[singlepic=404,465,380,,]Verizon’s enV2, otherwise known as the VX9100 is a texter’s delight.  Hidden beneath the standard keypad is a complete QWERTY keyboard sporting two additional soft keys for on screen demands.  This iteration of the enV series is slimmer, more compact, and cooler looking than its predecessor.  It’s standard keypad and outside screen gives the VX9100 a wolf in sheep’s clothing appearance and unfortunately might deter the teen crowd whose always looking to wow their pals upon initial unveiling.  With a little patience though, the enV2 can be everyone’s desire.

I know it’s a cell phone, but what makes the LG enV2 special?
Not only is the LG enV2 compact and unassuming, it sports a complete QWERTY keyboard.  The phone opens like a book revealing not only the keyboard but a larger screen for complete navigation of the phone’s menu and Verizon’s online portal.  The LG is also capable of high speed internet access, includes a microSD memory card slot for expansion, and GPS, but more about that later.

How’s the battery life on the enV2?
Standby time is beyond stellar.  I left the phone alone for 2 weeks.  Literally on day 14 the battery died.  Be warned, though, GPS will drain this sucker.  I used it to navigate to downtown LA.  I forget to turn it off, and just over an hour later the phone’s batter was dead.

Speaking of GPS, is it a reasonable substitute for a stand alone system?
Hmmm, that’s a tough one.  If you’re just driving local, or need to get the occasional directions, sure.  In my testing the enV2 had a hard time finding some locations or venues by name, unlike my iPhone’s Google maps where I can just punch in a venue and 9/10 times it will locate it.   In the event that I did take a wrong turn or went an alternative direction, the LG enV2′s GPS was quick to reroute and provide accurate directions.  In short, the database of venues and locations needs a little updating, which is probably more a component of Verizon, and less the phone.

Any other notable features on the LG enV2?
For sure.  It’s got a 2 megapixel camera that doesn’t work half bad, but much like all cell phone cameras, don’t expect stand along camera quality.  Adjacent to the internal screen is also 4 speakers that produce amply volume for their size.  The internal keyboard, and external keypad are both backlit which is a nice touch but pretty standard these days.  One other notable feature, was the ability to download new apps to the phone.  I particularly enjoyed the free and unlimited use ‘V Cast Song ID’ that determines the song playing by listening to a 10 second sample.

How about design, any draw backs or pluses?
On the outer left edge of the phone are dedicated camera and volume buttons.  Hold the camera button down and you can record video.  Just click the camera button and your ready to snap photos.  The microSD slot is a nice option for those looking to expand their music library.  Unfortunately, LG failed to include a full sized headphone jack (3.5mm) and for some reason opted for the 2.5mm input instead.  Most annoying was the placement and size of the ‘space bar’ on the phone’s internal full QWERTY keyboard – it’s too small and placed in the lower right corner.  Perhaps after long term use you could adjust to this short coming but I felt it impeded my texting and emailing abilities.  On the outer keypad the ‘# sign’ doubles as vibrate/ring button when held down, and the ‘CLR’ button doubles as a start/stop button for recording voice notes – great for spying or recording heated arguments with the girlfriend (wink).  The outer screen it a tad on the small side, but serves it’s purpose for screening incoming calls and with some acclimation taking photos or recording videos.  The hinge, which allows you to open the phone and reveal the enV2′s keyboard and larger screen, offers two viewing angles: 120-degrees, or 180-degrees.

All I care about are ringtones?
The included ringtones are just so-so, but what can you really expect.  One thing I can say is that the LG enV2 has a crazy loud ring, and when shuffling through the included rings my ear drums almost exploded a few times.  Fear not, you can download MP3 ring tones for a small fee.

Anything else?
Why, sure.  The LG enV2 is ideal for texting and I suppose emailing.  Particularly weak, is the included IM application.  For every ‘instant message’ sent you’ll be charged a text message, thus defeating the purpose of ‘IMing’.  By no means is it intended to be a smart phone replacement.  The web is really just WAP and is at best good for checking news snippets, downloading music, or checking sports scores.

Is it worth buying?
If you’re looking for a text/email machine then Verizon’s enV2 will have you dialed in.  It leaves something to be desired when it comes to the phone’s overall aesthetic, which as mentioned may prove to much a hurdle for those looking to show off their latest tech toy.  Call quality was fine and the Bluetooth worked when pairing with a Plantronic Bluetooth headset.  Lastly, battery life is pretty kick ass as long as you don’t go GPS crazy.

The Verizon enV2 (VX9100) is available here for $50 after mail-in-rebates and contract signing.

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Christen Costa

 
Grew up back East, got sick of the cold and headed West. Since I was small I have been pushing buttons - both electronic and human. With an insatiable need for tech I thought "why not start a blog focusing on technology, and use my dislikes and likes to post on gadgets."