Pros Screen Rez, Camera/Video Features, Touch Screen
Cons Battery Life, Software Glitches, Speakers, The Network???
Summary This rating will be long but I hope the information is helpful for those thinking about buying the phone. And I won't get too much into NerdSpeak with terms that most people don't understand (3G,CDMA,UI, etc.)For me, this phone is an improvement over the enV. I do miss the QWERTY keyboard at times but only for not having to change input modes of text/word/number/symbols. And due to my work, I use the VZ Navigator a lot. This phone handles it much more smoothly and gives turn directions more quickly.
Not to knock other raters too much but I simply do not see how you can rate a phone the day you get it or even a week later. I have had this phone for three weeks and I use it everyday until the battery dies, often twice.
Like other raters, I disagree with CNET regarding the touchscreen. I find it nearly flawless. I like the feedback feature but periodically get the haptic feedback but the phone does not open up the next screen as it should. This does not happen often and I push buttons quickly. This may be a "me" problem. And please, do not call this phone a "finger print magnet" if you respect yourself. It IS A TOUCHSCREEN. Buy another phone or wear gloves.
Camera/Video/Resolution: I find this very easy to use and like the landscape view feature for both the still camera and video. I use VCast videos daily for Fantasy Football. The resolution is decent for videos and great for everything else. Yes, the fact that there is not a flash is a drawback but honestly I don't see this as a big deal.
And one more thing, Bluetooth. I had the LG enV and this phone far surpasses it in the bluetooth arena. I have two headsets, the Jawbone, and a pair of stereo phones. The sound is great. And I used the same headsets with the enV so it is a reflection of the phone, not the headsets.
THE BATTERY: If you plan to use this phone's full feature set, you will be annoyed because your options will be to: buy an extended battery (or additional standard one), buy a car charger, and/or bring the USB cable charger with you (if you have access). I don't buy phones for looks but for features I will use. And I use them all. And I text at least 50 msg/day, usually upwards of 100. I drain the battery everyday and I hook it up to my car charger on the way home from work. A positive note, this phone can use the same charger as the LG enV. That saved me money. However, I will buy the extended battery, adding about $50 to cost of the phone. I have used all my verizon phones the same and this, by far, has the weakest battery. But, it is the smallest phone too. Maybe a "me" problem.
Software Glitches. I took my first phone back because it locked up when receieving PIX/FLIX messages and when using ESPN MVP. The software still needs to be updated (again) and I have three confirmations of this. I do not, however, know if this will need to be done in the store. It doesn't appear so but if it does, you can deduct a point from my overall rating. In dealing with Verizon, both in-store and over the phone, it was disclosed to me that "the sofware need to be smoothed out." The same is true for the Voyager, which evidently has even more problems, returns, and complaints. The bottom line here is not surprising...Verizon released this phone too early to boost their bottom line for the holiday season. Disappointing but not surprising given Verizon's rep. I was told the kinks would be worked out in the "next two weeks." It is approaching tha mark for me. I still have a couple problems with Mobile Web pages not loading fully.
SPEAKERS/SOUND. Subpar in my opinion. The faux speakers on the front are just that, fake. The earpiece port is very small and requires specific positioning on the ear if you want to hear your calls. Even then, the volume needs to be jacked up almost all the way. When listening to audio from music or videos, the sound comes from the back of the phone. This is, dare I say, just stupid. This aside, I experience no crackles or hisses and I have been told that my voice comes through clearly to those I call. My solution: stereo bluetooth. I already had a pair of headphones but if I didn't, I may take the phone back. It is that bad in my opinon. I don't expect booming stereo quality sound from my phone but the speaker in the back is really baffling to me.
THE NETWORK: I live in the Portland (Oregon) Metro area. Signal strength is always strong. Dropped calls? None yet. Verizon touts it's network as its big selling point. Well evidently this is for calls only, not data transmission. I use CBS Sports (which won't fully load...see software, above) and ESPN MVP to track fantasy football. On Sundays, The Almighty Network gets completely overloaded. I can't connect to MVP and PIX/FLIX messages are significantly delayed. Anything that requires a fair amount of data transmission is seriously hampered. Is this not part of "The Network"?
OVERALL SYNOPSIS. This is a great phone will excellent features and improved UI. I find it very easy to use and like the touchscreen. It is a small and sleek phone that is packed with features. That comes with a price, battery drain, and the battery for this phone is poor for people who plan to use it for function rather than "Hey, look at how cool my phone looks." If you buy phones for your image, get the Voyager (if you are handcuffed to Verizon). I want a phone I can put in pocket. And finally, be prepared to buy extras. I have a car charger, a thin plastic case, a screen protector, and I will buy an extended battery very soon.
AND FINALLY, SAVE YOURSELF HEADACHES:
The slider action is great but this phone will get dinged and scratched if you don't get extras to protect it. And if you don't and don't have insurance on your phone, good luck getting Verizon to work with you in replacing it for problems with it if you have any. They will blame your lack of protection of the phone for its problems when these could very well be the software. Every scratch and ding reduces the chances you will get a replacement. And beware of "water damage" no matter what phone you have. In waiting in line for tech support, I saw at least five people not receive replacements because there was evidence of moisture in the battery compartment. Moisture is nearly impossible to avoid here in Oregon but use common sense. Be careful bringing your phone from cold to warm temperatures and hopefully you have enough common sense to not bring your phone in the bathroom with you when you take a shower. And to keep it in your pocket if it is snowing or raining. Verizon will give you a whopping $50 off a replacement.
Pros Design, LG's interface, gorgeous screens, & touch pad on bottom screen
Cons Earpiece volume not loud enough for noisy settings, sound breaks/cracks up at highest volume level.
Summary I just picked up the Venus this afternoon at my local VW store located inside a Circuit City. Was going to get it originally on Tuesday, but it turns out Verizon had the stores download a software update on all the phones before selling. My initial impressions are as follows. Please keep in mind I have not used the phone a lot, nor have I had the opportunity to dive into it's features completely.
I love the looks of the phone. It's very stylish and attractive. The main screen is beautiful with great colors. The fake texturized rubber on the back of the phone gives you a sure grip and feels good to the touch.
I don't understand cnet's classification of "gimmicky" for the touch controls. They perform exactly how they are supposed to. How is that gimmicky??? I love this feature, and am sure will come to like it even more as I get used to it.
Now for the area that has me concerned. The quality of the sound through the earpiece. First, I don't think the volume goes high enough. In areas I wouldn't consider to be excessively noisy, I have to turn the phone up to maximum volume, and still struggle to hear the person on the other end at times. This may not be an issue for all, but it is for me. Another thing that has me concerned is the voice of the person you are speaking to seems to break/crack up at the higher volume settings. I never had this problem on my Motorola E815, and certainly don't expect it on a $249 phone (albeit with the $50 rebate and my new every two it's a total of $99). I'm anxious to see if others experience this same problem. There has also been several instances of an echo when talking on the phone as well. I'll be paying close attention to see if these issues continue to be a problem over the coming days. If they do, it will probably be a deal breaker. At least I have 30 days to figure it out.
The only thing holding me back from giving this phone a 9 out of 10 is the concerns over the sound through the earpiece. I love the design of the phone and its features. It is exactly what I have been looking for. I actually like the Venus more than the Voyager. I hope it works out because there really isn't another phone in Verizon's lineup that excites me. Yeah, the Voyager is nice, but I don't need my phone to have the capabilities the Voyager does, and I certainly don't want to dish out the money they are charging for it.
I will try to give an update as I use the phone more over the next several days with information on signal strength (appears decent so far), more extensive use of the interface, etc.
Pros Great for music, pictures, and calls
Cons Default navigation is rather clunky, screen protectors are not available for the screen
Summary I bought an LG Venus this morning and am very pleased with it. I was the first one to purchase one of these phones at the Verizon store here. During the sale, I was told by the salesperson that all of the LG Venus phones had been removed from their boxes over the weekend and had a last minute software update performed on them. The first Venus I got would not connect to Get It Now, but I took it back and they replaced it with one that does.
The touchscreen works very well. I was a little concerned after watching the trouble that the lady in the video above had in getting it to respond, but it is actually very responsive when used from the correct angle (not upside down from the back). The lady in the video has a really weird angle on it. By default, the phone vibrates and plays a sound every time you touch the touchscreen, which makes navigation clunky and slow. Disabling the vibration makes the phone very fast and responsive. I have no trouble now using it to navigate quickly around the phone.
The phone, although it supports Bluetooth, has a 2.5mm jack for headphones or a wired headset. It also comes with a USB data cable in the box. It has an internal speaker with crisp, clear, sound. It delivers an overall excellent musical experience. The 2.0 megapixel camera is very easy to use and is much like using a regular digital camera. So far, I'm impressed with the quality of the pictures and the video that it takes
The screen definitely needs a screen protector if you don't want it scratched up. However, screen protectors aren't available yet for them, it appears. With some slight modifications, the screen protectors from the Palm Treo can be cut to fit on each of the screens.
Overall, I'm very pleased and would highly recommend this phone!
Pros Great screen resolution, feel, camera, features and UI
Cons Lower battery life and finger print magnet
Summary The LG Venus (VX8800) is an incredibly stylish yet capable phone. Some of the more impressive features include: a 2.0 megapixel camera, touch screen with haptic feedback, clean UI system (tons better than Verizon's redundant red theme design), a MP3 only mode for those boring flights, support for microSD high capacity flash memory and other now standard features with new Verizon phones. Of course, with all this cool stuff, the phone has to look the part too.
LG's new toy takes an obvious cue from Apple's own iPhone with a slick black paint job and silver trim. The sliding function works elegantly and the phone sits very nicely in the hand; so much so that I'd have to say it has one of the best grips I've ever felt on a phone. The dual screens are also a nice touch (pun intended) and from the minute you turn it on, the phone begins utilizing both screens (with a Verizon logo of course). Though, I think the most important feature to note is the bottom screen and its capabilities.
The touch screen works wonderfully and LG has put a lot of effort into making sure the consumer knows that they're pressing a button. This is done with a vibration for each button press. The screen is surprisingly responsive and very easy to get used to; it's a massive step above the clunky Chocolate touch pad.
Even with all these great features I have, unfortunately, some small gripes with this magnificent phone. The touch pad is great but it would have been nice to include a virtual numeric keypad so that if I wanted to keep my phone closed, I could. The rear of the phone, on the camera side, is a bit dull looking and lacks a stylish design ala the Voyager. The battery life is a bit low at four hours talk time where most phones have an average of seven hours. Last but not least, I would have loved to have seen the phone be a Voyager mini with a full touch screen on the front and the keypad used only when I feel like it.
Even with these small problems, the LG Venus is a solid slider phone and blows me away with its incredibly appealing design. It is well worthy of a 9/10 from me.
Pros Beautiful Display, Best 2 MP Camera available
Cons Scratch and fingerprint prone touchscreen, 8 gb card only allows 4 gb to be used for music.
Summary I bought the Venus to use mainly as an MP3 player because it would be one less gadget to carry around. First the good stuff. The display on the Venus is gorgeous. I disagree w/ CNET editors calling dual display w/ changing touchscreen nav gimmicky. It worked very well aside from fingerprints and scratches. The camera is great for a 2 MP and in my opinion takes the best pictures of any 2 MP camera phone available ( I've tried a lot of them).
Now the bad stuff. The specs say the phone supports 8 gb microSD. When you format the card, it shows on the phone as 7.6 gb, OK. But, when you connect to your computer to sync music it only shows as 3.6 gb available and this is all you can use for music. I wanted to be able to carry all of my music and could have done that easily with 8 gb but not with 4 gb. And now my computer will not recongnize the 8 gb card when loaded in the standard SD adaptor so that i can reformat it and use it elsewhere........Bummer. I read another post of someone else having this problem and going back and forth with verizon and LG and finally getting a reponse from LG stating that this is a known issue and they are working on it. I am not waiting around. i am going to exchange the phone before my 30 days is up. Sound quality is OK. Nowhere near as good as most stand alone MP3 players. But I could have lived with it if the memory card worked as stated. So, if you are looking for good camera quality for less than 200.00 and a slick phone, you may like the VENUS, However, if you are more into the music player and storage capacity, keep looking.