The Good The LG Extravert has a comfortable keyboard, Android-like customization options for the homescreen, and quirky extras like a graphing and eco-calculator.
The Bad The Extravert’s unresponsive screen is irritating, its smooth backing makes it difficult to grip, and there’s no designated call button.
The Bottom Line Aside from a few design flaws and a poor touchscreen, the LG Extravert is a solid feature phone that can execute basic tasks reliably and has good call quality.
Despite its name, the LG Extravert won’t be the life of a party. As a feature phone, of course, it won’t impress anyone who has the latest smartphone complete with all the bells and whistles. However, if you belong to a crowd that has an affinity for simple devices that can do their job dependably, this handset will do the trick.
With its 2.8-inch screen, slideout QWERTY keyboard, and 2-megapixel camera, the Extravert has all the basics covered. There are also some surprising features thrown in, like customizable widgets, a one-touch voice recorder, and interesting preloaded apps.
The device is available now for Verizon customers for $49.99 after you sign a two-year contract. And if you’re new to the network, you can get it for free.
The compact LG Extravert and measures 4.13 inches tall, 2.09 inches wide, and 0.62 inches thick. At only 4.3 ounces, it’s light and fits well in the hand. Because of its petite build, it slips easily in a jeans pocket. However, due to the keyboard lending some extra thickness, it does feel bulky at times.
The handset’s backing has a smooth plastic finish that has several grooves running across it for aesthetics. Not only does this material make the phone feel cheap, but also it makes it hard to grip. Especially when I tried pushing the keyboard out with one hand; the device would easily slip away from my fingers.
The plastic backing on the LG Extravert makes it too slick to hold at times.
On the left side of the phone is a Micro-USB port that covered by an attached door. Above that is a volume rocker. Up top is the sleep/lock button. Keep in mind that this is not the same thing as the power button. Next to it is a 3.5mm headphone jack. To the right of the handset is a shortcut key to access the camera.
On the back of the device is the 2-megapixel camera. To the right of it are a few open holes for the output speaker. On the bottom, there’s a small indent, which you can use to pry off the backing. Once it’s off, you’ll see the lithium-polymer 950 mAh battery. To the right of the battery is the microSD card slot, which holds cards up to 32GB.
The Extravert has a 2.8-inch WQVGA touch screen. With a resolution of only 400×240 pixels, and the ability to display up to 262,000 colors, don’t expect to see images with smooth edges and rich color. Because menu icons and widgets are simple, however, those graphics appear well displayed and crisp.
The screen itself isn’t very responsive, and it was frustrating when I tried to swipe through the different pages of the homescreen. Dragging widgets around on the homescreen to customize is a pain; because the screen isn’t very sensitive and doesn’t register touch well, moving items around is difficult.
Below the display are three small buttons. On the right is a send key, which brings up your call log. (I’d prefer a call button that’ll bring up the phone keypad instead.) In the middle is a voice and back button. If you’re on the homescreen and press the button once, the voice command feature pops up. Hold it down for a few seconds and you can begin recording audio. If you’re in an application and you press the same button though, it’ll go to the prior menu page. The right button is the end button, which takes you to the homescreen and doubles as the power button when you press it down for a few seconds.
The QWERTY keyboard underneath the device’s display has four rows of keys that light up when in use. In addition to that, there are four navigational arrows. There are a few shortcut keys as well. When you’re at the homescreen, the shift key takes you to texting, and the spacebar opens up a shortcut to your social-networking sites.
The LG Extravert’s is equipped with a four-row keyboard.
The sliding mechanism of the keyboard is sturdy and snappy. Of all the QWERTY handsets I’ve dealt with, I liked this one the best so far. The keys are well spaced out, appropriately sized, and easy to press. Keep in mind I have small hands, so somebody with larger fingers won’t have as easy of a time texting and typing.
The LG Extravert runs on a 1.9GHz processor and comes with some basic task management features. Under the Tools icon, you can access the device’s built-in voice command feature, tip and standard calculators, a calendar, an alarm clock, a phone book (that can hold up to a 1000 contacts), a stop watch, a world clock, and a notepad.
Some nifty extras include a simple graphing feature included in the calculator, an “eco-calculator,” which lets you figure out your carbon dioxide emissions while walking or biking (random, I know), and a rudimentary drawing pad. Although it’s not easy to use because of the unresponsive screen, the pad does give you five different stroke thicknesses and eight color options.