What's hot: Very fast CPU, excellent keyboard, optional projector.
What's not: UI isn't top notch, often requires stylus. Battery life isn't good.
Reviewed January 14, 2010 by Lisa Gade, Editor
The LG eXpo is the HTC Tilt 2's competitor on AT&T. While the Tilt 2 features HTC's TouchFLO 3D that makes the smartphone much more fun and modern, the eXpo opts for impressive hardware like the 1 GHz Snapdragon CPU, good 5 megapixel autofocus camera, fingerprint reader and optional pico projector. Both sport a very ample slide-out hardware QWERTY keyboard and an 800 x 480 pixel resistive touch screen. The LG is a bit slimmer and more pocketable than the beefy Tilt 2, but it's still a large phone.
Our gripe with the LG eXpo is the very stylus-centric UI that's mostly vanilla Windows Mobile 6.5 Pro and the relatively small 3.2" display that makes for smaller on-screen targets. It's just not fun and finger-friendly compared to HTC's TouchFLO 3D Windows Mobile phones, Android smartphones and other modern OS phones. This is a business phone first, and fun isn't its prime directive but even LG's S-Class UI doesn't help it out of the doldrums. But for those of you who like Windows Mobile just fine, the eXpo has great appeal since it's currently the fastest US Windows Mobile phone (until the HTC HD2 hits T-Mobile in the spring of 2010). Not to mention the fingerprint sensor for security (remember that feature from HP iPAQ PDAs way back when?) and the optional projector that's great for incredibly portable PowerPoint presentations. Unfortunately, we didn't receive a projector with our phone, so we won't be able to cover that important business feature.
For a stylus-centric phone, we were surprised that LG uses a lipstick style external stylus
that attaches via lanyard and looks a tad feminine.
The smartphone's build is solid, and the eXpo looks like a quality piece of hardware, though it's nothing to speak of on the style front. The large QWERTY keyboard is excellent, though we still prefer the offset keyboard on the Tilt 2, which is the best keyboard on the market. Key travel is a bit shallow, and the d-pad likewise lacks travel-- but at least it has one. The d-pad seems to be disappearing from WinMo touch screen phones.
Specs at a Glance
The LG eXpo (don't blame us for the bizarre capitalization) is a Windows Mobile 6.5 Professional phone with a 3.2", 800 x 480 pixel resistive touch screen. It has a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, a 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and a flash, a GPS that works with AT&T Navigator, Bluetooth and WiFi. It has 256 megs of RAM, 512 megs of flash storage and an SDHC microSD card slot that's conveniently located under a door on the phone's side.
The LG has very good call quality and the earpiece is slightly louder than average. This is a quad band GSM world phone with EDGE and 3G HSDPA 7.2Mbps on AT&T's bands and 2100MHz for 3G abroad. Reception on 3G is mediocre; it's fine in strong coverage areas but it's not the best phone for those in marginal coverage areas.
Opera Mobile has infiltrated quite a few high end Windows Mobile phones, but unfortunately not the eXpo which ships with the stock Internet Explorer Mobile 6. It's an OK web browser, but we suggest you purchase Opera or another browser if you spend serious time browsing.
Email is handled by the capable, if dated looking, mobile Outlook client. It handles POP3/IMAP and MS Exchange with Direct Push if your company runs a relatively recent version of Exchange Server. There's an IM client on board along with support for SMS and MMS.
Here's our 8.5 minute video review of the LG eXpo that covers physical design, UI, web browsing, video playback and more.
The LG eXpo has a power-hungry fast CPU, 3G HSDPA, WiFi and those consume battery quickly. There aren't many US 3G Snapdragon phones on the market to compare, but I will say that the 1GHz Nexus One running Android lasts significantly longer. The LG seems to wake up and make brief connections to 3G even when no applications are running (not even Exchange email), and this may reduce battery life. With moderate use, we had to charge the phone nightly. With heavy use, we had to charge it by 3pm each afternoon.
The LG eXpo has exciting hardware that's let down by dated software. If you're a fan of Windows Mobile's user interface, the eXpo will likely suit you well, but if you're tempted by other platforms and other manufacturers' updated user interfaces for Windows Mobile, the LG will seem dreary. That said, it's fast (you've never seen the Windows Mobile file explorer list all the files in its Windows directory this fast) and has a good camera, a very functional fingerprint scanner for security and a tightly integrated optional pico projector that just might save you from lugging a laptop.
x 2.24 x 0.65 inches. Weight: 4.46 ounces.
Phone:Quad band GSM world phone 850/900/1800/1900MHz bands. 3G HSDPA 7.2 Mbps on AT&T's 850/1900MHz US bands and 2100MHz for use abroad.
Camera:5.0 MP with autofocus lens and LED flash. Supports AT&T's Video Share one-way video conferencing service.
in speaker, mic and proprietary stereo headphone
jack. Voice Recorder and Windows Mobile Media Player 10 included.
WiFi 802.11b/g and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR.
Mobile 6.5 Professional OS. Both standard UI and LG's S-Class UI are available on the device. Internet Explorer 6 mobile, MS Voice Command, Java VM, Windows Mobile Marketplace, Adobe Reader, Sprite Backup and Windows Media Player Mobile. Standard MS mobile software suite: Office Mobile (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote Mobile),, Email (POP3/IMAP/MS Exchange), File Explorer, PIM suite (contacts, calendar, notes and tasks), SMS/MMS client, BubbleBreaker and Solitaire. AT&T software: AT&T WiFi, AT&T App Center, AT&T Navigator, AT&T Music and trial games.