CTIA Fall 2004
Earlier this year, Digit Wireless anounced that Telus (a Canadian carrier) would offer an LG phone with Digit's unique FasTap text keypad. At the spring CTIA show, Digit was showing off a prototype - a modified LG 5450. But this week, Digit was quietly showing off the final model for Telus - the LG VX-6190 - which will be the first commercial phone with a FasTap keypad.
As the model number would suggest, the VX-6190 is based closely on the VX-6100 that recently shipped with Verizon in the U.S. While the keypad is the key difference, the 6190 is also distinguished by a sleeker, mirrored outer design.
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The FasTap keypad is pretty self-explanatory. It adds letter keys in-between the numbers.
Usability is good, especially for text. Those with large fingers might find it awkward to press the number keys; to avoid the raised letter keys, I found I wanted to use my fingertips or fingernails more than I might otherwise. But fortunately, the intelligent FasTap technology lets you simply mash the number keys without worrying about hitting the letters - if you do, it knows what you meant to type. It feels a little weird, but it works great.
Telus is expected to launch the VX-6190 in Canada in a few weeks.