LG Versa Review


24.05.2009

LG Versa is a touch-screen phone that offers animated graphical interface and support for additional modules. Though it comes with a full HTML browser with support for Flash Lite, the web browsing goes poorly and the lack of Wi-Fi connectivity does nothing to compensate this flaw.

Another minor flaw is that the touch-screen, otherwise a good component, becomes unresponsive from time to time. The detachable QWERTY interface is an interesting addition, while the GPS and 2.0 megapixel camera make this phone a good pick for anyone that is looking for a versatile phone.

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OVERVIEW

LG Versa is being offered at Verizon Wireless with additional modules that you can attach or detach depending on your needs. If you have no use for the QWERTY keyboard at a point, you can detach it and make the phone slimmer. External speakers and a pad controller are planned by LG.

But the modules are not the only good thing about LG Versa. The animated interface, the HTML browser that supports Flash Lite (you can view streaming media such as Youtube), the 2.0 megapixel camera, the GPS module, Bluetooth connectivity and the good quality touch screen make this phone a worthy opponent in its category. A not so good thing about this phone, as mentioned before is the lack of Wi-Fi, but since it is not exclusively targeted at the business sector, it is not such a big deal.
LG Versa can be bought for $199.99 at Verizon, with a 50$ rebate and a two-year contract.

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The Design

You can figure out the design mostly from the pictures. The dimensions are 4.17 inches long by 2.07 inches wide by 0.54 inch thick. As you can figure out, it is a slim phone, with good quality materials. All this weighs only 3.81 ounces.

One thing you will like about the LG Versa is the 3 inch touch-screen that can display 262,000 colors and 480×240 resolutions. This translates in a good picture quality.
Another nice thing about this phone is that you can customize the graphical appearance. Change the backlight time, the fonts, the display theme, the banner or even the image of the charging screen.

Overall, the touch screen is very nice, with a lot of customization options and great response. You might encounter some problems in some applications, but the difference in response time is so high, it might be more of a software problem. If this is the case, it is probable a future update to the software might solve this problem.
The incorporated accelerometer in LG Versa will make the display to rotate its angle when you hold the phone horizontally.

To add the QWERTY keyboard module, you will have to remove the battery cover, which can be a little of an inconvenient, but it is a simple operation that will have you texting in no time at all. The keyboard module will also act as a case, coveting the phone in faux leather. This is a bold move made by LG as the design might not be as appealing to some people. In any case, the phone will become one inch thicker and half an ounce heavier with the module mounted.

The keyboard is easy to use, has a lot of space between the keys and has some shortcut keys that make your text writing task easier.

You can also create messages by using the virtual keyboard, but despite the good implementation, the real keyboard module makes texting a lot easier. You can also turn to the handwriting recognition keyboard, but you will spend too much time reentering words and letters that have not been correctly recognized.

On the right side of the phone you can find the microSD card slot, while the placement of the camera key, charger jack and volume rocker on the left side make the phone fully operable while in your right hand. Too bad if you’re a lefty.

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The Features

You can store up to 1,000 contacts in LG Versa’s phone book and assign five numbers to each contact and two e-mail addresses. The applications are pretty basic: calendar, alarm clock, stopwatch, notepad, calculator, tip calculator and such.

Some of the advanced features included in this phone are: mobile e-mail, instant messaging (AOL, Yahoo, and Windows Live), USB storage and GPS functionality.
The full HTML browser can work with Flash Lite 3 and H.264 video format. Not all formats will work, but you will be able to watch some short clips on sites like YouTube. You can work with up to three tabs, access the browser history or turn the Flash and Java on or off.

While the Flash works great, the phone tends to block when viewing full HTML pages up to the point where the phone has to be restarted by taking out the battery. The browsing, when the phone lets you, is not bad, but given the often crashes, it is not a great experience.

LG Versa’s music player is an application you will enjoy without a doubt. With shortcut icons, automatic sorting and playlists support, the player has all the things you need to operate it with great ease. Another thing we like is that the player can run in background while you are doing something else on the phone.

The 2 megapixel camera cannot be considered this phone’s strong point, but the pictures taken show good quality and with an option to select between five resolutions and as many white balance presets. The flash is not great, but it is backed up by the SmartPic technology that will enhance photos took in low light ambient. The autofocus is able to detect exactly what you are taking photo of and focus on it. Versa has a built-in image editor that will allow you to perform basic operations. You can also take short video clips in three resolutions (176×144, 320×240, and 640×240 VGA) and the overall quality is decent.

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Performance

While the call quality of the phone is decent, with little noise and with good voice quality, the speakerphone has a hollow sound. The same is with the speakers the music player uses, with weak low tonalities. Of course, the use of a headset will solve this problem.

Internet browsing runs fast, with a rate of about 1 MB/ minute, YouTube clips needing little buffering time.

The battery LG Versa comes with should resist for about 5 hours of talk time if fully charged and 18 days of standby time.

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