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Review: LG Incite

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Menus Calls/Contacts Messaging  

LG has mixed up its own finger-touch user interface with that of Windows Mobile. The default home screen of the Incite is a Windows Mobile Today screen. You have all the stuff here that you'd expect, such as access to messages, call log, etc. Below the list of Today-oriented action items are five icons that take you to different phone functions: dial pad, contacts, messaging, favorites and the menu. These five icons are finger friendly. What's goofy is there are also two regular, WinMo software buttons at the bottom of the screen, for calendar and contacts. They are where you'd expect any soft-key related button to be.

If you hit the menu button, you'll be taken to the touch-based finger UI that we've seen on other LG phones. Running along the right side of the display are five different tabs. Tap a tab to go to a different menu. The five tabs are for the phone, multimedia, tools, settings, and a home button that takes you back to the Today screen. Each tab has between 9 and 12 different selections in it. All the icons are finger friendly, and you can also choose to use the jog dial to move the selector around.

The way LG groups activities into its finger-based touch UI makes sense for the most part. I had more trouble than I wanted to in finding the right way to make adjustments to the appearance of the home screen. Most other applications were easy enough to find, though.

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If you want to look at menus the way Microsoft makes 'em, feel free to tap the Start button.

There's one real big problem with the entire menu system. There's no "back" key. No physical button, no software key that I could find. This means you have no way to jump back to the previous screen. You have to use the "end" key to go all the way back out to the Today screen and start over. This is simply infuriating. I can't understand such an omission from a phone.

You can, however, press the "OK" button, which is wedged in the very top right corner of the Incite's screen. Hitting OK will close the current window. This often takes you back to the previous screen. It's a bit small, if you ask me, and is not immediately intuitive. It doesn't appear that LG made the "clickable" area larger to make this "OK" button any easier to use.


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