include Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and GPS. One main connectivity feature of this phone is that it can act as a mobile hotspot giving connection to five other devices at the same time. It also supports Wi-Fi calls and even if you are talking in Wi-Fi, you can switch over to your cellular service provider with ease. The phone has 2GB built in memory with an addition of a pre-installed 2GB card. You can expand that upto 32 GB depending on your convenience.
What’s not so great?
Although LG promises the Doubleplay’s interface to be useful, it turns out to be a hindrance for most people. They are unable to multitask through the double display as LG wants and the second screen is a major hindrance during typing on the physical keyboard. Since the keys are kept apart, it becomes a nightmare to type through them and you cannot type without seeing for sure. Like most Android devices, the battery was a disappointment. The phone could last only for 3 hours of talk time and 11 days of standby. That is relatively poor when we compare the phone with other leading models in the market.
Things to watch out for:
Without a doubt, the double screen of the Doubleplay is the thing that you need to watch out for. Although some people do not like it, if you get the hang of it, it could be extremely useful to you.
The LG Doubleplay is total value for money. Rather than spending big bucks on a normal, hardware wise advanced phone, you could try something new and buy the Doubleplay. It will surely turn many heads and is not too bad either.