The LG Extravert is a feature phone with a solid keyboard, but the low-quality screen and camera make it hard to recommend. If you're familiar with the Cosmos Touch, the Extravert holds no surprises -- it's the same phone renamed and slightly revamped. It doesn't have big problems, but the little annoyances add up to a less-than-stellar device. If you give it a rudimentary once-over, it seems great, but when you look closer, it's riddled with little flaws.
The body, for starters, is dull, but too much of a mess to be labeled a disaster. It's weird that the Extravert has to work so hard to get your attention. At 4.1-by-2.1 inches and about four ounces, it's compact and lightweight. I like the rounded corners -- they give it a friendly vibe -- but the texture on the back is a horrible choice. The grooved plastic looks cheap, and makes it harder to grip, so it's both slippery yet textured at the same time.
Then there's the 2.8-inch screen. It's a teeny tiny thing compared to most displays today. The 400-by-280 pixel resolution, meanwhile, isn't as bad as it sounds, because you'll mostly be looking at simple graphics, not complicated images. Just know that low 167-ppi pixel density makes the font look a bit wonky around the edges. It practically screams "cut-rate." That's fine for the limited tasks, but don't plan to browse the Web.
The bigger problem, though, is touch response -- it's as slow as a sloth moving through molasses. I often have to press the display several times before successfully moving widgets around. To avoid dealing with the shoddy screen, I suggest you use the keyboard as much as possible. The four-row QWERTY is great for typing. The buttons are well-spaced and slightly raised. And since keys light up, you can use it at night. Unlike the touch screen, the buttons are very responsive, so your fingers will fly. I didn't like the yellow and grey color scheme, though -- it's pretty ugly, but at least it's functional.
The 2-megapixel auto-focus camera lacks a flash and has a dismal lens, so photos turn out grainy, with dulled colors, especially indoors. Video is even worse -- clips look very pixelated and noisy. I'd mention more, but frankly, it's not worth it. Just know this: assume there's no camera, because after you use it, you won't use it again. Photos are barely viewable, much less printable. In short, it's one of the worst I've seen.
The Extravert is a feature phone, so software is bare bones. You can customize your homescreen with widgets that remind you of Android just enough to make you wish it was using it -- but it's not. Wi-Fi and 3G are also nowhere to be found, so if you have any intention of using the Internet, look elsewhere. It runs on Verizon's ancient 2.5G 1xRTT network, so you'll have to wait more than 10 seconds for anything to load. And once it does, the touch screen will take forever to respond. What's more, YouTube only plays on a small part of the already-small screen, so if you do get an urge to check out a movie trailer or a funny video clip, you'll only have a teeny square to view it. If you do want to use data, you can get e-mails sent to the phone. It can also link up to Twitter and Facebook. But be ready for interminable loading times. The Opera browser is simply hobbled by the same dismal loading time. Assume there's no Internet.
I do like a few features, though, but they're very random. For example, the eco-calculator lets you figure out your carbon footprint for the day. What does it have to do with the rest of the phone? Nothing, but it's pretty neat. Then there's a drawing pad, which would be great if the touch wasn't as sluggish as a drunken panda.
The 1,000 mAh battery stays powered for a long time -- about six hours of talk time and over two weeks on standby -- since the small screen and 2G doesn't drain much. There's been an issue with the phone holding a charge after a few months, but it seems to be faulty manufacturing, and not an inherent problem. Still, watch out. And if you experience it, a replacement battery will fix it. And aside from the rusty 2G network, there's another reason I call it the Slowtravert -- the 1.9-gigahertz chip isn't even up for simple tasks. It lags and stalls.
Still, if you want a basic phone to make calls and text, I suppose the Extravert is fine. There's nothing wrong with the sound quality -- it doesn't drop calls -- and the keyboard may entice you, but that's all to recommend. Sure, it's cheap, but frankly, you can do better with the LG Lucid or Samsung Intensity 3. Even the Brightside is a better, and that's not saying much. Really, there's no reason to consider the Extravert. ♦
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