LG enV Review
One major upgrade to the enV is that is now incorporates a 2MP CMOS Camera with Auto Focus, a LED Flash, and features a built-in lens cover. When taking pictures outside during the day, we found that images had good color reproduction and sharp edges. The picture quality was much better than from the Chocolate and VX8600. In fact, they looked almost as good as if they were taken by the A990. Pictures taken indoors under normal lighting conditions also came out well, however in lower-light conditions images would lack color and appear to be grainy. Since there is a built in Flash, this will allow you to take pictures in low-light or in complete darkness. The flash has a range of about 5 feet, but would make images have a blue tint to them. The only way to correct this would be to choose “Sunny” in the White Balance menu.
The time it required to take and save a picture is dependent on if the Auto Focus feature is turned on or off. If the Auto Focus is turned off, there is a 2 second lag to capture the image, then another 4 seconds to save it. Turning the Auto Focus to One-Step will increase the lag time to almost 5 seconds. The display will show a box in the middle while the auto focus is working. The next option would be to have the Auto Focus set as Two-Step. While in two-step mode, the image is not taken but instead is focused upon first (takes 4 seconds). Then you must press the button again to take the image (takes 1 second). The two-step focusing should only be used if you need to focus on a subject and then take its picture a few seconds later. Between the three options, we prefer turning the auto focus off when taking pictures of objects more than 20 feet away. For objects closer than 20 feet, they will come out better with it turned on, but keep in mind it will take longer for the image to take. Also, we found it best to turn the auto focus off when taking pictures in low-light or with the flash. When we tried taking low-light pictures while the auto focus was turned on, it could not register the distance correctly and actually made the images blurry.
Available Camera Menu options are:
- Resolution: 1600x1200, 1280x960, 640x480, 320x240. (Picture at 1600x1200 cannot be Emailed).
- Self Timer: Off, 3, 5, 10 seconds.
- Flash: On, Off.
- White Balance: Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Fluorescent, Glow (moon light).
- Shutter Sound: Shutter, No Sound, Say Cheese, Ready 123.
- Color Effects: Normal, Negative, Solar, Sepia, B&W.
- Night Mode: On (slow shutter), Off.
- Save: Internal memory, External memory.
- Front Display: On, Off.
- Auto Focus: One Step, Two Step, Off.
Pressing and holding the camera button will start the Camcorder mode. Videos can be recorded at either 320x240 or 176x144, as well as up to available memory. However, if you want to send to another phone, you must select 176x144 resolution and have it limited to only 15 seconds. If you would rather save a video to the memory card, you can choose the higher 320x240 resolution. Videos recorded at the higher resolution looked nice when viewed on a PC, but they are still nowhere near the quality a real camcorder will give you. The colors are blotchy and edges are soft and not well defined.
Even though the enV is not marketed as a “Music Phone”, such as the Chocolate or VX8600, it still has the same MP3/WMA music playback capability. Once music files are stored in the “my_music” folder on the MicroSD card, you can access them using the phone. You go into Get it Now/Music & Tones/My Music. The music player will organize music by Genres, Artists, Albums, Song, and Playlists. Once the song is selected and begins playback, it will display the song information on the screen. During playback, you can either keep the phone open or have it closed. We found that the sound quality is improved by keeping the phone open and not closing it. Because of the stereo speakers on the enV, the sound quality is much better and less distorted than the mono-speaker used on the Chocolate and VX8600. Despite the impressive quality of music playback, there is not much bass produced from the speakers. This is one thing that we would like to see an improvement in future versions. For better bass playback, you can either used wired earbuds or Bluetooth A2DP earbuds. The LG HBS-110 Bluetooth earbuds we tested provided excellent sound quality with good midrange and bass response when used with the enV. There is no FM transmitter on the enV, but this is no surprise since LG does not put this on any of their phones that they manufacture for Verizon. We can only hope that possibly LG will change this practice in the future.
As with all Verizon phones, the enV uses Qualcomm’s BREW format for applications. There are no preloaded games on the phone, but it does come preloaded with VZNavigator and Mobile IM. The VZNavigator will give you a 15 day trial (then $10/month). With it, you can enter in your destination (either address, cross streets, or airport) and the program will automatically map a route from your current location. When used in a car, it will display turn-by-turn directions and speak them as well. The Mobile IM application is free and only uses airtime and TXT Messaging billing. You can use it to connect to your favorite Instant Messaging client (AIM, MSN, or Yahoo). Sending and receiving instant messages are done just like using text messages. Other applications that are included are a Calculator, Alarm Clock, World Clock, Notepad, and Ez Tip Calculator. The Alarm clock features 3 independent alarms that allow you to set the alarm time, recurrence, and alarm sound.
1. Littlestar (unregistered)
This phone is wonderful in so many ways. First of all the easy open key pad makes it so easy to do texting on the go, and I am still able to check my text messages & send text messages while I am on a current call. I know we can't expect to have ALL in most phones - as this is not a perfect world, but even though this phone has its limits like some phones do - and to finish off my comments; I want to say that I have NEVER had problems with this phone.... LOVE IT just LOVE IT !
2. Little orange god (unregistered)
I love my enV. I have the orange one and its been amazing I have dropped it in water dropped it lol alot and it has never failed me. Excellent battery life, great camera, and full key board what more can one ask for. I give this phone a 10 too bad its discontinued. Anyone with issues is more than likely user error.
3. cattyshedevil (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Aug 2008)
I really like the phone. This is my third one in 7 months but after it's been replaced because of issues with texts and not able to send them, nor receive them. Sometimes it would shut off. Finally on my third phone, the software upgrade was available and now it works like a charm. I have dropped this thing numerous times and it's very durable!
4. cattyshedevil (Posts: 2; Member since: 28 Aug 2008)
I only have a problem with reception when I'm in parts of the basement that I work in. It's near a parking garage as well so that may be blocking some of the signal.
5. Kae425 (Posts: 1; Member since: 30 Jun 2010)
Its 2010 and I have had so many different before and after I purchased this one and for some reason I just can not get enough of it!! I originally purchased the orange phone like 3 years ago or so and when my 2 year contract was up I had gotten the Juke, A Blackberry, Moto Q9m (horrible)!! I gave my orange enV to someone because I thought I was over it; I tried the env2, env3, & env touch, just doesnt compare. So here I am today trading a Blackberry Curve for a enV vx990!! I would rather love a phone than worry about how "cool" it is!! This phone is amazing, dependable, and easy to work!! I love this phone!!!!