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Hands On with the LG X max

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Sep 2, 2016, 10:07 AM   by Eric M. Zeman

The LG X max handset's claim to fame is its huge 5.5-inch screen. This rather vanilla-looking smartphone is meant for unending video streaming. Here are our initial impressions.

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The X max is a big phone. The 5.5-inch screen pushes the footprint out to 5.95 inches tall and a whopping 3.03 inches wide, but LG thankfully kept the device rather thin at 7.2mm. The X max is a big phone.

The phone's style is rather understated. It is white up up front and around back, but the two panels are split by a chrome frame that wraps around the side edges. There are some nice curves to the phone's face at the top and bottom ends. That's as far as LG went to dress up the phone, which is otherwise rather boring.


You can tell the X max is a mid-range device. The materials are of so-so quality. The plastics feel a bit creaky to me. There's no doubt this phone is a two-hander. Anything that pushes past about 2.75 inches wide becomes difficult to use one handed — and the X max is way past that point. It is very light, which I appreciate, but stuffing it into pockets may be problematic.

The screen is gorgeous. The expansive piece of glass gives you plenty of real estate to view YouTube clips and movies. I found the display to be plenty bright and the resolution is just fine. There are no physical buttons; LG prefers on-screen buttons. A chrome-accented grille sets atop the glass for the earpiece, and the user-facing camera and sensor array are plainly visible.

My fingers easily found the volume toggle on the left edge, where it protrudes nicely. The button has sharp travel and feedback that I thought was pleasing. The same is true of the screen lock button on the other side. It has a great profile. The USB port and headphone jack are on the bottom.

The back surface is deadly boring. There is an incredibly fine texture to the white plastic, but it's all but impossible to see unless the phone is close to your eyes. The camera module sticks up just a little bit, with the flash set off to the right. LG's signature butterfly-shaped speakerphone grille is in the bottom-left corner. Believe it or not, the rear panel and the 2,800mAh battery can be removed.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon chipset offered plenty of power for the phone, which had no trouble firing up Youtube and playing some clips from the latest X-Men movie.

No U.S. carriers have announced plans to sell this phone. As far as phablets go, it covers the basics.

About the author, Eric M. Zeman:

Eric has been covering the mobile telecommunications industry for 17 years at various print and online publications. He studied at Rutgers Newark and University of Kentucky, and has a degree in writing. He likes playing guitar, attending concerts, listening to music, and driving sports cars.

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