"Liking it more and more all the time..."4.0 starson by all-in2007
Pros: Beauthiful screen, good interface, responsive touch screen, call quality, volume
Cons: screen washes out in bright light, wished the camera was better, price tag
Summary: You know, its funny sometimes. I was looking for a new cellphone as I had my last one for 2 years (Sony Ericsson w810i) and I wanted a smart phone - or at least a smarter one....
So I get the info that the LG Vu is available and I run out to put one in my hand and check it out. Most of the reviews were very good and although my opinion of LG is lukewarm at best, I decided to strongly consider buying one. But when I got to the store and started playing with the phone and features I wasn't crazy about it. My wife has the iphone and I thought the VU was too light and I started to doubt the functionality. So I did one of those "store browsing things" and picked up the Tilt (but it has like 1 hour of battery life before it needs a charge) so I left the store. But before I totally left the mall, I went back into the AT&T store and gave it "one more chance". The guy at the store told me that there is a 30 day return policy, so I figured what the heck and bought it. I figured either great phone or return it. At $299 after rebates, it better be. And don't forget that you probably need a new memory card, phone case, and car charger (it comes with a wall charger). You may also want to get a data cable at Walmart or something. And also remember that before you leave the store you have to sign up for 2 years and add a data plan to you cellphone bill that will probably be between $15-$40 a month extra - depending on what extras you want to have.
All that being said, I've had the phone for about 5 days now and I think I am really starting to like it. Every day I find something else that it can do. So here's the scoop:
First off, the screen is beautiful. And even though the phone is lighter than you would expect, in this case its a good thing. It is solid without being heavy (plastic instead of metal). But if you're rough on your phones, buy a case or screen protectors. Into the phone usage, its very cool. The touch screen will be calibrated to your touch (in setup you adjust where you touch and how hard) and there is that vibrating feedback when keys are touched - also adjustable how hard it vibrates back to you.
Call clarity, volume, speakerphone, signal strength are all excellent. The menus are different from every one I've seen and do take a little while to get used to - and I consider myself to be very good with electronics and technology. But once you do, its smart and very easy to remember. The 3G for internet is MUCH faster than the 2G on my wife's iphone but there is no WIFI. If you're an iphone person, you have to push a button to get to landscape mode and there is no pinching (zoom button). You can access real web pages - still no flash.
I used the phone for Yahoo! email and it was excellent and easy. Texting messages on instant messenger and in regular texts takes some practice but gets easy in a hurry. The touchscreen keyboard is as good or better than the one on the iphone.
The camera and video camera are decent. If you are basing this phone on its picture taking capabilities - don't by the phone. Its ok. I wished it was more than 2MP. There is no flash or light. There are a bunch of options though - night vision (for still subjects only) is good, picture effects, editing etc. Not bad at all but could have been better.
The music player is much better than I thought it was going to be. I thought the Sony Ericsson phone I had before was very good. The music on the VU are loud and clear - as good or better than both the W810i and the iphone (which I think is overrated playing music). The headphones that come with the phone are pretty decent - which is a good thing because you can't plug in a regular headphone into the unit. The port for charging is the same for headphones and data transfer and is located just above the volume toggle. Its protected with a flimsy little plastic cover that I'm being very careful with because I'm afraid it will break - even though I haven't had a reason to worry yet.
Battery life is one thing I'm still debating over. The VU charges amazingly quick. Its around 1 1/2 hours for a full charge and the standby time is probably pretty accurate (I wouldn't know - I keep playing with everything). You can probably expect to get around 8 hours of just playing the MP3 player and about 4-5 hours of playing with everything else. Buy the car charger. 20 minutes in the car and you have enough standby for all day.
This review does not come with an opinion of the TV option. My area does not have that service yet but its supposed to come out later this year - we'll see. And for a extra cost. But from what I have seen, the reviews on that are that the picture is excellent and the tv is live. And as far as the antenna goes, its solid. You can bend it all over the place and it doesn't kink or anything - just don't get crazy.
Lastly, there are only 4 themes that come with the phone and some crappy ringtones. I did some checking out for some free ones and you can go to www.myxer.com and find whatever you need and even make them for yourself. The themes are weird - a butterfly that flies around and jumps when you push the screen around it and another with a fish that swims around - same thing. And the time and date on the main screen is moveable just by pushing it around with your finger. Side volume controls are easy on the side.
So the question is, am I going to keep this phone or return it? I am a little disappointed that there is not a bunch of applications available for it yet - but its so new that I'm not crying over that just yet. The website fixed my ringtone issue and there are things that I have just not used yet like the TV or voice dialing. I am happy to report that my Jawbone headset paired up very easily.
By the way, in your settings there is a 'connection' setting where you can adjust from music transfer to USB to data - when you hook up your phone to your computer it will work based on that setting for transferring data or music. There is no way to use your computer for your contacts or your calendar. Oh well.
Another bad thing is that in sunlight the screen can wash out - you may need to use your hand to cover the screen to see it.
Wow, this is a long review - sorry about that. I think I'm keeping this phone. Its really cool. Light in a good way. Its just the right size (iphone is too big). And it does everything!! I may update the review in another few weeks but I would recommend this phone to everyone. Pricetag is a little high and there is a bunch of new phones coming out - but for right now, this may be the coolest phone that you can buy right now. Try it for 30 days anyway to be sure - you'll probably go from feeling its ok, to pretty good to good to great to awesome - just like I did.