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LG Mach for Sprint hands-on (update: video)

Brad Molen
10.09.12
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The Motorola Photon Q just a little too pricey for your QWERTY-loving taste buds? Sprint's newest device, the LG Mach, was announced this morning at MobileCon 2012 to add another full physical keyboard option to its mid-range lineup. Despite the fact that its name doesn't contain the dreaded "4G LTE" moniker, it certainly still has the high-speed capability built-in. We still haven't been given the pricing or availability, aside from "this fall."

This particular keyboard-clad handset isn't going to turn any heads in terms of specs, but they aren't lackluster either: 1.2GHz dual-core Snapdragon S4 MSM8960 processor, 1GB RAM, a 4-inch WVGA display, 1,700mAh battery, VGA front-facing cam, 5MP rear camera capable of 1080p video recording, Bluetooth 4.0 and Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich. With a thickness of 12.1mm (0.48 inches), it's one of the thinnest QWERTY devices you can find on the market. It's also on the lighter side for the form factor, weighing in at 5.92 ounces (168g). Despite these dimensions and a faux-metal (read: plastic) battery cover, it feels surprisingly well-built. And just like Sprint's Optimus G and the Motorola Photon Q, you won't find any carrier-specific branding anywhere on the outside of the device -- unfortunately, you also won't see any SIM slots either, although you'll find a microSD slot to enhance the 8GB internal storage.

Check out our gallery below, as well as our video and few last impressions past the break.

Gallery: LG Mach for Sprint hands-on | 17 Photos

The keyboard is surprisingly nice to use, with just enough give and bounce to make it easy and quick to type on. The individual keys are spaced out in such a way that prevents our fingers from mashing on multiple buttons when typing fast, yet they're not too far apart to make for a more awkward messaging experience. We were also pleased to see a dedicated number row. A hardware camera button fortunately graces the right edge of the phone, but it's single-detent, which means you won't be able to lock focus or exposure manually (continuous autofocus is offered instead). All in all, the Mach doesn't pretend to be anything other than what it is -- a mid-range QWERTY phone -- and seems to meet those expectations in terms of overall performance.

Myriam Joire contributed to this report.

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