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LG VX3400 (Verizon Wireless) review: LG VX3400 (Verizon Wireless)

LG VX3400 (Verizon Wireless)

Nicole Lee

Nicole Lee

Former Editor

Nicole Lee is a senior associate editor for CNET, covering cell phones, Bluetooth headsets, and all things mobile. She's also a fan of comic books, video games, and of course, shiny gadgets.

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4 min read

LG has a long history of churning out great basic phones for those of us who want a simple, no-frills device just for making and answering calls. The LG VX3400 is no exception, and though we have a minor aesthetic quibble over the monochrome external screen, everything else lived up to our expectations. And for the low price of $29.99 with a two-year contract, you certainly get what you pay for and more.


LG VX3400 (Verizon Wireless)

The Good

The LG VX3400 is a basic phone with a bare minimum of features. It has a compact design and a comfortable keypad, and features a speakerphone.

The Bad

The external screen of the LG VX3400 is monochrome, and personalization options are limited. There's also no Web browser.

The Bottom Line

The LG VX3400 is one of the best basic phones we've laid our hands on, with simple and easy-to-use controls and a great compact design.

The LG VX3400 is a simple compact phone.

The LG VX3400 may not win any design contests, but we still liked its compact and minimalist appearance. It comes in dark blue with gray accents, measuring 3.33 by 1.79 by 0.94 inches, and weighing in at a lightweight 3.0 ounces. The device has a smooth plastic body with rounded edges, making it feel really comfortable in the hand. The phone's hinge had just the right amount of give, and we managed to open and close the phone with one hand.

On the front of the VX3400 is a small 1-inch-diagonal monochrome external screen. While we're somewhat disappointed by the lack of color, we did like the blue backlight that lit up whenever the phone was activated. The external screen displays the date, time, battery, and signal strength, as well as caller ID. Of course the monochrome screen can't display photo caller ID, which sits just fine with us since the phone doesn't have a camera anyway. There's a stubby antenna on the top right side of the phone. The left spine is home to a headset jack and a volume rocker, while the right spine houses a dedicated voice command button.

The internal display is nothing to write home about. It measures only 1.5 inches diagonally and supports 65,536 colors, resulting in a lackluster display. We were glad that Verizon didn't impose its custom menu style in the phone however, as we definitely prefer LG's more user-friendly menu navigation. There are two menu styles to choose from, icon or list view, and you can adjust the backlight timer of the main display as well as the keypad. You can also adjust the phone's contrast, as well as the font sizes for the calling digits, the text editor, and the menu font.

We're fans of the VX3400's keypad, as the keys were well spaced and raised enough above the surface to allow for easy dialing and navigation. When pressed, the keys had a nice rubberized give, yielding easily to pressure. The navigation array consists of the regular two soft keys, a four-way toggle with middle OK key, a Send key, a Clear key, and an End/Power key. The four-way toggle also doubles as shortcuts to the speakerphone, the calendar, messages, and the sound settings.

The VX3400 has a 300-entry address book, and each entry can accommodate up to five numbers You can assign callers to a group and pair them with one of 40 polyphonic ring tones or one of 43 message alert tones. There's photo caller ID as well, but you'll have to use one of the included clip-art icons, and the image shows only on the internal display. The rest of the phone's features are pretty bare-bones. There's a vibrate mode, text and picture messaging, a schedule, an alarm clock, voice memo recording, a notepad, a tip calculator, a calculator, a world clock, a unit converter, and a melody composer that you can use to create your own ring tone. The lack of Web browser was a little frustrating since it's a feature that many other basic phones have.

Personalization options are rather limited with the VX3400; there doesn't seem to be a way for you to download more wallpaper and themes. You can choose to have different wallpapers for when the phone powers on or off, analog or digital clock formats on the main display, and one of four different color themes.

We tested the dual-band tri-mode (CDMA 850/1900, AMPS 850) LG VX3400 in San Francisco using Verizon's network. The call quality was crisp and clear, and callers reported the same thing. It was still obvious that the calls were from a cell phone due to a slight static sound, but it wasn't that big a deal.

The VX3400 has a rated talk time of 4 hours, while our tests showed a talk time of 3 hours and 43 minutes. It has a promised standby time of 7 days. According to FCC radiation tests, the LG VX3400 has a digital SAR rating of 0.963 watts per kilogram.


LG VX3400 (Verizon Wireless)

Score Breakdown

Design 6Features 7Performance 8
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