LG has a long history of churning out great basic phones for those of us who want a simple, no-frills device just for making and answering calls. The LG VX3400 is no exception, and though we have a minor aesthetic quibble over the monochrome external screen, everything else lived up to our expectations. And for the low price of $29.99 with a two-year contract, you certainly get what you pay for and more.
The LG VX3400 may not win any design contests, but we still liked its compact and minimalist appearance. It comes in dark blue with gray accents, measuring 3.33 by 1.79 by 0.94 inches, and weighing in at a lightweight 3.0 ounces. The device has a smooth plastic body with rounded edges, making it feel really comfortable in the hand. The phone's hinge had just the right amount of give, and we managed to open and close the phone with one hand.
On the front of the VX3400 is a small 1-inch-diagonal monochrome external screen. While we're somewhat disappointed by the lack of color, we did like the blue backlight that lit up whenever the phone was activated. The external screen displays the date, time, battery, and signal strength, as well as caller ID. Of course the monochrome screen can't display photo caller ID, which sits just fine with us since the phone doesn't have a camera anyway. There's a stubby antenna on the top right side of the phone. The left spine is home to a headset jack and a volume rocker, while the right spine houses a dedicated voice command button.
The internal display is nothing to write home about. It measures only 1.5 inches diagonally and supports 65,536 colors, resulting in a lackluster display. We were glad that Verizon didn't impose its custom menu style in the phone however, as we definitely prefer LG's more user-friendly menu navigation. There are two menu styles to choose from, icon or list view, and you can adjust the backlight timer of the main display as well as the keypad. You can also adjust the phone's contrast, as well as the font sizes for the calling digits, the text editor, and the menu font.