The LG Motion 4G is a tough phone to call. On one hand, the idea of a budget phone that runs Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich is exciting, mouth-watering, even.

LG Motion 4G review

We liked

The Motion 4G defies convention for a phone that runs a modern flavor of the OS by being so small. It's nice to have something that's compact enough to toss in a bag and forget about, but sports ICS and 4G data speeds.

LG Motion 4G review

The processor is up for the job, for the most part, and when it comes to taking pictures and shooting video, you have a wealth of software options. Those 4G download speeds were true to form as well.

Finally, there maybe bloatware, but it can be uninstalled, which is awfully kind compared to most carrier policies.

We disliked

Inside the Motion 4G, you'll find some of the most redundant bloatware imaginable. Some of the offerings will seriously confuse novices, but again, at least it can all be uninstalled. Whether newbies will be able to figure this out is an entirely different matter. Then there's LG's Optimus 3.0 UI, a mostly pointless coat of gloss that can thankfully be adjusted.

LG Motion 4G review

All those nice photography software options are wasted on a low-end 5-megapixel camera. But, all things considered, it's not any worse than what most budget handsets are capable of.

While the download speeds camer through, location services were unreliable. The Motion 4G was generally not able to recognize where it was.

Finally, when actually making phone calls, the Motion 4G came up short. Even though few people actually use smartphones for talking, that's hard to forgive.

Verdict

The LG Motion 4G is not so bad, but could be much better in many regards. Despite running Android 4.0: Ice Cream Sandwich with a 1.2GHz dual-core, it's still a rather middling option.

There's carrier bloatware throughout phone, and a low resolution display that mars the fast video and web 4G service provides. Despite all the software niceties on camera, it's only 5-megapixels, so it's never going to take great shots.

If you're dead set on 4G service without a contract, you could do worse than the Motion 4G, but you could also do better. The Samsung Exhibit II 4G delivers 4G service from T-Mobile at a similar price point, but without the locations services trouble we had with the Motion. Alas, it is an Android 2.3: Gingerbread device, so you won't be scoring the latest apps.