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Smartphone Review: Lucid 2 by LG

By Paul O’Reilly

Although the recent trend in smartphones has been towards ever larger screens, there is something to be said for the smaller, lighter smartphone that slips unobtrusively into a pocket and fits snugly in the hand. Those are just two of the many qualities of the 4G LTE Lucid 2 by LG from Verizon Wireless.

The back-to-basics approach of the Lucid 2 extends well beyond its size and weight. For example, it acknowledges the complexity of modern day mobile devices by offering two distinct modes of operation: starter mode and standard mode. Starter mode is a simplified and more intuitive experience, which is ideal for beginners, while standard mode is for users who are already familiar with the Android system.

This supportive approach also extends to set up and the first few days of use, with most first-time commands being accompanied by helpful hints and suggestions. Of the many smartphones that I have set up in the last couple of years, the Lucid 2 was by far the easiest, particularly when it came to e-mail and customization.

Although the Lucid 2 comes packed with apps (over 50 of them already installed), almost all of them have a purpose. There are the usual Google and Amazon apps of course, along with Maps, VZ Navigator, Voice Search, and a full array of media apps. But there are also several first-rate productivity apps, including Task Manager, SmartShare, Richnote, and the hugely underrated Polaris Office 4.

There is also a large selection of widgets, which can be added to any of the multiple home screens. Widgets are a great way to quickly access information without searching for or opening up a stand-alone app. Perhaps the only disappointment on the software side was QuickMemo, which allows you to add personal notes to photos and screenshots but which stubbornly refused to cooperate on the Lucid 2 that I tried out.

While the screen may be smaller than what we have become used to, the colors are sharp and clear, and the 1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor and the Android 4.1.2 (Jelly Bean) operating system ensure a smooth interface and instant response. Even the 5MP rear-facing camera (again, slightly less resolution than we are used to) produced excellent results, even in low light situations, and comes with a full suite of editing tools.

The battery life of the Lucid 2, which has been the Achilles heel of so many Android smartphones, was more than adequate, although you need to carefully manage Wi-Fi search and other power draining activities. I was easily able to get through a full day of regular use, including e-mail, Web search and video play, on one full charge.

All-in-all, the Lucid 2 by LG builds on the excellent reputation of the original Lucid, providing a rock-solid Android experience for beginners and smartphone veterans alike.

Verizon Wireless is now offering the Lucid 2 by LG for free with a two-year contract.

The Online Mom LLC receives a fee for participating in certain promotional campaigns for Verizon Wireless. All opinions are my own.

You can follow Paul on Twitter.

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