LG’s MUZIQ is the successor to the very-popular FUSIC. Does it make things better, or worse? Read more to find out.
First Impressions, General Phone Functionality
The MUZIQ at first glance obviously takes cues from the RAZR. In fact, it’s a good composite of the FUSIC and RAZR. Unfortunately, LG made some tradeoffs in order to pack all these components into a thinner enclosure. Like the VX8600 on Verizon and Alltel, the LX570 is very long, we suspect because they chose to make the phone longer as opposed to thicker. For most uses, that’s okay, but the phone does feel a bit odd in the hand, it’s about a half-inch shorter than Apple’s iPhone… and the MUZIQ isn’t trying to have a touch screen.
It does however have a touch-sensitive music controls. At first, we were concerned about this. The FUSIC had a traditional set of music controls, and these controls looked very similar to the VX8500 Chocolate, which had an awful touch sensitive keypad. Thankfully, LG has improved. The music controls require arming via a keyguard (holding the camera key). But, even better, the phone has haptics. When you press one of the music keys, you are given a vibration to acknowledge the key press. This is crucial, and makes the MUZIQ’s music controls work very well.
With phone makers constantly trying to reinvent the wheel on keypads, it’s nice to see LG take a more traditional approach with the MUZIQ. The keys are all black, standard plastic, and give a nice tactile response. Our only complaint with the keypad is its size… the keys are very large which makes speed dialing some times difficult. I had to stretch my thumb to reach the top softkey, despite the keypad running almost all the way to the bottom of the phone. The MUZIQ is a large flip-phone, but the keys didn’t need to be even more gigantic.
The LX570 MUZIQ is thin, but it’s also very tall…
Call quality was fine, the phone did have issues with fringe reception, it certainly does not have best-in-class reception, but also nothing to complain about. Audio quality was very good across earpiece, speakerphone, and Bluetooth headsets.
Advanced Phone Functionality
Like all other Sprint phones, Sprint has disabled the media player for use on Sprint TV, replacing it with their Java-based viewer. But, there’s more-justified outrage with the changes on this phone. The MUZIQ arrived with the Sprint TV application already built-in to the device. Yet, still, the same woes are present… you cannot watch Sprint TV with the flip closed, and you cannot listen to Sprint TV over Stereo Bluetooth headphones.
It is now technically better to install Orb on your PC, plug in a cheap TV tuner, and stream Live TV (for free) from your PC. Orb works great on the MUZIQ, and you can watch Live TV with Stereo Bluetooth (though closing the flip does wind up qutting the player).
We aren’t going to hold this against the MUZIQ. Sprint is doing this on all their phones. However, Sprint is putting ease-of-use over feature sets. If the Sprint Music Store can work fine with A2DP and the FM Transmitter… why can’t Sprint TV? At least it’s worth noting that the MUZIQ continues the feature set of the FUSIC, and is the only Sprint phone (if not the only phone in America) to have a built-in FM transmitter, for listing to music wirelessly using your car’s stereo.
On one bad note, we couldn’t get A2DP working. Granted, we didn’t test it very much… our A2DP assortment is limited to first-generation Logitech headphones. Others haven’t reported similar problems, so we’re chalking it up to our specific combo.
On a really bad note though, GPS on the MUZIQ is downright terrible. And it appears to be the MUZIQ’s fault this time. Garmin Mobile was downright unusable. As in, 9 times out of 10 the program wouldn’t get a GPS lock, wouldn’t route, or would just freeze up completely. Sprint Navigation worked better, but still had issues with verifying account, getting a GPS lock, and maintaining a GPS lock. Considering that both GPS navigation applications have issues, it is more likely that there are issues with LG’s gpsOne and J2ME implementation when it comes to JSR-179 (GPS Navigation) tasks.
The LX570 has a good-quality CMOS camera, coming in at 1.3 megapixels. But, as usual, megapixels don’t really matter, it’s the quality of the photo. As shown below, the LX570 takes pictures adequate for a high-end device, but still nothing above par.
The Drop Test
As usual, we drop phones from pant-pocket level onto sidewalk. After all, if your phone can’t survive a drop from there, do you really want to use it? The MUZIQ took most of the damage to the bottom of the phone, causing a few millimeter-wide dents in the phone. The smooth paint job is stripped down to rough plastic. However, the black plastic under the black paint makes this not so noticeable.
The MUZIQ comes really close to being a top-notch phone. Slightly less than exceptional reception, and buggy GPS bring it down a notch. Still, the MUZIQ is a very good phone, and a good replacement to the FUSIC. However, FUSIC owners probably won’t see a significant reason to upgrade.
Pros: Music-centric controls, good general functionality and reliability. FM Transmitter still only in a phone…
Cons: Unreliable GPS, boxy feel, bit tall.
Final Score: 4/5