When switching to camcorder mode, you're prompted to choose between shooting a long video or video mail, the latter giving you a maximum recording time of 30 seconds. Recording options include the same zoom, brightness, and white balance meters; and the same color and timer options. There are additional settings as well, such as choosing between three resolutions (WQVGA, medium, and low); quality options (fine, normal, economy); and three cue sounds.
The camera interface is one of the Rumor Reflex's major flaws. When you hold the device in landscape mode, the settings and feature options are displayed directly on top of the feedback, making the live frame much smaller than it appears. I ended up skewing a lot of my pictures to the left, just because I couldn't see that I actually still had space on the right. If the device is held in portrait mode, the camera settings lie at the bottom, which prompted me to accidentally frame my picture upward.
I tested the dual-band (CDMA 800, 1,900MHz) LG Rumor Reflex in San Francisco using Sprint's services. Audio quality was solid, calls didn't drop, and audio didn't clip in an out. Voices on my end, however, were stifled in the receiver. It wasn't anything that a few pumps of the volume couldn't improve, but it was noticeable. My callers said I sounded muffled, too. Aside from coming off a bit tinny and harsh, speaker audio quality during calls was perfectly adequate, too, and I could understand my friends.
Music playing through headphones sounded ample, but speaker quality, again, was not great. Especially with songs containing a lot of instrumentation; noises bled together and sounded flat. This isn't a device I'd recommend to put down and stream music out of.
LG Rumor Reflex call quality sample
Browsing the Web on Sprint's 3G network was sluggish. It runs on EVDO Rev. 0, so don't expect blistering speeds when going on the Internet, opening Facebook, or navigating your maps. Loading the CNET mobile site took an average of 25 seconds. When trying to view our full cite, a weird dialog message would pop up: "Memory shortage. Partial content may be shown. More text may be shown by turning Images Off." The New York Times' mobile site took 24 seconds and ESPN's took 14. Keep in mind that mobile Web sites, which the phone defaults to, as well as Facebook and Twitter, look different than full sites on a computer or a higher-end smartphone. A lot of coding is stripped away, so the site is modified to show only some of the graphics and images.
For a 2-megapixel camera, the handset's photo quality is understandably subpar. Images were predictably grainy, and the edges of objects were blurred. Yet, the white balance and color toning came out accurate. Although certain hues like reds and oranges didn't appear as vibrant as they did in real life, especially in low lighting, objects were easy to make out.
Video recordings also were mediocre. Images weren't as pixelated as I expected them to be, but they were far from crisp. The colors of driving cars weren't as lush, and it didn't pick up audio very well. I could barely understand the voices of people sitting or standing near me.
Since it doesn't do much, the handset has a solid battery life. Although I haven't finished our battery drain tests, anecdotally the device went through a day and a half without a charge and lost only about half its battery life. Texting, trudging through the Web, and making calls all day barely made a dent. FCC radiation tests, the phone has a digital SAR rating of 0.54/kg.
The LG Rumor Reflex has restored my faith in feature handsets. There was a time when I thought manufacturers simply did not put any effort into these types of devices anymore. Although it's not great for browsing, it has a responsive touch screen, simple but solid design, and good call quality. I'd recommend this device for anyone not interested in a data plan or the bells and whistles of a smartphone.