TheFeed gets to play around with all the cool new gadgets and tell you what to think about them. Here’s the scoop on the…
LG VX9400 VCast Mobile TV Phone
Do you really like TV? Do you like it enough to need it on your cell phone? LG and Verizon want to make your dreams come true with the VX9400 VCast Mobile TV Phone. Is it a hit or will it be cancelled?
- HSDPA (3G) / Fast Mobile Web
- MicroSD Expandable
- Good Camera
- Voice Signal is Clear/Loud
- TV Rarely Works Inside
- Poor, Sluggish UI
This cell phone falls victim to the trend of building a device with one purpose in mind and letting the other features fall off in the process. This is a mobile TV cell phone, first and foremost. However, I was rarely able to actually get a TV signal. I couldn’t get signal at my desk at the office and needed to stand by a window for anything to work.
It doesn’t transmit the TV over the fast HSDPA 3G network, but has a separate signal for TV. It actually has an antenna that is taller than the phone itself. Most of the time, I found myself with full bars of cell service, but no TV signal.
When I did get a TV signal, I was pleasantly surprised that it was playing what was actually on TV at that moment. I could watch FOX, Comedy Central, and other channels live. This would be great if it worked reliably.
Unfortunately, the phone itself is difficult to use. The numeric keys are only accessible when the screen is flipped horizontal in TV mode. It’s not hard to dial one-handed, but flipping the screen back to vertical is cumbersome. You’ll want to do this to line up the speaker with your ear… unless you have weird, sideways ears.
The user-interface often lags and runs slower than it should. The menus are poorly designed and it usually takes a few key presses to get to basic functions. The mobile web is very fast, but runs on a stripped down browser. Verizon also blocks most content because of their Get It Now service. Even watching streaming video costs $3/day or $10/month.
The camera on this phone is good. It clocks in at 1.3 Megapixels and will shoot up to 15 seconds of video (with sound) at a time. The phone has a MicroSD slot for expanding the memory and gives plenty of room for music, pictures, and video. The voice quality is great and the speaker is very loud. This is good because this is still a phone.
In the end, this is a device with a very, very specific niche appeal and it sadly isn’t implemented well enough for it to be worth it. You’re better off getting a phone that’s a phone first. There’s a reason you don’t see people walking around with those portable TV’s anymore.