Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Quick Look: Sprint Muziq by LG

Back in May, my now 12 year-old son took a look at the Sprint UpStage handset from Samsung, which showed a lot of promise on a wave of industry buzz, but ultimately failed to deliver in many areas of real world usage.

I'm guessing the lukewarm response to the UpStage prompted the Sprint Ambassador Program to get a more multimedia-friendly handset into the hands of its participants.

So when they offered up the Muziq by LG to test, I jumped at the opportunity, and more importantly, my son did as well. He wasn't a big fan of the UpStage up to the point where he wouldn't even carry it when we dragged him along on errands, etc.

The sleek looking Muziq seemed like a nice upgrade to his favorite handset so far, the Sprint Fusic by LG, so he was really looking forward to see if it was an improvement.

From a design standpoint, the Muziq lacks the fun, playfulness of the Fusic and its nano-esque changeable color faceplates. It's more grown up looking in black and grey, which makes it less distinguishable from the other clamshells on the market. It is also thin and light almost to the point of feeling too delicate.

The Muziq comes with a proprietary USB cable for syncing music with a PC via Sprint's music manager software. We rarely use it as my son prefers obtaining music over the air from the Sprint Music Store.

My pet peeve about the Muziq and other Sprint multimedia handsets I've tested is the inability to charge the handset with the USB cable. It shouldn't be that hard should it?

Anyway, my son wrote up his thoughts on the Muziq:

I was a big fan of the original Fusic; its features set the standard for me, while its quirky design captured my, and my friends’ attention. Because of this, when I learned that I would soon be receiving the Muziq I was very excited.

When it came, however, I was underwhelmed by its bland, non-interchangeable design. While setting up the phone with ease, I noticed no changes in the interface. My observations were further verified after checking the music, my content, and camera menu items. Although, once I reached the TV option, I instantly realized some sleek changes in the interface.

The quality of the video had improved by a lot and the streaming video was a pretty cool feature. But just the improvements in the TV section are not enough to make me want to like, or more importantly, buy the Muziq instead of its predecessor. It would seem though, that in order to make these great changes to Sprint TV, one would have to subtract from the overall features of the phone.

The amount of games offered for the phone have dwindled since the Fusic, the camera’s screen can no longer be viewed from the sub-display, and the effects offered on the camera have also dropped in numbers. Overall, this phone does not reach my expectations as a sequel to the Fusic.

Overall: 8/10
Wow, I just read this for the first time after cutting and pasting it into the review. Even though he gave it an 8 rating, the boy can be pretty harsh when he wants. Maybe he gets it from me.....

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