The LG Vortex is among the latest entry-level Android OS smartphones available through Verizon Wireless.
Considering you can get this device for free after rebates and new activation, or $280 without committing to a contract, it definitely sits on the lower end of the price scale -- although its hardware doesn't necessarily reflect its low price.
BUILD & DESIGN
The Vortex starts off with a fairly basic design; a rounded tablet shape that's slightly curvier and more tapered than the iPhone, but still holds to a basically rectangular form.
The plastic casing has a rubbery coating, giving both excellent traction and a good feel in the hand. Overall, it's a very comfortable phone to hold. It's fairly light and the weight is well distributed, so it feels balanced, while the build quality is durable. You could very easily take this for being a much more expensive phone based on the feel of it.
The dominant feature of this device is the 3.2-inch 320 x 480 display.
Like almost all new touchscreens, it's a capacitive display, meaning it reacts to fingers rather than pressure. As you might expect, this requires you to be accurate with your fingertips, but that's made surprisingly easy with its sensitive screen.
Other Buttons & Controls
My biggest complaint with the Vortex's design is the same one I've had with all similar devices -- text input via touchscreen keyboard is slower and more awkward than using a "real" keyboard. Not to mention the nearly two-thirds of screen space that it takes up, sometimes obscuring other things you'd rather see. Nevertheless, that's the trade-off one makes for this class of device.
Besides the touchscreen, the only other controls to be found on the Vortex are the side volume keys and the four front navigation buttons. These are "real" buttons rather than touch-sensitive ones, so you're rewarded by a nice tactile click when you press one.
I do have to thank LG's engineers for having made the device's microSD slot accessible without removing the battery cover, something that's increasingly rare these days. Here, the card slot (and the 2 GB card the phone comes bundled with) are protected by a small attached cover which blends into the side of the phone when not in use.
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