LG VX8100 (Verizon Wireless)

The Good The LG VX8100 is EV-DO and V Cast capable, and it comes with a Mini SD card slot, a megapixel camera/camcorder, Bluetooth, loud stereo speakers, and an MP3 player.

The Bad The LG VX8100 is heavier and has less battery life than its predecessor, and it's saddled with a protruding antenna and no e-mail support, as well as limited Bluetooth use and no analog roaming.

The Bottom Line The LG VX8100 is a smaller, louder, brighter, and more stylish upgrade of LG's VX8000. It adds Bluetooth, expandable memory, and a speedier implementation of EV-DO, but you lose some screen real estate and battery life.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0
7.0 Overall

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LG VX8100 (Verizon Wireless)
LG VX8100 (Verizon Wireless)
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Review

LG VX8100 (Verizon Wireless)

LG VX8100

It's often said that life is all about compromise, and to that end, cell phones are no exception. Take, for example, the LG VX8000. While its multimedia capabilities make it one of the most well-endowed mobiles on the market, it's missing one major component: Bluetooth. Fortunately, LG has corrected this omission in its VX8100, much more than just a simple upgrade of its predecessor. While both are flip handsets that offer EV-DO connectivity and a 1.3-megapixel digital camera, the VX8100's smaller, contoured body and dark-turquoise color are a big improvement upon the boxy and bulky silver makeup of the VX8000. Also, we are pleased to see the addition of an expandable memory slot. However, not all about the VX8100 is better. Although faster for downloading, especially for V Cast video clips, the VX8100 has less battery life, and the display size is a bit smaller. Even more important, we are extremely disappointed to see that some promised features have been disabled. The handset is priced at $249.99 with a one-year contract or $149.99 with a two-year contract. Where aesthetics and ergonomics are concerned, LG has decided to eschew the flashy for the functional. Except for its unusual, dark-turquoise clamshell cap and its multimedia control array beneath the external display, the LG VX8100 is similar to dozens of other handsets from a variety of cell phone manufacturers. But given recent industrial-design excesses executed purely for the sake of product differentiation by handset makers, this likeness isn't necessarily a bad thing, nor is it a critique. As we said before, the VX8100's curved lines are an improvement upon the boxy form of the LG VX8000.


True blue: We like the VX8100's design.

There are several minor but significant ergonomic differences between the VX8100 and the VX8000. As noted, at 3.58 by 1.92 by 1.03 inches--compared with its predecessor's 3.76 by 1.97 by 0.93 inches--the VX8100 is shorter, which makes it a bit more comfortable in jeans or khaki pockets. Yet at 4.16 ounces, the VX8100 is mysteriously 0.28 ounce heavier. On the outside, the speakers on the VX8100 have moved from the top of the clamshell to the caps on either side of the clamshell hinge. As a result, sound direction and volume don't change when the phone is open. On the left spine are a volume rocker and a voice-command control that also conveniently turns on the flash when you're in camera mode. Meanwhile, a dedicated camera key and a Mini SD slot are on the right spine. The VX8100's stumpy antenna doesn't telescope like the VX8000's, but the camera lens and flash are on the same place: at the top of the phone's hinge.

The postage stamp-size external screen supports a bright 65,000 colors and shows the date, the time, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID (where available). As with the VX8000, you can use the external screen as a camera viewfinder, but this time, you can do so with or without the clamshell up--a nice touch. You can change the wallpaper and the backlighting on the external display, but the maximum is just 30 seconds. On the upside, pressing any of the external controls on the handset turns on the screen, so you don't have to open the flip to check the time. Unlike its predecessor, however, the LG VX8100 doesn't have the ability to act as a mini menu for the camera features. The aforementioned multimedia controls let you use the MP3 player with the phone closed, and they also act as a Back key when in camera mode.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand LG
  • Service Provider Verizon Wireless
  • Weight 4.13 oz
  • Technology CDMA2000 1X
  • Additional Features TTY compatible
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