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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:01 PM   #1
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Verizon's 'iPhone Killer', the LG Voyager, Disappoints?



TheStreet previews Verizon's new LG Voyager launched today. Dubbed an iPhone Killer at its annonucement, the LG Voyager disappoints.
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Here's the bleak truth about the Voyager: It's not the thrilling gadget adventure people were waiting for. ...
Playing with the Voyager for the past week has provided a nice mixture of fun with a familiar dash of frustration.
The Voyager has no document creation, email ($5/mo extra), or desktop syncing and appears tro be more of a media player and entertainment device. While it comes with a 3G connection, web browsing still uses the Openware browser "that's been lamely rendering Web pages ever since phones could access the Net."

PCMag's review is less critical, and acknowledges some notable features, such as a force feedback touch screen, a physical keyboard and TV tuner. Their summary:
Quote:
The Voyager does a lot of things that the iPhone doesn't: mobile TV, GPS, video recording—and heck, it runs on Verizon's network. This handset is still a study in how the rest of the industry can't quite catch up to Apple's seamless, easy syncing and interface. But if you chose your network first and it's Verizon, this is the closest you'll get to a true mobile revolution for now.
MobileBurn's review goes into more depth and describes it as a "multimedia monster" and "one of the most compelling devices" ever offered by Verizon but is also disappointed by it's lack of syncing capabilities.

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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:06 PM   #2
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And just like the long line of iPod killers, this iPhone "killer" bites the dust...
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:07 PM   #3
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iPhone is still the best! then iPod Touch ...
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:10 PM   #4
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That's ashame, it doesnt bring much that an ordinary phone doesnt bring anyway (even the things apple left out). Its nothing revolutionary, just an iPhone lookalike. The 1st true one in what will be a long line.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by plumbingandtech View Post
And just like the long line of iPod killers, this iPhone "killer" bites the dust...
tru dat!
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:14 PM   #6
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Just like all of Apple's competitors, this misses out of one vital thing that Apple knows: Implementation is just as important as features, if not more so. You can forgive the iPhones lacking features because what it has works so beautifully and is a joy to use. Almost every other phone on the market may have every features thrown in, but they are a pain in the ass to use.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:14 PM   #7
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Cant say Verizon isn't trying, but each company and each device has its good points and bad points.

Hmmmm maybe I'll go and open up an acct and try it for 30 days, you get all your money back and don't have to pay for the calls or data or messages.

Naaahhhhhhh I have the best, why settle for second wanna be best

Guess the Verizon Execs are NOT going to bonus this year
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:15 PM   #8
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And so another manufacturer shamelessly rips Apple's icons and look. At least the shortcut menu doesn't look like that nasty Verizon interface I loathe navigating on my girlfriend's phone. When will she switch to a decent carrier so I can at least get her a decent phone.
Hopefully there is no option to use a touch keyboard on the front screen. Matching Verizon's lackluster UI with a touch interface (TRY using an LG Chocolate) is begging for me to put the device through a wall.

Next iPhone Killer rant...

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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:15 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Just like all of Apple's competitors, this misses out of one vital thing that Apple knows: Implementation is just as important as features, if not more so. You can forgive the iPhones lacking features because what it has works so beautifully and is a joy to use. Almost every other phone on the market may have every features thrown in, but they are a pain in the ass to use.

I'll second what you said and very well put I mite add
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:18 PM   #10
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Is anyone really surprised by this? I saw video reviews of the device on YouTube before it was out and thought "This is supposed to kill the iPhone?" It has some features the iPhone doesn't, but the interface is a mess. Even in the video reviews the nerdy Apple-hating types who were all "IT'S BETTAR THAN IPHONE" were getting confused by the interface and doing things wrong.

It may do more, but if it frustrates me to use it, I can do without the features. I'll take a pleasant experience over an unpleasant one any day.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:18 PM   #11
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how am i not surprised.....
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:21 PM   #12
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Guess the Verizon Execs are NOT going to bonus this year
Of course the execs will get their bonuses! They'll just lay off a few thousand peons to make up the difference.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:24 PM   #13
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dr_lha is exactly right, implementation is key. The Voyager may have TV tuning but it's certainly not widely available and only has a couple channels. I'd choose a dedicated, custom Youtube program over it any day. And the internet browser is not "the internet" mobile it's mobile internet, which is a totally different ballpark. Lastly, the size. When I was looking for my last phone I chose the Q over Verizon's other smartphones (mainly Treos) because the Q is so much smaller, just as the iPhone is much smaller than this beast.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:29 PM   #14
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I have to say, though, that my heart sinks a little when I read about a phone that has GPS... *sigh* How nice would it be to have GPS incorporated with Google Maps on the iPhone? *drool*
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:48 PM   #15
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I have to say, though, that my heart sinks a little when I read about a phone that has GPS... *sigh* How nice would it be to have GPS incorporated with Google Maps on the iPhone? *drool*
Makes me wonder -- with 3G and GPS, what's the battery life on this sucker?
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 01:56 PM   #16
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Oh dear, who would have thought it…?

I think anything labelled as an iPhone killer is never going to “kill” the iPhone. The device has to stand on its own merits.

If you want a phone to play feature list battleships with then it might be useful, but if you want a phone that not only works well but is a pleasure to use, well…

Apple made such an intelligent keyboard that when typing it adjusts the target area for each letter based on the probability you are going to type it next to complete the word. Meanwhile, in LG land:

Quote:
One big problem with the game controller is that it's positioned too close to the "end" key. So if you miss the up button by a couple millimeters, the game is over. And that applies to other programs like the browser and messages.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 02:51 PM   #17
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This thing is just as ugly as my original impression of it. It looks huge. And their comparison shot to the Dr. Pepper can makes it look even bigger.

Also: It has a Software keyboard and a Hardware keyboard???? What a waste of physical space including the hardware keyboard, which look horrible. They should have just stuck with the software keyboard which looks much better... maybe their algorithms make it unusable.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 02:55 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Just like all of Apple's competitors, this misses out of one vital thing that Apple knows: Implementation is just as important as features, if not more so.
Yes.
Or put another way - absolute simplicity becomes a 'feature'.

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Originally Posted by killmoms View Post
It may do more, but if it frustrates me to use it, I can do without the features. I'll take a pleasant experience over an unpleasant one any day.
The very first comments after the iPhone came out, by execs coming up with alternatives, were that they had a phone that could do all the iPhone did AND MORE (then reeling off a list of features ignoring simplicity). What was stupid was that they knew the simplicity was key, and wanted to learn from iPhone's success, yet threw that out the moment they started talking about their phones.

Doubly stupid - they should have realised that their existing products already did more than the iPhone did (feature wise)

HOPEFULLY they were aware of both, but were trying to put a good spin on their products... but I doubt it.

Kind of reminds me of when I was applying for an interface design job 10 years ago... multiple people from different companies would say to me "Ease of use is critical, but we don't need someone specialised on it, we'll just tell the programmers to make it easy to use."
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 03:32 PM   #19
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if you have to name something "the iPhone killer" just to get a little buzz then you already know it won't be nearly as good ....it was an ok try verizon
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 03:38 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Rojo View Post
Makes me wonder -- with 3G and GPS, what's the battery life on this sucker?
It is 4 hours usage time..... wow that blows. Think about that.

Every company post phone usage times that never seem to match your phone. So they say usage time is 4 hours so really you will get 3 1/2 if your lucky? Now imagine using it on 3G and GPS and with internet and videos.....
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 03:42 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by dr_lha View Post
Just like all of Apple's competitors, this misses out of one vital thing that Apple knows: Implementation is just as important as features, if not more so. You can forgive the iPhones lacking features because what it has works so beautifully and is a joy to use. Almost every other phone on the market may have every features thrown in, but they are a pain in the ass to use.
EXACTLY! Every time I show a friend who has another phone or smartphone, they always love touting how theirs "does more, has more features, etc., etc." But as I say "Cool, show me," I get a variety of responses, which are ususally one of the following:

"Yeah, I don't have (insert feature here) right now. But if I wanted it, I could." So, it's such a "cool" feature, but not enough to warrant getting it. Hmmm . . .

OR

They can't seem to find where that "special" feature" lives, because it's buried 12 menus deep.

As someone who lives, breathes and works as a designer (and sometimes yes, as an interface designer for some clients) it killed me every time I would try out a cell phone or ANY phone out there. And believe me, I tried out over 18 different kinds before giving up on them. They all sucked. Their users manual also sucked. Then using them was even worse. Couldn't find a lot of "features" or worse - one phone had me go through 8 menu selections just to change my ringtone volume. Jeeez! I didn't have a cell phone for over 2 years because of how bad they were.

Being able to get to a "feature" or anything else for that matter on any device, computer or electronics should be something intuitive, fluid, simple and even graceful to the end user. This not only makes using said device enjoyable, but also makes using the device next time not something that makes you want to curse the Seven Hills of Mary every time.

It comes down to simplicity, ease of use, art, good design and actually something that makes you WANT to use the damn thing. Even if you don't need to. You want to. These are the fundamental flaws that all of these Iphone Killer companies don't understand and probably never will until they actually hire interface designers. Real interface designers. This, as opposed to people making cute little folder icons ("Don't worry, we'll get the engineers to actually design the interface, you just worry about those cute little icons) who get labeled as interface designers by these companies.

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Old Nov 21, 2007, 04:09 PM   #22
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It is 4 hours usage time..... wow that blows. Think about that..
Sticking with 2G was very smart of Apple. They were able to make a high featured phone that was smaller and had longer battery life than their competitors. Of course the downside is slower data, but I think the tradeoff gave them a slick and attractive phone.

Compare a random sample of 2G and 3G phones (from the same manufacturer) for an idea of how much bigger an iPhone would need to be to have 3G today. It's quite significant.

For GPS - Nokia recently released a cheaper phone (3G) with GPS in it (in addition to their expensive N95). It's probably 50% thicker (5mm) than their regular 3G phones which are otherwise identical. While I'm not sure if that's indicative, there is certainly some extra size required for GPS too.

Of course, in time all these things become smaller and smaller.

There's a 3rd party iPhone app which checks local cell tower IDs and wireless hotspots against an online database, to find out approximately where you are. In Australia, any Telstra phone can sms a blank message to a Telstra service, and it gives back your street address approximated from multiple cell towers (it works great if you have cell towers on all sides of you, and perfect in the city). An accelerometer can tell if it's in a car and has taken a sharp left or right. I wonder whether Apple is looking at a GPS alternative, or just GPS.

Last edited by GregA; Nov 21, 2007 at 04:16 PM.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 04:11 PM   #23
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brilliantly said - so true about features that are "available" but how people don't seem to have them. i have verizon and so obviously no iphone...mac user but no iphone but i think it's a darn cool phone for sure.

this lg voyager--all it is is the next in the EnV series from LG. If any of you have used an EnV before it's a piece of junk. Adding a touch screen on the outside isn't going to change it - it just adds a nice looking mask.

I have Verizon because the network is good. The calls sound great and text messaging works really really well. Other than that I won't vouch for anything they do, nor would I vouch for at&t. honestly, if the ipod touch gets VOIP enabled, I'm ditching cellular altogether.

the only thing the iphone has going for it to lure me is that it's apple and syncs with my itunes, ical and all the other good stuff. at&t's network stinks; i don't want 2 years of slavery with a new slavemaster.

that said, nice try lg & verizon. it's like these little acer laptops that they made in white to try and look as cool as an ibook or macbook. ...no functionality=no sale and that's exactly what this lg is.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 04:46 PM   #24
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What sold me is the REAL web - mobile!

When I first saw Steve Jobs demonstrate the Safari browser and I could see the real World-Wide-Web on a fully portable device - that alone sold me for the price (and I paid the early adopter premium). I've tried to use the browser on my company Blackberry and it is just unusable. Many websites would not even load. My iPhone web experience has been a revelation-if I wonder about something, I just pull out my phone and Google it while it is fresh in my mind. Compared to the current mobile crop, the iPhone web is nothing short of a revolutionary experience.
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Old Nov 21, 2007, 05:14 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by miketcool View Post
And so another manufacturer shamelessly rips Apple's icons and look.
I was wondering about this. Anyone think Apple has their legal department looking into the LG? The virtual keyboard, the menu screen, the round-edge device rimmed with silver...it's all an obvious rip-off of the iPhone. Instead of "Slide to Unlock," the LG reads, "Press to Unlock." The similarities seems a bit too blatant. At least we know who the innovators really are.

I thought this quote from the PC article was peculiar:

Quote:
You can store files in the whopping 183MB of available internal memory
Sarcasm? This seems like an absurd statement when people are complaining about the 8gb available on the iPhone.
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