LG Venus Review
As we have come to expect from Verizon devices messaging is straight-forward and easy. The Venus can compose and receive SMS, EMS and MMS messages, and the user can create the message in just three clicks. Predictive text is done via T9, though it is not adaptive (it does not learn what words you use and move them to the top of the list) and the user cannot manually edit the dictionary.
The Venus features Verizon’s Mobile IM client, which supports AIM, Windows Live and Yahoo Messenger. As always, each message sent and received, as well as signing on and off and buddy list refreshes are all done on the backend via a text message, so make sure you have an unlimited plan if you plan on utilizing this application more than just casually. There is no email client, and the email link on the Messaging menu launches the mobile web portal.
Connectivity and Data
The Venus is an EV-DO rev 0 device and has Bluetooth v1.2, though OBEX is not supported. It does support the HSP, HFP 1.5, DUN, FTP, OPP, A2DP, AVRC, BIP, BPP and PBA profiles, though OPP is used only for vCard and vCalendar. We were able to send pictures to the Venus without issue, but sending from it was another matter. When trying to send a user-generated picture to a paired Bluetooth device, be it another phone or computer, we got an “Image transfer not supported by receiving device,” which was not true. Luckily we had no problems pairing both a mono (Samsung wep500) and stereo (Motorola S9) headset with the Venus, and the sound quality on both were as expected.
The browser is the same WAP browser found on nearly all Verizon devices. Verizon’s WAP portal is graphically pleasing, and it is easy to get to common destinations such as weather, news and sports. HTML browsing is slow and cumbersome, and pages often time out due to memory errors. There is no option to download a third party browser given the phone’s BREW platform.
The Venus features a 2.0 megapixel camera and camcorder. Picture quality was overall impressive. Colors were rich and saturated, though images were a bit dark. Edges could be a bit rough, but for a cell phone camera we were quite satisfied.
The interface is very clean; the phone is rotated sideways to take a picture and the touch pad displays an oversized Take button, with smaller buttons for Review, Video (to switch to the camcorder,) Options and Exit. It takes 4-5 seconds to load the camera, and after it is loaded an image can be captured in less than two seconds. To save the image and capture another one takes 6 seconds. While the results are good, loading and capturing pictures is comparatively sluggish and there is no option for multi-shot mode. There are a plethora of other options though, including white balance, self timer, night mode and digital zoom.
The camcorder can record at a max resolution of 320x240 and videos can be recorded in 30 second clips for video mail or up to an hour for personal use.
As the successor to the Chocolate line, the Venus is a music-centric device. There really isn’t much new to report here, however. The player does get a slight interface change, and now the album art for the track playing is displayed prominently with a semi-transparent and smaller view of the art for the previous and next tracks to the left and right. It is reminiscent of the cover flow found on the iPhone and iPod touch, though functionally they are nothing alike. Codec support is relatively small with only MP3, AAC, AAC+ and WMA, but chances are the majority of the user’s library is one of those formats.
The user can use the included Music Essentials kit and USB cable to transfer to and manage music on their device, or they can simply drop the files onto the memory card. The third option is over the air downloads via the V Cast music store. Tracks are priced at $1.99 if purchased over the air, or $0.99 if purchased via the PC and side loaded onto the device.
The Venus supports V Cast Videos (but not V Cast TV,) allowing the user to access a myriad of popular video clips from the likes of NBC, MTV, Comedy Central, Cartoon Network and others, as well as view original content. User generated and side loaded videos are viewed with the same video player, though V Cast does not have to be launched to do so.
There is noting that sets the Venus apart in this category. Like all other Verizon phones it runs on Qualcomm’s BREW platform. Unfortunately for the user this means it sits behind a walled garden, and all content add-ons must be purchased through Verizon’s various shopping portals. There is a variety of games, ringtones and applications available via Get It Now. Verizon’s signature application, VZ Navigator, runs just fine on the device and is useful as always.
1. freckles (unregistered) posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55 0
I got the venus, and I have a few comments to make about this review. First of all, I was able to change the sensitivity of the touch screen buttons, this review states there is no way to do that. Also, I did not find the touch screen slow. Second, I was also able to create my own group in the contacts list. The group could only hold 10 contacts, however, it was my own group. Third, while the blue color is a weird choice, I am assuming the blue parts are where the pink will be for the pink phone. It is a dark blue and is hardly noticable. I did notice the overhang of the slide, and that is rather annoying. Overall, I am really enjoying my new Venus phone.
2. vzwemp (unregistered) posted on 26 Nov 2007, 13:48 0
so.. you have a pink venus?? a phone that doesnt even launch till december? Thats amazing. Like to explain where you got this? Anyways, I can think of one reason to chose a venus over a chocolate. the 8500/8550's are prone with problems. Id rather convince people of a new unknown phone than give them a phone that I know they will be mad at sooner or later. Personally, I dont think its an awe enspiring phone, but anything is better than the current chocolate line.
3. VZWRep (unregistered) posted on 26 Nov 2007, 18:41 0
I agree with the review completely. The phone is ugly (cheap faux leather, mismatched colors with gaudy amounts of chrome), they should have just used one large touch screen, so that you're not constantly trying to touch the non-touch screen, it's slow, and it's not at all revolutionary. I disagree with #3, I'd rather sell an 8550, because the 8500 was the device with the most common problems, the 8550 has been much more problem free, and it has a much more reasonable interface than the 8800 and 8500, which are touch sensitive, but do not gain any actual benefit from that capability. Finally, why buy a Venus when you can get a Voyager? $100 more and you get a HTML browser, a full keyboard, a full touch screen, and a much better, more attractive device.
4. Reviewer (unregistered) posted on 26 Nov 2007, 21:06 0
Freckles...there are settings for the touch display, but none of them deal with the sensitivity. The only options are Feedback Sounds, Vibration Type, Vibration Level and Call/End Button. If I am missing something please point me in the right direction, but nowhere in the menus is there an actual touch sensitivity levels like you find on the Chocolate.
5. Kevin (unregistered) posted on 27 Nov 2007, 10:13 0
Any comments on how this phone stacks up against the Z6tv (RIZR)? It seems to do the exact same thing but with a fancy touch screen on the front and without the TV support. Am I missing anything?
6. Jason (unregistered) posted on 28 Nov 2007, 18:49 0
He never said he had a pink one... Re-read his post and you shall see. I used to dislike the Chocolate look but personally I think this one is a step back, personal tastes of course.
7. jON (unregistered) posted on 30 Nov 2007, 12:38 0
I have to disagree and actually I like the look of it. I have to say that there are far better options for your money, though. EnV at 100 less, 8550 for 100 less, Voyager for 100 more, RAZR 2 for 50 more, flipshot for the same price...the list goes on and on...
8. Undecided (unregistered) posted on 03 Dec 2007, 23:23 0
First, a comment on the review. I think too much time and effort was spent on aesthetics. That's purely a subjective thing. I don't think the phone looks bad at all and didn't notice or pay attention to the different coloring. Yes, they don't match exactly, but I think the phone looks pretty good. As for the fake pleather on the back, it's an interesting design choice but I like the feel of it. I haven't had the problems you mentioned with the response of the touch pad. Mine works close to flawlessly. I haven't had it respond and then not run the chosen function. I have found myself wanting to touch the top screen to directly access functions. You don't show the scrolling function that you can do on the bottom screen, but I don't know how useful it will be. The phone seems pretty good, but I may prefer the LG 7000 I've been using for the last 4 years with great satisfaction. Here are my gripes: I'm having difficulty getting used to the slider format. I find it a pain to have to hit the music key all the time to unlock the controls. The voice command function is a great idea, but much of the time it does not recognize the stated command and choses the wrong one or it does not understand the name. My 7000 recorded my own voice and matched it and it work 95% of the time. I'm getting frustrated with this system. I'll have to read up on whether I can record my own voice for contact entries. People I talk to on the phone tell me the sound is extremely clear, though when using bluetooth in the car at highway speeds they hear background noise. I might go back to my noise canceling wired earpiece to see if that's better. Not a fault of the phone though. I use a Motorola H500. BUT, when I have the speaker (not speaker phone) volume all the way up on the phone, the other person's voice is distorted in such a way that it sounds like the speaker can't handle the signal (it doesn't sound like amplifier distortion to me). The speaker in the handset (the one at your ear) can't be set to full volume because of this. I haven't tried the music function but I will. I bought this phone because I wanted something to use primarily as a voice phone with some texting, the occasional photo and maybe for music if I don't have my iPod. I don't want VCast, TV, GPS, web surfing or any of the other things that would make the Voyager a good choice. I'd rather have the smaller phone. If I could sync my outlook on the Voyager without paying Verizon, I might go that route. As it is, I have an Audiovox 6700 PDA on another Verizon account (business) for outlook, web surfing etc... Frankly, most of the phones available are boring. My son has had terrible problems with Motorola phones and I'll never buy one. But I do plan to go to the Verizon store before my 30 days are up to see if there's anything I might like better, but this might do.
9. KC (unregistered) posted on 21 Jan 2008, 07:35 0
I really like the Venus. A Voyager it's not but I like it a lot more than the Chocolate. I've found the lower touch screen to be easier to use and more responsive if you turn off the vibration. As far as the looks, I get nothing but compliments on the phone. Don't find it gaudy at all. And while I thought the pleather was a bit odd at first, it's actually very practical. The phone never slides out of my hand and stays sturdy on a surface. The memory issue with the music is a major glitch. Why market the extra storage space if you can't use it? I have about 10 songs right now and that's all it will fit. Then again, I never intended to use this as an IPOD. So, that's not such a big deal to me. I agree with the post that the auto lock is an annoyance. They really should have included a setting so that you could at least change the time on it. It locks after a few seconds so you are constantly either sliding the phone open or hitting the music button. Like any new phone though, I'm sure the next generation will address these design issues. Oh and it does have navigation.
10. Alicia (unregistered) posted on 29 Jan 2008, 09:58 0
I just bought the venus recently and love the phone. I had been researching it for some time before it was out. I've been seeing above how you can & can't change screen sensitivity. We I first got it I remembered seeing something to where I could but thought, I'll get back to it later. Well now I have no clue where to find it. I know about the vibration levels and all but I saw something that had 3 options"...less, normal, more..." something to that effect. Can anyone guide me as to where that screen sensivity adjustment is...? Thanks
11. (unregistered) posted on 06 Feb 2008, 10:48 0
Can someone please let me know how to disable the missed call alert sound. It's driving me crazy and is rather loud. I changed almost every setting I could find to "no ring" and it still alerts me when I missed a call. Please help
12. Nathan Earling (unregistered) posted on 12 Feb 2008, 06:00 0
I have had my venus for about a month and i really like it. I can make custom rigntones on my mac and then but them straight to my phone. My previous phone Moto E815 couldn't do much with bluetooth so this phone is great. The pictures are clear but slow to load and and lag when zooming in. The speaker phone is great really loud and clear but i have a problem with the voicemail. The touch pad locks up when using speaker phone to and your voicemail. I set my voice mail # up as *86pp(my password) so that it will automatically input your password when calling. But the touch pad locks after my voice mail asks for my password and I can't hear anything. You then have to press any side button to unlock the touch pad and then you get audio again. The problem is that the audio never stops so when you unlock the phone you are in the middle of your voicemail session.
13. Yura (unregistered) posted on 27 Feb 2008, 12:15 0
Missed call Alert? My Venus does not have a missed call alert (with or without sound). How do I get it? Is there a software upgrade somewhere?
14. Stephanie. (unregistered) posted on 14 Apr 2008, 09:39 0
ok i've had my venus for 3 weeks and it is terrible. my text randomly turns to an orange-ish gray color, it doesn't save my words, and now every time i use a space in a text it freezes, every time i add a contact it freezes, it is ridiculous!!!!
15. Jen (unregistered) posted on 04 May 2008, 21:22 0
I have had my Venus (PINK!) for going on 3 months and it worked perfectly until last night. I am having the same problem as Stephanie. The phone freezes up when i hit the space button when I text, add a contact or add a note. I have to send one word texts to people which is driving both me and the other people NUTS! I am off to the Verizon store tomorrow to see what can be done about this. It is rediculous. And annoying as can be! My phone is pretty much useless now. man oh man!
18. AmyGallagher02 (unregistered) posted on 18 Jun 2008, 13:34 0
I am having the same problem as Jen. What did the Verizon store say? I went to the local one here and he says he hasnt a clue why its doin it. He says he can send off for me to get a new one, but why would I want a new one that will do the same thing as the other one?
16. Aileara (unregistered) posted on 14 May 2008, 12:17 0
I've only had the Venus a few days. Would appreciate some help if anyone else has this going on. On incoming and outgoing calls the phone announces the service provider over the speaker before placing or receiving a call. I've tried everything but can't get it to stop; no idea if I'm even able to turn it off or if I'm stuck with it.
17. flip (unregistered) posted on 13 Jun 2008, 12:22 0
i dont see how you get music on the phone without having to buy them on Vcast i have a mac so i just asssumed that was the problem...any help?
19. droptop613 (unregistered) posted on 01 Jul 2008, 21:58 0
The cheap leather like back you talked about it great. It was designed so the phone would stay in your hand, not slide out of it and drop to the ground. The volume suck's and it's not just my phone. My girlfriend has the same phone and has the same problem.
20. yankeegirl82 (unregistered) posted on 03 Jul 2008, 20:30 0
Anyone know how to lock the phone so that when you set it down it locks? I've seen how to lock it upon startup but want it locked whenever I'm not using it (and the screen has gone black) to keep others from using it. Any suggestions??
21. (unregistered) posted on 28 Jul 2008, 15:02 0
I just got the Pink Venus just 4 days ago and I have to send it back already! I love the phone and I am so disappointed! I read the reviews and it doesn't sound as if anyone has had this problem, but I have no sound when I make or receive a call. The phone rings and I can hear my ringtones and stuff but when I answer or try to place a call, there is nothing. And here is the most bizarre thing, when you are on a call and unlock the phone, on the face of the phone, the middle circle is the "Speaker", the oddest thing is that this button has completely disappeared! When I tried to call and thought it was my headset, I tried to hit speaker and it was gone! Now the phone did drop, however, it slid off of my bed onto the carpeted floor, it wasn't like it fell hard on the pavement. I have no idea, Verizon said I may have gotten a bad phone but I am too scared to get another and go through this again. I may get the new Chocolate 3 as it is a clamshell and I feel will be better protected. Very disappointed, it is a sharp phone!
22. (unregistered) posted on 01 Oct 2008, 17:32 0
I have 3 friends who HAD the Venus and all of theres is freezing up too.
23. Miley (unregistered) posted on 02 Oct 2008, 06:31 0
i want to get the pink Venus but I'm not sure if i want to. Some people say the phone is great when others say its not. Please help me decide if this is the right phone for me or if i should look for a different phone. If anyone has any ideas of other phones that slide and are black, pink or both please help.
24. Lissa (unregistered) posted on 12 Oct 2008, 14:54 0
My phone also freezes up when I try to ues the space button. I type my text with periods between the words. It is a pain but I can text and get my message out.
25. jake armentrout (unregistered) posted on 24 Sep 2010, 10:35 0
Ok, i cant find how to lock my screen. it locks but when you slide it, it unlocks i want it to lock untill i put in a code. can anyone help me with this pleaz i need to know how!!!!!
26. Jfh (unregistered) posted on 16 Dec 2010, 17:34 0
This phone is horrible. When I first got it I loved it....Now a year later it'll freeze while i try to put a space inbetween words in text messages. I DON'T RECCOMEND THIS PHONE!
27. ken (unregistered) posted on 24 Dec 2010, 22:12 0
how do get lg venus out of hdr mode ?