Review: LG Dare
The Dare's screen is a generous 3 inches across the diagonal. It's not the biggest touch screen out there, but it provides enough real estate to comfortably use the phone and view content. I found it to be nice and bright, with high enough resolution so that icons and screen animations were smooth and free of pixelization. Being a touch device, however, you're going to get your fingerprints all over it. Reading through finger grease patterns is simply a way of life with touch phones, and the Dare is no different. This is really only a problem outdoors. If viewed at a slight angle, the screen can be difficult to read, but viewed head-on, even in sunlight, it does a decent enough job.
The Dare was a signal hound. If there was signal, whether 1X or EVDO, the Dare found it. It consistently held three or four bars for each type of coverage. It performed well in the NJ vault test, and didn't drop any calls while we were testing it.
The Dare didn't sound awesome, but it didn't suck, either. On more than one occasion, people we called said we sounded "echo-y". We also noticed some mucky noises during several conversations. The ear piece volume was nice and loud. We were able to hear people even in busy coffee shops with the volume set just above the half-way mark. Setting the volume to its max was unnecessary, and actually painful. Sound quality through Bluetooth headsets was good, but suffered from some of the same quality issues. Using the standard headset jack, music sounded a bit flat and lifeless. The exterior speaker, for music playback and speakerphone calls, could be made quite loud.
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Battery life was solid. It took a full 3.5 days to run down to zero from a full charge with consistent web and messaging use. Adding in more phone calls, music playback, and Bluetooth use drained the battery more rapidly and killed it off in 2.5 days. One thing to note, the battery level indicator showed a full charge for a long time, and then dropped to one-quarter charge quickly. You may need to pay attention the first few charge cycles to learn the phone's behavior.
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