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Hands-On: LG Mach for Sprint

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Oct 9, 2012, 2:06 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

Sprint rolled out a handful of LTE devices at CTIA in San Diego today, and the LG Mach was one of them. Here are our first imppressions.

The LG Mach comes off a bit like the LG Viper, but with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. It's a mid-range, compact smartphone that checks off many of the must-have features: Android 4.0, dual-core processor, 4-inch screen, and 5-megapixel camera.

As with the LG Viper, the battery cover of the LG Mach is made from metal. This goes a long way in helping to give the device a quality look and feel. In my book, metal trumps plastic in terms of look and feel. The front is all glossy black and reflective glass, which is typical for today's smartphones. The silver tone of the back and side surfaces really helps set the device apart, though.

The Mach is about half an inch thick, which means it is a bit beefier than many of today's high-end super slabs, but it falls right in line with other sideways sliders. The back edges have a really nice curve to them that allows the Mach to fit comfortably in your palm. The one thing I didn't like are the volume and lock buttons. They felt a bit cheap and didn't offer satisfying travel and feedback.

LG Mach  

The display measures 4 inches and offers 480 x 800 WVGA resolution. It's decent, but not the best display I've seen from LG. The LG Optimus G, for example, has a much more luscious-looking display. The Mach's display suffices, though, especially for a mid-range phone.

The slider mechanism for the Mach is good and has plenty of spring assistance. It pops right open with just a bit of pressure on edge. I liked the back-and-forth of mechanism, plenty of power and glide in it.

The keyboard is pretty good. The smaller size of the Mach means the keyboard is a bit more compact. This is a good thing as far as sideways sliders is concerned. The smaller the better, in my opinion. The keys themselves have a nice shape to them and I found them easy to find. The travel and feedback was good and each key provides plenty of pop to it.

The user interface is the same one we've seen from LG for the last few months. Paired with the dual-core 1.2GHz processor, it showed no performance problems.

Given that the Mach is targeted at the middle of Sprint's line-up, you can expect it to have a pretty aggressive price point.

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