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LG Dare Review 6/28/2008


6/28/2008 11:50am

Yesterday was busy at work, so I didn't get to do as much as I'd have liked to with the Dare, so this is just a prelimiary review...

I took it out of the box, pleased by it size and feel. Put the battery in, weight feels good. Turned it on and I like the crisp display.

After activating, I went into GIN, and downloaded Backup Assistant to bring my contacts over. That worked fine. I do have to go back in and reset the primary number for each contact (this is a BA fault, not the phones).

Of course my team had to see it, so it got passed around. Most comments on the look and feel were "this is neat!" or "awesome" or such...

I made some test calls between the phone and one of my team members sitting at his desk. Clarity and loudness was good. No distortion when the volume was at its highest level (Voyager DID distort when volume was above mid). It was very loud too, so much that it was too lound when all the way up, so I'm thinking it will be good in noisy enviornments.

As we have been saying on All VERIZON UI PHONES since we got the Chocolate... THE CALLER ID PIC IS TOO SMALL!!! I know the answer/ignore soft buttons need to be on the screen, but come on...

Last night, I downloaded/installed VZNav. I used it to go to the YMCA (GF wants to start exercising :( )... While it worked as well as it did on my V9M and Voyager, I was dissapointed by ONE MAJOR FLAW... The first few seconds of Audio are cut off when using a bluetooth headset. Instead of hearing... "Turn Right in 500 feet on West 11th Street" I heard.. "in 500 feet on West 11th Street"... we saw this before, on the enV I think, and a phone firmware update was needed to fix it. I hope they fix this SOON!!!

I haven't had a chance to fully test reception like I always do.. (by making calls while in certain parts of buildings of the corp campus where I work...) Judging by BARS ALONE (which I know is not the best indicator)... I get less bars in my office than my V9M and enV, but about the same reception in my apartment as the Voyager and enV. During the coming weeks, I'm scheduled to be off for vacation, so I might not be able to fully test reception until I get back, after July 14.

I'm still getting used to using the touch screen. I struggled with the Voyager's too. I'm used to my iPAQ's that i've had for 4 and 5 years so the VX6900 was a no brainer... the Voyager and Dare's tap/touch/drag is different so I still find my finger presses interpreted as "clicking" when I wanted to DRAG... that gets frustrating, and I think it will be the biggest challenge to my liking this phone.

Texting with the on screen keys is not as bad as I thought it would be having just a touch screen.. I'm not saying I like it better than a tactile keyboard, but I can deal with this for OCCASIONAL typing. It was relatively accurate, but not perfect. I don't like having to hit a key to switch to QWERTY keyboard mode, and using the same key to toggle between 123 and ABC would be preferred.

EDIT: I must have been doing something wrong, because now when typing a text message, if I rotate the phone to the left, the QWERTY keyboard comes up./EDIT

I am dissapointed that I can't set Message/Voicemail settings until you have at least ONE ITEM in the inbox, sent, or voice mail.... Until you do that, the button for the pop-up menu that has settings isn't there. So you can't set your voice mail number, signature, call back number options...

Pictures taken with the camera... I've only taken a few. They seem nice. But I think, indoors with the flash, I like the enV's camera better. I'll try and post some samples when I get time.

The bluetooth features are good so far. OBEX FTP for Pix, Sounds, Video and Music. OPP for Contacts, Calendar, and Pix.

My Moto HS-820 headset pairs and works properly with the Dare. Volume and clarity are good.

I only put two songs on it so far, so I can't judge the music player yet, so more on that when I get a chance. I do like the 3.5mm head phone jack.

The intruction of MicroUSB port is nice. Having had Mini-B for a while on my Razr V3C and on my blackberries, I do have accessories that I can still make use of via Mini-B to MicroUSB adapters ($5 at a T-Mobile store :D)... Verizon stores should consider selling these adapters!! then again, if they don't, and customers don't know about them, they'll buy the $30 accessories instead. I've been using them with my V9M too.

Some initial wishes...
1. Categories for pictures, so you can show groups at a time, rather than EVERY PICTURE on the phone at once...

2. I liked the Voyager where you tapped any part of the screen to bring up the short cut menu. I'm not wild about how on the dare, you have the thing along the right you have to click on.
EDIT: Shortcut Bin setting in Display Settings controls this /EDIT

Ok, thats it for now...

EDIT: One other thing.. while the Dare pairs with my Dock-N-Talk, it doesn't properly connect, so I can't use it. that means I have to use the cell phone, and run around the house to grab it when i'm at home :( lets hope a Dare firmware update, or DnT firmware update fixes this./EDIT