The navigation array consists of two soft keys, a four-way circular toggle with a middle Menu/OK key, a dedicated speakerphone key, a Back key, a Talk key, and the End/Power key. The four-way toggle doubles as shortcuts to the Bluetooth menu, the EasyEdge online store, a shortcuts menu with room for up to 12 shortcuts, and the calendar.
Both the navigation array and the number keypad are a joy to use. They're both very roomy, and all the keys are large and quite tactile. The number keys on the keypad are in very large text, which is great for those who don't have the best eyesight. It's very easy to dial and text by feel as well.
The LG Wine has a roomy 1,000-entry phone book with room in each entry for five phone numbers, two e-mail addresses, and a memo. You can then add your contacts to a caller group, pair them with a photo for caller ID, or pair them with one of 34 polyphonic tones to be either the ringtone or message alert tone. Other features include a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, text and multimedia messaging, a calendar, a memo pad, easy tip calculator, a calculator, an alarm clock, a world clock, a stopwatch, a unit converter, voice command support, Bluetooth, and support for location-based navigation.
There's also a mobile Web browser and mobile e-mail access. However, in order to access them, you have to go to the MyStuff tab in the EasyEdge interface. We would prefer a more direct way to access the browser and mobile e-mail.
The 1.3-megapixel camera can take pictures in five resolutions (1,280x960, 640x480, 320x240, 176x144, and 160x120), three quality settings, four color effects, and five white balance presets. Other settings include a self-timer, a night mode, multishot modes, brightness, zoom, and four shutter sounds plus a silent option. Photo quality was decent, but not great. Pictures had an orange tinge, and it was not as sharp as we would like. The Wine doesn't have a music player or a camcorder, which is good since it only has 48MB of internal memory.
You can personalize the Wine with wallpaper, themes, tones, and a banner. The Wine also comes with games like Pac-Man, but you can always get more from the EasyEdge Shop.
We tested the LG Wine in San Francisco, roaming outside U.S. Cellular's home network on Verizon Wireless. Call quality was good, but it was still clear that we were talking on a cell phone. Callers said our voice sounded tinny and rather robotic. On our side, we thought the same of their voices too. Still, we enjoyed very little static. Speakerphone calls went well, though there was a bit more static and audio sounded a little weak and muffled at times.
The LG Wine has a rated battery life of 4 hours talk time and 7 days standby time. Our tests showed a talk time of 6 hours and 9 minutes. According to the FCC, the Wine has a SAR rating of 1.3 watts per kilogram.
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