I almost did a double-take when I saw the price of the new LG Lancet Windows Phone. The handset is specific to Verizon and costs either $5 a month on the carrier's Edge plan or $120 in full, without a contract.
Surely, this is a bare-bones phone, right? Almost, but not exactly.
No, the LG Lancet won't compare with flagship devices costing hundreds more. But it's no slouch either because as I found it with a $40 Lumia 520, Windows Phone runs fairly well on limited hardware.
The Lancet is the first Windows Phone that supports Verizon's Advanced Calling 1.0; a fancy marketing term for HD Voice calling. It runs Windows 8.1 so it also includes Cortana, Microsoft's personal assistant software and everything else Microsoft has packed inside its mobile operating system.
The phone has a 4.5-inch display with a minimally acceptable 854 x 480 resolution, so don't expect immersive HD video playback. Inside is a 1.2 GHz quad-core chip and 8 GB of storage with half of that available to for use. The Lancet does have a microSD card slot, so you can add an addition 128 GB of storage capacity.
LG chose an 8 megapixel image sensor for the rear camera while a VGA front-facing camera should be enough for basic video chats. Expect 18.5 hours of run-time on the 2100 mAh battery, says LG.
Again, there are far better Windows Phones on the market. None of them have HD Voice on Verizon's network though; at least not yet.
Actually, Verizon customers don't really have many Windows Phone choices to begin with. A quick check of the carrier's online storefront shows three, including the new LG Lancet. Both of the other options are old devices with full retail pricing of $499.99 and $599.99. And the Lumia Icon, one of the better Windows Phones for Verizon, is no longer offered.
For $120 off-contract, the Lancet might be worth a look if you use Verizon's network and don't mind a relatively low resolution display and meager but capable chip to power the phone. It's no flagship Lumia of course. For that you'll have to wait. And you'll likely have to pay far more to get it.