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LG VX6100 (Verizon Wireless) review: LG VX6100 (Verizon Wireless)

LG VX6100 (Verizon Wireless)

William O'Neal

See full bio
4 min read

7.3

LG VX6100 (Verizon Wireless)

The Good

Clear call quality; decent VGA camera; embedded flash; sliding lens cover; speakerphone; analog roaming; voice commands.

The Bad

Slow Web browser; external display doesn't show picture caller ID; no infrared port.

The Bottom Line

If you crave an affordable camera phone with a few added features, the LG VX6100 is a worthwhile option.
Intro
Essentially an update to Verizon's first camera phone, the well-received LG VX6000, the LG VX6100 ups the ante with much-needed features such as a sliding lens cover, a flash, analog roaming, and increased storage capacity. Camera veterans will bemoan the VX6100's lack of certain photo features such as picture caller ID and a preview mode for self-portraits, but the VX6100 is a solid handset that does what it's supposed to do. The price is very fair at $149, but you should be able to find it cheaper with service. At 3.7 by 1.9 by 0.9 inches and 3.9 ounces, the LG VX6100 is a nice-size handset that fits well into a jeans pocket. The postage-stamp-size external display shows time, date, battery life, signal strength, and caller ID (where available) but no picture caller ID. We were a bit puzzled as to why LG chose to make the screen grayscale, especially after the flashy OEL display on the VX6000. On the upside, the screen also acts as a rudimentary viewfinder for taking self-portraits when the flip is closed. We also appreciate using the sliding cover for the camera lens, which is located just above the display and the tiny mirror for self-portraits. A bright flash is located to the left of the lens, and the speakerphone lies on the bottom of the front flap.

Blue and silver: The VX6100 has a two-tone design.

Once you open the clamshell, you're greeted by a vivid 256,000-color screen that measures 2 inches diagonally. The display is both large and bright enough to comfortably view mobile versions of Yahoo and MSN, which makes checking Web-based e-mail easy and pleasant. You can also change the size and the color of the display font. An attractive mirrored frame surrounds the screen, and the earpiece is colored light blue. For navigating the user-friendly menus, the VX6100 provides two soft keys that open contacts and the main menu. The soft keys flank the five-way toggle, which offers one-click access to the speakerphone, the Get It Now home page, voicemail, and the wireless Web. You will also find the traditional Talk and End keys, a Clear key, and a dedicated button for starting the camera. All the buttons are well spaced. Oddly enough, their layout resembles that of many Samsung flip phones.

The blue-backlit keypad buttons on the VX6100 are slightly raised, which makes dialing by feel a cinch. On the left side of the handset are the headset jack, a volume rocker, and a dedicated button to activate the VX6100's many voice features. On the right side is a dedicated camera button.

The LG VX6100 features a 499-contact phone book that holds five phone numbers, three e-mail addresses, and photo caller ID for each name. Contacts can be organized into caller groups and paired with a picture as well as any of 41 polyphonic and 5 monophonic ring tones. Other features include a vibrate mode, a four-minute voice memo, a notepad, a tip calculator, text and multimedia messaging, a WAP 2.0 wireless Web browser, a scheduler, an alarm clock, a calculator, and a world clock.

Considering its price, the VX6100 has fairly sophisticated voice capabilities. We were pleased with the quality of the integrated speakerphone. The handset also provides a function called Speaker-Independent Voice Recognition, which allows voice dialing and offers voice access to other features such as contacts and voicemail. We gave the feature a whirl, testing the voice-command features with male and female voices. We are pleased to say it worked flawlessly.


Cover up: The VX6100 has a sliding lens cover.

As the follow-up to Verizon's first camera phone, the VX6100 has a VGA camera (with a CMOS lens) that is one of its most notable features. It takes photos at three resolutions (640x480, 320x240, and 160x120), and you can choose from several quality settings and two shutter sounds, as well as a silent option. The phone has adjustable settings for white balance, brightness, and color, and it can take pictures with the flip closed. Other goodies include a 4X digital zoom, a multishot function, and a self-timer that can be set for 5 or 10 seconds. The image quality is on a par with that of other VGA camera phones, and while the pictures aren't great for printing, they're fine for casual snapshots. We were pleased that LG tripled the photo-storage capacity to 60 shots, but we lamented the lack of an infrared port. As a result, you must upload your pictures to Verizon's site or send them via a multimedia message.


The VX6100 has average picture quality for a camera phone.

You can personalize the mobile with a variety of banners, wallpaper, and theme colors. Additional ring tones and BREW-enabled games are available for download through Verizon's Get It Now service (no titles are included with the handset).

Call quality with the LG VX6100 was great. We tested the trimode (CDMA 800/1900; AMPS 800) phone in San Francisco using Verizon Wireless service. Callers remarked that the signal was good and clear, and we had adequate volume and clarity on our end. The speakerphone also worked well, and you can activate it before placing a call.

Battery life was admirable. We managed 3.45 hours of talk time on a single charge, beating the rated talk time of 3 hours. For standby time, we got 8 days, compared to the promised time of 6.25 days. According to the FCC, the VX6100 has a digital SAR rating of 0.93 watts per kilogram.

7.3

LG VX6100 (Verizon Wireless)

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 8
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