LG VX8700 ReviewLG VX8700 6.5
The included 2MP camera is a nice update from the 1.3MP camera that was used on the VX8600. This makes the VX8700 and the enV the only two LG Verizon phones that sport a 2MP camera. Images taken with the VX8700 have good color representation, but did require the occasional manual White Balance adjustment since the Auto setting was not always 100% accurate. We also noticed that images from the VX8700 did not look as clear and sharp as images from the enV, even with the AutoFocus on the enV turned Off. These differences could be caused by different sensors or lenses being used. There is also a lack of a Flash, which makes picture taking in low-light near to impossible. Activating the Camera is done so by pressing the camera button on the right side of the phone. Pressing the OK button will take the picture, which there is less than a 1 second delay in capturing the image. Once the image has been taken, you can choose to Save, Send, or Erase. Saving the picture takes another 4 seconds to complete. The total time to take one picture, save it, and be ready to take another picture is 6 seconds. Even though this takes longer than a standard Digital Cameras, a 6 seconds turn-around for a cell phone is quite reasonable, considering some models take much longer. While the camera is turned on, you can close the flip and press the camera button again to activate the front display for taking self-portraits. You then capture the image by pressing the side camera button. We like the idea of being able to use the front display for taking self-portraits, however since the display is not very wide, you can only see the center of the image it will take.
Available Camera Options include:
- Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240
- Self Timer: Off, 3 sec, 5 sec, 10 sec
- White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Glow
- Shutter Sound: Shutter, No Sound, Say Cheese, Ready 123
- Color Effects: Normal, Negative, Aqua, Sepia, B&W
- Night Mode: On, Off
- Save Option: Internal, External (MicroSD)
- Photometry: Average, Spot, Spot Multiple
- Preview: Actual View, Full Screen
Pressing and holding the side camera button will activate the Video Recording mode. Videos can be started and stopped by pressing the OK button. The video options include Record Time (30 sec for send, or up to 1hr for save), Resolution (320x240, 176x144), Save Options (internal or external memory), Color Effects, and White Balance. Despite using the higher 320x240 resolution, videos that were played back on a PC had blotchy color, soft edges, and poor detail. Video recording on phones is strictly a novelty due to the overall poor quality that is recorded. This is intended to be used for “fun” and not for recording your vacation videos.
Even though the VX8700 takes relatively good pictures compared to other models, the images taken by the enV and A990 still have an overall better quality look to them. Please check back for our upcoming Razr Maxx Ve review to see how it faces-off with the VX8700.
Just like on previous models, the VX8700 can playback both MP3 and WMA music files that are stored on a MicroSD card. To format the card, place the MicroSD card in the phone and go to Menu, Settings & Tools, Memory, Card Memory, Options, and Format. Then connect the card to your computer and copy the music files to the “my_music” directory on the memory card. After the files are transferred, place the card back into the phone and access the music player located in the Music & Tones menu. Music is categorized by Genre, Artists, Album, Song, and Playlist. Once the song begins playback, the screen will display the song information. You can use the arrow buttons to Rewind/Skip-Back, Play/Pause, and Fast-Forward/Skip-Ahead. Closing the flip during playback will show the song information on the front display. Unfortunately when the flip is closed, the music will sound muffled, and there are no external music control buttons like on the VX8600, Chocolate, A990, and Maxx Ve. The overall music playback quality of the VX8700 leaves much to be desired. Just like with the speakerphone and ringtones, all sounds are played through the earpiece speaker. Unfortunately raising the volume past Medium will cause distortion to be heard while the music is playing. The best way to experience music playback it to use wired earbuds or a Stereo Bluetooth A2DP device. Doing so will bypass the need to play music through the speaker on the phone. We used the LG Bluetooth HBS-110 device and the quality was greatly improved. However, if you are looking for a phone that plays good quality music without the use of earbuds, we would suggest the LG enV, VX8300, Motorola Maxx Ve, and Samsung A990.
Downloadable application for the VX8700 use Qualcomm’s BREW format. There are no preloaded games or applications on the phone, which must be downloaded via Get it Now. Game selections include Strategy, Casino, Action, TV/Movie, Classic, Sports, Puzzle, and 3D V Cast. The most popular and useful application is the VZ Navigator GPS program. With it, you can enter in your destination and the program will give you real-time GPS directions on how to get there. The screen will display the directions, showing streets and turns, while a voice will read the directions to you. This is very useful while away on vacation or for driving somewhere you have never been. This program work very well while in a car and is easy to use. If you happen to miss a turn, the program will recalculate the route and give you updated directions.
Other tools included on the VX8700 include a Calculator, Calendar, Alarm Clock with 3 alarms, World Clock, Notepad, and EZ Tip Calculator.