LG Versa review: Lots of potential, but it falls short of perfection

The LG Versa promises to be one of the most versatile phones on the market, with the option of additional modules to increase its functionality. But its lack of Wi-Fi or 3.5mm headset jack, plus the terrible Web browser prevents it from being the best.

The LG Versa has the option of a QWERTY keyboard module.
The LG Versa has the option of a QWERTY keyboard module. Corinne Schulze/CNET

We've been using the LG Versa for the past few days, and we wanted to love it, we really did. The LG Versa holds so much promise --it's the first touch-screen phone we know of that has the option of adding external modules.

In fact, it comes with a detachable QWERTY keyboard module included in the box. The idea really appealed to us; we could attach the keyboard when texting is a priority, and detach it when we wanted to lighten the load. It was like combining the best of the LG Dare and the LG Voyager in one convenient package.

All that, and the LG Versa has three customizable home screens, a full HTML browser with Flash Lite so we could watch YouTube on the fly, EV-DO, GPS, and stereo Bluetooth. So what's not to love?

The one sticking point turned out to be the browser. For some reason, the touch-screen response within the browser was incredibly stubborn. I ended up tapping at a button an average of 8 to 10 times before it would respond. When tapping the menu button, for example, the phone would vibrate, and there would be a clicking sound, but still the menu wouldn't pop up--at least not until several attempts later.

Also, while it loaded WAP and mobile Web pages without a problem, it often choked on full HTML pages. We've had to hard reset the phone multiple times because of this. It is just not the best mobile Web browser, that's for sure. Plus it doesn't have Wi-Fi, it uses a 2.5mm headset jack instead of the standard 3.5mm, and the Visual Voice Mail costs $2.99 a month.

Still, the Versa had so many other things going for it that we still gave it a positive score overall. The physical QWERTY keyboard module is great, the customizable home screens is a neat idea, and the ability to play YouTube videos is pretty cool. We even liked the virtual QWERTY keyboard in case the physical module is out of reach.

Not to mention the LG Versa has a lot of potential, especially with future modules. There are talks of an external module for speakers, plus a game pad controller for games. That alone boosts the LG Versa in our book. If it weren't for the browser and a few other issues, we probably would've given the Versa a much better score.

But hey, don't let us stop you from making up your own mind on the Versa. Check out our full review of the LG Versa and let us know what you think of the phone. If you already bought it, did you experience any of the issues we had? Let us know, good or bad.

 

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