The interface is mostly intuitive. Basic navigation was pretty easy, though it took too many clicks to access a folder other than our in-box. You can choose how many messages you'd like to appear in your in-box--from the 25 most recent to the 100 most recent--and you can select how much of the message you'd like to show in the in-box. Swapping between accounts was pretty simple. Ideally, we'd like all of our messages to come to single in-box, but that's something we can live without on a handset that's not a true smartphone.
As mentioned earlier, the Rumor2 bests the original Rumor by supporting Microsoft server and Lotus Notes. That means you can get work e-mail right on the phone in the same manner as the POP3 accounts. There is one catch, however. Like the Samsung Instinct it is best if your employer uses Outlook Web access. If not, you'll have to use the Sprint Mobile Email client, which has a more tedious Web-based interface. Luckily, we have OWA at CNET, so we were able to access our account in just a few minutes and get messages. The interface and in-box options are the same as when accessing POP3 accounts. Syncing was uneven here as well.
It's too bad that LG couldn't give us a better camera on the Rumor2. Like on the Rumor, the 1.3-megapixel shooter takes pictures in three resolutions and three quality settings. Editing options include three color tones, adjustable brightness and white balance controls, nine fun frames, a self-timer, a digital zoom, a night mode, and four shutter sounds, plus a silent option. Oddly enough, the Rumor2 does not shoot video.
Photo quality was pretty good, with bright colors and little image noise. It's really easy to get photos off the phone. You can transfer them to a PC via a USB cable or the memory card, you can send them in a multimedia message or e-mail, and you can send them directly to a photo printer. You also can upload them to a Sprint online account or send them to third-party vendors for printing. The Rumor has 22MB of internal memory, and the memory card slots supports up to 16GB.
The Rumor2's music player has a basic player that supports MP3, MIDI, WAV, AMR, and QCP files. Features are limited to repeat and shuffle modes, but the interface is intuitive. It's easy to load music on the phone using a microSD card. Unfortunately, you can't save music tracks as ring tones, but you can pair contacts with a voice recording. Music quality was just average. Like on the Rumor, the sound lacked warmth. Deep bass was lacking and the audio was somewhat tinny.
You can personalize the Rumor2 with a variety of screensavers, clock and calendar styles, and a greeting. More options, and additional ringtones, are available from Sprint using the WAP 2.0 Web browser. The Rumor2 comes with three demo games--Bejeweled, Guitar Hero II, and Monopoly Word--but you'll have to purchase the full versions for extended play. You also get access to a few apps like Loopt, Nascar Spring Mobile, NFL Mobile, and Social Zone.
We tested the dual-band (CDMA 800/1900) LG Rumor2 in San Francisco using Sprint service. Call quality was about the same as on the Rumor, which is to say it was quite agreeable. The signal was strong, and voices sounded natural. There was less static than on the Rumor, but the audio had a more echoed effect at times. It wasn't a deal-breaker, though. We also noticed that the volume could stand to be a bit louder on our end.
On their end, callers said we sounded fine. Most could tell that we were using a cell phone, but that's not unusual. A few had trouble hearing us when we were speaking in noisy environments, but the complaints were minor. We had few issues when using an automated-calling system, as long as we were in a quiet room.
Speakerphone calls were fine and somewhat improved over the Rumor. The audio was quite clear, and the volume was loud. Callers could understand us even if we spoke a couple of feet from the phone.
It's too bad that the Rumor2 doesn't support Sprint's EV-DO network. That was one of our biggest complaints with the Rumor, and it's too bad that LG couldn't add it in here. It would be quite useful on such an e-mail-centric phone.
The Rumor2 has a rated battery life of 5.5 hours talk time. The tested talk time isn't much longer at 5 hours and 50 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Rumro2 has a digital SAR rating of 1.51 watts per kilogram, which is rather high.