You probably haven't heard about this new touch-screen smartphone, LG's Incite. That's a shame, because it's terrific, especially if you get your email through a Microsoft ( MSFT) Windows Exchange Server. In that case, it should be on your shopping short list. AT&T's ( T) Incite is LG's first U.S. smartphone. It's a slim, sleek, silver design with a blacked-out screen (which takes up nearly the entire front of the handset). It measures 4.2 by 2.2 by 0.55 inches and weighs 4.23 ounces. It is a quad-band (850/900/1800/1900 MHz), 3G (850, 1900, 2100 MHz, UMTS/HSDPA) world phone. The Incite runs on version 6.1 of the Windows Mobile operating system and has a microSD memory card slot for extra storage. There's a 3 megapixel camera for stills and video. The rechargeable battery is said to be good for up to 8.7 hours of talk time and up to 21 days of standby. The Incite's battery was easily able to last for two full days of use (heavy use) before needing recharging. That's far better than Apple's ( AAPL) iPhone 3G, Research In Motion's ( RIMM) BlackBerry Storm or T-Mobile's ( DT) G-1 Google ( GOOG) phone which, if you use judicially, might give you a day's worth of juice.
Also included is Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g), Bluetooth (2.0), GPS (all tested and work beautifully), Windows Media Player (10), Microsoft Mobile Office with cut/paste functions (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Xpress Mail (Microsoft Outlook, Lotus Notes, Yahoo! ( YHOO) Mail, AOL ( TWX), instant messaging (AOL, Yahoo!, Microsoft Windows Live) CV (Cellular Video), XM ( XMSR) Satellite Radio, all sorts of games and much, much more.
Excited About the LG Incite
Incite's screen measures 3 inches diagonally (240 by 240 pixels, QVGA) and can be viewed either vertically or horizontally. Inputting on the screen is different from doing so on the iPhone or the Storm. The iPhone is the easiest (and has the best spelling-recognition software) followed by the Storm. The Incite is not as refined as either of the others I just mentioned, but it is the best touch-screen design I've ever had the pleasure of using. As with the BlackBerry Storm, in the horizontal mode you're presented with a QWERTY keyboard when you need to type. There's a Pearl-style, two-letters-per key, 20-key, XT9 keypad system when you type in the vertical mode. Once you get used to the screen/touch feedback feel, you can fly on the keys while typing. If you wish, there are other input options, including a character-recognition program called Transcriber. For the record, the Incite does not come with a stylus, but a thumbwheel to the right of the screen helps you navigate. When it came to using the Incite, everything worked as it was supposed to -- a giant feat in and of itself. This was the first phone to receive a 3G signal in my eastern Long Island test center. That's especially amazing because, according to its map, my location is outside of AT&T's 3G coverage area. No other cell/smart phone has ever done that. And another feature to note, Incite's battery life was astounding. I got two full days of heavy use before needing to recharge. Not many other full-featured handsets can come close.
As for the price, AT&T is marketing LG's Incite for $199.99 (after a $100 mail-in rebate) along with signing up for a two-year service contract. That makes it similar in price to an 8GB iPhone and Verizon's ( VZ) BlackBerry Storm. Overall, I've been very pleasantly surprised by the Incite and can highly recommend it. I hope LG continues to make and refine smartphones for the U.S. market. That would be a good thing for consumers and the industry.