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Review: LG Dare

LG Dare dares to be different

The LG Dare may seem like just any other touch-screen phone, but I'm here to tell you that it has quite a few surprising features that made us sit up and take notice. First, it has one of the more innovative interface layouts I've seen, where you can drag and drop shortcut icons directly to the home screen. Also, there's a drawing pad application that lets you sketch out little doodles and maps and then send them to your friends via MMS. As for text input, you can choose from a T9 keypad, a full QWERTY keyboard when you rotate the phone 90 degrees counterclockwise, plus a handwriting recognition option for those who want to try out their Graffiti skills. That said, the touch interface isn't the most intuitive, and the text input isn't smart enough to auto-correct words and sentences (It doesn't even automatically capitalize a word after a period, for example).

The most interesting feature by far, however, is the 3.2-megapixel camera that has fancy features such as face detection, noise reduction, panorama photo stitching, and a SmartPic technology that corrects face color distortion and low light situations. It also has a built-in camcorder that can record high-speed video and play it back in slow motion, which is the first of its kind for a phone in the U.S. Other features include EV-DO Rev. A speeds, access to Verizon's 3G services such as V Cast video and V Cast Music (including the new Rhapsody service), a 3.5 mm headset jack, GPS, Bluetooth (A2DP capabilities, as well as the capability to use the Dare as a modem), and more. It's not quite the iPhone killer because of the less than satisfactory Web browsing, lack of Wi-Fi, and touchy interface, but it has a lot of interesting features that will satisfy Verizon customers looking for an alternative. It's priced very competitively at $199 with a two-year service agreement. Check out our review for the full details.