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Review: LG Mach for Sprint

Form Performance Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  

Nov 30, 2012, 12:50 PM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Dec 6, 2012, 12:59 PM

LG's latest Android smartphone for the Sprint network arrives in the form of the Mach, a sideways slider that offers a full QWERTY keyboard in addition to LTE 4G and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. Here is Phone Scoop's full review.

Is It Your Type

The LG Mach is a compact sideways slider that includes a full QWERTY keyboard, Android 4.0, and LTE 4G. Those who still prefer a physical keyboard will find their needs met in this little phone.

Body

For a sideways slider, the LG Mach is a svelte smartphone. It's thicker than today's leading one-piece devices - such as the Note II or iPhone 5 - but it hardly qualifies as a chubby cell phone. In fact, few sliders are as thin. The Mach is essentially a variant of the LG Viper, only it has the physical keyboard attached to the back.

The Mach's design combines a handful of materials and greyish tones that give the phone a look all its own. It remains conservative with a dash of classy. It's not colorful, but it's also not a black slab of plastic. It has a rectangular footprint that doesn't push any boundaries in terms of design, but it's not entirely boring, either.

 

Body

Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.

Thanks to the smallish form, the Mach fits comfortably in your hand. I had no trouble wrapping my hand all the way around it. The materials are somewhat slippery, which means you won't have any trouble stuffing it in your pocket, nor retrieving it. It also means you might have trouble holding onto it.

I wish the quality of the device were smidge better. The materials come off feeling a bit cheap to me, and the fit and finish isn't even close to the quality LG managed when it put together the Optimus G or Nexus 4. Some of the seams could have been tighter.

The front of the Mach has a chrome accent that frames the bezel and display. The Android controls take the form of three capacitive buttons below the display itself. They’re easy to reach and use, and the modest haptic feedback lets you know when you've successfully activated them.

There are buttons and ports all over the edges of the Mach. The volume toggle is on the left. It’s pretty much perfect. The toggle is easy to find and use, and the travel and feedback are outstanding. The micro-USB port for charging and data is also on the left edge. The lock button and headphone jack on are top. The lock button is another winner. It protrudes quite far from the surface of the Mach, making easy to find. The travel and feedback could not be better. The same can be said of the dedicated physical camera button which is on the right edge.

I found the quality of the slider mechanism to be quite good. It has a smooth action and spring assistance that helps open and close the two halves of the phone. It produces a satisfying "thock" when snapped open or shut.

The Mach has a generous five-row keyboard. The top row is dedicated to just numbers, leaving three rows for letters and the fifth row for controls. I like that it has dedicated period, comma, "@", and Search buttons, as well as arrow keys for easier text editing. The buttons themselves are rectangular and fairly flat. There's a little bit of shape to them, but not much beyond a slight mound in the center. The buttons offer excellent travel and feedback. It's a solid keyboard that should please the physical-feedback-seeking typists out there.

The battery cover - which is plastic even though it looks like brushed aluminum - comes off easily. Once removed, you can hot-swap microSD cards if you want. You can also remove the battery. As with most Sprint phones, the LTE SIM card is not accessible.

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