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Hands-on with the LG Muziq

Chris Ziegler

Forgetting the obviously Chocolate-inspired exterior for just a moment (Verizon will be hearing none of that, thank you very much), the LG Muziq is Sprint's latest entry into the booming midrange musicphone market. The EV-DO data, stereo Bluetooth, 1.3 megapixel camera, microSD slot, and FM transmitter are all carryovers from the Muziq's most direct predecessor -- the Fusic -- but it's hard to argue that the new model hasn't made huge strides in its visual appeal, losing the aerial and trading up to a glossy black shell. And, oh yeah, the price is down to $99 on contract, too -- an $80 drop from the Fusic's initial go-to-market sticker. Needless to say, for tunes on the cheap, it's a good time to be in the market.

Gallery: Hands-on with the LG Muziq | 16 Photos

For better or worse, anyone familiar with Sprint's standard featurephone UI will feel right at home on the Muziq. It was a bit laggy at times, but not quite to the point where we wanted to throw it at a wall at high velocity. The music player is an extraordinarily basic Java-based one -- kinda odd for a phone named "Muziq," we reckon -- but it got the job done.

Stereo sound quality was average to good using the included headphone adapter along with our own midrange 'buds. The Muziq bucks one of the latest industry fads, dual loudspeakers, though we found that its single speaker adjacent to the external controls was plenty loud and reasonably clear. We also had luck pairing the Muziq with a Motorola S9 to rock out with stereo Bluetooth; sound quality was about on par with wired headphones.

The Muziq's physical controls are a mixed bag. The external touch sensitive music controls were actually a pleasure to use, thanks largely to haptic feedback (call us simpletons, but getting a little "bzzt" every time you touch a key just never gets old). The volume rocker is another story, though -- LG inexplicably put the thing on the top half of the flip, making it difficult to reach while on a call or listening to music with the flip open. There's plenty of blank space along both sides of the bottom half, so we're really not too sure what LG was thinking here. As for the main keypad, we'd give it a six on a ten scale; the entire thing is a flat sheet, so tactile feedback is kept to a minimum, but we really didn't find ourselves mistyping at all.

Bottom line: would we use this as our day-to-day DAP? Heck no. But is it a serviceable, comfortable phone that we could see ourselves occasionally carrying some tuneage on? Sure. And for $99, we're not sure you can go wrong.

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