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The LG eXpo has been out for a few months already (see review) so it's about time some people gave it the traditional 'unofficial' upgrade. Work on a custom ROM and kitchen finally had a break through a few weeks ago at XDA and this past weekend, the first stripped down/improved ROM became available.

XDA user Dark9781 has released his 'Dragonstorm' ROM which brings the following:

  • WM6.5.3 (23563, w/threaded email)
  • Removed AT&T bloatware, LG Idles
  • 187MB Storage/73MB Program 
  • Office 2010
  • .NET CF 3.7 (removed/updated .NET CF 2.0)
  • Added a few minor apps (tip calculator)
  • Various tweaks (still needs LG Expo Tweaker though)

We've been running it for the last 24 hours and we have to give it a big thumbs up (see image to the left). Seeing as the eXpo doesn't have a Windown flag/Start button, having the new one in 6.5.3 near the bottom makes the device much easier to use. The device is noticeably faster, has much more RAM/ROM space available and is just much more organized without all the carrier nonsense

To upgrade, you'll want to follow the directions in this thread. Then download the .exe file from this post and run through the installation. During the install, let it install to the default directory and there's a good chance you'll have to install the USB drivers/restart before you flash. The whole process maybe took 10 minutes and LG phones have a reputation of being nearly "brick proof", so there shouldn't be to much concern. The ROM kitchen is also now available for others to make their own ROMs.

Now the big question: when can we get some Sense 2.5 action with that Snapdragon 1Ghz processor?

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LG VS750 headed to Verizon?

LG's VS750 may be headed to Verizon Wireless, becoming the wireless carrier's first LG Windows Phone. The VS750 sports a 3.2" WVGA resistive touchscreen, side sliding QWERTY keyboard, wifi, 3.5mm headphone jack, 512mb ROM/256mb RAM and a 3.2mp camera.

The VS750 may be available as early as April and should be running Windows Mobile 6.5. Some are speculating that with the VS750 only having three buttons, it may be a candidate for upgrade to Windows Phone 7 Series.

The VS750 does vaguely resemble the LG Windows Phone 7 Series that we saw last month.  There's no indication on what type processor the VS750 will have but the resistive screen will need to go capacitive before any of this speculation gains speed. 

[read: phonearena.com]

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Another Windows Phone 7 Series handset from LG?

We need to file this under "strictly rumors" but images of a new Windows Phone 7 Series phone from LG have surfaced. Neowin first published the photos and has since pulled them from their site. All of which makes this phone more of a mystery.

LG already has one WP7S phone in the works that has a side-sliding QWERTY keyboard.  There is some speculation that this second phone, if not a fake, has a bottom-sliding QWERTY keyboard.

[via: unwiredview.com]

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Like most modern Windows phones, the LG eXpo (see review) has its share of quirks and niggles.

We addressed the notifications one awhile back and it looks like the fine folks at LG-expo.com have gone even further, making one of those handy all-in-one fixer programs.

Appropriately called Expo/IQ Tweaker, it consists of a large list of fixes and options that you simply check to enable or disable certain features. We'll just highlight the big ones that really make a difference:

  • Improve screen sensitivity and touch response
  • Enable in-call recording
  • Increase IE performance/scrolling
  • Enable tethering
  • Enable auto-rotation in all programs
  • Fix missing sounds and notifications
  • Increase KB backlight time

The most important one is the screen sensitivity/touch response, as the screen is a little laggy compared to traditional devices and is by far the biggest complaint about the eXpo. I'm happy to report that these registry tweaks greatly improve the screen in that regard. Likewise, fixing the sounds and notifications was the other big issue and that too works brilliantly here.

You'll need to have .NET CF 3.5 installed and you'll need to register at LG-Expo.com to grab the file. But if you're and LG eXpo fan like myself, you'll definitely want this program.

Kudos to Woodhole and team for the great work!

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Ever since Microsoft showed off Windows Phone 7 Series at Mobile World Congress, one of the major questions has been what kind of hardware can we expect from the device manufacturers. All we saw in Barcelona was a developer device.

But today on The Engadget Show, Microsoft’s Aaron Woodman brought a new toy. It was a prototype LG device, with the Windows Phone 7 Series OS, a sliding QWERTY keyboard -- which was a bit of a surprise -- all of the hardware buttons that we’ve been told to expect, a 5-megapixel camera with flash, and a 3.5mm audio jack.

Let's reiterate that this was a prototype, and we'd kind of like to see a production unit with a little more sophistication. An new OS of this caliber deserves something that at least looks like more than the hardware the old Windows Mobile (sorry, but it is) runs on.

Oh, and the fact that Paul and Nilay posted their hands-on with the LG device as The Engadget Show was taping live was more than a little sick. [Engadget]

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Where's the LG eXpo?

For being the very first Snapdragon 1Ghz Windows phone in the U.S., the LG eXpo is sure hard to find these days.

Never listed on their consumer site, AT&T only lists it "Out of stock" in their business channel. Outstanding orders are being put on backorder-status and even 3rd party retailers like Amazon.com (who sell it for a fair $99 with contract) are reportedly having supply issues. (Side note: Canada's Telus seems to have them on hand still).

So what exactly is going on here? One would like to believe that the phone is selling so well AT&T simply cannot keep them in stock. But for those who frequent the various smartphone forums may notice that the eXpo crowd is quite tiny compared to other devices. So, yeah, probably not.

The issue appears to be on LG's end or whomever is actually handling the manufacturing. Unfortunately (and not surprisingly) no one is stating specifics, though we imagine there could be quite a few possibilities:

  • Chinese New Year: this time of the year, it is not uncommon for manufacturing plants to shut down, halting production.
  • Supply issues with Authen Tec's AES1711 fingerprint reader/sensor technology
  • Supply issues with Qualcomm's Snapdragon CPU

The Chinese New Year issue is common with electronic OEMs and not a surprise. In turn, many companies prepare for the temporary downward production by increasing production before the holiday. So not likely.

Supply issues with the Authen Tec's AES1711 sensor is a possible, being so new to market. Likewise, HTC could be gobbling up all the Snapdragon's they can for their hugely popular HTC HD2 (probably being massed produced now for T-Mobile U.S.).

AT&T told WMExperts this in response to the eXpo's shortage:

While AT&T and LG continue to work together to ensure a quality product is available to customers, we are currently facing limited quantity of stock on hand. AT&T is working to complete backfill orders and the remaining stock will soon become available for new customer orders for a limited time.

Why a "limited time" only? And why not for regular, non-business consumers? (Business & Premier users can order it here).

We're not sure but hope this situation doesn't last as the eXpo is quite the Windows phone and has, at least for the time being, supplanted my Touch Pro 2 as my favorite device (Hint: 1Ghz matters...a  lot). Stay tuned.

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Although the LG eXpo is a very capable device (see full review), in fact it's one of my favorites right now, it does have some ... quirks.

One of those, and we're not joking, is no email notifications. That is, there is no listing under Settings --> Sounds & Notifications for email or even SMS, for that matter.

We're not sure why that is the case, or how that passed AT&T's testing, but it is what it is and needless to say...it's annoying. (We even had a question on during the last podcast),

To address this, I threw together the registry entries to bring back SMS and Email notifications as I know this bothers quite a few folks out there, myself included. This will enable sound, vibrate, pop-up and even LED support on the eXpo for SMS and Email.

Simply use Microsoft Tag to scan and download the .cab to your device, run it, soft reset and you're good to go. Or you can just click and download directly hereEnjoy!

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Okay everyone, time to put on your rumor helmets (they're like beer helmets, but filled with vodka). Here's what we are hearing about Windows Mobile 7 from various sources (none of which has been announced by Microsoft). 

We'll spill the beans on what we're hearing about supposed various versions of Seven, two WM7 devices including full specs (the LG "Apollo" and HTC "Obsession") time-frames and even features.

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According to Engadget, LG stated at CES press event that Windows Mobile 7 will be on devices this year. Obviously this still isn’t an official announcement from Microsoft, but LG is one of their bigger partners for Windows Phones. Might we hear something official from Steve Ballmer at his CES Keynote tonight? Rumor has it that Robbie Bach, Microsoft’s President of Entertainment & Devices Division, will be joining Steve on stage.

Tune in at 9:30pm Eastern, 6:30pm Pacific for our liveblog from the event.

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So we've managed to snag one of those (as of now) hard to come by pico projectors for the LG eXpo (Read George's full review here).

We'll be doing a full review of the projector, including a video demonstration, in a few days, but for now we figured we would give you our quick, initial impressions of the $179.99 add-on.

First, it's pretty tiny and light. Weighing in at just 50 grams (1.75oz) the little plastic guy is light as a feather.  It's actually remarkable how small and light it is, making it easy to carry around (especially since it comes with a nice little satchel ).

Second, it's easy to set up: you just take the metal battery cover off of the eXpo and slide on the projector.  In that sense, it feels like you're adding on an extended battery cover.  You then turn on the phone and if you slide the lens door on the projector open, you get a pop screen giving you basic directions and a slider. Move the slider and on comes the projector.

The projector will display anything.  That is, if it's on your screen, it can be on the wall.  The camera button acts as a portrait/landscape button and you have a physical slider on the projector to focus (which can be a bit tricky).  It of course uses your phone's battery and yeah, it drains a bit, but you can always plug in your phone. Still, you should easily get two full hours we suppose.

How's it look?  Pretty good actually.  It can project up to a 40 foot picture and the throw is pretty remarkable (they say the throw is up to 8 ft, but we easily more than doubled that). We tossed it onto a small screen in an actual movie theater and it was totally workable--not cinema quality, for but presentations or showing off a video clip...yeah, it would do the job.

So our initial thoughts: impressed.

Have questions?  Want us to test something specific?  Hit us up in comments and we'll get it done.

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Now let's try to wrap our minds around this one ... Sprint is going to be announcing a Windows Phone that makes use of WiMax, which is the technology behind Sprint’s 4G network. The logic behind this theory is that Sprint has an event scheduled for January 6 with announcements by Dan Hesse (Sprint’s CEO) and Steve Ballmer (Microsoft’s CEO). Also, Sprint and LG have been sending out invitations to an event scheduled for the following evening; giving possible insight into the identity of the device manufacturer. InformationWeek points out that the January 7 event is being hosted by Brooke Shields, and states that a celebrity of that magnitude isn’t brought in for a small announcement.

To this point, we haven’t seen ANY WiMax-capable smartphones hit the market. We’ve seen rumors every now and again, but nothing solid. If Microsoft could be the first to market with this technology, even over Palm and its current exclusivity with Sprint, this could be a major coup for Microsoft.

[InformationWeek via Boy Genius Report]

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Hands-on with the LG eXpo from AT&T

We've got the LG Expo from AT&T (minus the piggyback pico projector) and we will be posting a full review shortly. In the meantime, here's a video hands-on with the Expo.

The initial impressions on the Expo are good, and I'm interested in seeing how well the Snapdragon processor performs. Does it drain the battery in half a day?  How well does it handle multitasking? The Expo is also fitted with a optical scanner capable of fingerprint recognition and it will be interesting to see how well that performs as well.

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Word is that Verizon is set to get a mysterious WM6.5 LG device called the VS750.  Not much is known about the guy at this time, but call us crazy if it doesn't sound like the CDMA variant of the GM750 recently released in Europe (see our hands-on from October).

If true, it's not as tech-tastic as the LG eXpo on AT&T but it ain't half bad either.  The GM750 had the following specs:

  • BT 2.1
  • WiFi
  • 3-inch 240x400 display
  • 1000 mAh battery
  • 5 MP camera
  • Optical joystick

And if this is not a CDMA variant of the GM750 well...LG get better naming schemes.  And congrats on landing on Verizon, we're kinda psyched about your growing U.S. presence.

[via Unwired View]

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LG Expo Promotional Video Surfaces

While we wait for the delays on the new LG Expo from AT&T to get settled, sit back and enjoy a promotional video for the new Windows Phone.  The Expo should prove interesting with it's detachable projector (sold separately) and fingerprint "smart sensor" technology.  It will be interesting to see if the actual projection comes close to the "simulated" projection.

LG and AT&T has also created a microsite for the Expo (along with a few plugs for the movie Avatar) for those wanting to see more of the Expo.  Still no word on the new release date but pricing is scheduled to be $199.99 for the phone after rebates and contract discounts with the piggy-back projector costing $179.99.

Read: wmpoweruser.com

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Telus sure has an odd pricing scheme, at least for those of us used to two-year deals in the U.S. But hey they did get their hands on the LG IQ and if you sign a whopping three-year contract it can be yours for a low $99.

Only want to do two years?  That will cost you an extra $300:

  • 3-year contract: $99.99
  • 2-year contract: $399.99
  • 1-year contract: $449.99
  • No contract: $499.99

But hey, that IQ sure is a nice phone and we have to admit, we'd like to get our grubby mitts on it.  Featuring WM6.5, 1gHz processor and a 5MP camera, it's pretty swell.  Luckily AT&T has the eXpo coming very soon, once their shipping issues are straightened out.

Get the LG IQ now.

[via MobileSyrup]

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LG eXpo coming to AT&T on Dec. 7

Remember that LG IQ we've seen destined for Canada's Telus network? It's also headed for AT&T and should be available Dec. 7 with its sliding keyboard, 5-megapixel camera, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, Windows Mobile 6.5 and 1500mAh battery. The eXpo also can handle an optional (and removable) DLP pico projector from Texas Instruments, making it one of the first in the U.S. to sport such a feature. [Phonescoop]

Update: The full presser is finally available. We're looking at $199.99 after contract and rebate. Another $179.99 for the projector, when it's available.

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Another look at the Telus LG IQ

Need some more of that Telus LG IQ (aka the Monaco) we got eyes on earlier this week? Ask and ye shall receive. And shaky camera work aside, that's a solid looking phone. We could get behind the (optional) fingerprint scanner as the means of unlocking the phone, though we're still not sold on optical-type d-pads. Otherwise, those of you in Canada look like you've got a rather snazzy 3.2-inch WGVA slider with Snapdragon on your hands. Peep some video after the break. [Mobile Syrup]

Update: Loads more pics and thoughts from Mobile Jaw. (thanks, Mike!)

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