Name: LG DoublePlay
Price: $49.99 with two year contract from T-Mobile
- Second screen
- Slide out keyboard
- Bad battery life
The LG DoublePlay is the world’s first phone to feature two touch screens and a slide out QWERTY keyboard. The second screen is nestled between the split keyboard and offers users a chance to use both screens for different tasks.
The LG DoublePlay isn’t the best phone ever made, and I don’t believe it is trying to be. What it is, is an innovative design that have a lot of potential. The second screen truly allows you to multitask, but is limited by the apps that are compatible with the new format. The interesting concept is overshadowed by an uninspired look and feel.
No matter how you cut it the DoublePlay is short and stubby. Just because a phone has a slide out keyboard doesn’t give LG a free pass to make this phone so thick and heavy. That being said the slide out keyboard slides with a hearty clunk, and typing is no problem on the four row keyboard. Even though the DoublePlay is heavy if feels like a it is make mostly of plastic, and is wrapped in a soft touch material.
I’m of the belief that in order for Android to run well it needs at least a 1 Ghz processor, and luckily for the DoublePlay that is exactly what is under the hood. The DoublePlay isn’t going to win any races in terms of speed, but it has enough horse power to provide a good experience. Apps and games load up just fine, and browing the custom LG home screens was smooth.
The main screen is a low resolution 3.5 inches, and it is easy to tell just how low resolution the screen is. The smaller 2 inch screen actually looks better than it’s big brother, but isn’t as responsive. I imagine that if LG opted to use a 4inch high quality display that would not only make navigating the phone easier, but it would also allow for more screen but but also fa five row QWERTY slide out instead of the current four row.
The battery life is less than optimal on the DoublePlay. The battery isn’t particularly large at 1500 mAh, and with two screens to power the lifespan isn’t too long. With normal use I would barely be able to make it home on a single charge. Even with trying to just use the main screen battery life still wasn’t amazing.
The DoublePlay bucks the trend of smartphones with front and rear cameras. LG decided to forego the formality of a front facing camera, and stuck with just a 5 megapixel camera on the rear. The pictures produced aren’t masterpieces, but look fine when uploaded to either Facebook or Twitter.
The DoublePlay features a T-Mobile’s “4G” HSPA+ antenna. The data speeds were on par with HSPA+, and would consistently out preform my 3G daily driver. You also get Bluetooth, GPS, and Wi-Fi per usual with Android phones.
I enjoyed my time with the LG DoublePlay, even though it can hardly be called a top tier device. Sure there are faster, thinner, and lighter phones but this phone offers something that no one else can. I think the second screen offers a purely unique user experience, and with some more work it could really turn some heads. Unfortunately this neat device is buried in a cocoon of an oversized phone. There really is no excuse for the DoublePlay to be as thick or heavy as it is. When you see phones like the Samsung Focus S that are super thin and flat it makes you think of the potential this form factor has in the future. I would happily recommend this phone for anyone who wants Android on a budget, and someone who plans on doing a bunch of messaging.