The Good Integrated 1.3-megapixel camera with video; solid call quality; support for high-speed EV-DO third-generation networks; plays MP3s; speakerphone.
The Bad High-speed networks are available only in limited areas; no Bluetooth or infrared port; hefty.
The Bottom Line The VX8000 offers an admirable combination of features and performance. Before you jump onboard, though, make sure Verizon's EV-DO network is available in your area.
LG VX8000 (Verizon Wireless)
Editor's note: Since this review posted, Verizon has added new V Cast cities. Please see CNET's quick guide to 3G for a complete list.
The LG VX8000 for Verizon Wireless is the carrier's first EV-DO (Evolution-Data Optimized) capable handset. A more than worthy cell phone in its own right, the mobile is designed to benefit from Verizon Wireless's recently rolled-out third-generation-esque network, which promises average data speeds of 300Kbps to 500Kbps. In addition to boasting high-end extras such as a 1.3-megapixel camera and loads of messaging features, the VX8000's real selling point is its ability to allow users to access Video On Demand news, sports, and entertainment using the carrier's V Cast service. Kudos aside, we wish the VX8000 shipped with Bluetooth support. Nevertheless, at $199 after a $70 mail-in rebate and with a two-year service agreement, the LG VX8000 is fairly priced, considering its ample list of features. As expected, a cell phone with all of these features is bound to be hefty. The LG VX8000 comes in at 3.7 by 1.9 by 0.9 inches and weighs a hair less than 4 ounces, but it feels quite solid in the hand. An extendable antenna adds more bulk, but it's sturdier than most others we've seen. Speaking to its multimedia pedigree, on the front cover you'll find some interesting features. In addition to the 1.25-inch-diagonal, 262,000-color external display, you'll find the camera lens, which boasts a switch that changes the camera from portrait to macro mode for extreme close-ups. There's also a flash, and the external screen acts as a viewfinder for self-portraits. Below the display are three buttons: rewind, play/stop, and fast-forward, which allow you to control the playback of the multimedia files that you can download via V Cast. Sound for VCast files and the speakerphone comes through small stereo speakers on the front face, or you can use the included stereo headphones to listen to your files in private.
Because the VX8000 is a relatively large mobile, the navigation controls are well spaced. There's a five-way toggle that's preprogrammed with shortcuts to the Get Pix And Flix menu, the WAP 2.0 browser, the Get It Now menu, and the calendar. Flanking the navigation toggle are six buttons; the top two (on the left and right) are soft keys, while below the left soft key is the Clear/speakerphone button. When entering text, the Clear button serves as a Delete key, and in menus, it serves as a Back button. To activate the speakerphone, you simply hold down the corresponding button. Thankfully, with the VX8000, you can activate the speakerphone before as well as during a call. Below those keys is the Send button, under the right soft key is a dedicated camera/camcorder button, and below that is the End key. The VX8000's various keypad buttons are backlit in blue and amply spaced. Also, since the keypad buttons are slightly raised, it's easy to dial by feel.
When the phone is open, you also can activate the camera with the dedicated button on the right side. Once the camera application is launched, hitting it again switches over to the camcorder application. While we understand the need to easily be able to switch between the still and video cameras, we continually hit the camera button, expecting it to behave like a shutter. The only way to take a photo (or start and stop recording with the camcorder) is by pressing the OK button.
How to replace all your favorite Windows Phone features
We find the best replacements for your favorite features.
Samsung Galaxy S9 will blow away the phone field at MWC
The S9 is the sole headliner of the Mobile World Congress trade show, with LG, Huawei and HTC among the big players holding back their best phones for later.
No MWC, no problem -- LG's next flagship phone may be unveiled later in June
LG confirmed it won't release its next flagship this month at MWC 2018, and rumor has it that the phone might arrive in June instead.
Verizon shakes up prepaid plans with cheaper pricing tier, hotspot tethering and more
Prepaid Verizon customers will also be able to talk, text and surf the web in Mexico and Canada for $5 a day.
These brand new Nokia phones may have leaked early
The Nokia 7 Plus and Nokia 1 were possibly spoiled in new renders.
Samsung Galaxy S9: 2018 launch date, specs, price and everything else we know
On Sunday we'll learn how the Galaxy S9 stacks up against the iPhone X
Galaxy S9 should be insanely fast: Snapdragon 845 speed test
We ran 12 tests on the Snapdragon 845 processor to find out.
All the proof you need that 5G phones are coming in 2019
Eighteen carriers and 18 device makers have already backed it.
Wireless charging is meh, but it's going to get way better
This year's advances in wireless charging will help us ditch the cable.
Why this Nokia 7 Plus screen rumor gives us hope
That long and skinny Galaxy S8 look is so hot right now.
Foldable Samsung phone for 2018 could have a folding display
Samsung's doubling down on foldable screens. Here's the proof.
Will 'Moroccan Blue' be enough to save LG phones?
The LG G6 and Q6 gains flashy colors like "Moroccan blue," "lavender violet" and "raspberry rose."