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Review: LG Octane

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The LG Octane is yet another solid piece of hardware that is shackled by crummy Verizon Wireless software. The biggest improvements here include the larger external display, which offers more functionality than before. The Octane also has a great feel in the hand, solid button performance all around, and excellent battery life.

Where the Octane suffers most is in the media performance department. The music software is downright awful, and the lack of support for 3.5mm headphones says loud and clear that LG doesn't expect people to use it as an MP3 player replacement. Worse, however, the camera shoots miserable photos and video. It's a shame that the performance here is so bad. Last, the browser boasted some usability enhancements, but was slow, slow, slow.

Where does the Octane excel? Text messaging is robust, and the addition of threaded SMS makes it a much better device than its predecessors. The email app performs well, as long as you don't mind paying extra for it, but the IM software is getting crusty. Social Networking is at least present, though limited in the form of iSkoot's Social Beat software.

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The LG Octane will be best for those who primarily focus on voice and text messages for communication. All the other features are passable, but not nearly as robust as on other handsets. While the "Octane" name conjures images of supercharged performance, this enV successor is packing low-grade diesel at best.

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