Which (Verizon) Mobile Phone to Choose?
February 16, 2008 2:09 PM   Subscribe

Mobile Phone Filter - It's time for an upgrade, so I'm looking for recommendations, non-recommendations and anecdotal data points about the LG VX5400, LG enV and Samsung SCH-u410.

Yes, I am stuck with Verizon. No, I don't need a Smartphone, Blackberry, Treo or the sad LG iPhone imitator. I don't need/can't use mp3 or organizer applications, but I don't care if they're there. I like having a decent camera but it doesn't have to be great.

My main needs are mobile web, an alarm clock, speakerphone, bluetooth compatibility and decent battery life. If I can get a stopwatch sort of function too, all the better. I'm only looking at the enV because I have some sad thought that the QWERTY keyboard might make GMailing and Twittering easier but I've gotten pretty used to the fast-thumb typing on a numeric keypad thing, and though I am fairly reliant upon predictive text (which I'm assuming is a given on phones now) I don't mind it so much.

Recommendations for other phones in the Verizon stable that would seem to fit my needs are welcome.
posted by Dreama to Technology (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I just got a Chocolate, and it's great except for its short battery life. I was deciding between that phone and the LG 8350. Upgrading from an LG 6200, which lasted me 5 years.

I've generally ascertained from online research and talking to friends that LG > Samsung > Motorola.
posted by billtron at 2:23 PM on February 16, 2008

I just got an enV a couple of weeks ago, and I'm loving it. The battery is pretty awesome, mobile web is made a ton easier by the QWERTY keyboard (not to mention the size/shape of the internal screen), speakerphone turns on automatically if you open the clamshell. There's an alarm clock that I haven't used (although I can't imagine there being any problems); I didn't get the Bluetooth accessories but understand that they are there and supposedly magnificent. The camera is 2.0 megapixels and, helpfully, feels like using an actual camera rather than a cellphone.

My Verizon contract expired last October, and I'd pretty much spent all the time between then and two weeks ago looking at all the upgrade options laid out before me, and I went with the enV. YMMV, of course, but I'm definitely very happy.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:54 PM on February 16, 2008

Oh, and definitely stay away from Motorola. Both from talking to the folks at the Verizon store and from personal experience, Motorola phones are suck on ice.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:55 PM on February 16, 2008

I just got a Motorola Q last night ($80 on clearance!), and while I'm not recommending it as you said you don't need a smartphone, but I'll say once you get used to using a QWERTY keyboard on your phone, you won't be able to go back.
posted by booticon at 3:30 PM on February 16, 2008

I got an SCH-u740 via Amazon a few months ago, and have been pretty happy with the dual flip normal phone + qwerty keyboard function. The hinge is pretty sturdy, the alarm clock/speakerphone/stopwatch functions are nice.
posted by suedehead at 4:32 PM on February 16, 2008

Another vote for the enV!

I had the older version of the enV, the LG VX9800.... after two years of hard use it was time to upgrade. I didn't even think twice about what I was going to get to replace the old phone. (I DID play with all the other shiny, happy toys they had, tho.)

I am a bigger fan of predictive text and 9-key typing than QWERTY, but the keyboard is pretty handy and the larger, inside screen is nice. I tend to use mine most for photos... that said, the 2.0 mp camera is much better than the older version.

A bonus - it's cheap, cheap.

Do you still get 15-days to return the phone if you just hate it?
posted by Incognita at 6:06 PM on February 16, 2008

Count one more vote for the enV.

I also have the VX9800 and love love love it! I use mine for an alarm clock every day ... you can set three different alarm times. The speakerphone is robust, the bluetooth works fine, and the keyboard is great for the texting and such. (I text a whole lot more since I got this phone.)

I never use mobile web, so I can't speak to that. I just checked, and I don't see a stopwatch function on my phone, but the enV is newer so maybe it has that.

I would absolutely buy this phone again. Highly recommend.
posted by mccxxiii at 7:20 PM on February 16, 2008

Motorola W385, excellent phone without the bells and whistles. Looks sharp too.
posted by smoothhickory at 7:23 PM on February 16, 2008

I'm a Verizon employee, hopefully I don't get in trouble for saying this... I can pick and choose just about any phone out there and am currently using it for my work and personal use. It's a sturdy phone (I am not kind to my phones), the service is great, and I am just overall very happy with it. I've used just about every phone in my lineup and I'm very happy with it and have been using it for almost a year now.
posted by Octoparrot at 11:43 PM on February 16, 2008

So which phone is it Octoparrot?
posted by langeNU at 6:20 AM on February 17, 2008

Another vote for the EnV. Had it since December 2007 and love it. Mobile web is decent (no iPhone or Blackberry). Speakerphone is pretty good, and I often use it for conference calls when I'm not in the office. Great for texting and very decent for emailing.
posted by jerseygirl at 10:29 AM on February 17, 2008

I've got a slightly older version of the Samsung 410 -- I've got the 350, but it's basically the same -- and it's exactly what you'd expect. It's not gonna blow your mind, but it seems to work just fine. I will say this... I'm pretty rough on phones and this one seems to be holding up remarkably well.
posted by ph00dz at 12:27 PM on February 17, 2008

Oh my. I can't believe I raved about a phone without even mentioning the name... It's the ENV sorry.
posted by Octoparrot at 7:39 PM on February 17, 2008

A vote against the vx8600. It looks nice, but I've found it too small and very very slippery - hard to even hold without a case.

A friend has the W385 - low end, but very sturdy and grippy.
posted by dmd at 10:52 AM on February 18, 2008

Wow, since this is still open, I can update. I got the enV, and nearly six months later, I still love it. In fact, I think I love it more now than in the first days' "new toy" glow. Hearty recommend, from me.
posted by Dreama at 12:18 AM on August 5, 2008

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