As mentioned earlier, the strongest feature of the LG VX5200 is the voice-recognition command menu, allowing users to access many of the handsets' key features with just their voice. After training the speaker-independent voice-recognition software, we successfully used voice commands to make simple phone calls, access our voicemail, call up our contact book, and edit our contacts, as well as check for missed calls or received messages, the time and the date, and the status of our phone. Using the speakerphone for voice commands worked fairly well; it understood our voice commands about 75 percent of the time. We would have liked to use the voice-command menu to add appointments to the calendar, but this wasn't a supported feature.
The phone has a quality VGA camera that takes still pictures but no video. The VGA camera takes pictures in three resolution settings--640x480, 320x240, and 160x120--and we had the option of customizing the white balance, the brightness, the shutter sound, and the color effects. The camera also comes with a 2X zoom, an embedded flash, a multishot adjustment, and a self-timer with three settings. We used the pictures for wallpaper and sent them via a multimedia message and an e-mail. We noticed, however, that sending a multimedia message was more trouble than it was worth, as it involved many steps and took too long for our liking. On the whole, though, the camera features are well integrated with the handset, and due to its ease of use, we enjoyed using it.
You can personalize the handset with a variety of wallpaper and sounds. In typical Verizon fashion, no games are included, but we downloaded Tetris and Bejeweled. Due to the lack of clarity on the screen, however, we didn't enjoy extended gameplay.We tested the dual-band/trimode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) LG VX5200 in the San Francisco area on Verizon's network, and call quality was generally good. We had no trouble with the sound quality, and although callers said we sounded far away and tinny when compared to our normal cell phone, no one mistook the call being made from a landline. Also, we did get interference when we sat too close to our computer or car speakers. Criticisms aside, we were impressed with the clarity and sound of the VX5200's speakerphone, and while we didn't experience any dropped calls, we did get network busy signals on two separate occasions.
Battery life was impressive. We beat the rated talk time of 3.3 hours, reaching a total time of 4.5 hours on a single charge. Our standby time was nearly 5 days, a bit less than the promised time of 6.8 days. The phone did not heat up after continued use of more than 20 minutes, and the sound quality didn't decline. According to FCC radiation tests, the LG VX5200 has a digital SAR rating the 1.23 watts per kilogram and an analog SAR rating of 1.26 watts per kilogram.