Pros: Seems durable, touch-screen, good voice reception, quick and accurate texting, cute ringtones.
Cons: Not easy to talk with the phone wedged between shoulder and ear.
My Pantech Breeze was EZ, Breezy and Beautiful. It lasted about 3 years, which is pretty good for a cell phone. That is, until about 6 months ago, when it began cutting off my phone calls mercilessly. I was unable to sustain a phone conversation, or hear more than every other word while talking on the Breeze, and texting took alot of effort due to the lack of a keyboard. I finally bought two LG Xpression Cell Phones ~ one to replace my daughter's defunct Pantech Pursuit, and a second one for myself, so I could make business and personal calls, in addition to texting my family members.
My daughter and I chose the LG Xpression because it seemed like the best "Quick Messaging" phone currently offered by AT&T. AT&T offers about four messaging phones for customers not interested in paying for a data plan. Ideally, we would each love a smart phone, but we are not willing to spring for data plans yet, and a messaging phone best suits our phone usage at this time. I've been using my Xpression for almost a month, which is long enough to decide how well I like using it and make a recommendation to potential buyers.
Here are the features and my opinion:
DESIGN & FUNCTION: Although not the coolest looking phone, this is fairly utilitarian, while sporting a hot red exterior and touch screen to elevate it from stone age status. The qwerty keyboard slides out and the keys are chiclet style. The touch screen is very responsive and features a desktop with useful icons. I customized the desktop with a notepad, calendar, dual time zone clock and photo album. You can toggle to another icon screen with Bluetooth, Clock, Camera, GPS and Music Player icons (I deleted the internet icons because I don't have a data plan). A third screen offers shortcuts to your favorite contacts for dialing or texting.
In general, I don't read directions as often as I attempt to figure things out on my own. So, I found this phone extremely easy to figure out as I setup the features. The settings are easy to find and customize. I especially like the four quick touch widgets that remain on the screen at all times. These are: Call, Contacts, Text and More.
In addition to the touch screen, there are Send and End keys, a headset jack & microphone, a Clear & Back/Voice Command Key, Camera Key, Power Button and a micro USB port for charging. The charger which comes with the phone can be converted into a USB cable for connecting the phone to your computer.
TALKING: So far, I find the sound quality for talking and listening very good on this phone. I award it four out of five stars for clarity and volume control. At my home, I commonly have fewer than four bars of reception, thanks to a mysterious cloud that obscures my coverage from AT&T Wireless. Despite the lack of bars, I haven't lost many calls while talking on the Xpression. In comparison, when talking on my Breeze, I was constantly dropping the connection and having to call people back.
Receiving calls requires either 1) Clicking on the Receive button or 2) Unlocking the touchscreen and clicking on "Accept" from the touchscreen. I prefer using the button, but sometimes I accidentally choose the End key and reject the call instead. This usually happens when the phone is in my purse and I'm rummaging around to retrieve it.
It's easy to dial using the onscreen keypad. Another way I like to call is by choosing the voice activation icon on the touchscreen and saying the name of the contact into the microphone. The phone says: "Did you say: <Contact Name>? General" Then I say "Yes" and the phone dials my contact. So far, the phone is pretty good at recognizing my voice and choosing the right contact.
TOUCH SCREEN: The touch screen is very responsive to scrolling and activating commands and contacts. It does lock very quickly, but it's quick and easy to unlock. On my old phone, I was always choosing the wrong function by accident. On this phone, I rarely find myself choosing the wrong function because the touch screen is so intuitively organized. I do click on the "END" button more often than I mean to, but I'm sure I will eventually stop doing that.
BATTERY LIFE: This phone lasts about 3-4 days on a charge. I think that's pretty good. It charges fully in several hours. The phone lets me know when it's charged up by telling me to unplug the charger.
USB Connection: You can charge this phone either in the wall or by plugging it into your laptop. (A car charger is sold separately). Plugging the phone into your USB port on your PC activates USB Connection Mode for Music Sync, Mass Storage or Data Service. Upon connecting via USB, the phone told me to insert a memory card. Sincer there is a micro-SD memory port underneath the back cover of the phone, I inserted the SanDisk Mobile microSD Card and tried to access the phone from my computer. However, despite trying several times, I am unable to accomplish anything with the USB port except for charge the phone.
CAMERA: I had taken two dozen photos over the last few weeks, mostly of my peach tree, rose bushes and spring blooms. I wanted to transfer these photos to my computer, so I copied the pictures to the microSD card using the phone's file management system. Then, I imported the photos to my computer and they look pretty good! The colors are bright and the focus is sharp. For a 2 megapixel photo, I am quite satisfied. I could also send the photos via the phone's message system, but I haven't tried doing that yet.
FINAL THOUGHTS: So far, I'm very happy with my Xpression and I especially enjoy texting my kids and husband with the keyboard. Messages are grouped into conversations, and it's easy to scroll through the recent calls and messages to find what I'm looking for. The phone predicts which word I am spelling after I type a few letters. So, I can compose texts that are spelled correctly very quickly! I no longer text messages like "r u thr?". Now I could text the Gettysburg address almost as quickly as I could type it on my computer. Not that I would text it that frequently...
The only thing I don't love is that it's kind of slippery, and I already dropped it once. When I dropped it, the back cover fell off and the battery fell out. I reassembled the phone and it seems fine. But I am looking for a rubberized cover to protect it. My daughter dropped hers several times as well, and her screen protector is now scratched. But, both of our phones still work, and they seem pretty durable and not flimsy. The slide out keyboard feels very secure. I also don't like talking "hands free" with this phone by resting it between my ear and neck (as you can do with a flip phone).
Overall, I think this phone rocks, especially for $49.99 after the mail-in rebate. I could have bought an iPhone for 1 cent, but that would have required me to pay for a monthly data plan. Instead, I only pay for unlimited texting and this phone doesn't require a data plan. Overall, if this lasts me for two years or more, I will be very satisfied! Bye bye Breeze, Hello LG!
Related: Review of AT&T Wireless Service and tips for avoiding overages.