So much about the budget-priced LG Escape impresses, from the sharp screen to the slim build, zippy performance, and AT&T 4G LTE network. We expected a lower-end camera in the mix, but the combination of limited onboard storage and no provided way to install apps to the microSD card really hobbles the device for the average user.
With that in mind, is the LG Escape still worth considering for certain folks?
Quality components make for a very stellar Android experience here. It runs Jelly Bean (Android 4.1), the 1.2Ghz processor is very snappy, the display is quite good, and the battery life is very solid for a budget device. All told, the phone is much nicer than its price might suggest.
The slim build of the LG Escape also feels great in the hand. While the glossy backing plate won't be for everyone, the proportions feel just right. AT&T's 4G LTE service also steadily impressed during testing, both with data usage and phone call quality.
The storage issue is a major one, as the less-than-2GB actually available internally is the only space you'll have for apps and games. Anyone looking to play cutting edge, console-like games simply won't be able to in most cases. You won't have the space for the larger ones, and even if you tend towards smaller, casual games, you'll have to delete apps often to have enough free space handy.
Additionally, the 5-megapixel back camera is unremarkable, and while it'll take fair snapshots for quick sharing, we wouldn't recommend the Escape for anyone who makes mobile photography a priority. And while we like the feel of the device, the design is pretty simplistic and lacks a premium stylistic edge. That glossy back cover looks a bit cheap, for sure.
At first glance, the LG Escape seems like a sure thing for budget-minded buyers. It runs Android 4.1 extremely well, with a sharp screen, comfortable-feeling design, very solid battery life, and impressive 4G LTE service. For a device available for just a dollar with a two-year deal, it seems quite excellent in most respects.
But the storage problem is a deal-breaker, and a surprising one at that. We don't have an issue with a budget phone offering limited internal storage; we can drop $20 on a large microSD card. But the inability to install or move apps to the external storage means you'll never be able to snag larger apps unless LG addresses the limitation with an update.
For some, that might not be a huge concern. For many others, though, it'll be enough to dwarf the many positive features of the LG Escape, and it should push you to consider other devices – even if you need to shell out extra green upfront.