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Monday, 27 April 2009

Life With My LG Dare

As reported earlier on this blog, I am the owner of an LG Dare phone. In case you didn't know, this is a touchscreen phone, that's classified as a smart dumbphone, and has a 3.2 MP camera. I have owned this phone for 4 months now, it has worked fine except for some problems, these belong to the "what I hate" section immediately below:
  1. Crappy Music Player: My contract is with Telus, and we are forced to use the Telus music player, it is absolutely horrible. I gave it a try for 5 minutes and haven't went back.
  2. My Email App: This is another problem due to Telus. My Email is an app that you can use for email instead of going through the browser. On the LG Dare it only works for about 5 hrs immediately after the phone is restarted!! Any other time and it freezes. I've been waiting 4 months to get this fixed.
  3. The Browser: The browser that comes with the LG Dare is OK, but nothing compared to Opera Mobile. Since the LG Dare is BREW based as opposed to JAVA, Opera can't be installed.
  4. Google Maps Doesn't Work: The crappy web version that looks archaic is the only version that works on the Dare, no high-res satellite photos here.
  5. Lack of Apps: Currently there are only 4 apps available for the Dare through Telus, 'nough said.
  6. It's Not a Smartphone: In the past few months there has been a lot of great apps released for smartphones, and Blackberry now has an app store. Sometimes I wish my phone was smarter.
Now it's time for "what I love":
  1. The Camera: Since I bought this phone, I rarely take my digital camera with me. The Dare camera has a really good lens and images come out looking very nice.
    East Coast of Newfoundland Shot With the LG Dare

    There are many options of the camera, my favorites are
    slow motion video mode, shooting in sephia, panoramas, and frame shots. All of these (including videos) can be easy uploaded to facebook or twitpic with just a few taps on the LG Dare touchscreen and no use of wires or a computer!!
  2. The Touchscreen: I was skeptical of touchscreens, I thought they would break or wouldn't be responsive. I've took this phone on many hikes and bicycle rides, and the screen is still extremely responsive. Looking through photos is done really nice, all that's required is a finger swipe across the screen.
  3. The Interface: The interface has a good layout and look. Things are easy to find, icons are clear, and items are logically placed.
  4. Full Screen QWERTY Keyboard: When your typing a message/note/web address and the phone is tilted 90o (it's horizontal) a full QWERTY keyboard appears. It is very responsive, and rarely does the wrong letter appear in the message.
  5. Customization: Like most phones, any photo can be used for the wallpaper, but what's really neat is that animations can be used!! The icons that appear on this screen (i.e. Browser) can be moved around, and you can customize which ones appear there.
  6. It's Not a Smartphone: OK, so this one did appear in the "what I hate" section. The big thing here is that where it's not a Smartphone, it's about $30/month cheaper (with taxes) because it doesn't have a data plan. For $70 per month, I get the Telus My Faves 5, unlimited web browsing, voice mail, caller id, unlimited YouTube videos, MSN Messenger App, My Email App, and early evenings/weekends. To get this with a Smartphone is at least $100/month.
Overall, I am happy with the LG Dare. The camera is definitely the best feature and the worst feature is the lack/support for apps. Since my phone is looking dumber everyday (comparatively), I'm hoping that Santa will bring me a smartphone next Christmas.