LG Rumor2 Review

6
Introduction and Design
Introduction:

The Rumor was a huge sales success for LG and Sprint, bringing QWERTY to the low end.  It was not without issues however; LG’s charging port was notoriously bad, the keyboard and display had a tendency to go bad and the device continues to have a power cycling issue.  Nearly a year and a half later LG has brought the Rumor’s successor to market, the creatively named Rumor 2.  There isn’t much new with the device, most notably it has brought a fourth row of keys to the slide-out keyboard.  Other features remain the same: 1.3 megapixel camera, microSD expansion and 1x data.

Included in the box you will find:

  • Li-Ion battery
  • Patterned and solid battery covers
  • AC Adapter


Design:


The Rumor 2 is actually bigger than the original, but the more rounded design leads to a deceivingly small feel.  It is very comfortable to hold and is a definite step up from the Rumor.  Like the Rumor, the Rumor 2 will come in a variety of different colors (as will the Banter, Altell’s version.)



You can compare the LG Rumor 2 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The basic layout of the phone is the same: the 2” display sits atop a traditional set of navigation keys and numeric keypad.  Besides the soft and send and end keys there is a dedicated Speaker and Back button on the front, along with soft keys along the right side of the display for when the orientation switches to landscape.  The display has been upgraded to QVGA, a welcome addition.  It looks very crisp and is easy to read in all lighting conditions.


The slide opens to the left and the user is treated to a four row QWERTY keyboard.  Unlike the Samsung Rant, the Rumor 2 dedicates the extra row to numbers.  While we enjoy a dedicated keypad, having the space bar as part of the bottom row of letters just doesn’t feel right to us.  LG is by no means the only one to utilize this layout, but we prefer the one used by Samsung.


The left side of the phone houses the volume rocker and camera key, on the right you will find the 2.5mm headset jack and microSD slot.  The bottom has the microUSB charging port.  One gripe we have is that the included AC adapter is not a USB cord like we saw on the Lotus, Dare and Versa.  The back of the phone is plain save the 1.3 megapixel camera that is offset to the right.  Like the Rant, the Rumor 2 ships with one solid color battery and another patterned one.


The redesign gives the Rumor 2 a more modern look and the feel is good.  The bold colors reaffirm its teenage target market, it no doubt will be a common sight in high school hallways across the country.



LG Rumor2 Video Review:



LG Rumor2 360 Degrees View:



Software and Phonebook:

The menu system has been redone on the Rumor 2 and for the first time we see a twelve icon menu on a non-EVDO Sprint phone.  While it doesn’t have the One Click home screen, it does have everything else including threaded text messages.  They layout is a bit different, for instance Entertainment has been replaced by Media Player (Entertainment brings you to Sprint TV and the Music Store, which the Rumor 2 doesn’t have) and My Account has been added in place of Get Stuff.  The menu runs snappily, and context menus now slide up instead of simply open.  It is very polished all around.  Everything we’d expect to find is present: alarm clock, calculator, notepad, unit converter, etc.



Like we’ve seen from most Sanyo phones the Rumor 2 allows the user to restrict calls.  Incoming and/or outgoing calls can be limited only to special numbers or your contact list only.  It also lets you lock your pictures, set contacts as secret and subsequently hide these secret contacts.  To some extent this just indulges in paranoia, but they are useful tools nonetheless, especially for parents restricting their children’s cell use.

The phonebook itself is pretty standard and holds up to 600 entries.  The user can store all the information you’d expect, but not much else.  A nice twist is that you can not only set customized ringers, but can also specify a custom vibrate pattern to contacts.  We still lament LG removing customized text ringers though.  Voice command has thankfully been added for the second generation; we suspect it is Nuance though that fact is not advertised anywhere on the phone.

Messaging:

Of course the main focus of the Rumor 2 is messaging, and for the most part it does well.  Conversations are threaded which is always great, but it’s a bit backwards since the newest message is at the top and not at the bottom as is customary. As mentioned earlier the keyboard now features a fourth row dedicated to numbers.  It also features an emoticon button, though most other phones won’t display the smiley images and the symbols used aren’t necessarily apparent ( is a four leaf clover, for example.)  The keys are a little too smooth and a little too close for our tastes, which in the end limited our speed.



Multimedia:

The camera may well be the same unit found on the original because the results were just as poor.  In natural lighting colors were oversaturated and in medium and low light pictures turned out drab.  In all conditions lines were blurred and details muddled, and the pictures often turned out blurry and useless.  The camcorder feature has been perplexingly removed on the Rumor 2.


The media player is equally as bad.  While we were able to play our music just fine the layout is a mess and its functionality is basically that of an iPod Shuffle.  It does support subfolders this time around, but unless you have all of your songs named Artist – Album – Title (or some variant thereof) there won’t be any organization since it simply lists the songs in alphabetical order with no consideration for artist or album.  It also cannot play in the background, meaning the user cannot multitask.




The web browser is the standard browser we’ve seen on non-smartphones from Sprint for a while.  It is WAP focused, and though it can display HTML pages it doesn’t do so very well and especially with only 2G data you wouldn’t want to be bringing up more complex pages.  Opera Mini is downloadable to beef up your browsing experience.



Performance:

The Rumor 2 got good reviews from callers, who rated us an 8.5/10.  It was just as good on our end, with the caller sounding loud and clear with natural voice reproduction.  The battery gets a welcome bump from 4.5 hours up to 5.5, with a full week of standby.  This is plenty for even those teenagers with the phone attached to their ears/thumbs.

Conclusion:

The Rumor 2 brings some nice upgrades to the original and wraps it up in a more modern package.  Still, it’s basically the same as its predecessor and so is fairly disappointing.  The Rant may have found some inspiration in the Rumor, but it pretty much trumped the device in every way.  The Rumor 2 fails to trump the Rant in anything, so we have to ask: at the same price point, especially with the Rumor’s shoddy quality issues, why would anyone choose the LG over the Samsung?  Seriously, if you know leave a comment, because we can’t think of a single reason.



Pros

  • Better form factor
  • Four row QWERTY
  • Solid phone performance

Cons

  • No significant upgrades
  • Poor camera and media player
  • Color schemes limit potential buyers

PhoneArena Rating:

6.0

User Rating:

6.3
19 Reviews

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