Review: LG Lucid fails as easy-to-use, fine for the smartphone-savvy
BY ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 02, 2012
8/05/12 at 8:22 AM
As LG and Verizon Wireless are billing the Lucid as easy-to-use for smartphone novices, I figured I might not be the best person to test it out. After all, I've reviewed far too many smartphones.
That's why I cajoled my very understanding mother-in-law, Betty Jacob, into trying it out for me. Although she's a talented woman, digital technology isn't her strong suit. If anyone could tell me whether the phone was genuinely easy to use, it was her.
Unfortunately, the Lucid got off on the wrong foot before we even turned it on - the battery was packed separately from the phone in the box. It's a small thing but not exactly something that would encourage first-timer users. I popped it in myself to spare Betty the frustration.
The Lucid runs a modified version of Android's Gingerbread operating system. One thing that hasn't changed much is the lengthy setup process.
Betty was hit with page after page of notifications, warnings, options, requests for account information and legalese that didn't make a lick of sense to a newcomer. After a dozen pages of this, I think she was ready to chuck the phone into the wall.
Finally, we finished with that and got to the main Android screen. The Lucid quickly mentions a couple of ways to move apps and customize each screen, but any assistance came to an abrupt end after that.
There was no explanation of what each of the icons did. No direction to the dozens of additional features accessible only through the "apps" icon. No clue that you could open several apps directly from the lock screen. Not even a hint that those funny-looking symbols on the bottom of every Android phone might actually do something.
When I directed Betty to access specific functions, she was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of seemingly random symbols and options. Her tapping only occasionally got her where she wanted to go, and in the process she accidentally opened up several screens that I never knew existed.
Betty was baffled. Through her eyes I could understand just how intimidating smartphones could be to people who didn't grow up in the age of personal digital technology. And other than the few tips at the beginning, the Lucid didn't make the experience any easier for her.
Although it utterly fails as a newbie-friendly experience, the Lucid is actually a nice phone for those with some smartphone savvy. It's packing a speedy processor; a sharp screen; a quick, quality camera; 4G LTE capabilities; and even a stylish body - all for a surprisingly low price of $79.99. Nothing about it feels cheap.
It's too bad LG didn't make the effort to ensure the phone was as easy to use as advertised. After the frustrating experience, I don't think Betty will ever touch a smartphone again.
Pros: Fast processor, crisp screen,
quick camera, great price
Cons: Older version of Android, confusing
for first-time users
Original Print Headline: 'Easy to use' phone misses mark
Robert Evatt 918-581-8447
On-screen help ended far too quickly to assist those with no smartphone experience get acquainted with the LG Lucid's functions. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World
Although not as easy to use as advertised, the LG Lucid is a nice smartphone at a good price, and nothing about it feels cheap. MATT BARNARD/Tulsa World