Hands-on with LG Venus

The Venus by LG is a high end slider set for a Verizon Wireless. From today it is available for purchase. This unique device has a 2” QVGA main display, with a smaller, touch sensitive display below in place of a traditional directional pad. It features a 2.0 megapixel camera, microSD expansion and VCAST services.

The phone takes advantage of the touch display by offering not only 5 way navigation, but also advanced features such as user assignable shortcuts. The display is of course dynamic, and as you navigate through menus and applications up to four different options appear in the soft key areas. Input is acknowledged with a slight vibration. The touch screen responds to pressure, not heat, meaning the user can use something like a stylus or be wearing gloves and still navigate around the phone.

The front of the Venus is mirrored with a chrome trim and the back is black faux leather. The phone slides up to reveal a traditional keypad with Send, End and Clear buttons. All dialing is done with this keypad, there is no on-screen dialer. The keypad is a dark navy, as is the plastic housing between the top portion and back of the phone.

The Venus, like its Chocolate predecessors, is a music-centric device. It supports microSD cards up to 8GB and a USB cable and music manager software comes bundled with the phone. The player look has been updated a bit, there is a cover flow-esque next/previous song preview, but the functionality remains the same. It can play in the background, meaning the user can listen to music while browsing the web or sending messages. Thankfully the headphone jack is 2.5mm and not proprietary, but we would have expected a 3.5mm jack on a music-oriented device.

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The 2.0 megapixel camera has plenty of user-adjustable options, and videos can be up to an hour long and recorded in QVGA quality. The Venus does not have an HTML web browser like the Voyager, so the user is mostly limited to WAP sites. The user interface is standard for a Verizon phone. While it has a unique skin, the actual menu is unchanged.

Check back soon for our full Venus review!

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