LG Enlighten

Text messaging is a fairly straightforward affair with the LG Enlighten.

There is traditional SMS as well as picture and video MMS, all neatly laid out in threaded bubbles reminiscent of iOS.

Multimedia messages can be added from pictures, videos, the onboard camera, audio, slideshow or even vCard contacts, and we had no trouble sending or receiving between devices on multiple carriers.

LG Enlighten Google Voice

The standard suite of Google apps comes preinstalled and that includes Google Talk, while others such as Google Voice can be downloaded from the Play Store (formerly Android Market).

As usual, Google Voice integrates nicely with the operating system here, allowing users the choice of placing calls or sending text messages through the carrier or Voice, with the option to choose a default method of your own liking.

Otherwise, the LG Enlighten is refreshingly free of any preinstalled apps for messaging, although all of the usual suspects can be downloaded from Google's Play Store, including Facebook, Twitter or any number of IM chat clients.

Internet

Verizon's aging CDMA network isn't exactly legendary for offering zippy 3G data speeds, so we weren't expecting all that much from the LG Enlighten. Big Red's EVDO Rev 0 failed to make much of an impression here.

LG Enlighten

Using the free Speedtest.net app, we barely cracked 0.75Mbps download and 0.64Mbps upload over 3G.

Those numbers are a far cry from what we'd equate with the term 3G, especially in this day and age.

As usual, your mileage will vary depending upon where you're located (in our region, AT&T tends to rule the speed roost).

LG Enlighten Wifi

Switching back to Wi-Fi, the LG Enlighten fared better, but the handset is clearly not taking full advantage of everything a network has to offer.

Our AT&T U-verse broadband easily hits 16Mbps down and 1.4Mbps up on the desktop, but the Enlighten eked out roughly 5Mbps down and around 1Mbps up.

We were also similarly unimpressed by the stock Gingerbread browser, which was creaky to load and display pages, but often equally slow at scrolling.

LG Enlighten Netflix

The browser scored an unimpressive 9665.8ms on the SunSpider JavaScript 0.9.1 benchmark while chugging along with 114 on the Peacekeeper test – half the speed of a Samsung Galaxy S II.

The Enlighten also touts "Flash 10 Support" as a key feature.

Suffice it to say, the LG Enlighten is aimed at only casual internet users – yes, you can connect, surf the web and maybe even watch some streaming video, but you're definitely not getting the best experience available.

We put this theory to the test with the Netflix app and were able to play video smoothly over Verizon's 3G, but with a great deal of quality loss.