LG Dare (Verizon Wireless)
Typical Price: $70.33
CNET Editors' Rating: 4.0 / 5
The good: The LG Dare has an intuitive touch-screen interface, an advanced 3.2-megapixel camera, a full HTML browser, EV-DO Rev. A, and plenty of other powerful features. It also has excellent call quality.
The bad: The LG Dare's touch interface has a slight learning curve, and we weren't too pleased with the handwriting interface. Also, the Web browsing experience was quite disappointing.
The bottom line: The LG Dare is an innovative and feature-rich handset, with several surprises that set it apart from other touch-screen phones.
Design, Features & Performance (out of 10)
One of the most notable fallouts of the Apple iPhone launch last year is the ever-growing trend of touch-screen phones. LG was one of the first manufacturers out of the gate with phones such as the LG Voyager and the LG Vu dazzling us with features that we couldn't get on the iPhone, like live mobile TV and 3G connectivity. Samsung then came blazing out with the Instinct, a phone that directly targets the iPhone with visual voice mail, integrated GPS, and corporate e-mail support. Yet, many of these phones still walked on familiar ground with its design and features.
LG's latest handset, however, dares to take things in a different direction. The appropriately named LG Dare presents a few tricks we haven't seen before in the touch-screen phone genre. For example, you can drag and drop icons to make your own customized shortcuts on the home screen, or you can use a drawing pad to sketch ideas or draw a map, which can then be sent via MMS to a friend. The Dare also has one of the most advanced cameras we've seen on a touch-screen phone--its 3.2-megapixel camera has settings like face detection, noise reduction, panorama photo stitching, and a SmartPic technology designed for taking photos in low light. The built-in camcorder can even record high-speed video and play it back in slow-motion, which is a first for U.S. camera phones. We certainly wouldn't want to call this an iPhone killer since it doesn't have features such as Wi-Fi, and its Web browser and media player aren't as good. However, the Dare is a very appealing alternative for Verizon customers who want a touch-screen phone with a difference. The LG Dare is priced competitively at $199 after a $50 mail-in rebate and a two-year service agreement.
Like all touch-screen phones, the LG Dare's design is dominated by a large display covering almost the entirety of the phone's front surface. Indeed, the only visible keys on the front are the Call, Clear/Voice command, and End/Power keys at the very bottom. The Dare is quite a bit smaller than both the iPhone and the Samsung Instinct, measuring only 4.1 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick. It has a stainless steel border along its sides, and a black soft touch surface on the back that gives it a nice grip in the hand. It weighs about 3.76 ounces, which gives it a light yet solid feel.
The smaller size of the Dare also results in a smaller space for the 3-inch-wide display (compared with the 4-plus-inch displays on the other two phones). Though we were fine with it for most applications, we'll admit that it deters us from enjoying the full HTML browser (which we'll get to in the Features section), since it means we have to do more scrolling than usual. The display supports 262,000 colors and a 240x400-pixel resolution, which results in a stunning and colorful screen with vibrant graphics and clean text. You can adjust the backlight time, the menu fonts, the dial fonts, the display theme, and even the image of the charging screen. You can also choose animated wallpaper if you like.
Along the bottom row of the display's home screen are five shortcut icons to the messaging in-box, the phone interface, the main menu, the phonebook, and a favorites menu (which is a customizable graphical layout of up to nine favorite contacts). There's also a small arrow icon on the far right of the display (about a third of the way down), which leads to a list of 11 shortcuts that you can select from 51 possible applications. You can drag and drop these shortcut icons to change the order in which they appear. However, the coolest thing is that you can also drag and drop them directly to the home screen. Simply tap on an icon and drag it toward the home screen, and let go. You can then arrange the icons anywhere on your home screen as well.
Going back to the Favorites menu, not only do you have a graphical layout of your favorite contacts, but you can also drag and drop them around the screen. After selecting a contact, you can either have instant access to a new text message or an immediate phone call. You can also edit that contact information on the spot.
Another innovative aspect of the Dare's touch screen is the option for a "scattered" menu interface layout. You can then drag and drop the scattered icons to new positions in the menu. We found this to be quite fun and intuitive, but can't help but think it's rather unnecessary. We would have been just as happy with the traditional grid menu layout (which is a menu style option as well). Throughout the menu interface, you will see a back arrow on the upper left, which will lead you back to the previous screen, and a Home button, which will lead you back to the home screen.
Like the Instinct, the Dare offers haptic tactile feedback, which gives tiny vibrations when tapping on the screen. It's very helpful when selecting menu options, since it provides a physical confirmation of the selection. You can go through a calibration wizard to adjust to the screen's sensitivity, and you can adjust the vibrate type (short, double, or long) and vibrate level (low, medium, high, or off altogether). You can also turn on "vibration when scrolling," which sets off tiny vibrations when scrolling up and down lists. We actually recommend this, so you know you're scrolling through a list and not accidentally selecting something.
This brings us to the touch interface itself. While we largely enjoyed the touch interface experience, we have to admit there is still a slight learning curve. Often we would select something without meaning to, especially when scrolling up and down lists or dragging icons around. The touch interface is certainly more sensitive than we thought it would be, even after going through the calibration wizard. After a day or two of fiddling around with it though, we learned to adjust.
We found dialing and texting to be quite easy, even with the touch-screen interface. The phone interface consists of the standard numeric keypad, a voice command button, a handwriting button that will let you "write" the numbers instead of using the keypad, plus two shortcuts to the recent calls list and the contacts list. The keypad features nice big numbers, and after you're done dialing, you can hit either the green Call button, or the physical Talk button on the lower left. There's also a Save key for storing new phone numbers. During a call, a few shortcut icons appear to activate the speakerphone, call mute, send a text message, add a note, connect to a Bluetooth headset, and even voice record.
There are several input options for texting. You can either use the virtual T9 keypad, or you can twist the phone 90 degrees in the counterclockwise direction and a QWERTY keyboard will automatically appear. We're then able to tap on each key with our thumbs. Tapping each key will magnify that key momentarily, just like on the iPhone. The keyboard has a dedicated space bar, return button, period, and alias (@) keys, plus a Shift button to switch between capital letters and other symbols. Unlike the iPhone, you can indeed copy and paste text, simply by highlighting with your fingers and hitting a Copy button. However, the Dare doesn't correct your spelling.
Another method for entering text would be via handwriting, or a graffiti method. The handwriting recognition works quite well, but we did have some problems with it. For one thing, we had to keep switching modes between capital letters, lowercase letters, numbers, and symbols--it wasn't smart enough to figure out the characters on its own. Also, it's a lot easier to handwrite with a stylus, or if you have long fingernails--using just our fingertips resulted in more mistakes.
The Dare also has a proximity sensor that will automatically turn off the LCD while in a call to prevent accidental touch input, similar to the iPhone. It also has a light sensor that adjusts brightness automatically to conserve on battery life. As mentioned above, the Dare has an accelerometer that will rotate the display 90 degrees counterclockwise for certain applications like the browser, the texting keypad, and other applications. For the picture view screen and the music player, the screen can be rotated 360 degrees.
On the left spine of the Dare is a Hold key, a microSD card slot, a speakerphone key, and a USB charging jack. On the top is a 3.5mm headphone jack, while the volume rocker and dedicated camera sit on the right spine. On the back of the phone is the camera lens and LED flash. There's no self-portrait mirror though.
The Dare comes with a generous 1,000-entry contacts list with room in each entry for five numbers and two e-mail addresses. You can also save callers to groups, and you can pair them with a photo and one of 26 polyphonic ringtones. Other essential features include text and multimedia messaging, a vibrate mode, a speakerphone, a calculator, a tip calculator, a calendar, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a world clock, and a notepad. More advanced features include full Bluetooth support with stereo A2DP, the capability to use the phone as a modem, and file transfer. There's also mobile e-mail, mobile instant messaging, a USB mass storage mode, voice command and voice dialing, voice recording, and GPS functionality via Verizon's VZ Navigator service. Mobile e-mail is restricted to popular Web mail services such as Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL, so it's not nearly as robust as using a smartphone.
A nice bonus feature on the Dare is a drawing pad. This pad lets you sketch little doodles or draw a rough map with a variety of pen sizes and colors. You can then send this image to your friends via MMS if you wish.
The Dare has a full HTML browser. It won't support Flash, but that's fine for a phone such as this. As we mentioned earlier, you can rotate the phone to display the browser in landscape mode, which makes entering URLs a lot easier via the QWERTY keyboard. However, the browser experience is nowhere as clean as the Safari browser on the iPhone. Zooming in and out is a pain--we had to use either the onscreen controls or the volume keys to do so. Panning the browser page with our fingers took some time, as the screen responded slowly. Also, since the display is small, we often had to do a lot of scrolling to see everything. Alternatively, if we zoomed out to see the browser page in full-screen mode, the text would be too small to read (The camera key can be used to see the full screen overview as well). You can bookmark pages as well as send URLs to your friends via e-mail, which is a nice touch. However, the overall experience left us cold, and we almost would rather opt for the stripped-down mobile versions of the Web sites instead.
Of course, since the Dare is on the Verizon EV-DO network, it also has access to Verizon's broadband services in the form of V Cast Video and V CastMusic. The V Cast Video and V Cast Music experience is the same as that on other phones. However, the music player interface is quite improved over what we've seen before. There are shortcut icons to Play All, Shop, and Sync, which correspond to the full playlist, the V Cast Music store, and USB syncing respectively. Songs are automatically categorized by genre, artist, and album, and settings include repeat and shuffle. When playing a song, you get the typical play, pause, and track shuttle controls, plus you get to see album art as well. There's even a pseudo Cover Flow that lets you flick through songs by moving your finger across the screen. The Dare also has something called Background Mode Music that lets you listen to music in the background while doing other things--the music pauses when you receive calls, and when the call ends, the music will resume where you left off. The Dare has a microSD card slot that supports up to 8GB of additional storage.
Arguably, the best feature of the Dare, however, lies in its 3.2-megapixel camera. You can take pictures in five resolutions (2,048x1,536, 1,600x1,200, 1,280x960, 640x480, and 320x240), five white balance presets, five color effects, four ISO settings (Auto ISO, ISO 100, ISO 200, and ISO 400), and six preset scenes. Other camera settings include spot or average photometry, multishot, three shutter sounds (with a silent option), auto focus, a self-timer, flash, and four different shot types (Normal, Panorama, Split, and Frame). It even offers face detection to ensure someone's face is in focus and noise reduction, which reduces the amount of artifacts in an image. Most notably, however, is something called SmartPic technology, which enhances images with face color compensation (dubbed Smart Beauty), as well as light compensation (dubbed Smart Light)--especially in low light situations.
The Dare has an excellent Schneider-Kreuznach certified lens that promises excellent photo quality, and it delivers. Images looked sharp, with accurate colors, and everything looked in focus. After you take your picture, you are presented with an array of image-editing options, such as zooming, rotating, cropping, changing the contrast, sharpening, and blurring. You can even use your finger to doodle over the image, or edit it with frames, effects, and stamps.
The built-in camcorder isn't too shabby either. It's one of the first camera phones to record up to three resolutions (176x144, 320x240, and 640x240 VGA)--the VGA format is only for storing on the device, since MMS can't support files that large yet. You can record videos up to 470KB for MMS. Settings are similar to that of the still camera. Another bonus option is the ability for high-speed video recording. You can record videos in 120 frames per second (fps) and then play it back with 15fps slow motion. This is the first phone in the U.S. that has this functionality. Video quality was surprisingly decent. The action movements looked blurry with some jerkiness, but it's not that bad for a camera phone. You can trim videos plus add fade effects as well.
You can personalize the Dare with lots of wallpaper, graphics, sounds, alert tones, and more. The Dare doesn't come with any games, but you can download them, as well as more graphics and sounds, via the Web browser.
We tested the LG Dare in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Call quality was absolutely excellent. Voices sounded loud and clear, with almost no static and echo. Callers said we still sounded like we were on a cell phone, but other than that, there was no distortion. Even when we used the speakerphone, callers said there was little to no difference in sound quality. On our end, callers sounded great as well. Speakerphone quality was a tad on the tinny and hollow side, but we could still hear them just fine. We also paired the Dare with the Plantronics Discovery 925 Bluetooth headset without a problem.
We were very impressed with the EV-DO Rev. A speeds. Web pages loaded in mere seconds, and it took about a minute to download a 1.5MB song. V Cast videos loaded without a lot of rebuffering, though streaming video quality still looked pretty pixelated. Sound quality was very good as well; the speaker has decent sound output, but we would rather use a stereo headset instead.
The LG Dare has a rated battery life of 4.6 hours of talk time and 15 days of standby time. Our tests revealed a talk time of 4 hours and 57 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the LG Dare has a digital SAR rating of 1.09 watts per kilogram.
|Cellular technology||CDMA2000 1X|
|Band / mode||CDMA2000 1X 1900/800|
|Talk time||Up to 280 min|
|Short Messaging Service (SMS)||Yes|
|Combined with||With digital camera|
|Included accessories||Power adapter|
Average User Rating: 4.0 / 5
User Rating Breakdown
5 Star: 274
4 Star: 86
3 Star: 83
2 Star: 66
1 Star: 48
Excellent Touch Feature Phone!
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on June 30, 2008
89 out of 89 users found this review helpful
Pros: Easy to use touch screen, intuitive display, highly customizable, great sound, great reception, Easy to Text, Rev A and tons more!
Cons: Texting could be slightly smarter
Summary: Well I got this phone on 06/30/08.
(I could have received it a tad earlier if I wanted but wanted to wait for some other first impressions (thanks HOFO)).
The first thing you will notice about this phone is that its very light and smaller then one might be expecting.
It is lighter and a bit smaller then the (yes I will say it) Iphone.
My previous phone was the Motorola Razr V3m.
This phone is only slightly longer and wider then that phone when the Razr is closed.
Now for the size it is just about perfect, would like for it to be about a 1/4 of an inch longer and wider since I have huge hands (I am 6'2 =P ).
This phone is my first dive into the touch screen craze that current gen phones and the majority of future phones are sure to use.
Now when touching the screen you don't have to touch it hard or too lightly just treat it like a lady with gentle touches and "taps" and you will have no problem with using this phone.
When you touch it there is a pleasent very slight "haptic" feedback vibration to let you know that you touched a button, as well as a friendly "beep" (which can be turned down or off).
Texting is a breeze and far easier then any other phone I have used.
You can use either the T9 or rotate the phone and the screen will flip almost instanly to show a full QWERTY keyboard.
When you first view the keyboard it looks like the keys would be too small to easily use but even with my monster hands I found it really easy to use and 99% of the time didn't miskey.
So far the only con I have is I wish it would be a tad smarter when typing something so that it would do an educated guess as to the word, but with a full keyboard you really don't need it since you can usually type faster then the phone would be able to guess and be helpful anyway.
*****Also I highly reccomend calibrating the touch screen using a stylus. It makes it more responsive and precise then with a finger (for calibrating).*****
This is by far one of the best Verizon UI.
You probibly have noticed by now that except for a few LG phones all Verizon phones have the same sloppy red menu interface.
Not so here.
Now we have a interface that was clearly designed by LG and with some of Verizon's Guidance instead of the other way around.
If you want a real taste of how it works I suggest watching some of the you tube videos with their hands on impressions.
I have been told that the on screen buttons are bigger then the Iphones and also that they are easier to use as well.
Also there is screen lock button in the upper right hand corner that is easy to push to lock the phone before putting it into your pocket.
Don't worry no random calling people in your pocket here.
Below the locking hey is a easy to take off cover for the Mini SDHC cards and then below that is the speaker phone button and then below that is the mini usb port.
The volume keys are on the right and the camera key is right below that.
Then you have the standard answer key on the bottom right of the screen, the clear/record audo key in the middle and the end call/power key on the bottom right.
To make a call you simply select the phone icon in the lower left hand corner of the phone.
Then the screen pops up the familar phone pad for dialing.
Call quality is excellent. Better then my Razr and I thought very highly of that phone. The speaker is very rich and clear.
The microphone is also extremely powerful as my friend one the other line could hear me and some other people around me, bery clearly.
Reception is also very good.
Maybe not Motorola Startac good but still have great reception everywhere I go and even when it does only show one bar, calls are still loud and clear.
This phone is NOT a smart phone.
So remember that when using it.
To me this is a very good thing because smart phones require Data plans that cost more.
With this if you want to surf the web for unlimited amounts its only $15 a month with the VPACK, which I highly reccomend if you plan on using the internet for more then 7 1/2 mb as the per use is $1.99 per megabyte.
For surfing the web it is not too bad, but as I said it is a feature phone so its not going to be like browsing on a PC or a windows mobile.
The way it works is it does load full HTML however even so it will not load some plugins on certain sites and you have to use the zoom feature to get to some links so that they are clickable.
For a phone that does not have a data plan though this thing is amazering.
I was able to view youtube vidoes, access my space, facebook and my yahoo mail without a problem.
Also as you should already know this phone is 3G wich means that it supports the faster wireless internet via Rev A.
The phone has a 3.2 megapixel camera with some kind of fancy lens that apparently Kodak uses.
It takes pretty pictures, not as good as a standalone camera mind you but easily the best camera phone in the U.S. as of writing this mini review.
Also it records some pretty cool videos.
Up to 30 Seconds to send via MMS.
Again not a video camera here so don't expect amazing videos but it still is one of the very best camera's on a camera phone hands down.
The phone has 200 MB of internal memory for music and 200 MB of internal memory for other data services.
This phone also has a micro SDHC memory card reader so that you can play (currently) up to 8 gigs running of the card. Also it should support the 16 gigs when those become availible as well (since they are still apart of the SDHC format).
It has a headphone jack on the top of the phone for 3.5mm headphones.
Now this is not primarily a music phone but sounds really good regardless, but it won't be replacing my Zen anytime soon.
If you don't have a standalone MP3 player this will still work very well.
It plays music in the background while you do other things so this is the "multitasking" that people talk about on this phone
It features a really cool favorites feature where you can choose (I think) up to 9 of your favorite people that will show their faces (obviously once you set a pic ID for them) in a scrapbook layout.
You can drag them around to order them in any way you choose.
Once you select a person you then have the options in the lower left hand screen to either text, call, or edit their ID info.
To me its better then speed dial (it offers that too!).
If you want the best Verizon Phone that is NOT a smart phone do not look any further then this one.
Its amazing and highly customizable (especially if you do some hacks shown on the howard forums).
You will not be dissapointed, and if for some strange reason you are then you have 30 days to take it back.
But I really don't think you will!
Don't switch to AT&T yet
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on June 27, 2008
75 out of 77 users found this review helpful
Pros: vibration feedback, design, call quality, VZ navigator, camera, email
Cons: handwriting recognition
Summary: Affter having the same lame phone on verizon for 2 years and being frustrated by Verizon's selection of cell phones, I all but gave up to accept I would be switching back to (IMO) the lesser AT&T network so I could get a phone to be excited about as the Iphone or the Blackberry Bold. Yesterday I figured I'd check another time to see what I could get with my "new every two" and with little previous knowledge this phone popped up on the verizon website. I thought it would be another low quality "iphone killer" but I took the chance since I wanted to stay with Verizon and the phone only cost me $99.
The phone arrived today and I must say I was totally impressed!! Very surprised by this phone. First off, a phone is a phone and the Dare has the best call quality I've ever experienced on a cell phone. Reception is fabulous too, I can get calls and search the web with no problems from inside my concrete building.
Typing on the keyboard is easy and IMO a better experience than the iphone. Access to Verizon TV, Navigator (turn by turn directions), and Get it Now are nice. I recommend getting a Nationwide Premium plan to enjoy everything unlimited. There's an HTML browser, which is not as good as iphones but is better than pretty much any other phone browser I've seen. Plus, what kind of heavy duty browsing are you going to do from a phone anyways? You can link up multiple email accounts to the phone and it will notify you everytime you get a new message, whether voice, text, IM, or email.
What makes this phone excel is the responsive touch screen. It is very intuitive and it does what you ask of it. I had very few typing errors while using the QWERTY keyboard and you can change all your settings of how the touchscreen responds to meet your likings.
I was excited for the Voyager, but after playing with it in the store 6 months ago I changed my mind. Which means if you thought the Voyager was great, the Dare blows it out of the water! This is truly a great phone and will make many Verizon customers happy. Remember, pay the extra for the Nationwide Premium and enjoy!
LG Dare is sublime
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on June 29, 2008
39 out of 41 users found this review helpful
Pros: Sexy, sleek look, full of features, great network
Cons: On screen QWERTY could use some updating
Summary: After 7 Voyagers and 3 Glydes, I have found my dream phone. The LG VX9700, aka the LG Dare. Having spent some serious time with the phone, I have yet to find a feature I don't like. Let's take a look, step by step!
The phone is sleek and sexy. Slimmer than the Voyager, sexier and sleeker than the Glyde. It measures 4.1 inches long by 2.2 inches wide by 0.5 inch thick. The back is soft and smooth, and is easy to grip. The silver border (according to cnet) is stainless steel.
The touch screen on the Dare is wonderful. It is a pressure sensitive touch screen, but works far better than the Voyager's touch screen. It is very intuitive, and you are able to do things like drag a drop items to the home screen, and move them around. It is worlds better than the touch screen on the Glyde, and at 3" with 240x400-pixel resolution, its a delight to see and use. The phone comes with an internal accelerometer, which detects how the phone is being held and adjusts the screen accordingly. It is used while messaging, browsing the web, browsing pictures, using VZ navigator, and watching video. It is a smooth transition when changing position, similar to *DUN DUN DUN* the iPhone. It also comes with a light sensor which detects brightness and adjusts the screen brightness accordingly. This saves battery life. It also has a proximity sensor which detects when an object is within 3 cm of the phones screen, and the screen turns off. No more pressing buttons accidentally with the face while making a call.
Messaging on the phone is a breeze. You can message in three ways: t9, on-screen QWERTY, and using the advanced hand writing recognition capabilities. So far, I have found using t9 to be the quickest mode of texting. While the onscreen QWERTY works well and is slightly easier to use than the Voyagers, it does not have predictive txt like on the iPhone, which is unfortunate. If you make a mistake, it is a bit of a task to correct it. Using the hand writing form of texting is fun, and if you know what you're doing, quite easy and convenient. You don't have to write each letter at a time for it to register--you can in fact write entire words at once. The only hassle is that you have to switch between Caps, lower case, numbers, and symbols by selecting the respective icons--the phone is not capable of recognizing all these different inputs on one setting. The phone is capable of sending SMS, MMS, has EMS, and Voice Messaging. The phone does not have threaded texts, but it is able to sort text messages by date, size, or sender. If you sort by sender, it puts all txts from each sender under that senders name, and you can then search for a specific sender. This is a nice feature, if a little time consuming to get to.
The phone comes with a 3.2 mega-pixel camera, the best camera on any US phone from Verizon. The camera takes exceptional pictures and video. The quality is crystal clear, and is comparable to my Kodak digital camera. The camera comes with various features, including smart face, smart pic, a flash, and photo editing software. With smart face, the camera detects faces and adjusts lighting accordingly. Taking a smart pic allows the camera to adjust lighting for any kind of picture. You are able to take panoramic photos very easily--you can take 3 pictures to create a panoramic view, and the phone shows a light copy of each picture taken so you can line it up evenly. With the photo editing software, you can add borders, add fun images, doodle on the picture using a stylus (not included) or your finger, crop pictures, and adjust settings like color, brightness, contrast, etc. Recording video is easy, and like the Voyager can record up to 30 seconds for sending, or record as long as the phone memory allows otherwise. You can record video at 120 fps, allowing for slow motion play back, which is fun. By far the best camera on any Verizon phone.
The Dare comes with a music player unlike any other Verizon phone. The interface is no longer the old red back ground and boring images. The interface is sleek, shows album covers, and you can scroll through songs using either landscape or portrait modes. Again, the interface is similar to the iPhones, though scrolling through songs is not quite as smooth. There are various sound settings, including concert hall, hip hop, electric, dance, r&b, and more. Beginning June 30th, you will have access to over 2 million songs via Rhapsody. This will prove to be far better than the old Vcast method, but will have a monthly cost of $14.99. However, you will have unlimited song access for that price. The phone comes with a 3.5 mm headphone jack (praiiiise jebus). You can also multi-task to the extent of playing music while using other applications (except the camera).
You will see varying opinions on the web browser, but my experience has been wonderful. It is smoother than the Voyagers browser, and far better than the Glydes. You can view web pages in either portrait mode or landscape mode, and you don't have to spend forever scrolling through large pages-- you can use the "Page Overview" feature, which allows you to look at full pages and scroll over any section with a red box. For large pages, this feature is great. You are also able to view pages full screen, and on the 3" screen its wonderful. The browser uses the EVDO Rev-A, which is the fastest on the 3G network. Pages render quickly (howardforums.com loads within 7 seconds with full bars). mobile youtube also works with no problems
Excellent! That's all there is to say about that.
So far battery life has been good. I used the phone heavily, and it lasted all of Friday and into Saturday night before needing a charge.
Other fun stuff:
The phone comes with the standard LG tools, and more. It is a cool little drawing pad that you can use to sketch ideas or maps or messages, and you are able to send them to your friends via MMS. As I mentioned before, you can drag and drop items from a short cut menu onto the home screen--this is convenient for apps that you use often, and its easy to set up the home screen to your liking. Cleaning up the home screen is also a breeze. Unlike the Voyager, you can set the notepad/drawing pad as a short cut, as well as many others. Along the bottom of the home screen, you have shortcuts for messaging, dial pad, main menu, contacts, and a button for favorites. In the favorites section you are able to add 9 of your 'favorite' contacts. From here, you can drag their pictures three sections on the bottom of the screen; txt messaging, calling, and info. Its like a fun version of speed dialing. Searching for contacts in the phone book is a breeze--you can search by name, or scroll through letters using a bar at the top of the screen. The phone comes with some cool wall papers, my favorite being a wall paper with water droplets that expand to show the date and time (this way, my screen isn't cluttered with a big clock display). You also have the option of using two themes: white, which has a fun interactive main menu screen that allows you to drag and drop icons to your liking, and a black theme, which lines up the main menu screen.
All in all, the Dare is the best of Verizon's three touch screen phones. It is easy to use, has a great looking UI, and has excellent features. It is not fair to compare everything on this phone to the iPhone, particularly because it is not a smart phone. However, having used a Voyager, a Glyde, and an iPhone, I will say that I prefer the Dare over all. While the iPhone has a great look and the ability to use a multi-touch interface, it lacks too many basic features for me to ever really consider it as a phone that I would use. In my opinion, the Dare is the best phone on the best network. I wouldn't Dare use anything else :^P
LG-Dare Exceeded Expectations
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on July 4, 2008
20 out of 22 users found this review helpful
Pros: Compact size phone with great call quality. Excellent fringe area reception. As close as you can get to a "smart phone" without buying one.
Cons: Steep learning curve for web browsing. The web browser works ok, and certainly much better than any other standard Verizon cellphone.
Summary: Verizon was very fortunate to land the Dare in it's phone lineup. I was not looking for an iPhone as I was unwilling to switch providers. I've used AT&T (aka Cingular) and found the call quality and overall service not up to the Verizon standard (at least in southeast Washington state). The Dare has many unique features that not even the iPhone has, including a very high quality 3.2 MP camera with flash. The tactile touch screen is very easy to use but does take a few minutes with the phone to get used to menus and options as some features are not always intuitive (a Verizon menu defecit shared by all their phones). I like the qwerty keyboard and the fact there is only one LCD screen, a plus when compared with the LG Voyager that has a clamshell design and two LCD screens. Pairing BlueTooth devices is easy, especially if the device paired is an LG. The sound quality is amazing and music playback is very good using stereo BlueTooth headphones. Accessing your playlist is also simple. The most important reason of course to have a cellphone is to have the ability to stay in touch with the outside world. In keeping with the tradition of LG, the Dare has excellent call quality in terms of audio and fringe area performance. I currently use a 1 GB Micro SD card and have come to realize that I'm going to need more memory especially if I'm going to be taking pictures. The camera in this phone is amazing and has most of the features commonly found on stand-alone digital cameras with similar MP ratings. There is very little difference in overall picture quality between a 3.2 MP and a 5.0 MP camera assuming that both cameras have quality lenses to start with. At 3.2 MP, you can easily produce quality 4x6, 5x7, or 8x10 prints. You don't have to sync with a computer or printer to print out your pictures as the microSD can be removed and the pictures can then be saved to a computer for future printing, or the card can be used with a printer with a card reader. This allows great portability and gives you the ability to drop by a pharmacy while on vacation to print out some of your favorite shots. Suggestions? Well I'd suggest LG explore the possibility of a smart phone with all of the features of the Dare. I'd be willing to pay an extra $150.00 for the ability to access email or edit text or spreadsheet documents on the road. For now I'm going to enjoy my new phone with all it has to offer.
Verizon managed to keep most of its client base...
Rating: 4.5 / 5
on June 28, 2008
19 out of 21 users found this review helpful
Pros: 3.2 mega pixel camera, innovative and responsive touchscreen, sleek design
Cons: HTML browser doesn't support many websites, touchscreen qwerty keyboard can be a pain
Summary: After contemplating on switching over to AT&T for the 3G iphone, I decided to give the LG Dare a shot. To much dismay, it actually comes pretty close to being one of the leading touch screen cell phones on the market. The best feature is the HTML browser to which you can access web pages as if you were on a laptop/desktop PC. There are some limitations however and it is tricky getting used to if you are a first time touch screen user like me. LG has a great product and Verizon managed to save its client base with such an innovative phone.
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