While Verizon Wireless is famous for its smartphones like the HTC ThunderBolt, the Motorola Droid X2, and the CDMA iPhone 4, it still has plenty of customers who would rather have a simple handset. And it doesn't get much simpler than the LG Revere, which is a basic clamshell handset without a lot of frills. It's not completely devoid of features, however, as it does have a 1.3-megapixel camera, mobile e-mail capabilities, GPS, Bluetooth, and the ability to post to several social networks. It's also very affordable at only $49.99 after a two-year agreement if you buy it in stores. You can actually get it for free if you buy it online.
The LG Revere has a traditional clamshell design. At 3.78 inches tall by 1.95 inches wide by 0.72 inch thick, the Revere makes no bones about being an affordable handset with its rather cheap-feeling plastic shell. Still, it has curves and rounded corners that do make it comfortable to hold. Its black-and-gray color scheme is a tad boring, but we're OK with that.
On the front of the phone is a monochrome 0.98-inch external display. It shows the usual date and time information as well as remaining battery life, signal strength, and caller ID. Directly above the display is the camera lens. A 2.5mm headset jack sits on the left spine along with the volume rocker and Micro-USB charging port. On the right is the dedicated camera button.
The Revere flips open easily yet firmly thanks to its sturdy hinge. It seemed as though we could open and close the phone several times without ill effects. The internal display is pretty typical for a basic phone--it measures 2 inches diagonally, and has 262,000-color support and a 176x220-pixel resolution. We're actually quite pleased with how bright and colorful the display is considering the phone's entry-level status. The text and graphics aren't as sharp as we would like, but that's to be expected. You can adjust the banner, the backlight time, the brightness, the wallpaper, the display theme, the menu layout, the type and size of the font, and the internal clock.
Underneath the display is a navigation array that consists of two soft keys, a square toggle with a middle OK key, a dedicated speakerphone key, a Clear/voice command key, and the Send and End/Power keys. The toggle can double as shortcuts to three user-defined applications with the up, left, and down direction buttons. The right direction button brings up a customizable My Shortcuts menu that you can populate with even more shortcuts.
We found both the navigation array and the number keypad beneath it to be quite roomy. The keypad is just a tiny bit flatter than we would like, but it has enough separation between each key that we could still text and dial by feel. Each key is quite big, and when pressed, the keys click satisfyingly into place.
The LG Revere ships with a 1,000-entry phone book, with room in each entry for five numbers, two e-mail addresses, an IM screen name, a street address, and notes. You can customize the contact with a photo for caller ID, and any of 27 different sounds for either a ringtone or a message alert tone. Each contact can also be organized into different caller groups.
Other basic features include a speakerphone, vibrate mode, a calculator, a tip calculator, a calendar, a to-do list, an alarm clock, a stopwatch, a world clock, and a notepad. The Revere also has voice commands, text and multimedia messaging, voice memo recording, GPS with VZ Navigator support, Bluetooth, and Info Search, which searches through the contents of your phone.
If you decide to connect to the Web, the Revere also offers a rudimentary mobile Web browser, mobile instant messaging, and mobile e-mail support. Verizon's Mobile Email application does require a subscription to use, but with it you can easily access all the popular Web e-mail services, including your own POP3 e-mails, as long as you have the server information. It does require a $5 monthly fee if you don't already have a $9.99-or-higher data plan.
As more people flock to social-networking sites, it's no surprise that the Revere has a few social-networking options as well, for posting status updates to Twitter, MySpace, and Facebook. Unfortunately, these are not actual apps--they're essentially shortcuts to new text messages sent directly to a predetermined number. You'll have to set up your phone number with these services separately. Still, you can post more than just a quick text. You can upload photos directly to your Facebook account from the Camera application, for example.
Speaking of the camera, the 1.3-megapixel lens on the Revere is not much to write home about. It functions well enough to take simple snapshots, as long as you don't mind the mediocre quality of the pictures. Images are too pixelated and blurry for our liking, and the color seems a bit washed-out as well. It does have several settings to help improve the image, though. They include three different resolutions, a self-timer, five white-balance presets, five color effects, a night mode, and noise reduction, and there are three shutter sounds plus a silent option.
The Revere comes with two games--Sudoku Deluxe and Uno. You can get more apps, ringtones, and graphics from the Verizon Wireless Web store.
We tested the LG Revere in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless. Call quality was quite impressive on the whole. On our end, we heard our callers very clearly, without any distortion or crackling. Voice quality was clean and natural.
Outgoing call quality was good, too, according to our callers. They reported decent volume, with no hiss or static in the background. There was the occasional crackle in our voice, but it wasn't too bad. On the whole they said our voice sounded clear and natural. The same goes for speakerphone calls, though the echo effect was more pronounced.
LG Revere call quality sample Listen now:
The LG Revere only has 1xRTT speeds, and no 3G. It has a rated battery life of 7 hours of talk time and 26.3 days of standby time. According to the FCC, it has a digital SAR of 0.78 watt per kilogram.
The LG Revere delivers on its promise as an entry-level clamshell that makes phone calls its No. 1 priority. It does offer a few extra features like text and multimedia messaging, mobile e-mail, Bluetooth, a 1.3-megapixel camera, and the most basic of social-networking functions, but at the end of the day, it's the call quality that counts, and it does deliver when it comes to that. The LG Revere is quite affordable at only $49.99 in stores, but it's free after a rebate and a two-year agreement if you buy it from Verizon Wireless' online store.