Editor’s Note: This preliminary review was written based on just a day of experience with this phone. A much more comprehensive review is available here: LG Versa Review
The LG Versa is the latest mobile phone launching on the Verizon network, and it’s aptly named, because this device is truly one of the most versatile I’ve seen.
The Versa can take on two entirely different configurations, depending on how you want to use it. The simplest is a candybar-style phone that is remarkably similar to the LG Dare (reviewed here a couple of weeks ago). It is slightly longer and narrower than the Dare, with only a 2.0 megapixel camera, but it has the advantage of the ability to transform into an exceptional texting phone with the addition of a physical QWERTY keyboard.
The “magic” is performed by removing the back plate of the Versa and snapping it into a case that houses a 50-key QWERTY keyboard. The keys are rather tall and narrow, but nicely separated, and I don’t think it will take too much practice to become proficient. The inclusion of a dedicated row of number keys is nice, and they are also illuminated for use in low-light situations.
The exterior of the keyboard attachment is covered in a brown leather-like material that adds a touch of class to the phone. There is also an integrated secondary display that shows the time, battery charge level, and network signal strength. Speaker and camera lens cutouts on the back of the case ensure the unhindered operation of all the phone’s features.
It may seem at first that it would be impossible to use the Versa as a phone when the keyboard is attached, since you need to open the “case” to make a call, but the designers solved that problem quite simply. When you place a call the screen momentarily flashes a message to remind you that closing the case will not terminate the call; you can then carry on a normal conversation while holding the device to your ear. Call and disconnect buttons are conveniently located on the bottom of the case.
I have been pleasantly surprised by the snappy performance of the LG Versa so far. The user interface is similar to the one found on the Dare, but it has obviously been tweaked and streamlined to improve the overall experience. The touch screen is extremely responsive, and the call quality is very good.
The VZ Navigator software and the VCast media applications are included, and preliminary testing shows that they are both useful and easy to use. The VZ Navigator application has been able to get a fix on my exact position in under five seconds each time, and you can also search for nearby businesses, movie theaters, etc. and get turn-by-turn directions to your destination whether you’re walking or driving.
There’s a lot to like about the LG Versa, and my upcoming full review will cover everything in much greater detail — and let you know whether there are any potential negatives regarding this incredibly versatile new device from Verizon.