LG Vu Plus Review
LG Vu might have been one of the originals to help aid the ball rolling for touchscreen devices on AT&T's lineup, but since its initial release almost 3 years ago, there are probably plenty of owners who are now ready to do an upgrade. Last year, we witnessed the LG Xenon which actually has a lot in common with the just released LG Vu Plus GR700 – which incorporates some improved specs over the Vu and an added physical QWERTY. Priced at $149.99 on-contract, does it have the guts and appeal to give longtime LG Vu owners a reason to switch?
The package contains:
- LG Vu Plus
- Wall charger
- Quick Start Guide
- User Guide CD
All remnants of the LG Vu's design are non-existent on the LG Vu Plus, but instead, it looks more in line to being an upgraded version of the LG Xenon. Shedding the plasticy nature of the Xenon, the LG Vu Plus implements a gunmetal finish which is accented with a subtle chrome border around the touchscreen. Both the top and bottom edges are rounded for this normal sized looking handset which feels well constructed all around – even despite retaining a mostly plastic exterior, it surely feels more durable. And to top things off, it doesn't feel hefty (3.95 oz) at all when it's tucked away in your pocket.
You can compare the LG Vu Plus with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
There is no other improvement with the touchscreen aside from the switch to a capacitive one instead of resistive – the latter of which was used for the LG Vu and Xenon. You'll be presented to a 3” capacitive TFT display with its 240 x 400 pixel resolution and support for 262k colors – all of which are fitting for this handset. Granted though it's more than responsive to the touch and text is legible to make out, colors looked washed out and lacked saturation. However, setting it to the maximum brightness enabled us to view the display in difficult situations where the sun is constantly in our direct line of sight.
Beneath the touchscreen, you'll find a few adequately sized physical buttons for the send, end, and back/clear keys – all of which had a tactile response. The same applies to the rest of the dedicated buttons surrounding the sides of the handset which were naturally distinctive and easily pressed. Although we're glad to see the microSD card slot on the right edge of the phone for quick access, there is no dedicated 3.5mm headset jack. Rather, the microUSB port located on the top side will be used for pretty much all connectivity – charging, PC connection, and headphones. Regrettably, the packaging does not include a pair, so you'll need to provide your own one. Flipping it to the rear, you'll find the 3-megapixel auto-focus camera with LED flash and speakerphone next to it. Removing the back cover can be done by just sliding it which will then provide you access to the battery and SIM card slot.
There's a nice sliding mechanism when opening the phone to give you access to the 4-row landscape style QWERTY keyboard. It's completely flush to the surface, rectangular in shape, and with no spacing in between buttons – making it difficult for those with larger fingers to feel out. However, we didn't find it to be much of an issue after getting adjusted to it since the buttons offered a decent click when pressed down – plus the back-lighting was more than sufficient to make out characters. Aside from a few dedicated buttons found on the left side of the QWERTY, it also adds in directional keys to make it easy to move around long messages as opposed to tinkering with the touchscreen. All in all, the QWERTY is more than usable for just about anyone and we found the experience gratifying with very little travel required by your thumbs.