Every once in a while, I come across something like the LG Intuition that makes me go "Huh?"
At first I thought, "A mini tablet. Nifty." Then I noticed the phone icon.
"OK, a really big phone," I thought. Then I saw the stylus and the "LG Tag+ Smart Tags," and realized this wasn't your run-of-the-mill Android device.
The first thing to get my attention was the screen – at 5 inches it dwarfs most phones but is smaller than tablets. There's an 8 megapixel camera – trademark of a high-end phone.
Its 1.5MHz dual-core processors give it enough horsepower to handle tablet tasks, but there are phones that can match it.
The software isn't typical, though. It features a selection of widgets and a robust notepad application that takes advantage of the stylus. Although neither the stylus nor note-taking apps are anything new or revolutionary, it's been some time since I've seen a stylus included with a device that has smartphone capability.
I have mixed feelings about the stylus. On the one hand, it is useful and it's better for writing tasks and making notes. It also allows for more precise selection of links or buttons on full-size websites.
But there's nowhere to put the stylus when it's not in use. In the past there usually was built-in storage, which helped prevent loss.
Another unique feature is the inclusion of LG Tag+ tags – small stickers that incorporate "Smart Tags," that use the device's Near Field Communications capability to activate certain features. The Intuition came with two LG Tag+ stickers – one labeled Office, and the other labeled Car. The idea is that you can place one of these tags in your car, and the other in the office. When you place the phone on the tag, certain functions are enabled – in the case of the Car tag, probably GPS navigation, Bluetooth, etc.
One thing I really liked about the Intuition is that it seems designed to take advantage of the way I actually use a smartphone.
So would I buy one? Probably. Even though it's about a third wider than a typical smartphone, the extra real estate is quite handy.
It also fits comfortably in a pocket, and for as often as I actually use the phone as a phone, the size really isn't a burden. The LG Intuition costs $199.99 with a contract, and $599.99 without.
Nick DeLorenzo is director of interactive and new media for The Times Leader. E-mail him at email@example.com.