Video Hands-On With Verizon’s LG Dare

Verizon Wireless has had a pretty spotty track record with touchscreen phones. The LG Voyager is a solid messaging and multimedia device, but it’s pretty bulky. And the Samsung Glyde is just a mess, with a touchscreen that often requires multiple presses to get anything done. Enter LG’s Dare ($199), which is basically the LG Vu for Verizon customers. But instead of focusing on mobile TV like the Vu, the Dare goes its own way with a sharper 3-MP camera, funky menus with drag-and-drop customizability, and GPS via VZ Navigator (a feature the Vu lacks). You also get fast EV-DO Rev. A data, a first for Verizon’s touch lineup. I had the pleasure of going hands-on with this slim (0.5 inches thick) and relatively light (3.8 ounces vs. the Vu’s 3.2 ounces) touchscreen phone, and was pleasantly surprised by the fluid and speedy interface. While a few touches didn’t respond on the large 3-inch 400 x 240-pixel haptic display, I really liked using the Dare’s UI. In other words, it’s not Verizon’s. Read on for the rest of my first impressions and our full video if you… dare.  Sorry. I had to. On the home screen you can open a menu of applications, and then drag any of the ones you’d like to use out to the home display itself, and when you’re done using the app, simply drag it away again. The lower menu has the same four buttons we’ve seen on the LG Voyager and LG Vu: one each for messaging, placing calls, launching your menu, or accessing your phone book. Web browsing felt snappy on the Dare, and you can view pages in landscape or portrait mode (which happens automatically thanks to the built-in accelerometer). Pages don’t look nearly as good as they do on the iPhone, however. On the multimedia front, the Dare supports Verizon’s V Cast Video and Music services, and unlike the Glyde you can listen to music in the background while doing other tasks. The shots we took with the 3.2MP camera looked good on the Dare itself, but the jury is still out on whether they’ll remain good looking once they reach your notebook’s screen or a 4 x 6 print. This touchscreen phone stands up pretty well to standaline digicams in the features department; you get Schneider-KREUZNACH optics, an LED flash, auto focus, face detection, and ISO control. Want to spruce up your pics? The Dare lets you draw on the screen with your finger, as well as add fun stamps and frames. You can even crop or rotate pictures directly on the phone, perfect for uploading directly to a blog—which you can also do right from the menu. The Dare also takes a page from the Casio EX-F1 by enabling high-speed video recording (120 frames per second) and slow-motion (15 fps) playback. You can send these videos via MMS but they’ll be truncated to fit Verizon’s size limit. We look forward to playing more with this feature. The phone’s QWERTY keypad looked quite similar to the LG Vu, but the Dare also lets you scribble letters using handwriting recognition, which was accurate during my initial hands on. I don’t see anyone using this feature though. I’m excited to get the Dare in house to really put it through its paces, especially the camera. The phone looks to be a nice streamlined alternative to the Glyde and Voyager for those who don’t need a physical keyboard. The Dare will be available on June 26th on Verizon Wireless’ website, and in stores starting on July 3rd. [flv:/flvs/lg-dare.flv 480 360]

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  1. Tyrone Biggums Says:

    Release date online is 6/26, not 6/24 as you list. Some people have been already able to order it thru telesales though.

  2. Todd Haselton Says:

    woops typo thanks

  3. ToddIsGreat Says:

    Todd makes me want to buy a LG Dare.

  4. CHEAPO Says:

    The phone’s display is still not capacitive. Resistive touch = yuck. Get in touch with Synaptics and incorporate the more quality screen (i.e., glass) if you want to compete with iPhone.

  5. kidmekaren Says:

    My LG Dare phone arrives today via Fed Ex. I can hardly wait. I was used to a Palm Treo 700w so I hope I do OK not having the full features of Mobile Windows and business applications. I rarely used them so I think it’ll be OK. The camera should make up for the difference more fitting to my needs. I’m so excited!

  6. Nice Phone!!! Says:

    Nice phone, really hope I can get my hands on one!!!

  7. yoestherrr Says:

    omg dude are you korean ?
    SNSD songsss :DDD

  8. Susan Says:

    Which of these iphone-beaters have:

    Built-in wi-fi that runs faster than the iphone’s?
    Weigh less than 5 ounces?
    Which of them are thinner than 0.5″?
    Which have built-in GPS?
    Which can I install 500 different apps into?
    Which can I write my own code for?
    Which phone has 16-32 BILLION bytes of ram?
    Which have a better browser than Safari?
    Which have 100 accessories that I can buy at stores all over the world?
    Which phones cost less than $199?
    Which have multi-touch screens bigger than 3.5″?
    Which phone sells more than 1 million units… in 1 weekend?

    I thought so.

    Don’t get me wrong… I would *LOVE* to see 10 different companies making
    phones that have all those features. I’m just not seeing them over the past
    1-2 years. Maybe they’ll get on the ball in 2009 or 2010????
    (Of course… they will STILL be trying to play catch-up to the Iphone v3.0)

    What are they waiting for???

  9. Matt Says:

    Which of these iphone-beaters can do the following:

    Send mms messages as well as the iphone
    Make videos as well as the iphone
    Take pictures in poor light as well as the iphone
    Take as large an SD card as the iphone
    Cut and paste as well as the iphone

    I thought so.

    Don’t get me wrong… I would love to buy the iphone, but it’s STILL playing catch up on some pretty basic features that I will miss too much.

  10. Wes Says:

    Next time get someone to hold the camera. All in all good review, I’m sure there were many functions you didn’t get to but it was enough to get me excited about receiving mine in two days. One of these days someone will put all the things on one phone that beats everyone hands down and keeps the price down to a reasonable level instead of $400 plus. I just purchased the LG Voyager thinking it was the IPhone killer, sheesh, then the Dare comes out and it’s the IPhone and Voyager killer.

  11. Richard Says:

    I got the LG Dare on July the 3rd the day that they came out. My nephew and brother both have I Phones and it is an impressive phone. There are a number of reasons that I went with the Dare. The camera which everyone is blown away by the quality of pictures it takes as well as the video, the removable battery, availability of insurance and the Verizon network. Of all the carriers that I have used, Verizon is the most customer friendly ( especially with existing customers) and their network does indeed have good coverage. I don’t really surf the net that much on a phone so I am not sure how that compares to the I Phone. I also really like the ability to customize the phone. I like I Phones GPS with the realistic maps ( it is a nice gimmick) but I have a standalone GPS although I used to use the Verizon GPS and it worked well (actually a little bit better than my standalone GPS. Cloning an I Phone is like trying to clone a Harley Davidson. They are antiques but people like them just because of the aura around them. There will be better phones but the I Phone will still be the most popular.

  12. whoneeds2knowmyname! Says:

    umm ; i cant wait for my birthday when i actually get to have one of these. im so excited. here its an incredible phone to have!

  13. abcyesn Says:

    Currently the best touch screen phone from Verizon Wireless, http://www.LG-Dare.com provides more info on this, but if you are a big texter, I suggest you take a look at LG voyager before buying the Dare.

  14. cours Says:

    just a side note, http://www.lg-dare.com is just a front for some company selling screen protectors….not a reliable source.

  15. slotty Says:

    Hey kidmekaren, what’s the verdict switching from the Treo 700w. I’m thinking of doing the same.

  16. Twista Says:

    The dare is a great phone. Ive had it 3 days after it came out and havent put it down yet. I love the all touchscreen feature and the camera is a great add. I use to never take pictures with my camera phone till I got this phone. Pictures turn out great and the features the camera has are amazing. The multi-tasking music player is also a great add…coming from the voyager I love this feature alot. Texting I had to kind of get use to it but Im pretty good at it now. It does give me some glitches here and there though like restarting on me twice since I got it but that considerably lower than what my voyager did resetting every other day. I also found out alot of cool and neat tricks for the dare and how to fix some problems by visiting http://www.lg-dare.com/ They have alot of tricks and general information about the dare that really helped me decided to get this phone and easing the use of it. Overall this phone is very good 8.5/10 from me.

  17. I LOVE THE LG DARE Says:

    I AM SOOOOOOOOOOOO GETTING ONE IN LIKE ! WEEK AND IM SICED :)

  18. Matt Says:

    this phone rocks!!!!! im hoping to get one in about a month i cant wait!

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