Verizon just released another rare model of keyboarded Android phones, the LG Enact, selling for a measly $19.99 with a two-year contract ($349.99 on a month-to-month plan). This Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) LG Enact offers a slider keyboard with a nice tactile feel and a top number row of buttons. The keyboard slides easily and locks firmly into place, as it should. The onscreen keypad has the now-standard multi-function keys, so you can hold in a letter to type a number or symbol.
The Enact’s 1.2 GHz dual-core processor gives it very zippy performance, and 8 GB of internal memory should provide plenty of app space. You can add a microSD card of up to 64 GB for storing your pictures and videos.
A slider keyboard unavoidably adds a bit of thickness, but at 4.37″ by 2.06″ by .62″ and 5.99 oz, the Enact still fits nicely in a pocket. The smallish display helps keep the phone’s weight comparable to its non-keyboarded competition. Voice recognition works really well, too.
The Enact sports some impressive battery life, going a couple of days without charging under moderate usage. Significant video watching or game playing can suck battery life, as can numerous picture or video uploads to Dropbox. If you plan to take a lot of pictures, you can turn off Dropbox auto-upload temporarily and turn it back on later, when you can connect the phone to its charger. Launching the Mobile Hotspot app generates a warning message that the feature can drain battery life, but connecting one device for light usage for around two hours barely budged the battery meter.
The Enact’s 5 MP rear-facing camera takes decent photos and has a plethora of settings, but the default auto white balance setting makes for slightly discolored tinted indoor photos without flash. You’ll either want to make sure to set the flash to “on” (rather than “auto”) for indoor photos, or change the white balance setting to “incandescent” or “florescent.” Additionally, the camera also has a “say cheese” camera function, but it’s fairly sensitive, so turning it off unless you need it to take a particular photo is a good idea. The camera has also has some other cool features, too, such as Time Catch Shot (a.k.a. continuous shutter, for taking a bunch of photos back to back without repeatedly pressing the button).
The Enact can take nice HD videos up to 1080p with the rear-facing camcorder. However, the front-facing camera and camcorder record VGA, and the display shows VGA rather than HD. You can edit your videos right on the phone, with the included Video Wiz and Video Editor apps. The 4″ display looks great for reading messages and articles, playing games or watching videos, and the touchscreen maneuvers smoothly. you’re also able to easily read messages and play games in bright sunlight, with or without sunglasses, on the Enact, after disabling auto brightness and increasing the brightness to the highest level.
The Enact comes loaded with plenty of software, like the Amazon apps. The included Polaris Office app lets you work with MS Office compatible files on the go. With Wireless Storage, File Share Wi-Fi Direct and Smart Share, you can share your files with compatible devices and even manage files from your computer using Wi-Fi instead of USB. The included Q Translator app lets you take a photo of a text document in any of 44 different languages and translate it.
The Conclusion: The LG Enact offers an excellent choice among the slim pickings of keyboarded smart phones. It adeptly handles common smart phone tasks while holding onto battery life better than many of its peers.
Check out Phone Arena’s video review…