Review: LG Lancet for Verizon Wireless
The Lancet runs Windows Phone 8.1. LG hasn't said if the phone will be updated to Windows 10. LG's Windows Phone handsets lack some of the extra features found on Microsoft (Nokia) Lumia handsets, such as Glance Screen, but most features are intact.
The lock screen includes the clock, date, calendar appointments, and notification previews. There are no app shortcuts, but you can jump directly to your notifications. The lock screen on Windows Phones supports various, changing backgrounds, such as the local weather or recent Facebook photos. You can wake the phone via LG's KnockON feature, which can turn the screen on or off with a double tap.
Windows Phone employs one infinitely tall home screen. The Start screen is populated by Live Tiles, which act like both app icons and widgets. The Tiles come in three sizes and you can arrange them in any style grid you like. One of Windows Phone 8.1's cool tricks are transparent tiles. They let you see the wallpaper underneath, which is kinda neat. You can also create app folders on the home screen.
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Swipe the Start screen to the left to access the full app menu. This main menu is always arranged alphabetically. It can sometimes be a pain to scroll through if you have a large number of apps. Windows Phone includes a drop-down notification panel, though it isn't quite as well-developed as those on Android and iOS. The notification panel includes toggles for the WiFi and Bluetooth radios, airplane mode, and so on.
Windows Phone 8.1 makes a bit more sense of the Settings tools than previous versions. Basically, the system controls are packaged together in categories (networks, personalization, accounts, system, time/language, input/accessibility, privacy, updates, and extras), which increases the utility of the extensive tools available for customizing the phone's behavior.
LG selected Qualcomm's 1.2 GHz quad-core Snapdragon 410 processor and paired it with 1GB of RAM. The combination provided more than enough oomph for the LG Lancet, which felt light on its feet at all times.
Calls and Contacts
The phone app is simple and easy to master. Call history is the default view when you open the app, but there are buttons along the bottom to access voicemail, the dialpad, your contacts, or search. The speed dial function can be a huge time saver. The Lancet lets users control call rejection behaviors, set automatic message responses, make use of call forwarding, and so on. The phone doesn't support Verizon's HD Voice service.
The People app merges your contact list with Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It can pull recent activity from those sources to create a three-network feed within the contact app. I have always liked the social aspect. Otherwise, you can sync it with myriad contact databases. Contact cards hold plenty of data and make it easy to call or message your friends/family.
The Lancet, like all Windows Phones, requires you to have a Microsoft account of some sort. The native email app in Windows Phone is not as strong as Gmail, but it's still capable enough for managing email. It works well with any internet-based email service, including Outlook, Google, and Yahoo. It also supports Exchange for business users.
The SMS app is a basic tool for basic messaging only. Like the phone app, it's spartan to a fault. It can handle threaded conversations that include pictures and videos, but it feels a bit barren. (The SMS app used to incorporate both Facebook and Skype messaging. Now it only supports SMS/MMS.)
The full Skype and Facebook apps are preinstalled, but Facebook Messenger and Twitter are not. Those apps are available from the Windows Store.
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