LG Banter also available from U.S. Cellular

We take a closer look at the LG Banter, which is pretty much identical to the LG Rumor 2 except for a few aesthetic changes.

Two LG Banters next to the LG Rumor 2
The U.S. Cellular LG Banter is on the far left, followed by the Alltel LG Banter in the middle, and the LG Rumor 2 is on the far right. Nicole Lee/CNET

As you might recall, the LG Banter is Alltel's version of the LG Rumor 2. Well, U.S. Cellular will also offer the phone, and we managed to take a slightly closer look at the LG Banter at CTIA 2009.

The LG Banter's keyboard is slightly different from the LG Rumor 2
The LG Banter's keyboard is slightly different from the LG Rumor 2's. Nicole Lee/CNET

Indeed, it looks a lot like the LG Rumor 2, but it has a slightly more rectangular design, plus it has interchangeable faceplates. The faceplates are pretty easy to take on and off--just slip your finger nail in around the edge to pry it off. So far, the Banter has silver and green face plates. The Banter's keyboard is noticeably different; the two soft keys for landscape mode are now incorporated into the keyboard itself (The Rumor 2's soft keys for landscape mode are on the right side of the display) and the emoticon key on the Rumor 2 is not present on the Banter.

Features, which include a 1.3-megapixel camera, a music player, Bluetooth, a microSD card slot, and lots of messaging options like support for work email, are the same as the Rumor 2's. It's only $20 with an Alltel two-year service agreement. It's available from U.S. Cellular, as well, but for $50.

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