I've owned a pair of these devices for six months now, one for me, one for my wife. We both want to throw them into the river but of course are bound by a one sided contract.
Recommend this product?
The gimmick is pretty and attractive and much of its appeal has been the bells and whistles that you first see. Wow, TV! Touch screen, games, email, cool icons, neat-o keyboard and internet cool! Well, that is about as far as it goes. In practice, as one other reviewer said, it is cumbersome and clumsy and worse yet, way too expensive for the features.
TV, really nifty indeed. Picture quality is great, reception better than the cell phone part but in all the cities I've travelled to and through, not one marlet had TV available, only my home area so the only use I got was if I was wasting time waiting at the barber shop or doctor's office. Cost was $15 a month..after three months we discontinued service. It just is not worth that monthly fee times two to have limited coverage and limited use. One feature gone.
Internet. This gizmo has perhaps the slowest and most useless browser in history. 3G? You have to be kidding. In our market I'd call it 3C; cumbersome, cruddy and crude. The viewing area is so small as to be rediculous and if you "magnify" you get lost on the pages. Connection was slower than my old dial up and seemed to have to flow through their proprietary system. The result, another worthless feature and another $15 (each) that is better spent on laundry detergent. Two features gone.
Email. I'll have to admit that email was one feature that worked pretty well. It was easy to set up each email account and emails did download fairly fast. Unfortunately, this service is bound with the internet access so when we cancelled the internet, we lost this service. Three down and now the phone is pretty much just a phone.
Games. These are nice and some are fun time wasters. The ones we managed to buy before cancelling internet access are easy to play and fun. However, you must have the internet service to obtain them so without it, we get no more new games.
Use of the phone is fairly straightforward but you had better hope you never need to call a number that requires keyboard input to navigate through the obstacles of "press 1 for Spanish, press 2 for more menus, press 3 and the pound sign to go pound sand." Trying to use the virtual keyboard during a call is frustrating. For one thing, the phone has this habit of "locking" if some time passes (usually a very short time) so you have to keep unlocking and bringing up the keyboard during these type calls. Often I found myself losing the call while trying to fumble with the unlock button and the keyboard. Unfortunately just about every business on earth forces you to run the "press 1" gauntlet so you are pretty much screwed to the wall on this "feature." If I need to call a business that has the "press 1" system, I always try to find another phone to use. If you want to call a number with no complications, the VU works almost as good as a Cricket.
Battery life. This is one of the most frustrating "features." The battery in this phone on the one hand charges quickly but discharges almost as fast. Standby time is much less than phones we have had before but worse yet is the "fall off" once the battery starts losing power. Usually, if your battery shows several bars you still have significant talk and standy time. With the VU if you see one open bar you had better charge up in a hurry. I have left the house with only one bar down from full and 30 minutes later I get a low battery signal. Once that signal comes you have at best five minutes till shutdown and less than one minute of talk time. I've never seen a battery die as fast as these.
Icon display, well, it is cool looking but simply looks to me like an iPhone wanna be. After a while the novelty wears off and it just becomes ho-hum.
Messaging is fairly easy and the virtual keyboard works pretty well as the "keys" are somewhat larger than some phones. A good feature with this phone is the ability to turn it on its side and get a "landscape" view. The keyboard in landscape is almost as good as a standard keyboard.
The highly advertised and heralded 3G network is probably fine somewhere but in our area, it is absolutely terrible. The area we live in has awful reception and the phone cannot be used at all in our home. If we need to use it, we have to go outside and walk around till we get one bar and hope it will work. We are pretty upset over that and feel that ATT should tell customers what their reception at home will be. I use my phone for business purposes and have missed many very important calls as a result. ATTs service is spotty and they should warn customers before signing a contract that they won't be able to use the phone at home.
So now we have an expensive phone that has no TV, has no internet or email and can't be used at home. I think I could do better with a tin can and string. The only time we can use our phones is away from home so get perhaps 40% utility.
ATT customer service. We called ATT and told them we were unappy about the service and could they please let us end the contract. The less than helpful representative looked and helpfully told us what we already knew, that our service was terrible and that yes, we could not use our phones in our home. She also told us we were out of gas on getting the contract changed. So my wife asks for a supervisor. Wow, ATT has no supervisors. When pressed, we are told well, "there is no supervisor here who can help you with that." Can you spell s-t-o-n-e-w-a-l-l? So then she proceeds to tell us that no-one will help us over the phone, we must write to some office in Colorado and plead our case. When asked who to address it to she says, "just put "supervisor on it." Are you kidding me? So lets get this straight, we send a letter to an office 1,000 miles away to an anonymous person that we will never know who they are and so won't be able to follow up with and just wait for the heavens to open up and answer us. Can you spell B-I-G stonewall?
So here we are with a phone that is only partly useful, still paying over $100 a month for non-service and committed to another year and a half, unable to actually talk to someone who will help and pretty much screwed.
My suggestion is this..get your phone from Verizon, and skip the LG VU. If you do go with ATT, make them look up your reception and show it to you (they can do that on the computer) and go to Verizon if they cannot assure you of full utility. By the way, we are in a metropolitan area (Memphis, TN) and are appaled that they have coverage gaps in some of the most populated parts of town.
Overall, ATT & the LG VU are questionable options in the current glutted market.
Amount Paid (US$): 100 (each)
Recommended for: Stylish Trendsetters - Hip and Trendy