A phone for serious text message users, the LG enV2 is a definite upgrade from its larger and less stylish predecessor, the enV. This latest handset offers a keyboard, music player with Bluetooth stereo support, microSD slot and a 2-megapixel camera and camcorder, merged together in a well-designed package.
Verizon Wireless services include VCast Music and Video, and VZ Navigator. VCast Music provides more than three million songs from both well-known and independent artists. With VZ Navigator, the enV2 gives audible turn-by-turn navigation to addresses and more than 14 million points of interest, from ATMs and gas stations to restaurants and tourist destinations.
Fans have praised the phone for its vivid 262,000 color screens, great audio quality and overall user friendliness. Advanced features like auto text readout, message sort and the ability to store up to 300 text messages now make your texting habit something to celebrate.
Opinion of the design -- which comes in your choice of classic black or dark maroon -- goes both ways. Some have heralded the enV2 for its stellar improvements to its ungainly predecessor, the enV, but its size remains somewhat bulky compared to slimmer and sleeker mobile phones on the market. Measuring in at 4.0-by-2.1-by-0.7 inches and 4.2 ounces, the design might remind you of a pocket translator or handheld LCD game. But for a phone with a keyboard that's actually comfortable to type on, the extra bulk is definitely worth it.
The external face is framed in a shiny chrome trim, prone to fingerprint smudges, but still very sleek. Above the 1.5-inch LCD display screen is the earpiece, and below that is a wonderfully easy-to-use keypad. The size of the buttons is just right -- even for large hands -- and has a great touch that doesn't feel greasy after a few dialed calls. Enhanced by a soft white backlighting, the keypad also includes dedicated keys for the music player, up/down scrolling, voice-activated commands, vibrate mode, lock/unlock, speakerphone, send message and power/end.
Open up the phone and admire the 1.5-by-2.4 inch 262,000 color screen, which is flanked by speakers and tiny emblems for LG and Verizon. Below the screen are two soft control keys, used primarily to access messaging functions and contacts. To the right of the keyboard are the "send" and "power/end" buttons, toggle control, "clear" and a one-touch speaker phone button. On the far left are function, shift and a symbol key. The two space bar buttons are located on the bottom corners, where your thumbs would normally rest while holding the phone to type.
The flip side has a soft, matte finish and houses the phone's internal antenna and camera lens. Below that is the battery, and on the bottom edge is the charger port, microphone and a carrying hole on the bottom left corner to attach a hand strap. Volume controls and a camera-dedicated button are located on the right side panel, while a 2.5mm headset jack and microSD card slot are located on the left side panel.
Verizon has made considerable improvements to its menu interface. With the enV2, menu customization is a snap. Choose from tabbed, icon grid or list -- whatever layout you feel most comfortable with. You can also select the menu mode that best suits your usage needs. Select the multimedia setting and get icons for videos, games and VCast right on your main menu screen. Or choose the messaging setting to get shortcuts to mobile IM, email and your contacts list.
Overall, this is a clamshell phone that looks good both opened and closed. It boasts a sleek outer design while the keypads -- perhaps this phone's greatest asset -- are wide and comfortable to use. Out of the box, the enV2 comes with a battery, travel charger and user manual.
The 2-megapixel camera takes pictures in four resolutions: 1,600-by-1,200 (default), 1,280-by-960, 640-by-480 and 320-by-240 pixels.
Users also have their choice of a 10x Zoom, Brightness Levels, White Balance (Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent and Glow), Night Mode, Self-Timer (3, 5 or 10 seconds), Color Effects (Black and White, Negative, Aqua and Sepia), Shutter Sounds (Default Ring, Cheese, and Ready 123) and a Self-Portrait Mode. Then access the "My Pictures" folder to Zoom, Crop and Rotate pictures using the phone's easy-to-use image editor. For photo printing, the enV2 is Bluetooth enabled for transferring images directly to a compatible printer.
Utilizing a nearly the same set of image capture and edit options, the camcorder can record up to 30 seconds of video for sending and up to one hour of video for saving onto the phone. Videos can be shot in either 320-by-240 or 176-by-144 pixel resolutions and can be saved in WMV, MP4, 3GP or 3G2 formats. Videos under 5-megabytes can also be set as wallpaper.
It doesn't have a flash, but in the right conditions -- and a little knowledge of the Brightness and White Balance controls -- image quality is actually better than most camera phones.
The enV2 comes with the basic set of phone features -- speakerphone, multimedia messaging (MMS), voice commands, alarm clock, world clock, stopwatch, notepad, calculator, tip calculator, calendar -- plus some extras like an icon glossary and keypad security code options.
Specialized call features include Answer Options (Flip Open, Any Key, Auto with Handsfree), End Call Options (Flip Close, End Key Only) and Auto Call Retry that can be set to redial every 10 seconds, 30 seconds or 60 seconds. The phone also utilizes TTY mode for the hearing or verbally impaired. Its battery is rated up to 5 hours of talk time and 21 days of standby time.
The enV2 sports two striking 262,000 color TFT displays. On the exterior is the smaller of the two screens with 160-by-64 pixel resolution that displays the basics: signal strength, date, time, battery life, caller ID and SMS text. The only downside is that some may find the text on the front screen (which measures at about 1.5-by-0.75 inches) to be a little too small, even for reading caller ID.
The interior screen, on the other hand, is a true pleasure to view. Measuring in at approximately 1.5-by-2.4 inches, this TFT (Thin Film Transistor) screen displays images at fast refresh rates that are sharp and vivid for viewing pictures and video. Screen lighting on both displays is strong enough so images can be viewed readily even in bright outdoor lighting.
Audio quality is excellent with or without headphones or stereo headsets. MP3 tracks from Verizon's VCast video service resonate loud and clear from speakers located prominently on both sides of the large interior display screen. The phone operates on a digital dual-band network, accessing CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 800 MHz and 1900 MHz networks for superior call quality and fewer dropped calls.
Additional audio features include one-touch speakerphone, conference calling, speaker-independent voice dialing, text to speech capability and voice recording for up to an hour, depending on available memory. The enV2 has a continuous talk time of approximately 5 hours and 20 minutes.
The enV2 comes with 23 ringtones, silent and alarm-only modes and a particularly strong vibrate setting. With Verizon VCast, you can take the personalization factor a step further by purchasing Ringback Tones that play for your callers right before you pick up the call. In case you don't want your favorite 80s rock anthem to play while your boss calls you during work hours, you can specify the time of day to activate your Ringback Tones.
Advanced features like message sorting, auto text readout and a 300 message inbox capacity make the enV2 a sound choice for SMS addicts.
Text messages and preset messages can be created with up to 160 characters and sent to as many as 10 recipients at once. (Text messages drafted from the exterior keypad can only be sent to one recipient at a time.) You can save drafts automatically, leave callback numbers, add graphics, animations, sounds, signatures, name cards and one of 14 "quick text" preset messages like "Thanks," "Wanna meet up?" and "You're the best!"
Other types of messaging include basic Web-based email and instant messaging with AOL Instant Messenger, Windows Live Messenger and Yahoo messenger.
Verizon's answer to mobile entertainment is its VCast service for streaming videos and music. For $15 a month, 3G broadband data service enables you to download on-demand news and entertainment to your handset at prompt speeds of about 300- to 500-kilobytes per second. VCast also offers downloadable games (The enV2 doesn't come with any), display themes, ringtones and callback tones.
VCast offers a huge array of short, entertaining videos -- little nuggets of amusement meant to be watched while riding the train or waiting at the airport. One- to five-minute video clips from VCast cover a broad range of tastes including content from CNN mobile, ABC News Now, FOX Sports, Adult Swim, TMZ.com, Comedy Central, and even a DC Comics channel exclusive to Verizon.
Access to the Verizon's mobile Web 2.0 comes with ease thanks to the high-speed Ev-Do connection that links users to email, news and instant messaging -- Yahoo Messenger, AOL Instant Messenger and Windows Live Messenger -- wherever they go. The enV2 isn't a smartphone -- browsing Web sites that aren't formatted for mobile devices can seem a bit clumsy and frustrating -- but if you're just in need of the basics -- weather, news headlines and sport scores -- then Verizon's version does the trick.
The enV2 carries about 63-megabytes of internal memory, so if users are planning to upload a sizeable playlist to their phone, be prepared have a microSD card handy to store the extra files. Cards of up to 8-gigabytes will work fine with the enV2. Compared to other phones that may have 70- or 80-megabytes of storage, the enV2 runs on the smaller side of storage a multimedia phone.
As for other forms of data storage, the enV2 can store up to 300 text messages and its phone book can store up to 1,000 entries with each entry holding a maximum five numbers, two email addresses, and a photo ID from the My Pictures folder.
The enV2 comes with Bluetooth functions and the ability to save up to 20 profiles, including those for headsets, most handsfree devices, dial-up networking, advanced audio distribution with stereo support, sending and printing user-generated images, phone book access, file transfer and sending data for vCards and vCalendars. Bluetooth accessories are sold separately.
Another plum feature is the VZ Navigator GPS system, which gives audible turn-by-turn directions to help locate U.S. landmarks, restaurants and ATMs. Thanks to a loud speakerphone and large internal display screen, the enV2 can also double as a handy pocket GPS.
If users are into text messaging and emails on the go, then the enV2 should be at the top of their shopping list. In addition to an ergonomically-sound keyboard, this well-designed phone provides standard messaging options for the no frills consumer who may not want all the bells and whistles (or cost) of a smartphone, like the Apple iPhone or BlackBerry Pearl, which utilize actual Web browsers.
As with many multimedia phones, one downside to the enV2 package is that many of the accessories needed to fully appreciate all of its features -- like MP3 downloads and Bluetooth functions -- must be purchased separately. Extra purchases might include a USB cable, headphones and microSD card.
Agree or disagree? We'd love to hear your thoughts. Share your experience and leave a comment below. ♦
Categories: Fun | Messaging
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I was in love with my original enV, but after two years, it was worn out and deserved a good retirement, so I made the mistake of buying the enV2 when I reupped my contract in January of 2009. It worked fine for a while, but then in May 2009 I started having major errors...
The phone would EAT through a battery in about 12 hours sittign mostly idle, and other times it would last a day and a half, even with heavy use texting, pictures etc.
Then the phone started shuttign off without notice. You'd pick it up and it would be turned off. I'd turn it on and be deluged with voicemails, texts WHERE ARE YOU WHY IS YOUR PHONE OFF?
Then it got to the point where you'd be in the middle of sending a text and the whole phone would just DIE. No power off screen with teh Verizon logo, nothing. The screen would just go black.
I got a new one through my insurance plan with Verizon.
That one had just as many problems.
The OK button onthe outside of the phone broke within two months. This is the button that unlocks the keys and allows you to dial the phone, so without a working OK button, you're screwed.
Then it only started working if you smacked the phone on a relatively soft surface, like a cardboard box or a paperback novel. I shouldn't have to hit a phone to make the buttons work!
Then the OK button on the inside of the phone started breaking and getting choosey. The ok button would not work for certain functions while it'd work fine for others.
I also got a new battery for it. I like to have a spare battery for my phones just incase you need it. It is a genuine LG battery, but when I put it in the phone and it just gave me a gray screen that said "Use Genuine Battery" and a 10 second powerdown counter.
I finally just gave up on this wretched piece of equipment and ordered a flip phone on eBay to ride out the rest of my contract. I'm back to using my old school silver enV for now, which is hanging on for dear life until I can get my new phone delivered.Was this review helpful to you?
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
I really like my enV2
i switched from AT&T and had a Blackjack II. Wow I love my enV2 sooooooooo much more its not evn funny. I hate windows mobile. But anyway back the enV2. Its GREAT to text on -- that's the main reason I bought it.
I was stuck between this and the Voyager but didnt want the touchscreen, but the voyager keyboard is nicer to text on.
I actually like the keyboard on the original enV better than on the enV2 but its still nice and a lot smaller than the 1st one. The battery life isnt the greatest. it lasts about two days to one and a half depending on how much I text that day.
The little screen on the front doesn't bother me at all but I do prefer the screen on the orginal enV because you can do about everything on it.
on the enV2 you have to open the phone to do just about everything. I suggest they update the enV2 and have a bigger screen on the front with more functions. it is possible without changing the keypad.
Oh and I reallly don't like the vibrate, you can hear it and not feel it which is pointless because you put it on vibrate for people not to hear your phone. it's just a loud buzz and annoying.
But this is a really nice phone but if you have fat fingers definitely get the voyager. I have no problem but my friend does hah but I guess you could adjust to it. I give it a 4 out of 5 because there are a couple things I like on the orginal enV over this one.Was this review helpful to you?
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
Plain and Simple, But Easily Amazing
This review is coming from a former RAZR user. It took me a long time to decide what phone from Verizon would be best for me. I decided to research the env2 since a friend has the original env. In his words, "Are you kidding me? It's the best phone I've ever owned!"
The keyboard appealed to me the most. The keys are a bit small but I'm sure once I get used to the location of they keys it will not be a problem. When I first got the RAZR I thought it was very hard to text on, but I got used to it too!
The sound was good, call quality great! It was very user friendly, didn't even need my manual! It's not over the top.
I can't quite give a review for the camera. I mean, I used it once and it takes decent pictures for a 2.0 megapixel camera. If you want a fantastic quality of photo.go buy a digital camera!
I know some people didn't like the fact that the outside screen was so tiny, but the text is plenty big when it comes to incoming calls, viewing your contacts list, alarms, ect. So far I have yet to have my phone "unlock" and make a call without me actually doing it. Very impressed!Was this review helpful to you?
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
Give it a try, I know you will like it
This phone is a great compact phone that excels in just about every area that counts including price. Dont believe me? Just try this yourself, go to Verizon Wireless and compare the Env2 with any phone in the lineup and your will be suprised how well this phone compares to others in the lineup (gasp even the voyager!)
Holding this phone in your hand feels very comfortable due to its rubberized backing on the phone and it feels very well constructed in terms of fit and finish.
To be honest I was looking to for a reason to get one of the uber touchscreen phones and found flaws in every one of them. Not only mysel but the expert reviewers all agree that the top touchscreen phones seem to be lacking in the touchscreen department. Again read the expert reviews on the top Verizon phones and you will see my point.
The Env2 takes great pictures with the 2MP camera and the internal screen is beautiful to look at. I like the look of the phone on the outside, it seems refined and classy and have too many features to list here.
If you buy this phone I guarantee you often find a smile on your face while using this phone knowing that you saved over $100.00 on this phone versus having the Glyde and Voyager and even Venus for that matter.
:D See that face there? Thats the same face you will find yourself with as you get to know the Env2.
Oh and the Maroon color is very nice. Enjoy!Was this review helpful to you?
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
Best Value for the Price
This phone is the best value for the price in the Verizon lineup. The decision whether this phone is for you comes down to desired features versus drawbacks. Quality of the phone, style, durability, signal strength, clarity, sound quality, features, price and versatility are all assurred.
If you are a "texter"; love to listen to stereo MP3's; often have 2 hands free to use the phone; and adequately protect your phone in a case.this phone will be the best you have ever owned.
1. Because the "phone" is on the outside, keeping it in a case has a two-fold purpose. The first is protection. The second is that, without a case, and in order to prevent accidental button pushing (e.g., in your pocket), the phone needs to be locked. I have found it quite inconvenient to have to unlock the phone every time I use it.
2. Many of the features, from messages to contacts; settings changes to multi-media usage; are best accessed with the phone fully open. This requires a bit of attention and the use of two hands.
That's really it. If the negatives above don't bother you, you cannot go wrong with this phone. They do bother me, but I have not yet decided to change phones!
I know if I can adjust to the couple of minor drawbacks, I will be very happy with this phone.Was this review helpful to you?
4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.
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