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LG Lucid 2
What's Hot: Free on contract, manageable size, sharp display, removable battery.
What's Not: Voice quality for calls is so-so.
Reviewed April 26, 2013 by Lisa Gade, Editor
in Chief (twitter: @lisagade)
It's hard to beat free, and the LG Lucid 2 is free on contract with Verizon Wireless. For your money (so to speak) you get a smartphone running Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean on a 1.2GHz dual core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus CPU with a gig of RAM and 8 gigs of internal storage. The phone has a sharp 4.3" IPS qHD display, a microSD card slot and a removable battery. As you'd expect from a Verizon smartphone it has 4G LTE, dual band WiFi, Bluetooth and a GPS. There's a front video chat camera and a rear 5 megapixel camera with HDR. Not too shabby if you're looking for no cash outlay or you're starting out with your first smartphone.
Design and Ergonomics
In a sea of huge Android phones, the 4.3" LG Lucid 2 is downright pocket-friendly and easy to hold. The tapered sides look good and feel good in hand and the back is grippy textured plastic. The back isn't exactly chic, but it is removable and it grants access to the battery, microSD card slot and micro SIM card slot. It's not a bad looking phone, though it won't beat the HTC One or even the Samsung Galaxy S4 in a beauty competition. The 4.5 ounce phone is 0.39 inches thick.
As with most smartphones, the micro USB port for charging and syncing is at the bottom, the headset jack is up top and the speaker is on the back. The volume rocker is on the left side and the power button is at the upper right side. The 4.3" display dominates the front and there are 4 rather than the usual 3 Android capacitive buttons below the display. If you've used other Android phones, the extra button might throw you, and because button backlighting doesn't come on until you touch a button, it's hard to guess which one you should go for in the dark.
The LG Lucid 2 has a 960 x 540 IPS display that's sharp and fairly bright. LG makes nice displays and we have no complaints even though the phone won't win any Retina competitions for extremely high resolution. At 4.3", it really does need a crazy high resolution to look good to the naked eye. Viewing angles on IPS displays are typically the best in the industry, verging on 180 degrees. The seemingly thick glass creates glare and light refraction here that diminish viewing angles a bit, but it's not bad by any means. Outdoor visibility is decent, but not as good as the original LG Lucid with its wildly bright 600 nit display.
Calling and Data
First the bad part: voice quality is just passable. We noted somewhat digitized and warbling speech for incoming and outgoing voice. Conversation wasn't hindered, but we had to work a little harder to understand what was said at times. The good news is that data speeds on Verizon's LTE network were solid and the phone averaged 17Mbps down and 4Mbps up according to Ookla's Speedtest.net app.
The Lucid 2 has the usual Mobile Hotspot feature so you can use the phone as a high speed wireless modem for your laptop or tablet. This is a CDMA smartphone with 3G EV-DO Rev. A and 4G LTE on Verizon's network. It is not a world phone with GSM roaming capabilities.