Review: LG Dare
The Dare is nearly perfect in size. It is about the same size as a Motorola RAZR2 when the RAZR is closed. The Dare is a bar-style phone, though, so what you see is what you get. It has the same black and silver styling that has come to dominate the touch screen phone market. While this look has some appeal, it would be nice to see some original touches here and there. Alas, the Dare conforms to the current market trend in appearance.
It is easy to grip in the hand, light-weight, and with the soft touch paint job on the back, won't go slipping out of your grasp. It is comfortable when held in both portrait orientation and landscape orientation.
The front of the device is dominated by the three-inch screen. There are just three buttons below the screen. The call/send button, a back/microphone button and the end/power key. These three buttons augment the functions that appear on the screen. They are plated in a chrome-colored covering and and complete the bevel that rims the outside of the Dare's front fascia. All three buttons have good travel and feedback. I wish they weren't positioned quite so close to the Dare's bottom edge, but that's just me.
The left side of the phone has two hatches and two buttons. The top-most button is the lock/unlock key. When the phone is locked, pressing it twice in succession unlocks the phone. With the phone unlocked, one quick press puts it to sleep and darkens the screen. The button has good travel and feedback, but it would be nice if it were a little easier to differentiate from the other buttons on the Dare's side, especially since this is one you'll be using a lot.
Below that button is the microSD hatch. It opens easily enough. Below that is the voice activation key. It has the same travel and feedback as the lock key, but suffers from the same lack of findability. Last on the left side is the microUSB hatch for charging and transferring data. It presented no issues to open or close.
The right side of the phone has just two keys. Nearer to the top is the volume toggle. It has good travel and feedback, but just barely stands out from the side of the phone. Your thumb could pass over it easily and miss it altogether. Nearer to the bottom of the phone is the camera key. This is the best button on the phone. It has a nice little bulge that makes it stand out just enough to be easily found, but not enough to be annoying or get in the way. When you press it, there are two distinct clicks. Halfway for focusing the camera, and then all the way for taking the picture.
At the top of the phone is a tiny little rubber plug inserted into the 3.5mm headset jack. To be honest, I don't know why this pin is here. Since it has no tether, it is pretty much useless and will most likely be lost by the majority of Dare owners almost immediately. I took it out and left it out. I like that the 3.5mm headset jack is located on the top of the phone. This makes playing music with the phone in your pocket more comfortable.
In all, there's little to complain about.
Click a thumbnail above for a larger view.