Cellular Reality

Posted by Mike Merritt in Personal Life on

So, now that I’m used to my new phone, some of the “honeymoon” stage with it is over.  I don’t have very many gripes about the phone, however.

The enV (VX9900) is definitely a phone made for 1) the avid texter and/or 2) someone who likes to use the mobile web features.  But, probably mostly #1 is the target audience for the enV, or else there would be a better browser.  But, more on that later.

Texting is absolutely, positively, simple with this phone.  I don’t know what exactly I need to explain here.  enV has a keypad with most of the keys of any traditional QWERTY keyboard.  So, that makes it easy to enter your message (which means that relatively quick typers can do full-length messages quickly – thereby, it’s an English buff’s best friend!  Finally, I like that my plan include mobile IM, so that I can have AIM or MSN wherever I go, and it looks nice, too.  It only seems to accept about a dozen users, but I’m not really complaining.

I haven’t had a lot of chance to see how well it plays songs yet.  While it’s not built to be a music player phone like the Chocolate or the VX8300, I can tell by the little music I’ve heard (a downloaded ringtone and an included piece of music) that the audio features are awesome.  The problem comes with calls.  I didn’t realize this before starting to write this entry, but apparently the same inside speakers used to play music are also used for calls.  This may explain why the person on the other end sounds slightly muffled.  However, there is what appears to be a speaker on the outside, where it normally would be!  So, I’m unsure if the muffled sound is being caused by the speakers being inside, or if the phone is a little less capable for call sound quality than some other phones.  I’ll have to do more research!

Then again, it may be the reception.  On one of my first lengthy calls, I seemed to lose some reception in areas where my old phone (VX4650) did not, like certain spots of my room.   A couple times it sounded like the other end was breaking up, though it could have been me.  However, I’ve not yet done a lengthy amount of talking on the phone (damn you, new unlimited texting plan).

Next, the VX Navigator!  GPS equipped (eat that, iPhone), turn-by-turn directions, with either current direction view or map view.  It works like a charm, though it the voice seems a bit too quiet, and I wish there were one or more two warnings of impending turns.  It’s no Garmin GPS Navigator, to be sure, but then, who is?  Not all too excited on finding out I may have accidentally purchased a day of service, though I don’t remember seeing any specific option to do so like with Wireless Sync Email – see below.  So, I’m hopeful that it’s either part of my plan, part of the extra mobile web service, or is a promotional thing.

Finally, I want to comment on the browser.  I have never yet had mobile web on a cell phone, except for maybe like a promotional month years ago.  I opted to get it since I’d like to be able to check my email while on the go.  As I’m going to be producing a TV show at my school next year, one that sometimes might involve me checking to see if people are gonna show up for shoots, or see if certain attachments have come to my mail (so I don’t waste my time going to the computer lab if I’m not in my room, only to find out it’s not there).  The enV has a whole email sync thing going on, but come on, $19.99 a month for mail, calendar, and contacts organizer?  For $5 a month, I can do more with what Gmail offers through the mobile web browser (like read AND write mail AND see contacts AND go to labels AAAAAND view .doc files – I’ll be interested to see if common image formats are accepted as downloads).  God, I love Gmail…with the properly formatted mobile version of its website…but I digress.

My only gripe about the browser is that it’s not up to par with the iPhone, but then again, what other phone’s browser is?  You can’t compare Safari with Openweb Communications Mobile Browser.  There is no comparison (talking about cell phones here, not browsers in general!).  But, I can get by on it (oooh Mobile Gmail, I love you so).

So, all in all, my first couple days with the LG enV (VX9900) have been favorable.  I’ve got a phone I like, and my sister is envious (pun fully intended).  I’m sure I’ll find some irksome things about it in the future, but for now, it is a dream phone.

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