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The LG DoublePlay is a unique phone that, if nothing else, tries to do something different. When it works, the dual-screens let you multitask at an unprecedented and entirely awesome pace.
Unfortunately, its uses are so sparse, that the novelty of the DoublePlay starts to wear thin, quickly. The phone is quite a bit too big and bulky, so everyday tasks like making calls and browsing the Web become too cumbersome.
The dual-screen does afford some extra functionality – namely, texting or taking notes on the small screen while you perform other tasks on the main screen. And when you're done using the physical keyboard, it's handy being able to slide up the phone keyboard and use the virtual keyboard.
Apps generally ran fast, and we had no problems visiting sites (except a few that buckled under their own large Flash animations).
The LG DoublePlay felt bulky and heavy by the end of the day. The battery can't match the longevity of comparable models.
The camera did not provide enough clarity for photos or video, and did not include enough settings to fake good picture-taking.
Typing on the split-screen was a bit cumbersome and, perhaps most unforgivable of all, the small display frequently had no functionality in conjunction with apps. There was no way to know what was supported, aside from opening each app.
The LG DoublePlay gets extra points for doing something almost entirely different. For some, the second screen will be a productive aid.
However, at the end of the day the second screen feels more like a mistake than a revolution, and as an everyday phone, the DoublePlay just doesn't cut it.
It's too bulky, too unintuitive, and too low-tech to be anything besides a gimmick.
John Brandon has covered gadgets and cars for the past 12 years having published over 12,000 articles and tested nearly 8,000 products. He's nothing if not prolific. Before starting his writing career, he led an Information Design practice at a large consumer electronics retailer in the US. His hobbies include deep sea exploration, complaining about the weather, and engineering a vast multiverse conspiracy.