User Interface:

If you happen to be coming from the Voyager or Dare, you’ll immediately appreciate the improved user interface found on the Versa.  There are now three Home Screens (Shortcuts, Favorites, and Media) that you can flip through by dragging your finger from one side of the screen to the other.  If the keyboard is attached there is a fourth Home Screen called Module.  Each one will allow you to add icons to the desktop for one-click access.  The Shortcuts screen will show almost an endless list of items, such as Camera, Bluetooth, and Alarm, while the Favorites will show your contacts, and the Media will display lists of music, pictures, and videos.  We found this design to be very useful and intuitive, as we could place frequently used applications, contacts, and music directly on the desktop.  Regardless of which Home Screen you are in, there are always four icons located at the bottom for Inbox, Phone, Main Menu, and Contacts.

The actual Main Menu is laid out in grid format with 8 icons, but can be changed to Smart Menu, which shows a list on the left side that you can choose from, and actions on the right side.  For example, selecting Call on the left will show Contact, Recent Calls, New Number, Favorites, and Voicemail on the right.  After using this format for a while, we decided to change back to grid view, as it was easier to find what we were looking for.  There are no themes included, but it does allow you to select different wallpaper for each Home Screen, as well as changing the font style.


The phone has the ability to add up to 1000 Contacts, each with mutable numbers and e-mail addresses, and then can save them to one of 999 speed dial locations.  When bringing up the contact list, it begins by showing a small keypad on the bottom of the screen, which you can use to type the name of the contact.  Otherwise you can scroll through the list manually to select the one you want.  While in the Favorites Home Screen, pressing on a desktop contact will show four icons around it for call, text message, received messages, and contact view.  One feature we were pleased to see is that the CallerID image is larger than on the Dare, even though it still doesn’t fill the entire screen.

Selecting the Phone icon on the bottom of any Home Screen will bring up the numeric dial pad.  After using the Versa for a few days, we found that it was slightly more accurate when dialing numbers than the Dare.  It also gives you the option of keeping the dial pad active on the screen when calling voicemail/toll-free, all calls, or customized number.  This comes in handy when needing to enter in prompts or PIN codes.


The calendar function on both the Versa and Dare are identical, as it begins by showing the current month with the date highlighted.  You can then move from one month to the next, by moving your finger across the screen, or by selecting the month and year using the drop-down-list or go-to-date fields.  There is also the option to view weekly instead of monthly.  Once the desired date is selected, you add a new event with the subject, start time, end time, repeat (once, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly), until, alerts, tone, and vibrate.  When the phone reaches that saved event, it will display the information on the screen and playback the designated alert tone.

The Versa is also the first non-smartphone for Verizon to allow up to 10 individual Alarms to be saved separate from the calendar.  This is a welcome improvement over the standard 3.

Launching the speaker-independent Voice Commands is done so by pressing the center button between the send and end keys.  Once activated, there are 8 choices that you can speak to the phone: call name or number, send message to, go to menu, check item, contacts name, play, My Verizon, and help.  The most useful of these is the “call” command, where you can speak the digits to dial or the name of a person in your contacts list.  The only training that is recommended are for the digits and commands, not for the stored names.  We were able to use the voice commands in a wide variety of environments, and it was accurately able to carry out our spoken commands.  It can also be used in conjunction with a Bluetooth headset, so you can call numbers while you are away from the phone.

The internal memory is now 310MB, up from the Dare’s 268MB, and is not partitioned into application memory and music memory, but instead uses the same pool.  Despite this, it is still easier to transfer pictures, videos, and store music via a microSDHC card, which now supports up to 16GB in size.

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